Tamara Keith

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

Copyright 2021 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.