Alana Wise

Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.

Before joining NPR, Alana covered beats including American gun culture, the aviation business and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Through her reporting, Alana has covered such events as large protests, mass shootings, boardroom uprisings and international trade fights.

Alana is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., and an Atlanta native.

President-elect Joe Biden addressed a grieving nation on Tuesday after the United States had earlier in the day passed 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

Speaking at a service to remember Americans killed by the virus, Biden praised medical professionals for their roles in caring for the ill and their families during the pandemic.

President Trump on Tuesday released an unrepentant virtual farewell address to the nation, describing himself as the "only true outsider ever to win the presidency," ahead of his reluctant departure from office Wednesday.

Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, having defeated Donald Trump in an acrimonious, divisive election last November.

Biden will be sworn in alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in an unusual inauguration ceremony, conducted amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis and heightened physical security risks.

Watch special coverage live.

Updated at 8:37 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden outlined his plans for economic relief from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, citing the need for a more robust vaccination plan as well as for additional direct payments to American families to help recover the U.S. economy. His plan, called the American Rescue Plan, is expected to cost $1.9 trillion.

Several Republican members of Congress grew angry on Tuesday over new security systems implemented at the Capitol. The safety measures, which included metal detectors and physical pat-downs in some instances, were introduced after last week's deadly insurrection at the complex.

"You are creating a problem you do not understand the ramifications of," Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas was heard yelling at police who were conducting the check, according to a press pool report.

Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET

Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, is stepping down, according to a senior department official.

Wolf's departure from the Trump administration, just days before the president's norm-shattering term is set to come to a close, is the most recent Cabinet resignation since last week. Several other officials in the Trump administration have left since Wednesday, citing the deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill.

Updated at 11:29 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved a symbolic resolution urging Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump, after the president's No. 2 has expressed that he would not exercise that option. The move comes nearly a week after violent pro-Trump extremists breached the U.S. Capitol.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced she is resigning, citing the "traumatic and entirely avoidable" violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Her resignation will be effective next Monday.

In a letter to colleagues, Chao said, "It has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside."

Chao is the highest-ranking member of President Trump's administration yet to resign following the deadly mob violence at the Capitol, fueled by Trump's own support of the crowd gathering in protest of his election loss.

Updated at 12:50 a.m. ET on Friday

More than 24 hours after thousands of his supporters stormed the Capitol, President Trump on Thursday night condemned the violence in a video he posted on social media, calling it a "heinous attack."

The video, which comes more than two months after the election that he fought to find a way to reverse, marks the first time Trump acknowledges that he lost — coming as close as he likely will get to a concession.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Democrat Jon Ossoff has defeated Republican David Perdue in the Georgia runoff, The Associated Press said Wednesday, giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate," Ossoff said earlier Wednesday.

Perdue, whose Senate term expired earlier this week, has not conceded the race.

Updated at 2:05 a.m. ET

Democrat Raphael Warnock has edged out Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a closely watched runoff election.

"Tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible," he told supporters in a virtual speech.

The Associated Press has also called the race for Warnock, who appeared to have beaten his opponent by just a few tens of thousands of votes.

Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET

Vice President Pence, second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams received a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday at the White House in a televised event aimed at showing the vaccine is safe and effective.

Pence, wearing a short-sleeve dress shirt, pushed up his sleeve to get the vaccine. He appeared to be smiling underneath his mask and did not watch as he was administered the vaccine by a member of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"I didn't feel a thing! Well done!" Pence said after getting the shot.

Updated at 7:11 p.m. ET

Vice President Pence will publicly receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, the White House has announced.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams and second lady Karen Pence also will receive the vaccine.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to receive the vaccine "as soon as next week," a transition official confirmed to NPR. Biden has also said he would get the vaccine publicly.

Updated at 7:37 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg to be his secretary of transportation, the transition team announced on Tuesday.

Buttigieg, one of Biden's former rivals in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, is the first openly LGBTQ person to be nominated for a permanent Cabinet position.

"Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation," Biden said in a statement.

