Coronavirus

The U.S. Response to COVID-19

Our latest investigations into the crisis response and public health infrastructure.

Masks Sold by Former White House Official to Navajo Hospitals Don’t Meet FDA Standards

New information from the Indian Health Service calls into question why the agency purchased expensive medical gear that it now cannot use as intended.

100,000 Lives Lost to COVID-19. What Did They Teach Us?

Each person who has died of COVID-19 was somebody’s everything. Even as we mourn for those we knew, cry for those we loved and consider those who have died uncounted, the full tragedy of the pandemic hinges on one question: How do we stop the next 100,000?

A Closer Look at Federal COVID Contractors Reveals Inexperience, Fraud Accusations and a Weapons Dealer Operating Out of Someone’s House

The Trump administration has promised at least $1.8 billion to 335 first-time contractors, often without competitive bidding or thorough vetting of their backgrounds.

Democratic Congressman Calls for Probe Into Former White House Official’s $3 Million Mask Deal

Trump’s former deputy chief of staff won a $3 million federal contract just days after registering his company. He delivered masks to Navajo hospitals that may not work. Rep. Gerry Connolly asked the HHS inspector general’s office to look into it.

The Financial Catastrophe That Coronavirus Brought to Small Towns

The federal government has abandoned America’s small towns as the coronavirus depletes their budgets. It’s flood season and local leaders have no idea how to help residents through natural disasters. “We do not see how we will survive,” one told us.

Bill Barr Promised to Release Prisoners Threatened by Coronavirus — Even as the Feds Secretly Made It Harder for Them to Get Out

Celebrity prisoners like former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort have been granted home detention, but a secret Bureau of Prisons policy has kept all but 1.8% of federal inmates behind bars, where the virus rages.

Nike Turned Away a Public Health Official From Its Warehouse Days After a Worker With COVID-19 Died

The Health Department received a complaint that a Nike warehouse wasn’t being cleaned thoroughly or allowing for social distancing. Its inspector wasn’t allowed inside. Twenty-one workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Nike’s Memphis locations.

What Parents Should Know About Coronavirus as Kids Return to Babysitters, Day Cares and Camps

You never planned on raising kids during a pandemic, and there are no easy decisions. ProPublica scoured the latest research and talked to seven infectious disease and public health experts to help think through the issues facing parents.

The Feds Gave a Former White House Official $3 Million to Supply Masks to Navajo Hospitals. Some May Not Work.

Zach Fuentes, former deputy chief of staff to President Trump, won the contract just days after registering his company. He sold Chinese masks to the government just as federal regulators were scrutinizing foreign-made equipment.

Trump’s Food Aid Program Gives Little Funding to the Northeast, Where Coronavirus Hit Hardest

New York and New England have the most COVID-19 cases but received the second-lowest funding of any region. Maine can’t get any shipments because none of the selected contractors serve the state.

In Hard-Hit New Jersey, COVID-19 Saddles Some Small Health Departments With Crushing Workload

Secretaries are working as contact tracers. The person normally in charge of pet shops and tattoo parlors is monitoring nursing homes. And as the state reopens, workers worry duties will increase.

More Than 1 in 5 Illinoisans Living in State Homes for Adults With Disabilities Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus

In Illinois, at least 355 people who live in state-run homes for adults with disabilities have tested positive for the coronavirus. “They don’t know why their family has stopped coming to visit,” a relative said.

A Nurse With One Lung Had COVID-19. Other Nurses Saved Her.

In the coronavirus era, nurses are called heroes. Sometimes, the lives they save are those of other nurses.

Rent Is Still Due in Kushnerville

Government stimulus checks and a temporary ban on evictions are tiding over the suddenly jobless residents of housing complexes owned by Jared Kushner’s company. But what will happen when both soon run out?

Families of Special Needs Students Fear They’ll Lose School Services in Coronavirus Shutdown

In letters to parents of special education students, some Illinois school districts are asking them to accept scaled-back remote learning plans or waive their rights to “free appropriate public education.”

What Experts Say About Narrowing COVID-19 Racial Disparities

Our latest digital discussion addressed why the coronavirus has disproportionately struck communities of color and potential pathways to change.

Do I Know Enough to Get a Job as a Contact Tracer?

Though requirements vary from state to state, many of them are hiring thousands of contact tracers in an effort to curb coronavirus spread. Here’s a brief quiz to check your knowledge.

You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Works.

While most discussions have focused on countries’ use of surveillance technology, contact tracing is actually a fairly manual process. After interviewing contact tracing experts and taking an online course, ProPublica health reporter Caroline Chen presents her takeaways.

Wedding Planner, Caterer, “Brand Builder”: Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers

Contractors with no experience in food distribution are looking for suppliers on Facebook while some food banks scramble to find desperately needed deliveries.

The Trump Administration Is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During Coronavirus

Their father was missing. Their mother was miles away. Two sisters, ages 8 and 11, were survivors of sexual assault and at risk of deportation. With the nation focused on COVID-19, the U.S. government is rushing the deportations of migrant children.

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