Barbara Sprunt

Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.

Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET Tuesday

With one week still remaining until Election Day, Americans have already cast a record-breaking 66 million early ballots, putting the 2020 election on track for historic levels of voter turnout.

That's some 19 million more pre-election votes than were cast in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project, a turnout-tracking database run by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald.

The Senate has voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, just about a week before Election Day and 30 days after she was nominated by President Trump to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In a White House ceremony following the vote Monday evening, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath to Coney Barrett.

The U.S. Senate voted Sunday afternoon to end debate on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, setting the stage for a final confirmation vote Monday evening — just over a week before the general election.

In a floor vote mostly along party lines, 51 Republicans advanced Barrett, who's President Trump's nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Following the cloture vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proclaimed that "by tomorrow night, we'll have a new member of the United States Supreme Court."

President Trump, who is still receiving treatment for COVID-19, tweeted Tuesday morning that he is "feeling great" and plans to move forward with the second presidential debate slated for Oct. 15 in Miami.

Over the weekend, it seemed possible that Trump would take on a different tone when talking about the severity of COVID-19 now that he is a patient battling the disease.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday

President Trump is hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as he faces COVID-19.

Trump announced early Friday morning that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus, and he was taken to Walter Reed Friday evening.

The rest of the timeline, as laid out by White House officials and Trump's physician, Sean Conley, has at times been unclear. Here's what we know about what happened when:

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET

Plexiglass will separate Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic nominee, during their vice presidential debate on Wednesday.

That's a precaution as a result of a cluster of coronavirus cases from the White House affecting President Trump and a number of aides and associates.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared on Twitter on Monday morning that she has tested positive for the coronavirus, the latest White House official to test positive for the virus after President Trump himself was hospitalized after contracting the disease.

"After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms," she wrote.

Updated a 2:40 a.m. ET

President Trump sought to project an image of vigor in the face of COVID-19, with a surprise motorcade Sunday outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated, as his physicians suggested he could be discharged to return to the White House as early as Monday.

The president was admitted to Walter Reed on Friday, hours after announcing that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Updated at 7:59 p.m. ET

President Trump's hospitalization for COVID-19 casts unprecedented uncertainty on the presidential campaign's final stretch.

There are 30 days until Election Day and millions of votes have already been cast.

Updated at 7:53 a.m. ET Monday

Despite indications from doctors that he is still facing serious challenges from the coronavirus and could spread the disease to others, President Trump briefly left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday evening to wave to supporters gathered outside.

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will debate each other for the first time Tuesday evening, in the first of three presidential debates.

Here are the details:

When? Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET. (You can listen to the debate on NPR, and we'll have a livestream video online.)

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden both travel to northern Minnesota on Friday, as the contested state begins its early voting period.

Trump plans to hold a rally at an airport in the city of Bemidji on Friday evening. Meanwhile, the former vice president will visit a union training center in Duluth.

Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his leadership of the Postal Service on Friday and sought to reassure senators that his agency would be able to deliver the nation's election mail "securely and on time," calling it a "sacred duty."

"There has been no changes in any policies with regard to the election mail for the 2020 election," he said.

A federal judge has dismissed President Trump's latest attempt to block a subpoena for his tax records from the district attorney of Manhattan.

Thursday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero came in response to a filing by the president's personal attorneys that sought to prevent Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from obtaining eight years of his tax records. The president's legal team has argued that the subpoena to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, is "overbroad."

Updated 7:50 p.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has announced he will suspend the controversial changes he instituted to the U.S. Postal Service until after the November election.

"To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded," DeJoy said in a statement.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has picked Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate.

The selection will make Harris the third woman and first Black and first Asian American candidate to be nominated for vice president by a major political party.

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.

Updated 3:40 p.m. ET

In the latest move from the Trump administration to push for states to reopen schools this fall, Vice President Pence couched guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to safely reopen schools, saying it shouldn't be used as a "barrier" to students returning to classrooms.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

President Trump vowed to exert pressure on states to reopen their school districts this fall even as large parts of the country are experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

"We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools," Trump said during a roundtable discussion Tuesday afternoon at the White House.

Some residents of Washington, D.C., have lived there for years but still cast their votes from elsewhere in the United States.

D.C. is home to over 700,000 people, a population greater than Wyoming and Vermont — but unlike citizens in those states, D.C. residents don't have anyone voting for their interests in Congress.

Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET

House Democrats approved a bill Friday afternoon to make the District of Columbia the nation's 51st state.

The vote was 232-180 largely along party and the legislation is expected to go no further in the face of opposition by Republicans in the Senate.

For decades, Washington, D.C., license plates have bemoaned the District of Columbia's lack of statehood, reminding viewers in bold blue letters of its "taxation without representation."

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Fresh off a rally in Tulsa, Okla., in which nearly two-thirds of the arena was empty, President Trump on Tuesday addressed a crowd of student supporters at a tightly packed megachurch in Phoenix, amid the state's growing number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Updated at 6:33 p.m. ET

With anxieties over the coronavirus and tensions over race looming large, President Trump remains on track to hit the campaign trail Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., as he prepares to rally supporters for the first time since the pandemic took root widely across the country three months ago.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET on May 19

For some members of Congress, an office on Capitol Hill is just, well, an office. But for others, it doubles as their apartment while they live and work in Washington, D.C.

It's a practice Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., would like to see permanently banned.

"You know, they sleep on their couches, they then get up in the morning, sneak downstairs [to] the members' gym, shower, change their clothes, and come back up for work," she describes.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

A U.S. military aide who works at the White House has tested positive for the coronavirus, causing concern that the president may have been exposed.

"We were recently notified by the White House medical unit that a member of the United States military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for coronavirus," said White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley in a statement.

New York Democrats will not be casting primary votes for a presidential candidate this year.

State election officials effectively canceled the presidential primary by removing every Democrat except the presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, from the primary ballot.

According to multiple reports, Douglas Kellner, co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, received thousands of emails from supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pushing for the primary to continue as planned.

President Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday "temporarily suspending immigration into the United States" in what he calls a response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"This will ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens," Trump said at the White House Wednesday.

The proclamation, which Trump first announced in a late-night tweet Monday, suspends immigration for people seeking green cards for 60 days.

Updated at 7:38 p.m. ET

President Trump and congressional Democrats appeared to have a ways to go on Wednesday before they could agree on details for more relief spending for the coronavirus disaster.

Updated at 7:18 p.m. ET

President Trump acknowledged that he learned only recently about a warning earlier this year from a top adviser about the risks of the coronavirus — but he defended his actions on Tuesday at a news conference.

"I couldn't have done it any better," Trump said about his and the administration's handling of the pandemic.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

President Trump said "we certainly want to try" to lift restrictions on life in the U.S. by April 30 but he made no definitive commitment at a news conference on Monday at the White House.

Trump sought to walk a tightrope between grim warnings about a new spike in fatalities forecast for the coming weeks and upbeat exuberance about how well he said the response is going.

"Tremendous progress has been made in a very short period," Trump said.

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