Tamara Keith

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


President Biden pulled his daily schedule card out of his jacket pocket and read a number printed on the back.

"Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone," he said on Feb. 22, "500,071 dead."

Biden then held a moment of silence on the White House's South Lawn, which was illuminated by lanterns symbolizing American lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just a month earlier, on the eve of his inauguration, he had led a similar ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial recognizing the country's then 400,000 COVID deaths.

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President Biden has tested negative for COVID-19, the White House said.

The PCR test was done after a White House staff member — who had flown with Biden on Air Force One on Friday — tested positive for COVID on Monday. The staff member, who was fully vaccinated and boosted, experienced symptoms on Sunday. Biden had tested negative on Sunday and Monday, but was tested again on Wednesday as a precaution.

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When he first moved into the White House, President Biden spent a lot of time talking about the number of people who have died in the pandemic. But as the year went on and the death toll grew, his emphasis has changed.

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President Biden delivered his latest plan today about how to deal with COVID-19. From colder weather to the omicron variant, new challenges abound.


Updated December 2, 2021 at 2:56 PM ET

President Biden announced Thursday that private health insurance plans will soon reimburse people who buy over-the-counter, at-home rapid tests for the coronavirus — one of a series of steps the White House is planning in order to encourage better detection and prevention of COVID-19 this winter.

Updated November 23, 2021 at 3:38 PM ET

The United States plans to draw 50 million barrels of oil from its emergency oil reserves in coming months, a widely anticipated step aimed at trying to take the edge off high gas prices that have been hurting consumers at the pump — and hurting President Biden in the polls.

Updated November 22, 2021 at 10:12 AM ET

More than 90% of federal employees will have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by the end of Monday, the deadline for the largest workforce in the country to get vaccinated under a mandate imposed by President Biden in September.

Beloved stuffed animals in hand, they lined up at schools, pop-up clinics and children's hospitals to do something that little kids generally hate to do: get a shot. COVID vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds began in earnest late last week, ramping up over the weekend and early this week.

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Friday night was a long one for President Biden, working the phones at the end of a week where his party lost a bellwether race in Virginia, following months of Democratic infighting over his agenda. Down in the polls, he had just returned from an overseas trip where he said he faced questions about whether he had support to back the pledges he made on the world stage.

President Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki said on Sunday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, the highest-ranking White House official to have publicly revealed a case in this administration.

Psaki, who is fully vaccinated, said she has experienced only mild symptoms. In a statement, she said she had not had contact with senior White House officials since Wednesday — four days before she tested positive — and last saw Biden on Tuesday, when they were wearing masks and were more than six feet apart from each other, outdoors.

President Biden said on Sunday that the world can't immediately stop using oil and said OPEC and Russia need to pump more of it, even as he pushes the world to pledge to cut climate-changing carbon emissions at the Glasgow climate summit this week.

After three days of meeting with world leaders in Rome, where he attended the G-20 summit, Biden said he is worried that surging energy costs are hurting working class families.

Within minutes of the Food and Drug Administration's decision Friday to authorize the lower-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, teams began packing up the vaccines to be shipped. The vials are being packed with syringes, dry ice and tracking labels and are being loaded into shipping containers that were specially designed for the pediatric vaccine.

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In two weeks, most people traveling to the U.S. from overseas will have to provide proof of vaccination. It's all part of the reopening of international travel that had been shut down for more than a year. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith has new details.

Updated October 20, 2021 at 10:55 AM ET

School board meetings in Centerville, Ohio, used to draw just a handful of people. But that began to change last spring in this Dayton suburb when dozens showed up to a late April meeting, angry about school mask requirements.

Updated October 19, 2021 at 8:00 AM ET

Early last week, the sun just starting to rise over Dayton, Ohio, Zac Wyrick and 17 other firefighter recruits panted as they hauled fire hose up several flights of stairs at the department's training center.

It's something Wyrick, 28, has been waiting to do for years. He was inspired to apply to join the force after talking to EMTs following a tragedy: His brother died of an opioid overdose in 2017.

Adam Willmann was born in Goodall-Witcher hospital in Clifton, a small town in central Texas. Now he's its CEO, and he's worried his hospital may have to stop delivering babies.

That's because some of the experienced nurses in the Goodall-Witcher obstetrics department aren't vaccinated for COVID-19 and don't intend to be. But under a new federal mandate, hospitals will soon have to require their staff to be vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Updated September 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET

President Biden called on rich nations and philanthropists to do more to end the pandemic, saying the United States will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to donate to countries around the world for delivery by next September.

The White House said the goal is to vaccinate 70% of the world's population for COVID-19 by this time next year.

Updated September 17, 2021 at 7:26 PM ET

Facing criticism for its plan to give Americans third doses of COVID-19 vaccines while millions in the world's poorest countries are still waiting for a first shot, the White House is planning a virtual summit next week to try to spur efforts to boost the pace of global vaccinations.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Updated September 9, 2021 at 8:34 PM ET

President Biden on Thursday unveiled a series of steps to combat the newly surging pandemic, including the announcement of a forthcoming federal rule that all businesses with 100 or more employees have to ensure that every worker is either vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing for the coronavirus.

The share of adults saying "no" to getting the COVID-19 vaccine dropped 5 percentage points in a month, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer's vaccine.

President Biden is in Wilmington, Del., this weekend, a place he has spent a lot of time as president. In fact, he has spent twice as many weekends at his home there as in the White House. Sometime next week, he has expected to start a summer vacation in — where else? — Delaware.

For Biden the draw of Delaware — the need to be there with his family, in his home — runs deep. Biden is far from the only president to spend time away from the White House, but so far, he's spending fewer weekends there than the two men who held the office just before him.

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Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Updated August 3, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET

The U.S. has delivered 110 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 65 countries, from Afghanistan to Zambia, President Biden announced Tuesday at the White House.