Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

The Trump administration has instructed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity trainings that address topics like white privilege and critical race theory, calling them "divisive, anti-American propaganda."

In a letter to federal agencies Friday, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said the president recently became aware of the racial sensitivity programs, which encourage frank conversations about race in the workplace and discuss potential actions to combat systemic racism.

The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in the U.S. continues to climb.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Sunday there have been 175,651 lives lost to the virus and 5.64 million total cases. The death count rose by just over a thousand from the day before, the CDC reported.

Updated 3:25 a.m. ET Monday

Louisiana is bracing for what officials are warning will be a "one-two punch," as two major storm systems are expected to hit the state within 48 hours of each other.

Hurricane Marco, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, had been gaining speed and strength as it crossed through the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to make landfall Monday. On Sunday it was declared a Category 1 hurricane.

Hundreds of buildings have been destroyed, close to a million acres of land have been scorched and at least six people have died in one of the worst series of wildfires in California's history.

More than 13,700 firefighters are battling nearly two dozen major fires throughout the state, fire officials said Saturday. Five broad areas of the state are on fire, and the largest blazes remain mostly uncontained.

A Japanese cargo ship that ran aground in late July off the coast of Mauritius has broken in two.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Sunday

At his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort on Saturday, President Trump signed four executive actions to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic. The actions amount to a stopgap measure, after failing to secure an agreement with Congress.

The three memorandums and one executive order call for extending some enhanced unemployment benefits, taking steps to stop evictions, continuing the suspension of student loan repayments and deferring payroll taxes.

While most children who catch the coronavirus have either no symptoms or mild ones, they are still at risk of developing "severe" symptoms requiring admission to an intensive care unit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report released Friday.

Hispanic and Black children in particular were much more likely to require hospitalization for COVID-19, with Hispanic children about eight times as likely as white children to be hospitalized, while Black children were five times as likely.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

A coronavirus vaccine could be ready for distribution by the end of the year, and distributed to Americans in 2021, the nation's top infectious disease specialist told lawmakers Friday.

While it typically takes years to develop vaccines, new technologies, the lack of bureaucratic red tape and the human body's robust immune response to COVID-19 have hastened the process, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

Julie Dimperio Holowach was laughing as she and her daughter paddled into the water Monday off the coast of Maine's Bailey Island.

Suddenly Holowach, who was wearing a black wetsuit, started flailing, witness Tom Whyte told The Boston Globe. Her daughter swam back to shore, dropped to her knees and screamed for help, he said.

The Midwest could be the next area to see a big surge in coronavirus cases, the top U.S. infectious disease specialist warned Tuesday. But there's still time to stop the upswing, he said, if states follow the national guidelines on reopening safely.

While the Southern United States has been seeing the fastest rise in cases, that now appears to be on the downswing, Fauci told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America.

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