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Fourth-generation funeral director Patrick Kearns has seen a lot in his 25 years working around death. But nothing, he says, compares with the intensity of what he has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patrick and his brother-in-law Paul Kearns-Stanley are partners in a family funeral business that has been operating in New York City since 1900.

"I do think of it like a wave that hit us," says Paul. "You don't see it coming. It knocks you over, you get tossed and you're trying to figure out which way is up."

The coronavirus pandemic could push up to 132 million people into hunger by the end of 2020, according to a new report from the United Nations.

"As progress in fighting hunger stalls, the COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems," UNICEF said in a statement.

On Monday, Los Angeles and San Diego public schools announced they will be starting the school year remote-only in August as coronavirus cases rise in Southern California.

"The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control," a joint statement said.

The federal deficit ballooned last month as the U.S. government tried to cushion the blow from the coronavirus pandemic. The red ink in June alone totaled $864 billion.

The federal government ran a bigger deficit last month alone than it usually does all year. Washington spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to prop up small businesses and assist laid-off workers.

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High up near the ceiling, in the dining room of his Seattle-area restaurant, Musa Firat recently installed a "killing zone" — a place where swaths of invisible electromagnetic energy penetrate the air, ready to disarm the coronavirus and other dangerous pathogens that drift upward in tiny, airborne particles.

In a somber speech broadcast in prime time on Sunday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa painted a worrying picture as the new coronavirus spikes in the country.

"The storm is upon us," he said.

For the first time in months, there was a 24-hour period in which no one in New York City died of the coronavirus.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported zero deaths on Saturday, but that number could change as death data can lag and new deaths could be confirmed retroactively at any point. The city's first confirmed coronavirus death was March 11.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the milestone a statement about "how this city fights back and people do not ever give in."

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump once again questioned the expertise of his top public health officials Monday morning, retweeting a conspiracy theory from former game show host Chuck Woolery, who suggested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the "Media, Democrats [and] our Doctors" are lying about COVID-19 in an effort to hurt Trump in November's general election.

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A momentous Supreme Court term is over. The last strokes of the pen were devoted to repudiating President Trump's claim that he is categorically immune from state grand jury and congressional subpoenas.

But the term also featured just about every flashpoint in American law — including abortion, religion, immigration and much more.

Here are six takeaways:

President Trump on Saturday was photographed wearing a mask during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after months of refusing to don the medical expert-recommended face coverings meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"I love masks in the appropriate locations," Trump said, speaking to reporters at the White House before his visit.

More than one month after embarking on what he calls a march for "change, justice and equality," Terry Willis on Sunday completed a 1,000-mile walk from his hometown of Huntsville, Ala., to the site of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

Willis, a 35-year-old business owner, said he feels obligated as a Black man and father to help create a better future for his son.

Mail-in voting, which tens of millions of Americans are expected to use this November, is fraught with potential problems. Hundreds of thousands of ballots go uncounted each year because people make mistakes, such as forgetting to sign the form or sending it in too late.

Updated 11:52 a.m. ET

To take control of the U.S. Senate, Democrats need to net three seats in November if former Vice President Joe Biden wins, and four if President Trump is reelected.

That once looked like a near impossibility, but it's becoming a real possibility.

Republicans hold a 53-to-47 majority in the Senate, with the Democrats' side including two independents who caucus with them.

Poland's conservative president, Andrjez Duda, 48, narrowly won reelection to a second five-year term Sunday, further calling into question the country's commitment to Western-style democracy and continued membership in the European Union.

Turnout, at nearly 70% of eligible voters, was the highest since the fall of communism in 1989. Sunday's election was a runoff between the two top finishers in the initial round of voting last month, Duda and the relatively liberal mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski, also 48.

Updated 6:15 p.m. ET

More than 1,200 current employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter calling for the federal agency to address "ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination" against Black employees, NPR has learned.

TV Review: 'P-Valley'

Jul 12, 2020

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Florida reported 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, marking the largest single-day increase of any state since the start of the pandemic.

Sunday's number exceeds New York's peak of more than 12,200 new cases in one day back in April, when it was the epicenter of the outbreak.

Cardboard beds. Urban farms. Roving mariachi bands.

These are some of the ways that regular folks are solving problems and spreading happiness during the pandemic.

The solutions aren't perfect — public health experts have some critiques and suggestions. But at the same time, they applaud the ingenuity and positive vibes.

Read the stories of six grassroots change-makers — then nominate your own at the bottom of this story.

At least 26 members of Mississippi's legislature have tested positive for the coronavirus after weeks of working at the state Capitol — often absent face masks and social distancing.

Both Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn are among those who have tested positive. At least 10 others who work in the building have also tested positive, The Associated Press reported, citing the state health officer.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, along with more than 150 prominent journalists, authors and writers, published a letter in Harper's Magazine on Tuesday, decrying what it called the "intolerant climate that has set in on all sides" of debate. The letter set off a heated controversy over free speech, privilege and the role of social media in public discourse.

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And finally today, a new documentary highlights one of the most storied careers on Capitol Hill. It's called "John Lewis: Good Trouble."

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE")

Nearly four months after it closed over coronavirus concerns, Disney World is once again inviting guests to experience its Florida theme parks.

The reopening comes as Florida is experiencing a surge of new coronavirus cases, with more than 10,000 being reported on Saturday.

Both Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom opened Saturday to the general public, following limited openings for annual-pass holders and employees. The other two area parks — Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios — are expected to open on Wednesday.

Thomas Salts spent two weeks in a hotel in Arizona sleeping, watching TV and, most importantly, fighting COVID-19.

"I mean it was truly one of the worst bouts I'd ever had dealing with any kind of thing, with the flu or anything," Salts told NPR's Weekend Edition. "It was 10 times worse."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

As Zuleika Yusuf Daffala walks across Kibera, one of the big informal settlements in Kenya's capital, she greets dozens of kids on the streets. Some are jumping rope, others chasing each other through the alley and another group is trying to make a tiny cooking pan out of an aluminum can.

As the pandemic continues, children are still mostly at home. Summer activities are canceled or up in the air, and many children are suffering confusion and stress. Parents may be stressed themselves, but there are ways to help kids feel better.

During the first few weeks of staying at home, Maryam Jernigan-Noesi's 4-year-old son Carter was excited. His working parents were around him most of the day, and it seemed like a big extended weekend. But after a few weeks, she says, things changed.

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