Alana Wise

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.

Prior to joining WAMU, Wise was a politics and later companies news reporter at Reuters, where she covered the 2016 presidential election and the U.S. airline industry. Ever the fan of cherry blossoms and unpredictable weather, Alana, an Atlanta native and Howard University graduate, can be found roaming the city admiring puppies and the national monuments, in that order.

 

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.

Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET

Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, is stepping down, according to a senior department official.

Wolf's departure from the Trump administration, just days before the president's norm-shattering term is set to come to a close, is the most recent Cabinet resignation since last week. Several other officials in the Trump administration have left since Wednesday, citing the deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill.

Updated at 12:50 a.m. ET on Friday

More than 24 hours after thousands of his supporters stormed the Capitol, President Trump on Thursday night condemned the violence in a video he posted on social media, calling it a "heinous attack."

The video, which comes more than two months after the election that he fought to find a way to reverse, marks the first time Trump acknowledges that he lost — coming as close as he likely will get to a concession.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced she is resigning, citing the "traumatic and entirely avoidable" violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Her resignation will be effective next Monday.

In a letter to colleagues, Chao said, "It has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside."

Chao is the highest-ranking member of President Trump's administration yet to resign following the deadly mob violence at the Capitol, fueled by Trump's own support of the crowd gathering in protest of his election loss.

Updated at 3:43 a.m. ET

Lawmakers on Wednesday blocked objections to President-elect Joe Biden's election win in Arizona and Pennsylvania Wednesday evening, paving the way for Congress to formalize Biden's victory.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Democrat Jon Ossoff has defeated Republican David Perdue in the Georgia runoff, The Associated Press said Wednesday, giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate," Ossoff said earlier Wednesday.

Perdue, whose Senate term expired earlier this week, has not conceded the race.

Updated at 2:05 a.m. ET

Democrat Raphael Warnock has edged out Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a closely watched runoff election.

"Tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible," he told supporters in a virtual speech.

The Associated Press has also called the race for Warnock, who appeared to have beaten his opponent by just a few tens of thousands of votes.

President-elect Joe Biden did a final campaign push in Georgia on Monday afternoon in support of Democratic Senate candidates the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff as the state prepares for a tight runoff race that will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Describing the election as one with seismic implications for the rest of the nation, Biden urged Georgians to turn out on Tuesday and vote for the two Democrats.

Updated at 9:52 a.m. ET Wednesday

President-elect Joe Biden warned Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic will get worse before it gets better.

"Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us," Biden told reporters during a year-end news conference in Wilmington, Del.

He said that Americans, when united, could overcome the crisis, and he called the first vaccines being administered a good thing. But he noted that distribution of the vaccines is one of the biggest operational challenges the country has ever faced.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden formally introduced his climate team on Saturday, saying that the people he has selected will lead his administration's "ambitious plan to address the existential threat of our time, climate change."

Leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives received an FBI briefing regarding Rep. Eric Swalwell's ties to a suspected Chinese spy, as a report of his association with the woman prompted Republicans to call for the California Democrat's removal from his position on the House Intelligence Committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., were briefed on Friday. McCarthy has said he requested the meeting.

President-elect Joe Biden's transition team said Friday that the Defense Department had canceled meetings and asked that the department reverse its decision.

Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET

Vice President Pence, second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams received a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday at the White House in a televised event aimed at showing the vaccine is safe and effective.

Pence, wearing a short-sleeve dress shirt, pushed up his sleeve to get the vaccine. He appeared to be smiling underneath his mask and did not watch as he was administered the vaccine by a member of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"I didn't feel a thing! Well done!" Pence said after getting the shot.

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 9:18 p.m. ET

On the day electors around the country voted to reaffirm his victory, President-elect Joe Biden called for Americans to come together in unity and healing, vowing to help pull the nation through the coronavirus pandemic and criticizing the dangerous and false rhetoric of election malfeasance that some Republicans have promoted.

He delivered a clear rebuke to President Trump, who continues to challenge the results unsuccessfully. "In America, politicians don't take power — people grant power to them," Biden said.

Updated at 6:52 p.m. ET

In a statement released by the Biden-Harris transition team, Hunter Biden, the president-elect's son, said Wednesday he was recently informed he is under federal investigation over a tax matter.

Update at 2:38 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday introduced his nominee for defense secretary despite some lawmakers' concerns about naming a recently retired military officer to the key civilian Pentagon post.

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.

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Lloyd Austin, the retired U.S. Army four-star general, as his pick for secretary of defense in his incoming administration, two sources familiar with the decision confirmed to NPR.

Austin joins a growing and diverse list of nominees for Biden's cabinet, which the president-elect has said he wants to reflect the diversity of America. If confirmed, Austin would be the first African American to lead the department.

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday said he has asked the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to become his chief medical adviser and said he plans to call on Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days of his administration.

Updated at 2:38 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden stressed a return to multilateralism Tuesday as he introduced key national security and foreign policy appointees and nominees for his incoming White House Cabinet, moving forward with the traditional transition process even though President Trump still hasn't formally admitted defeat.

Updated at 8:21 p.m. ET

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted Monday to certify the state's election results after weeks of attempts by President Trump, the outgoing Republican nominee, to overturn his opponent's victory. Three members voted in favor of certification, and one abstained.

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.

The White House said Friday that there had been no external pressure from the Trump administration to slow the formalizing of the election's outcome by the General Services Administration, even as President Trump has continued his unsuccessful campaign to overturn the election results.

"The president's been very clear: He wants every legal vote to be counted and to make sure that no illegal votes are counted," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in the first formal briefing she has held in several weeks, repeating false talking points about widespread fraud.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force and President-elect Joe Biden separately gave updates on the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and how their teams were working to defeat it as health officials on Thursday warned against holiday travel to limit the virus's spread.

Updated at 9:34 p.m. ET

Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security director who had spearheaded a campaign to counter rumors about voter fraud, has been fired, President Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Trump, in two misleading tweets about the security of the U.S. election, said Krebs' termination was "effective immediately."

In response, Krebs tweeted, "Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure [Tomorrow]."

Updated at 7:07 p.m. ET

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has tested positive for the coronavirus, he confirmed in a Tuesday tweet, hours after the Republican lawmaker told the public he had been exposed to the virus.

The 87-year-old wrote on Twitter that he was "feeling good" and expected to continue his Senate duties from home while he isolated and recovered.

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.

Pages