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Alana Wise

Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.

Before joining NPR, Alana covered beats including American gun culture, the aviation business and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Through her reporting, Alana has covered such events as large protests, mass shootings, boardroom uprisings and international trade fights.

Alana is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., and an Atlanta native.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House, got vaccinated against COVID-19 on Sunday after months of waiting, citing the rise of the delta variant and increasing cases and hospitalizations, primarily among people who are unvaccinated.

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would make Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the United States, a legal public holiday.

The holiday is celebrated on June 19, and it began in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were freed under the Emancipation Proclamation.

President Abraham Lincoln had signed the proclamation outlawing slavery in most of the United States years earlier, but it was not until 1865 that those in bondage in Texas were freed.

Updated May 26, 2021 at 9:04 PM ET

President Biden said on Wednesday that he has asked the U.S. intelligence community to push to get closer to a "definitive conclusion" on how the pandemic started.

The debate over masks has returned to the House floor.

As an increasing number of Republicans express frustration that they have to continue to wear masks on the floor of the chamber, a GOP-led resolution to change the House's guidance on masks was tabled on Wednesday evening.

Their effort comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week eased its guidelines on face coverings, saying that those who have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine are mostly free to go maskless indoors and out, except where required by law and local regulations.

In a notable tarmac conversation, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib conveyed to President Biden her dissatisfaction with the United States' response to the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas that has now entered its second week, her office says.

Tlaib, the first woman of Palestinian descent to serve in Congress, also told Biden that Palestinians must be protected, and she shared her harsh assessment of Israel's role in escalating the violence, an aide for the congresswoman's office said in a statement.

Updated May 17, 2021 at 5:38 PM ET

President Biden on Monday announced his intention to ship surplus doses of the coronavirus vaccine to needy nations abroad, including millions of doses of the U.S.-authorized Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The majority of the planned shipments will be of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which does not yet have authorization for use in the United States.

Updated April 20, 2021 at 8:05 PM ET

President Biden said the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin "can be a moment of significant change" for the United States as it grapples with systemic racism.

Biden and Vice President Harris addressed the nation on Tuesday, after Chauvin was found guilty of murder for the death of George Floyd during an arrest last year.

President Biden said on Tuesday that the U.S. will produce enough vaccines for every adult in the U.S. by the end of May, while making a fresh push to vaccinate school staff over the next month.

"We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May," Biden said, crediting his administration's efforts to boost production and moving up the timeline from the end of July, which is what the president was saying just a few weeks ago.

Updated on Saturday at 6:20 p.m. ET: The video for this event has ended.

Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial came to a close on Saturday, with Democrats falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict the former president.

The final vote was 57 to 43. Seven Republicans joined with all of the chamber's Democrats and independents to vote to convict.

Trump faced a single impeachment charge, incitement of an insurrection, for his role in urging a mob to attack the Capitol complex on Jan. 6.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

President Biden signed a series of orders and directives on his second day in office to take charge of stopping the spread of the coronavirussteps that he and his advisers say will start to boost testing, vaccinations, supplies and treatments.

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET

Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, having defeated Donald Trump in an acrimonious, divisive election last November.

Biden was sworn in alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in an unusual inauguration ceremony, conducted amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis and heightened physical security risks.

Updated at 8:37 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden outlined his plans for economic relief from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, citing the need for a more robust vaccination plan as well as for additional direct payments to American families to help recover the U.S. economy. His plan, called the American Rescue Plan, is expected to cost $1.9 trillion.

Updated at 11:29 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved a symbolic resolution urging Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump, after the president's No. 2 has expressed that he would not exercise that option. The move comes nearly a week after violent pro-Trump extremists breached the U.S. Capitol.

High-ranking officials, including President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Pence, are making preparations to get the COVID-19 vaccine, hoping to instill trust and confidence in the vaccine ahead of its widespread distribution as the death toll climbs to new heights.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Speaking at a White House coronavirus vaccine summit Tuesday, President Trump praised his administration for fast-tracking vaccines and boastfully criticized those who he said had doubted his ability to oversee a vaccine production.

