Bill Chappell | WAMC

Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Chappell's work for NPR includes being the lead writer for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 to Pyeongchang in 2018 – stints that also included posting numerous videos and photos to NPR's Instagram and other branded accounts. He has also previously been NPR.org's homepage editor.

Chappell established the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR's website; his assignments also include being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road. Chappell has coordinated special digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He also frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as The Salt.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to tell compelling stories, promoting more collaboration between departments and desks.

Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that performed one of NPR's largest website redesigns. One year later, NPR.org won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

Prior to joining NPR, Chappell was part of the Assignment Desk at CNN International, working with reporters in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Chappell also edited and produced stories for CNN.com's features division, before moving on to edit video and produce stories for Sports Illustrated's website.

Early in his career, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants, and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

The world is facing "a dangerous epidemic of misinformation" about COVID-19 — and the only vaccine is to reestablish public trust, the head of the United Nations said Tuesday.

"Around the world, people are scared. They want to know what to do and where to turn for advice," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.

The distortion and willful ignorance of scientific facts is a "poison that is putting even more lives at risk" during the most challenging crisis since World War II, Guterres said.

The governors of New York and California — two of the largest economies in the U.S. — have formed alliances with their respective neighbors to coordinate an eventual easing of COVID-19 shutdowns, posing a potential new obstacle to President Trump's plans to restart the national economy.

In separate announcements, the governors said they've agreed to let science, not politics, determine when to lift social and business restrictions.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 may or may not be immune to getting sick again – and it's too soon to know how long any immunity might last, World Health Organization experts say. The appraisal comes as WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says COVID-19 is "10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic."

The Christ the Redeemer statue towered over Rio de Janeiro in a doctor's white coat on Easter Sunday, as a tribute to health care workers who put themselves at risk every day to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. The striking scene included messages of thanks in many languages, along with images of nurses and doctors smiling in protective gear.

Americans returning home from abroad are being greeted with varying levels of health screenings at U.S. airports — with some saying the U.S. measures are less stringent than what they've experienced overseas.

Pope Francis says the COVID-19 pandemic represents a chance for creativity and positive change, urging people to reconnect with the real world and reject "throwaway culture."

The pontiff's comments came by way of an interview with Commonweal magazine published Wednesday. Francis also said the coronavirus crisis has revealed that many decisions are made solely on economic terms; he also says the ongoing outbreak is exposing what he calls "functional hypocrisy" at the highest levels of government.

The U.S. is enduring a "very bad week" during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci says. But he also says that the American public's embrace of physical separation and other restrictions is sharply reducing projections of the death toll from the respiratory virus.

The final toll currently "looks more like 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000" that U.S. officials previously estimated, Fauci said.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Using the COVID-19 pandemic to score political points is dangerous and will only result in "many more body bags," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday, less than a day after President Trump criticized the WHO and its relationship with China. Tedros also revealed he has received death threats in recent months.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared the Easter Bunny to be an essential worker in her country, stating that the rabbit can go about its mysterious business this Sunday as usual, despite a nationwide lockdown.

Updated at 11:03 a.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a terrible toll on the world's economy, with full or partial lockdown measures now affecting the livelihood of almost 2.7 billion people — more than 4 out of 5 workers in the global workforce of 3.3 billion, according to the International Labour Organization.

The U.S. Army will not bring a new class of recruits into basic combat training due to disruptions and safety concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, as an order to delay the process for at least two weeks took effect on Monday.

Recruits who have already begun their early training will keep working under recently introduced screening and safety guidelines, the Army says.

More than 10,000 people have now died from COVID-19 in the U.S., as the coronavirus pandemic's horrible toll hit another milestone on Monday.

The U.S. is reporting more COVID-19 cases than any other country in the world, with nearly 350,000 people testing positive for the coronavirus, according to a COVID-19 dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering, which reports coronavirus numbers in near real time.

The USNS Comfort hospital ship and an emergency hospital at the Javits Center are meant to be relief valves for hospitals in New York City, where more than 14,000 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19. But the facilities have been largely empty, leading officials to try to streamline their operations.

Now, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hoping the Comfort can join the Javits Center on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic is heightening interest in raising young chickens for a reliable supply of eggs, with hatcheries saying they're seeing a flood of new customers.

"We are swamped with orders," says Nancy Smith, owner of the Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Mo. "We can't answer all the phone calls, and we are booked out several weeks on most breeds."

