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Tamara Keith

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When President Biden was asked about actions he would take on gun violence prevention and said "it's a matter of timing," and pivoted to talk about infrastructure, it wasn't what Kris Brown had been expecting.

"I am disappointed, I will say, at what I heard from him," said Brown, who is president of Brady United Against Gun Violence.

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Under pressure to share AstraZeneca vaccine doses not yet being used to inoculate Americans, the Biden administration is finalizing plans to loan millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada. It's a first foray into vaccine diplomacy for the Biden administration, weeks after global competitors China and Russia began using vaccine doses to exert influence.

Finding the right message — and right messengers — to persuade skeptical conservatives to get the COVID-19 vaccine has become an urgent concern for public health experts pushing to contain the coronavirus.

President Biden said on Tuesday that a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19 could be reached two months faster than earlier projected. By the end of May, there should be enough vaccine doses for every adult in America, he said — a dramatic improvement to his initial timetable for late July.

A turning point in speeding up that pledge came a few weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon in early February, during a phone call with Johnson & Johnson executives that had been planned for 15 minutes but stretched for longer than an hour, two senior administration officials told NPR.

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Across the country, coal-burning power plants are closing. Wind turbines and solar farms are expanding. This transition cleans the air. It reduces greenhouse emissions. But it can also be painful. In North Dakota, some local officials are trying to keep a coal plant alive by blocking construction of new wind power. NPR's Dan Charles has more.

When the school district in Pima, Ariz., got its first round of federal pandemic relief last summer, Superintendent Sean Rickert put it toward the expenses incurred while suddenly shifting classes online at the start of the pandemic.

Now, as some Republicans in Congress question why COVID-19 aid for schools has not yet been spent, Rickert is just learning how much his district will get from a second relief bill approved in December.

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The United States hit a devastating milestone today - 500,000 people now dead from COVID-19. That's according to the tally kept by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Well, while infections have been falling and vaccinations have been ramping up, about 2,000 people are still dying from the virus in this country each day. President Biden led the nation in remembering and mourning those deaths this evening at the White House.

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Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Friday its much-anticipated, updated guidance to help school leaders decide how to safely bring students back into classrooms, or keep them there.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

When Mesa, Ariz., Mayor John Giles looks out his window at city hall, he can see tangible signs of how the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt his community.

From his perch, he can see the city's convention center, which has become a hub for those seeking help. Sometimes, there are lines a thousand cars long with people coming to pick up food from a food bank. Other days, it's people lined up for COVID-19 vaccines.

"It's a pretty sobering view from the mayor's office," Giles said in an interview with NPR.

Former President Donald Trump was unhappy with the performance of his defense team on the opening day of his Senate impeachment trial, a source providing informal advice to the team told NPR.

Updated at 11:10 a.m ET

As Democrats in Congress take the initial steps to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package using a process that won't require any Republican votes, the White House is working to rack up endorsements from state and local elected officials and business groups — a strategy that it argues is making the bill bipartisan.

In his first two weeks in office, President Biden has signed nearly as many executive orders as Franklin Roosevelt signed in his entire first month. And President Roosevelt holds the record.

Adding his signature to three executive orders on immigration Tuesday, Biden has now signed 28 executive orders since taking office. FDR signed 30 in his first month.

"By sheer volume, Biden is going to be the most active president on this front since the 1930s," said Andy Rudalevige, a professor of government at Bowdoin College.

On his way out the door, then-President Donald Trump released his aides from ethics commitments that were supposed to last years after the end of his administration. The revocation of his order freed the way for staffers to cash in on lobbying gigs.

Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET

Unwilling to admit defeat but with his time in office at its end, President Trump left the White House early Wednesday, skipping the Inauguration Day ceremony that generations of outgoing presidents have attended — a symbolic peaceful transfer of power that had been made all but impossible by his actions after losing the election to Joe Biden.

Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET

When Joe Biden gives his inaugural address this week, he will do so from a place that will illustrate the magnitude of the challenge he faces as the 46th U.S. president — and will test his ability to find the right words to begin to unite a divided nation.

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Updated 10:05 p.m. ET Friday

Twitter has permanently suspended President Trump's account over a pattern of behavior that violated company rules.

The action was the most sweeping punishment any major social media company has ever taken against Trump, who has used his Twitter account to announce White House policy, attack rivals and widely disseminate misinformation.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

For a vice president who has navigated service to a mercurial president with praise and public acts of loyalty, Vice President Pence faced the ultimate challenge on Wednesday as he presided over a joint session of Congress that will make official Joe Biden's election — and President Trump's loss.

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President Trump is throwing a big wrench into the massive COVID relief bill that Congress overwhelmingly passed last night. In a video this evening, he calls the bill a disgrace.

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President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced the team he would like to lead his response to the nation's greatest public health crisis in a century once he takes office in January.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former congressman and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as secretary of Health and Human Services, according to a source familiar with transition discussions who is not authorized to speak on the record.

Vice President Pence traveled to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday for a briefing, saying America is "in a season of hope" and "help is on the way" with emergency use authorization for the first coronavirus vaccine potentially less than two weeks away.

But what Pence heard from some of the nation's top public health officials was a grim assessment of the current state of the pandemic.

Before President-elect Joe Biden had even formally introduced his intended nominee for budget director, the pushback started rolling in.

Neera Tanden would make history as the first woman of color to head the Office of Management and Budget, but she's also been an outspoken partisan warrior, and that could complicate her confirmation process, especially if Republicans maintain control of the Senate after Georgia's two runoff races in January.

It was Memorial Day when then-candidate Joe Biden made his first public appearance since the coronavirus shut down in-person campaigning. Before he went out to place a wreath at a veterans memorial in Delaware, Biden and his team decided he would wear a mask. It wasn't a difficult decision, an aide said when asked about the choice.

In the two weeks since it became clear that President Trump lost the election to Joe Biden — a period bookended by befuddling press conferences from his longtime lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — the president has made it clear that he will spend his remaining days in the White House in the same way he spent much of his term in office: fighting.

President Trump is set to visit Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday to mark Veterans Day and lay a wreath. Trump will be joined by Vice President Pence. This is one of the more traditional ceremonial duties of a president. (Trump was criticized for passing on such a visit two years ago in France because of bad weather).

In the hours before President Trump began to realize that he may not get to "Make America Great Again, Again," the former reality television star who stunned the world in 2016 with his improbable leap to the White House allowed for a moment of candor.

"You know, winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me, it's not," Trump told reporters on Election Day, his voice hoarse from an unforgiving three-week marathon of rallies.

Now, the world is seeing just how difficult it is for a man who built his brand on winning to lose.

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