High-ranking officials, including President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Pence, are making preparations to get the COVID-19 vaccine, hoping to instill trust and confidence in the vaccine ahead of its widespread distribution as the death toll climbs to new heights.

Updated at 9:18 p.m. ET

On the day electors around the country voted to reaffirm his victory, President-elect Joe Biden called for Americans to come together in unity and healing, vowing to help pull the nation through the coronavirus pandemic and criticizing the dangerous and false rhetoric of election malfeasance that some Republicans have promoted.

He delivered a clear rebuke to President Trump, who continues to challenge the results unsuccessfully. "In America, politicians don't take power — people grant power to them," Biden said.

Updated at 6:52 p.m. ET

In a statement released by the Biden-Harris transition team, Hunter Biden, the president-elect's son, said Wednesday he was recently informed he is under federal investigation over a tax matter.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Katherine Tai as U.S. Trade Representative, a source familiar with transition discussions confirms to NPR. The source spoke on condition of anonymity about private conversations.

Biden and his administration prepare to face a drastically different trade landscape than the one Biden last saw as vice president.

Tai's selection was first reported by Politico.

President-elect Joe Biden met with leaders of several civil rights organizations on Tuesday to discuss the incoming administration's priorities on racial justice and diversity, with a keen focus on whom Biden should nominate as the next attorney general of the United States.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Speaking at a White House coronavirus vaccine summit Tuesday, President Trump praised his administration for fast-tracking vaccines and boastfully criticized those who he said had doubted his ability to oversee a vaccine production.

Calling vaccine development a "a monumental national achievement," Trump said the collaboration of government, scientists and industry will save millions of lives around the world.

"It will end the pandemic," he said.

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Lloyd Austin, the retired U.S. Army four-star general, as his pick for secretary of defense in his incoming administration, two sources familiar with the decision confirmed to NPR.

Austin joins a growing and diverse list of nominees for Biden's cabinet, which the president-elect has said he wants to reflect the diversity of America. If confirmed, Austin would be the first African American to lead the department.

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday said he has asked the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to become his chief medical adviser and said he plans to call on Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days of his administration.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force and President-elect Joe Biden separately gave updates on the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and how their teams were working to defeat it as health officials on Thursday warned against holiday travel to limit the virus's spread.

Updated at 9:34 p.m. ET

Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security director who had spearheaded a campaign to counter rumors about voter fraud, has been fired, President Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Trump, in two misleading tweets about the security of the U.S. election, said Krebs' termination was "effective immediately."

In response, Krebs tweeted, "Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure [Tomorrow]."

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday

President-elect Joe Biden has named his longtime aide Ron Klain to be White House chief of staff, the campaign announced Wednesday evening.

The chief of staff is one of the most significant White House appointments.

An alumnus of the Obama-Biden administration, Klain had previously been Biden's chief of staff when he was vice president.

Updated at 10:59 p.m. ET

William Barr, the nation's attorney general and a Trump ally, on Monday wrote a memo authorizing federal prosecutors to pursue any "substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities." He specified that such reviews can be conducted only if there are "clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State."

Updated at 9:16 p.m. ET

President Trump on Thursday evening made his first public remarks since the late-night hours following Election Day, falsely claiming that he would win "easily," save for what he baselessly referred to as fraud by Democrats and the media.

"If you look at the legal votes, I win very easily," Trump told reporters from the White House briefing room.

"They're trying very obviously to commit fraud," he said, speaking particularly harshly about Philadelphia and Detroit.

Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee moved Thursday to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, bringing President Trump's nominee within striking distance of confirmation and the court a step closer to a 6-3 conservative majority.

President Trump on Wednesday granted clemency to five people, commuting their lengthy sentences as part of his administration's pitch for criminal justice reform.

Four of the five people had been in prison because of drug offenses, while the fifth had been sentenced for food stamp fraud.

The five cases had been highlighted by clemency activists, including Alice Marie Johnson, who has worked with the White House on the issue, and who spoke at the Republican National Convention this summer.

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced changes to the debate rules ahead of Thursday's final presidential debate.

Under the new rules, President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will each have two minutes of uninterrupted time to speak at the beginning of every 15-minute segment of the debate.

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