A key maker of N95 respirator masks, 3M, is arguing against a Trump administration request to keep U.S.-made masks in the domestic market, saying the policy could backfire by triggering retaliation. Trump signed a Defense Production Act order Thursday specifically aimed at requiring 3M to prioritize orders from the U.S. government.

The president and others have criticized 3M, with some officials saying it allows or even encourages profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries around the world have now reported more than 1 million coronavirus cases, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow. The respiratory disease has killed more than 51,000 people and is found in at least 181 countries and regions.

The updated numbers come from a coronavirus dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering, which tracks the data in near real time.

A train engineer told police in Los Angeles that he intentionally crashed his locomotive at high speed near the USNS Mercy hospital ship in what seems to be a bizarre attempt to expose a perceived conspiracy.

Eduardo Moreno said he doesn't believe "the ship is what they say it's for," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is extending a national no-work order through the end of April, hoping to clamp down on the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia reported a spike of 771 new coronavirus patients on Thursday, sharpening a dreaded upward curve in cases.

Russia has now confirmed more than 3,500 coronavirus cases, and 30 people have died from COVID-19. Moscow and St. Petersburg have been hot spots for the respiratory disease, officials say.

Italy is extending its coronavirus lockdown to April 13, as the country's death toll from COVID-19 now tops 13,000 people. The death toll rose by the smallest amount in days, but officials say it's too soon to declare the epidemic over. The number of new cases, which had been declining, was higher than the previous day.

News of the continued lockdown in Italy comes after members of the White House's coronavirus task force referred to Italy as an example of how the coronavirus could play out in the U.S.

The U.S. Coast Guard is telling foreign-flagged cruise ships to be prepared to care for people with COVID-19 for an "indefinite period of time" at sea or to seek help from countries other than the U.S., citing a health care system that is being overwhelmed. The instructions are in a new safety bulletin that took effect this week along the southern Atlantic coast, including Florida – which is reporting more than 6,700 coronavirus cases, as of Tuesday evening.

Around 70 people in their 20s are under investigation in Austin, Texas, for possible infection with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 after they chartered a plane for a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month. At least 28 of the passengers from that flight have tested positive for the coronavirus, with dozens more tests pending.

Musician and philanthropist Dolly Parton is launching a weekly series in which she reads a children's book to an online audience at bedtime, drawing books from her popular Imagination Library project. The goal, the nonprofit says, is to give kids and families "a welcome distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books."

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently isolating himself in his family's basement. The brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he has experienced COVID-19 symptoms, including "fever, chills and shortness of breath."

"I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath," Cuomo said in tweet Tuesday.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Eleven veterans have died at a soldiers' home in Holyoke, Mass., where a COVID-19 outbreak is now threatening even more residents and staff. At least five of the people who died have tested positive for COVID-19; other tests are still pending in the case, which Gov. Charlie Baker calls "a shuddering loss for us all."

Millions of Americans are currently under stay-at-home orders, part of a wider effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, causing international air travel to plummet. But within the U.S., thousands of domestic passenger flights are still taking off each day.

A look at U.S. air traffic finds thousands of planes in the air – a sight that could be jarring to anyone practicing social distancing, or living under stay-at-home orders that have now been issued in more than 10 states.

The USNS Comfort, one of the Navy's hospital ships that has often been called on to deliver humanitarian aid, has arrived in New York City to help ease the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship entered New York Harbor on Monday morning, passing the Statue of Liberty on its way to Pier 88 in Manhattan.

The Summer Olympics that had been scheduled to begin in Tokyo this July will instead take place almost exactly one year later, the International Olympic Committee says. The games were postponed last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021," the IOC said Monday. It added that the Paralympic Games will follow, running from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, he announced Friday. In a video announcement, Johnson said he has "mild symptoms" of COVID-19, including a fever and "a persistent cough."

Johnson is the first world leader found to be infected with the coronavirus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under self-quarantine after her doctor tested positive for the virus. She has undergone two tests that yielded negative results; a third test is scheduled for early next week.

"We are at war with a virus that threatens to tear us apart," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told world leaders Thursday, in a special virtual summit on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadly coronavirus, Tedros said, "is the defining health crisis of our time."

The Navajo Nation reported its first two coronavirus cases on March 17. Just over a week later, there are now 69 cases. The reservation is under stay-at-home orders — but thousands of people must regularly leave their houses for necessities such as water.

Pages