Coronavirus

The U.S. Response to COVID-19

Read our latest investigations into the crisis response and public health infrastructure.

Congress Passed $8.3 Billion in Emergency Coronavirus Funding, but First Responders Still Can’t Buy Masks

None of Congress’ emergency coronavirus funding goes directly to first responders for the protective gear and supplies that paramedics, firefighters and EMTs need to safely fight the virus. One fire chief said they’re being forgotten.

How Many Americans Are Really Infected With the Coronavirus?

Health care reporter Caroline Chen dug into the projections to learn what to make of them. Forecasts are fuzzy, but the takeaway is clear: Stay home.

The Trump Administration Drove Him Back to China, Where He Invented a Fast Coronavirus Test

A federal crackdown on professors’ undisclosed outside activities is achieving what China has long struggled to do: spur Chinese scientists to return home. In this crisis, it’s costing the U.S. intellectual firepower.

How Quickly Hospitals Could Fill Up if We Don’t Slow Coronavirus Down

How soon regions run out of hospital beds depends on how fast the novel coronavirus spreads, and how many open beds they had to begin with.

Illinois Hospitals Lack the Beds Needed to Care for the Number of Residents Projected to Get Coronavirus

Use this tool to see if hospitals near you have enough beds to handle the spread of COVID-19.

Methodology: How ProPublica Mapped Hospital Capacity for Coronavirus

Here’s how ProPublica analyzed how hospital capacity could vary region to region during the pandemic.

The Five Questions Reporters Need to Ask Hospitals and Local Officials About Coronavirus

ProPublica launched a tool that allows you to look up how the number of patients with COVID-19 could affect hospitals in your area under various scenarios. Here’s how to write a local accountability story with the data.

Chicago Shuts Down, but Its Public Libraries Are Open. Librarians Want Them Closed.

Librarians and other employees are protesting by calling in sick and signing a petition, saying the branches should be closed until the coronavirus is under control.

Inside the Pro-Trump Facebook Group Where First Responders Call Coronavirus a Hoax

In a private Facebook group, firefighters and paramedics shared memes and conspiracy theories doubting the pandemic, raising concerns that they aren’t taking precautions to protect themselves and others.

The CDC Recommends Americans Stay at Home — Unless They Work for the CDC

The Trump administration has reduced remote work across federal agencies, leaving federal workers ill-prepared to cope with the current crisis. Even the CDC has yet to direct employees to work from home.

After Discovering a Sailor With Coronavirus, the U.S. Navy Crowded Dozens Into One Room

On the USS Boxer, where the Navy discovered its first case of coronavirus on a ship, a sailor says his superiors called a meeting that crammed more than 80 senior enlisted sailors and officers together.

Millions of Federal Workers Still Waiting on Work-From-Home Order During Coronavirus Pandemic

Public health experts agree that Americans need to stay home as much as possible, but the Trump administration has not yet issued clear guidance to federal workers.

Coronavirus Panic Buying Puts Grocery Workers and Shoppers at Risk of Infection

Braving grocery store crowds when you’re already stocked up puts you at risk of getting sick or infecting others, including elderly workers and others who have no choice but to be there.

No Matter What Some Public Officials Say, the Message You Need to Hear Is “Stay Home”

Mixed messaging from all levels of government is putting Americans at risk and will speed the spread of the coronavirus. No matter what politicians say, public health experts agree. Stay home, even if you feel fine.

How South Korea Scaled Coronavirus Testing While the U.S. Fell Dangerously Behind

By learning from a MERS outbreak in 2015, South Korea was prepared and acted swiftly to ramp up testing when the new coronavirus appeared there. Meanwhile, the U.S., plagued by delay and dysfunction, wasted its advantage.

A Parent at My Kids’ School Tested Positive. New York City Didn’t Tell Us and Hasn’t Closed the School.

It’s even planning to keep a school open after a student tested positive. Its stance is in strong contrast to many other cities across the country.

This Coronavirus Is Unlike Anything in Our Lifetime, and We Have to Stop Comparing It to the Flu

Longtime health reporter Charles Ornstein says that comparing the novel coronavirus to the flu is dangerously inaccurate. Not one public health expert he trusts has called that comparison valid. Here’s why.

First Responders Face High Risk but Lack Supplies and Personnel to Combat Coronavirus

Key direction from the CDC on how to protect emergency responders came after the first American case and the exposure of at least one firefighter. It’s yet another example of a fragmented and halting response at the highest levels of government.

Some Towns Still Haven’t Halted Utility Shut-offs for Unpaid Water Bills During Coronavirus, Even as Federal Lawmakers Demand It

While some municipalities with only a few cases of the coronavirus have stopped disconnecting water service for residents with overdue bills, a few utility companies at the coronavirus epicenter in Washington have made no such promises.

The FDA Is Forcing the CDC to Waste Time Double Testing Some Coronavirus Cases

The FDA’s strict guidance on test confirmations is one of several obstacles that has slowed the federal government’s response to COVID-19. The FDA could change its rules to speed things up, but hasn’t.

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