Barbara Van Woerkom
Barbara Van Woerkom is a researcher and producer with the Investigations team. She is a master at digging up documents, finding obscure people and answering all manner of research questions. Van Woerkom has been a part of several award-winning series, including "Guilty and Charged," which focused on excessive fees in the criminal justice system that target the poor; "Lost Mothers," an examination of the maternal mortality crisis in America; and "Abused and Betrayed," which brought to light the high rate of sexual assault on people with intellectual disabilities. She also won a Peabody Award for a series on soldiers who were deliberately exposed to mustard gas by the U.S. military during World War II, locating hundreds more affected veterans than the Department of Veterans Affairs was able to find.
Van Woerkom began as a news research librarian at NPR, helping reporters, producers, and editors across all desks and divisions track down information. She got her start at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where she worked with national and international journalists based in the DC bureaus.
Widespread testing for COVID-19 is still not happening in the U.S. Although experts have been urging the federal government since February, it took until late April to ramp up production.