Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a general assignment reporter for NPR.

He came to Washington from Philadelphia, where he covered criminal justice and breaking news for more than four years at member station WHYY. In that role, he focused on major corruption trials, law enforcement, and local criminal justice policy. He helped lead NPR's reporting of Bill Cosby's two criminal trials. He was a guest on Fresh Air after breaking a major story about the nation's first supervised injection site plan in Philadelphia. In between daily stories, he has worked on several investigative projects, including a story that exposed how the federal government was quietly hiring debt collection law firms to target the homes of student borrowers who had defaulted on their loans. Allyn also strayed from his beat to cover Philly parking disputes that divided in the city, the last meal at one of the city's last all-night diners, and a remembrance of the man who wrote the Mister Softee jingle on a xylophone in the basement of his Northeast Philly home.

At other points in life, Allyn has been a staff reporter at Nashville Public Radio and daily newspapers including The Oregonian in Portland and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has also appeared in BuzzFeed News, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

A native of Wilkes-Barre, a former mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Allyn is the son of a machinist and a church organist. He's a dedicated bike commuter and long-distance runner. He is a graduate of American University in Washington.

Updated Thursday at 3 a.m. ET

In describing steps the military is taking to confront the coronavirus pandemic within its ranks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that some are calling for the U.S. military to cease operations.

"There seems to be this narrative out there that we should just shut down the entire United States military and address the problem that way. That's not feasible," said Esper during the White House's coronavirus task force briefing.

During Tuesday's White House press briefing, President Trump said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is "a great governor" who "knows exactly what he's doing" in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice President Mike Pence added to the DeSantis accolades, saying the Republican governor has "been taking decisive steps from early on."

But according to public health experts, thousands of heath care workers and a pending lawsuit, DeSantis' leadership has been woefully inadequate.

The nation's leading expert on infectious diseases and member of the White House's coronavirus task force says the pandemic could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans and infect millions.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said based on modeling of the current pace of the coronavirus' spread in the U.S., "between 100,000 and 200,000" people may die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Updated 8:13 p.m. ET

President Trump said on Sunday that federal guidelines urging Americans to social distance to slow the spread of the coronavirus will remain in place for another month and could last until June.

Under the recommendations, the Trump administration is imploring people to avoid restaurants, bars and other situations involving more than 10 people and restrict traveling to trips deemed essential.

Feeling the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Rifle Association is planning to lay off staff and taking other cost-cutting measures in the face of "extraordinary challenges" from COVID-19, Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the NRA, announced to the group's board of directors on Monday.

The belt-tightening in response to the virus outbreak includes "the elimination of certain positions" and forcing hourly employees to work just four days a week, in addition to 20% reductions in pay for NRA staffers.

Those eager to retreat into the wilderness amid the coronavirus pandemic were delivered disappointing news on Tuesday: three major national parks are now closed to visitors.

Yellowstone, Grand Teton and the Great Smoky Mountains have shut their gates to the public.

Park officials said a crush of visitors moving through the trails was beginning to run afoul of social distancing.

About 30,000 people visited each day last week, a sharp increase from the same time last year, officials said.

Gun shops are not essential businesses and need to close immediately, the sheriff of Los Angeles said on Tuesday.

The type of announcement has angered gun rights activists, who have promised a challenge.

Updated at 11:35 p.m. ET

Workers in at least eight Amazon warehouses across the country have tested positive for the coronavirus, just as the e-commerce giant ramps up hiring to meet surging online sales.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

In a wide-ranging, digressive news conference Sunday evening, President Trump said he has activated the National Guard to assist New York, California and Washington, states that so far have been hit hardest by the coronavirus.

The gathering of world leaders at the Group of 7 summit will not happen in-person this year as scheduled for Camp David in June, and will instead be a video conference, the White House said Thursday.

It is the latest high-profile event to be cancelled as anxiety over the fast-spreading coronavirus nixes political gatherings, sports events and musical festivals around the world.

Updated 8:00 a.m. ET Thursday

Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams each said Wednesday evening that they have tested positive for COVID-19. They are the first two members of Congress to announce positive tests for the novel coronavirus.

They both said they experienced symptoms and have been self-quarantining.

Diaz-Balart, 58, and McAdams, 45, both voted on the House floor as recently as early Saturday morning, when lawmakers passed a coronavirus relief package.

President Trump said Wednesday he will nominate his acting budget director, Russ Vought, to be the permanent director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Vought has been serving as OMB's acting director since January 2019, when Mick Mulvaney departed to step in as Trump's acting chief of staff, a role that has since ended, with Mulvaney now serving as U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland.

