Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.

Previously Keith covered congress for NPR with an emphasis on House Republicans, the budget, taxes, and the fiscal fights that dominated at the time.

Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world, from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues, and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake, and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived of and solely reported "The Road Back To Work," a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.

Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member station KQED's California Report, where she covered agriculture, the environment, economic issues, and state politics. She covered the 2004 presidential election for NPR Member station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and opened the state capital bureau for NPR Member station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio to cover then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 2001, Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.

Keith earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Keith is part of the Politics Monday team on the PBS NewsHour, a weekly segment rounding up the latest political news. Keith is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

A day after defending his right to hold campaign events in the midst of spikes in coronavirus cases, Vice President Pence and the Trump campaign are postponing two events he was to headline next week in Florida and Arizona.

The states are two of the hardest hit in recent days, and health officials have encouraged people to avoid large in-person gatherings. The events have been postponed "out of an abundance of caution," two campaign officials told NPR.

It's a remarkable reversal for Pence, who on Friday forcefully defended his plan to move forward with the campaign events.

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President Trump wants an arena full of tens of thousands of excited Republicans in Charlotte this summer for the party's national convention. But the coronavirus is causing a lot of uncertainty, and North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper hasn't been able to make assurances that such a gathering will be possible in August.

If you're a supporter of President Trump, longing for the excitement and MAGA-kinship of a big rally, Trump's campaign has built the next best thing. It's a massive digital operation that creates an interactive world where Trump is flawless and Republicans are saviors, while Democrats and Joe Biden are wrong and dangerous.

They encourage supporters to "forget the mainstream media" and get their "facts straight from the source," an insular information ecosystem featuring prime time programming, accessed in its most pure form through the new Trump 2020 app.

President Trump has chosen a former pharmaceutical executive and a four star general to run Operation Warp Speed, an effort to speed up development of a vaccine for COVID-19 and get it to as many Americans as quickly as possible.

"I think we're going to have a vaccine by the end of the year, and I think distribution will take place almost simultaneously because we've geared up the military," President Trump said as he prepared to board Marine One on Thursday afternoon. Experts have said the best case scenario for vaccine development would be 12 to 18 months.

President Trump has chosen a former pharmaceutical executive and a four star general to run Operation Warp Speed, an effort to speed up development of a vaccine for COVID-19 and get it to as many Americans as quickly as possible.

"I think we're going to have a vaccine by the end of the year, and I think distribution will take place almost simultaneously because we've geared up the military," President Trump said as he prepared to board Marine One on Thursday afternoon. Experts have said the best case scenario for vaccine development would be 12 to 18 months.

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Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET

As President Trump attempts to project an image of America rising out of quarantine and beginning to reopen, he traveled on Tuesday to an Arizona factory that's expanded into production of N95 face masks to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

And while the trip was in part meant to tell a positive story about the Trump administration's response, it also highlights the challenges of the moment.

At a time when jigsaw puzzles may be harder to come by than toilet paper, the hot new item in the Trump campaign online store is a 200-piece puzzle, featuring a faintly smiling President Trump standing in front of an American flag, giving two thumbs up.

The $35 puzzle is just the latest example of the campaign capitalizing on in-the-moment merchandise.

When President Trump tapped Vice President Mike Pence to lead the coronavirus task force in late February, it was a moment of growing pressure. Stocks were tanking, and Trump needed to show he was elevating the federal response to the pandemic.

A former Trump White House aide says Pence was the obvious choice, one of the few people left in the administration that Trump trusts, and someone with the stature to coordinate across agencies.

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Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET

With near-daily task force briefings, President Trump has delivered an ever-evolving message to the American public about the coronavirus pandemic.

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President Trump is ready to reopen America - at least parts of it where the coronavirus appears to be less of a problem.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with an entry for Jan. 14 with statements from WHO about human-to-human transmission.

On Tuesday, President Trump said he's suspending U.S. funding for the World Health Organization. He said the agency has "mismanaged" the pandemic, has been slow to respond to the crisis and is "China-centric."

We looked at the public record to see what Trump and the WHO had to say over the past 15 weeks about the coronavirus pandemic. Here's a timeline highlighting key quotes.

Jan. 5

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The president says he will hold a call tomorrow with the nation's governors to talk about reopening the country.

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The Trump administration is set to recommend that people who live in areas with high transmission of the coronavirus wear masks in public to avoid further spread of the virus, a White House official tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

Mayors in New York and Los Angeles have already urged people in their cities to use face coverings in public.

President Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday that he was waiting for guidance from public health experts on whether people should wear masks in public.

It has been only a month since President Trump held his last campaign rally. It was March 2 when several thousand people squeezed into a North Carolina arena to cheer on a confident president seeking reelection at a time of peace and prosperity.

Trump touted the record low unemployment rate to rousing applause, repeating the theme of his 2020 campaign.

"Jobs are booming in our country, incomes are soaring, poverty has plummeted, confidence is surging," said the president.

The White House coronavirus task force shared data Tuesday evening as they pleaded with the American public to follow social distancing and other mitigation measures. The modeling, they say, backs up their new 30-day recommendations to avoid gatherings, travel or social visits.

Two weeks ago, President Trump entered the White House briefing room and announced an aggressive plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stay home for 15 days, he told Americans. Avoid groups of more than 10 people. "If everyone makes this change, or these critical changes, and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus," he said.

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The toll of the coronavirus pandemic is steep - hundreds of thousands of confirmed infections around the world, tens of thousands of lives lost.

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The coronavirus crisis was gaining steam when President Trump announced via tweet on a Friday night that he was replacing his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, with North Carolina congressman and frequent confidante Mark Meadows.

Nearly three weeks later, Meadows is still transitioning into his new job and hasn't yet resigned from Congress.

He may have been inside the room at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday for White House negotiations with senators on the $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package — but he still had one foot back in his old job.

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Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

For the fourth time in three years, President Trump has a new chief of staff.

With his administration grappling with the response to coronavirus — and just months ahead of the next election — Trump tweeted on Friday night that congressional ally Mark Meadows will be his newest top aide at the White House.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday stopped in at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency marshaling the response to coronavirus — a major political test for his administration.

The trip itself was almost derailed by coronavirus fears, and mixed signals about what was happening created an on-again, off-again drama that played out in front of television cameras. The chaotic impression clashed with the White House quest to show that the public health crisis is under control.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump is known to say what's on his mind, to go with his gut and accentuate the positive. That approach is now colliding with a public health emergency in the form of coronavirus.

The challenge posed by Trump's breezy style was on full display Wednesday night in an interview in which he disputed the World Health Organization's recent coronavirus death rate estimate of 3.4%.

Last week, even as he responded to growing fears about coronavirus, President Trump had his eye on the markets. At the start of what turned out to be a terrible week for stock prices, Trump tweeted that coronavirus was "very much under control" and implied that stock market losses were overdone.

"The stock market is up 80%, in some cases much higher than that," Trump said. "401(k)s are at record levels." But if you look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it was up by 56% on Feb. 22, compared with the date of Trump's election. Some of those gains were erased in the past week.

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Tonight, President Trump tried to quell rising fears about the effects of the growing coronavirus outbreak.

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Updated at 1 p.m. ET

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the man largely responsible for making his state's presidential caucuses a prominent early contest, has declined the opportunity to defend caucus systems in an interview with NPR.

"I will talk about that after Super Tuesday, after when we get California and Texas out of the way," Reid said. "Right now, we're gonna make the best we can of the system we have."

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