CDC Director: 'Very Aggressive' Contact Tracing Needed For U.S. To Return To Normal

It's the question on everyone's minds: What will it take for us to come out of this period of extreme social distancing and return to some semblance of normal life? It turns out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working on a plan to allow the U.S. to safely begin to scale back those policies. CDC Director Robert Redfield spoke with NPR on Thursday, saying that the plan relies on not only ramped-up testing but "very aggressive" contact tracing of those who do test...

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Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

This episode of StoryCorps originally aired in 2018.

At 20 years old, Pfc. Roman Coley Davis was stationed in Afghanistan when the loneliness of war began to seep in. At StoryCorps 12 years later, Davis tells a friend how a surprise package from his Georgia hometown brought him immense comfort.

Audio produced for Weekend Edition Saturday by Aisha Turner.

Dr. Jackson Griggs of the Waco-McLennan County Medical Team assured the community in a press conference Wednesday afternoon that local healthcare providers are prepared for the possibility of a surge in COVID-19 cases.


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When Carolynn van Arsdale, a senior at the University of Vermont, was forced to leave her campus amid coronavirus concerns last month, it caused a lot of complications. " I was forced to move out of my apartment building and move into my mother's house in a different state," she said. "I lost one of my jobs ... and I've been struggling with my mental health. All of these stresses have challenged me in being able to do my best in my college courses."

On a recent sunny morning at a remote U.S. base in northeast Syria, Rumi is sniffing around. She has white fur and black markings on her face. Some here call her "the raccoon dog."

"Rumi first started showing up in early January," says 1st Lt. Shelby Koontz. "She was really emaciated, caked in mud."

Even though the dog didn't look pretty, 25-year-old Koontz immediately fell for her.

In recent days, the Trump administration has organized dozens of flights to deliver surgical masks and other critical medical supplies around the country, working with a half dozen major medical distributors to get those supplies "to the right place at the right time."

But if your state isn't considered the right place, that system can be frustrating.

"When you look at those five or six national distributors, Montana is sure as heck not getting much luck out of them," Gov. Steve Bullock said in an interview.

A day after Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race, Joe Biden, now the presumptive Democratic nominee, made an overture to progressives.

On Thursday he rolled out two new policy proposals:

  1. Lower the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60;
  2. and forgive student debt for low-income and middle-class families who attended public colleges and universities and some private institutions.

Tiny bits of twisted plant fibers found on an ancient stone tool suggest that Neanderthals were able to make and use sophisticated cords like string and rope.

Cords made from twisted fibers are so ubiquitous today that it's easy to take them for granted. But they're a key survival technology that can be used to make everything from clothes to bags to shelters.

It's the question on everyone's minds: What will it take for us to come out of this period of extreme social distancing and return to some semblance of normal life?

It turns out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working on a plan to allow the U.S. to safely begin to scale back those policies. CDC Director Robert Redfield spoke with NPR on Thursday, saying that the plan relies on not only ramped-up testing but "very aggressive" contact tracing of those who do test positive for the coronavirus, and a major scale-up of personnel to do the necessary work.

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