Sam Gringlas

Sam Gringlas is a producer for NPR's All Things Considered and is helping cover the 2020 election for the Washington Desk. He's produced and reported with NPR from all over the country, as well as China and the U.S.-Mexico border. He started as an intern at All Things Considered after graduating with a public policy degree from the University of Michigan, where he was news editor at The Michigan Daily. He's a native Michigander.

Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET

Amid criticism from Democrats that politics may be guiding decisions at the nation's top health agencies, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration told Congress on Wednesday that a coronavirus vaccine would not be approved until it met "vigorous expectations" for safety and effectiveness.

In the musical Hamilton, there's an entire song about the election of 1800 — the contest between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson that marked the first peaceful transfer of power between opposing political factions in U.S. history.

America now is on the cusp of the election of 2020 — and cast members of the hit Broadway show have repurposed some of the show's soundtrack with new lyrics to promote voting.

The night of Nov. 7, 2000, was cold and wet in Austin, Texas.

"Nobody cared," remembers Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg, who worked for Texas Gov. George W. Bush's presidential campaign. "We had just won the presidency of the United States."

That excitement quickly evaporated. As the night stretched on, the race between Bush and Democratic nominee Al Gore tightened in Florida. The television networks revised their projections for Bush, deeming the contest too close to call. Before the election night was over, Gore withdrew his concession phone call.

The first Jewish woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died Friday night as millions of American Jews were getting ready to celebrate the first night of Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish new year.

Justice Stephen Breyer learned midway through the traditional Mourner's Kaddish that his colleague had died. When word of Ginsburg's death spread, many Jews were in services, praying from their homes as congregations broadcast over livestream.

A day after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, chants of "Fill that seat! Fill that seat!" broke out during President Trump's campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday.

"That's what we're going to do. We're going to fill that seat!" Trump said, saying his supporters should print "Fill that seat!" on T-shirts.

President Trump says that he expects to announce a nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death "next week" and that the pick will likely be a woman.

"A choice of a woman would certainly be appropriate," he told reporters at the White House on Saturday before leaving for a campaign rally in North Carolina.

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When President Trump learned Friday night that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died, he told reporters she was an "amazing woman." Later, in an official statement, he called her a "titan of the law." And while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wrote in a statement that he would bring a vote for a new justice to the floor, Trump did not weigh in.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down several voting-related decisions Thursday that are likely to help Democrats this fall.

The court extended the deadline for accepting mail ballots, will allow voters to submit their ballots through drop boxes, and removed the Green Party's candidate for president from the ballot.

The decisions come less than two months before Election Day and as a flurry of election-related lawsuits continue to pile up around the country.

Distributing a vaccine or vaccines for the coronavirus will be one of the biggest challenges the next president faces, Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday.

"The development of a vaccine is only part of the battle. Distributing a vaccine to the entire population is as complex and challenging as one of the most sensitive military operations," he said in prepared remarks in Wilmington, Del., after he received a briefing from a panel of vaccine experts.

People filed indoors for a massive gathering in violation of state guidance. There was no social distancing, and mask use was uneven.

President Trump's rally Sunday in Nevada underscored the differences in how he and Joe Biden are approaching campaigning in the presidential race's final weeks.

As Republican Sen. Rand Paul left the White House on Thursday night, he was surrounded by a group of protesters and was escorted by police to a nearby hotel.

Hours before the final night of the Republican National Convention, President Trump visited FEMA headquarters in Washington for a briefing on Tropical Storm Laura.

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

Top White House officials are brushing off the significance of NBA protests this week over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

President Trump also weighed in, lamenting Thursday that the NBA has become "like a political organization," but saying he didn't know much about the protests.

"I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly, but I don't know too much about the protests," Trump said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Vice President Pence used his convention speech on Wednesday to rail against his predecessor, Joe Biden, and the woman Pence will face on the debate stage this fall, Sen. Kamala Harris.

With Fort McHenry in Baltimore as his backdrop, Pence warned that a Biden administration would threaten American freedoms and crumble the nation's economy. In making that case, Pence deployed several inaccurate or questionable claims. Here are a few of them:

Abortion

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