Coronavirus

The U.S. Response to COVID-19

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

A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.

A 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge ruled that not completing her schoolwork violated her probation. “It just doesn’t make any sense,” said the girl’s mother.

You Can Make Millions Selling Masks to the Government in Three Easy Steps

The federal government is essentially providing seed money to PPE startups, including some run by people accused of fraud. Mask brokers describe a simple blueprint for buying masks from China to get rich.

“All the Hospitals Are Full”: In Houston, Overwhelmed ICUs Leave COVID-19 Patients Waiting in ERs

The busiest hospitals in Houston are increasingly telling emergency responders they cannot safely accept new patients as hundreds of coronavirus patients crowd emergency rooms, and hospitals scramble to open more intensive care space.

Andrew Cuomo’s Report on Controversial Nursing Home Policy for COVID Patients Prompts More Controversy

A state report on Cuomo’s decision to order nursing homes to take in COVID positive patients in the early days of the pandemic fails to deal with the central question: did such admissions lead to more infection and death, and if so how significantly.

One Federal Agency Was Suing Him for Fraud. Another Paid His Company Millions for Masks.

Court records show the federal government gave $20 million in contracts to a company partly controlled by a man with a history of shady business practices.

A Spike in People Dying at Home Suggests Coronavirus Deaths in Houston May Be Higher Than Reported

In Houston, one of the nation’s fastest-growing coronavirus hot spots, more residents are dying before they can make it to a hospital. Medical examiner data shows that an increasing number of these deaths are the result of COVID-19.

Agonizing Lag in Coronavirus Research Puts Pregnant Women and Babies at Risk

After months of asserting pregnant women were not at high risk for the coronavirus, the CDC recently released a study with sobering findings for expectant mothers. Experts say the data gaps are almost as worrisome as the results.

Internal Messages Reveal Crisis at Houston Hospitals as Coronavirus Cases Surge

Texas was one of the first states in the nation to ease social distancing mandates. In Houston, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has quadrupled since Memorial Day. “It’s time to be alarmed,” one expert said.

An Employee at a Private Sports Club Owned by This Billionaire Governor Tested Positive for Coronavirus

After complaints alleging lax reopening practices at Gov. Jim Justice’s luxury resort, a kitchen employee has tested positive at the sports club affiliated with the hotel. Officials at the venue are scrambling to be ready for the July 4 weekend.

FEMA Ordered $10.2 Million in COVID-19 Testing Kits It’s Now Warning States Not to Use

The faulty lab equipment sold by a company whose owner has faced fraud allegations is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

A Company Run by a White House “Volunteer” With No Experience in Medical Supplies Got $2.4 Million From the Feds for Medical Supplies

A $2.4 million deal to supply the Bureau of Prisons with surgical gowns was the second multimillion dollar contract for coronavirus supplies that went to somebody who did work for the White House but had little relevant experience.

No, President Trump, Testing Is Not Causing Case Counts to Rise. The Virus Is Just Spreading Faster.

The Trump administration has doubled down on its claims that coronavirus case counts are up because the U.S. has increased testing. However, a closer look at graphs of testing numbers and positive cases shows that this isn’t the case for many states.

The Indian Health Service Wants to Return 1 Million KN95 Masks It Bought From a Former White House Official

The former official, Zach Fuentes, is refusing to take back the masks even though IHS said they did not meet FDA standards. His company’s lawyer says the IHS is trying to cancel the order for “political reasons.”

He Removed Labels That Said “Medical Use Prohibited,” Then Tried to Sell Thousands of Masks to Officials Who Distribute to Hospitals

Using TaskRabbit and Venmo, a Silicon Valley investor and his business partner had workers repackage non-medical KN95 masks so he could sell them to Texas emergency workers.

Inside the U.S.’s Largest Maximum-Security Prison, COVID-19 Raged. Outside, Officials Called Their Fight a Success.

Inmates at Angola prison in Louisiana told ProPublica of widespread illness, dysfunctional care and deadly neglect as the coronavirus outbreak hit.

The Governor Urged Businesses to Reopen Safely, but a Restaurant at His Luxury Resort Didn’t, Complaints Say

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice allowed bars and restaurants to reopen in late May. Since then, a steakhouse at the luxury resort he owns has received repeated complaints for not reopening safely. A health inspector called it an “unnecessary risk.”

A Hospital Was Accused of Racially Profiling Native American Women. Staff Said Administrators Impeded an Investigation.

Federal regulators are investigating a New Mexico hospital accused of racial profiling. This comes as hospital staff said administrators appeared to hide documents and discouraged cooperation with an initial state inquiry.

The Prison Was Built to Hold 1,500 Inmates. It Had Over 2,000 Coronavirus Cases.

Prison overcrowding has been quietly tolerated for decades. But the pandemic is forcing a reckoning.

The Trump Administration Paid Millions for Test Tubes — and Got Unusable Mini Soda Bottles

The plastic tubes supplied for coronavirus testing by Fillakit, a first-time federal contractor with a sketchy owner, don’t even fit the racks used to analyze samples. And they may be contaminated anyway.

“Fast-Tracking” a Coronavirus Vaccine Sounds Great. It’s Not That Simple.

Among the many ways to shorten the vaccine development timeline, approving a treatment based on antibody data — without completing a phase 3 trial — could be contentious. This is why.

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