Coronavirus

The U.S. Response to COVID-19

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

How We Used FOIA to Track Ventilator and Hospital Bed Availability in Illinois

Early data released by the Illinois Department of Public Health wasn’t granular enough for an accurate picture of the coronavirus’ impact on Chicago hospitals versus hospitals in areas with fewer cases. Here’s how we pushed for specifics.

This Hospital Has Only 8 Nurses. They Are Also the Janitors.

Eight nurses are the overwhelming majority of employees who remain at Haskell County Community Hospital in Oklahoma. The future of the 25-bed hospital, which has been whittled down to operating only an emergency room since 2019, is increasingly grim.

Coronavirus Put Her Out of Work, Then Debt Collectors Froze Her Savings Account

Kim Boatswain’s tax refund could have helped her get through the coronavirus slowdown. But debt collectors seized it. There are few options for Texans like Boatswain whose money was taken just before the state temporarily banned such garnishments.

How Jared Kushner Is Tackling the White House’s Coronavirus Response — Without Any Evident Experience

The president’s son-in-law and adviser has added the emergency-response supply chain to his extensive list of duties. He views himself as a disrupter — but that’s not always a good thing.

NYC Mayor and Health Officials Misled Public About Plans to Move COVID-19 Patients Into Nursing Home, Advocates Say

Lawmakers have also written that they are “deeply concerned” about the situation at a Roosevelt Island facility and the possibility that the coronavirus may be spreading from COVID-19 patients to long-time nursing home residents.

Leaked Recordings Reveal Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Firmly in Charge and City Alderman Left Largely on the Sidelines

Combative and, at times, dismissive, Chicago’s first-term mayor gathers power as she leads the city’s fight against the coronavirus.

Coronavirus Entered My Father’s Nursing Home and Nobody Warned Me. I Did Not Get the Chance to Save Him.

Reporter Jan Ransom’s father was the fourth resident of his nursing home to get COVID-19. Nobody told her about the first, so she couldn’t move him before he got sick. “I think that’s very unfair,” her father told her a week before he died.

To Understand the Medical Supply Shortage, It Helps to Know How the U.S. Lost the Lithium Ion Battery to China

The failed U.S. effort to dominate global production of the lithium ion battery — which is key to energy independence, automobile innovation and more — holds lessons for leaders grappling with the U.S.’s reliance on China for emergency medical supplies.

Medical Staffing Companies Cut Doctors’ Pay While Spending Millions on Political Ads

While cutting benefits for emergency room doctors and other medical workers, TeamHealth and Envision have spent millions on ads meant to pressure politicians working on legislation to cap out-of-network costs for Americans.

Officials Knew Coronavirus Could Spread at the Houston Rodeo and Proceeded With the Event Anyway

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the city’s largest event, attracting 2.5 million people and generating nearly $400 million. But officials pushed forward with the 20-day event until there was a positive COVID-19 case from community spread.

Most Illinois School Districts Did Not Have Approved E-learning Plans Before the Pandemic

Despite encouragement from Illinois education officials to have remote e-learning plans, many school districts scrambled to design them before the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close.

Health Officials Recommended Canceling Events with 10-50 People. Then 33,000 Fans Attended a Major League Soccer Game.

As COVID-19 fears grew, public officials and sports execs contemplated health risks — and debated a PR message — but let 33,000 fans into a Seattle Sounders soccer match, emails show.

Seattle Allowed 33,000 Fans to Attend a Soccer Game as COVID-19 Cases Increased

Hundreds of pages of emails show officials debating how seriously to take the spreading virus.

Coronavirus Advice From Abroad: 7 Lessons America’s Governors Should Not Ignore as They Reopen Their Economies

We spoke to frontline experts from around the globe and have compiled a list of recommendations for reopening U.S. states. Their consensus? It’s tough to find policies that simultaneously save lives and livelihoods.

A Nurse’s Hospital Wouldn’t Let Her Wear an N95 Mask. She Hasn’t Been Back to Work in Weeks.

As the coronavirus spreads, hitting health care providers especially hard, doctors and nurses across the country report inadequate protective measures from their hospitals. Some feel they’ve been forced out of work — right when the country needs them most.

Without Federal Help, New York Doctors Had to Ask Medical Supply Execs for Dialysis Supplies

The novel coronavirus, a respiratory illness, is damaging kidneys at an unexpectedly high rate, according to experts. A shortage of dialysis materials has forced New York doctors to directly lobby corporate executives for help.

Internal Documents Show Federal Agencies Supported the WHO Before Trump Was Against It

In a battle between China and the U.S. over global leadership, American diplomats and aid officials cited U.S. funding of the World Health Organization as key and relied heavily on the agency for help. When Trump cut its funding, he upended all that.

Chicago Lakeshore Hospital Closes After Years of Abuse Allegations but Cites “the COVID-19 Pandemic”

A long-troubled psychiatric facility, which has treated hundreds of children in state care, shuts down but says the move is temporary.

Millions of Essential Workers Are Being Left Out of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Protections, Thanks to OSHA

Even as the federal worker-safety agency has been inundated with complaints, it has rolled back safety standards and virtually eliminated non-health care workplaces from government protection.

Congress Is Investigating Whether a Ventilator Company Is Gouging the U.S. — and Why the Government Is Letting It Happen

A congressional subcommittee is questioning a federal decision to pay quadruple the price for the commercial version of a ventilator Royal Philips N.V. had developed with taxpayer funds.

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