Calling vaccine development a "a monumental national achievement," Trump said the collaboration of government, scientists and industry will save millions of lives around the world.

"It will end the pandemic," he said.

Republican lawmakers from Michigan issued a statement Friday night in defense of their state's election process after a closely watched meeting with President Trump.

The meeting at the White House, just days away from Michigan's election certification deadline, was criticized as being an inappropriate attempt by the president to interfere while his campaign lawyers seek to overturn election results in the state.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Georgia's secretary of state said Tuesday that some fellow Republicans have tried to pressure him into disqualifying legal ballots that may not have favored President Trump.

Brad Raffensperger, who was earlier endorsed by Trump, said in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered that he had been contacted by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's office in an effort to convince him to discard some legal absentee ballots.

Updated at 8:56 p.m. ET

There is "no evidence" the Nov. 3 election was compromised, committees within the Department of Homeland Security that worked on protecting U.S. voting systems affirmed Thursday. In a statement, they also called the 2020 election the "most secure in American history."

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday

President-elect Joe Biden has named his longtime aide Ron Klain to be White House chief of staff, the campaign announced Wednesday evening.

The chief of staff is one of the most significant White House appointments.

An alumnus of the Obama-Biden administration, Klain had previously been Biden's chief of staff when he was vice president.

Carlos Giménez, the Republican representative-elect for Florida's 26th district, said he supports President Trump's legal fight to contest the results of the White House race, days after it has been called for Democrat Joe Biden with a healthy lead in both the popular and electoral vote.

Speaking to NPR's All Things Considered, Giménez, who currently serves as the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Fla., said he thought the president had "every right" to contest the race's results and seek resolution through the courts. Asked if he thought Trump should concede, he answered no.

Updated at 10:59 p.m. ET

William Barr, the nation's attorney general and a Trump ally, on Monday wrote a memo authorizing federal prosecutors to pursue any "substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities." He specified that such reviews can be conducted only if there are "clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State."

Four days after Americans cast the final ballots in the 2020 White House race, votes are still being counted but Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has maintained his lead in electoral votes.

"We're going to win this race with a clear majority," Biden said late Friday, speaking alongside his running mate, Kamala Harris, in his home state of Delaware.

"What's becoming clear each hour is that record number of Americans, of all races, faiths, religions, chose change over more of the same," he said.

Vice President Mike Pence, who on Friday tested negative for the coronavirus, plans to maintain his usual schedule in the coming days, despite several confirmed cases of the virus within the White House, including President Trump and the First Lady.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

The country was put on edge overnight as President Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, a stunning announcement that raises concerns about their health and throws the final stretch of the presidential campaign — already upended by the pandemic — even further into unknown territory.

The couple's 14-year-old son, Barron Trump, has tested negative for the virus, the first lady's chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, told NPR.

President Trump on Wednesday decried reported health agency efforts to issue stricter guidelines for evaluating a vaccine against COVID-19, accusing the Food and Drug Administration of playing politics.

Trump was apparently reacting to a Tuesday report in the New York Times that said the agency will soon move to tighten requirements for emergency authorization of any coronavirus vaccine to better ensure its safety and effectiveness.

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is lying in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday, a two-day event honoring a justice who was both a cultural and legal icon.

As Ginsburg's casket arrived at the high court, former law clerks lined the Supreme Court steps. Supreme Court police officers served as pallbearers. Then the justice's family, close friends and members of the court held a brief ceremony in the court's Great Hall.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

President Trump is defending himself after interviews from a new book by legendary reporter Bob Woodward reveal that Trump acknowledged the deadliness of the coronavirus in early February and admitted in March to playing down its severity.

Updated at noon ET

The U.S. Senate is holding a hearing Wednesday on the development of vaccines aimed at eradicating the coronavirus amid escalated political rhetoric regarding the potential effectiveness of a fast-tracked vaccine.

As President Trump has promised to expedite treatments against the virus that has killed nearly 190,000 Americans, he has appeared publicly rankled by critics who question his handling of the pandemic and those who are skeptical of the viability of a safe vaccine in such record time.

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