Christianna Silva

Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, says that some Americans could start receiving a COVID-19 vaccine by the second week of December.

Cases of COVID-19 are rising at an alarming rate in nearly every state as the nation approaches Thanksgiving.

The cumulative case count passed 12 million on Saturday, six days after the previous million mark was crossed, which was six days after the previous million.

Journalist John Yang volunteered to take part in a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial not for "great altruistic reasons," but because he wanted to get a vaccine sooner rather than later.

"It started off with self-interest — I wanted to get the vaccine sooner," Yang, special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, tells NPR's All Things Considered. "Then when I found out that it was the Moderna trial, a new technology, one that has never been approved for a human vaccine before, I got sort of excited. It sort of piqued the science nerd in me."

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber will become the first Black woman to serve as brigade commander at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

It's the top leadership post for midshipmen — in civilian terms, the equivalent of a student body president — and she is the 16th woman to serve in the position in the 44 years women have been allowed to attend the Naval Academy.

Poised to take over the role as leader of 4,400 midshipmen next semester, Barber told NPR's All Things Considered that there was a time when she had no desire to attend the Naval Academy.

The COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. is getting worse by nearly every metric. On Friday alone, there were more than 184,000 new confirmed cases and 1,400 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported. Hospitals are reaching capacity.

Hospitals are nearing capacity in North and South Dakota, two states where coronavirus has hit disproportionately hard for their small population size and where cases continue to rise daily.

Dr. Taison Bell, the director of the medical intensive care unit at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, was doing rounds in the COVID-19 ICU, caring for about 20 patients, when he noticed that his unit was full almost entirely of Black and Latinx people, despite the fact that Charlottesville is 70% white.

Bell, who grew up just an hour away from the hospital, says he "just couldn't escape the thought of this virus disproportionately killing people in my community."

Democrats and Republicans are reacting to news that former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris were elected to the White House on Saturday, narrowly defeating President Trump in an election that hinged on several swing states.

On Sunday and Monday, families across Mexico, the U.S. and elsewhere are observing Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives and honors the memory of those who've passed on.

And each year, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago has a special exhibition for the holiday.

But the coronavirus pandemic has made the usual programming impossible. This year, the museum is going virtual, with a Day of the Dead exhibition that pays tribute to the people in Mexico, the U.S. and around the world who have died of COVID-19.

As the nation careens into the 2020 presidential election amid a damaged economy and a surging pandemic that has infected more than 9 million people and killed more than 230,000, Americans are facing historic division.

As cold weather envelops Illinois, the state is experiencing a massive upsurge in coronavirus cases, part of a trend across Midwest states.

The new film The Trial of the Chicago 7 may be focused on the antiwar protests of the 1960s, but it draws distinct parallels to the protests in the streets, complaints about police violence and divisive politics that the U.S. faces today.

The film — which was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and is out now on Netflix — follows eight different men who protested the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Ambassador John Bolton, who worked as national security adviser to President Trump from 2018 to 2019, told NPR's All Things Considered that he does not believe the United States is safer today than it was four years ago.

"I think unfortunately it's not safer, which is not to say that there haven't been some important positive decisions made and some important accomplishments," he said, including withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and from a Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

As the presidential election looms, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tells NPR's Morning Edition that the military plays no role in politics, and that he has complete trust in America's institutions to manage election disputes.

"We have established a very long 240-year tradition of an apolitical military that does not get involved in domestic politics," Milley told NPR's Steve Inskeep on Sunday.

Milley's comments represent the first time he has addressed the potential for a disputed election in depth in an on-the-record interview.

Hygiene and self care are vital — even in zero gravity. Which is why astronauts on the International Space Station are preparing for a fun delivery: a skincare serum from the cosmetics maker Estée Lauder, as well as a new and improved toilet.

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