Updated at 4:18 p.m. ET

President Trump ordered the border with Canada partly closed on Wednesday and the Pentagon said it would join the coronavirus pandemic response with hospital ships, field treatment centers and medical supplies.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has proposed sending money directly to Americans to help blunt the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic, saying it's time to "go big" to boost the now-stalled economy.

Trump said he wants Congress to push through a major comprehensive package to help businesses and workers facing hardships — one of many abrupt shifts the administration has made this week as the scope of the pandemic has come into sharp focus.

In the face of the coronavirus worsening across the U.S. and reordering the daily life of millions of Americans, fewer people view the pandemic as a real threat, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Just about 56% of Americans consider the coronavirus a "real threat," representing a drop of 10 percentage points from last month. At the same time, a growing number of Americans think the coronavirus is being "blown out of proportion."

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET Sunday

Airline passengers returning to the U.S. were confronted with snaking lines causing hours-long delays and confusion at airports around the country starting Saturday as a result of required medical screenings now in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Updated at 12:34 a.m. ET Thursday

President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European countries to the United States, beginning on Friday at midnight, in a bid "to keep new cases" of coronavirus "from entering our shores."

The restrictions, he said late Wednesday, do not apply to travelers from the United Kingdom.

Updated at 7:44 p.m. ET

One of the nation's leading infectious disease experts issued a stern warning on Tuesday: If you think you have escaped the spread of the coronavirus, do not become complacent.

"As a nation, we can't be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health. "It doesn't matter if you're in a state that has no cases or one case, you have to start taking seriously what you can do now."

Updated at 10:19 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that the White House is planning to ask Congress to pass a payroll tax cut and relief for hourly wage earners in order to assist workers who may be feeling the financial pinch amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump said that top administration officials will be meeting with Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday to discuss the possible payroll tax cuts and help for hourly workers.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET Tuesday

Reps. Mark Meadows, Doug Collins, and Matt Gaetz said Monday that they are self-quarantining after learning they came in contact with a person infected with coronavirus while attending a conservative conference in the Washington area last month.

Updated 11:41 a.m. ET Thursday

After a two-year battle, the Philadelphia nonprofit Safehouse says next week it will open the first space in the U.S. where people struggling with addiction can use opioids and other illegal drugs under the supervision of trained staff.

The Nevada Democratic Party's top official said on Monday that the state's presidential caucuses this month should perhaps be the last. He says the state should begin the process of shifting to a statewide presidential primary.

He isn't on the ballot in Nevada's caucuses, but billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be on the national debate stage for the first time, joining five other Democratic candidates Wednesday night during the debate in Las Vegas. He qualified after surging in the polls.

Updated at 8:43 p.m. ET

Ex-governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich was released from federal prison Tuesday evening following a commutation earlier in the day from President Trump that cut short his punishment on corruption charges over his attempt to sell the Senate seat vacated by then-President Barack Obama.

The White House announced that Blagojevich is among 11 people who received clemency.

Updated 11:28 p.m. ET

Sen. Lamar Alexander said on Thursday night that he will not vote to allow witnesses and evidence into the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

The Senate impeachment trial adjourned Friday evening, with a plan to return Monday morning to continue. Closing arguments will be presented Monday, after which senators will be permitted to speak on the floor. A final vote, during which President Trump is expected to be acquitted, is expected next Wednesday around 4 p.m. ET.

Updated at 10:56 p.m. ET

Senators weighing impeachment charges against President Trump spent Thursday firing questions at lawyers as they did the day before, just as the prospect of former national security adviser John Bolton's appearance as a witness continues to stoke speculation. The Senate will enter its next phase Friday — considering whether to allow witnesses and evidence.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

As President Trump's legal team pressed the case for acquittal on Monday, they repeatedly made two points: the charges against Trump do not meet the constitution's criteria for impeachment. And if the president is removed from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, it will set a "dangerous" precedent.

"You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo," said one of Trump's lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, calling the charges "vague, indefinable."

Updated 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday

Investigators in Honolulu are combing through the charred rubble of seven homes and searching for the remains of a man who police say stabbed his landlord, fatally shot two officers and set a fire that destroyed his bungalow and six other homes.

Updated 3:30 p.m. Sunday

A quiet New England community west of Hartford, Conn., has found itself roped into the impeachment saga with the emergence of an improbable character in the ongoing Ukraine scandal: Robert Hyde.

Hyde is a 40-year-old congressional candidate and former landscaper in Simsbury, Conn., who is known for being brash, foul-mouthed and for hitching his candidacy on his fervent support for President Trump.

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