Brian Naylor

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent, and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and Talk of the Nation.

During his NPR career, Naylor has covered many major world events, including political conventions, the Olympics, the White House, Congress, and the mid-Atlantic region. Naylor reported from Tokyo in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, from New Orleans following the BP oil spill, and from West Virginia after the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.

While covering the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, Naylor's reporting contributed to NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award for political reporting.

Before coming to NPR in 1982, Naylor worked at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and at a commercial radio station in Maine.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine.

Updated at 5:35 p.m.

A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court stood by its most recent abortion-rights precedent Monday, delivering a major defeat to abortion opponents who had hoped for a reversal of fortunes at the court with the addition of two new Trump-appointed justices.

By a 5-4 vote, the court struck down a Louisiana law that was virtually identical to a Texas law it invalidated just four years ago. Chief Justice John Roberts cast the fifth and decisive vote.

Updated at 4:42 p.m. ET

Rick Bright, a career government scientist-turned-whistleblower, told a congressional panel Thursday that without a stronger federal response, the coronavirus threatens to make 2020 the "darkest winter in modern history."

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had sharp words for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, during Tuesday's Senate committee hearing on the coronavirus.

In arguing for reopening the economy and schools, Paul said, "As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all. I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision."

Paul pointed to the mortality rate in New York City of young people up to age 18, which he said was near zero — much lower than for older people.

Attorneys for Rick Bright, the government scientist who said he had been reassigned and subsequently filed a whistleblower complaint, say a government watchdog agrees that he should be reinstated to his post.

Bright was serving as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is working on a vaccine to combat the coronavirus.

The Internal Revenue Service has told some 10,000 of its employees that they're needed back in the office as early as Monday — and they'll need to bring their own masks.

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee say it's "completely irresponsible and unethical for the IRS to demand those workers obtain their own protective equipment."

The CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus response legislation Congress approved late last month, calls for a government watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, to monitor the spending and the overall federal response to the pandemic. And while President Trump has pushed back on other oversight, it will be difficult for him to block the GAO's work.

President Trump last weekend raised — and then dropped — the idea of placing residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under a quarantine to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus outside of the nation's hardest-hit region.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is trying to knock down a series of rumors and falsehoods that have been spreading along with the coronavirus pandemic.

It launched a page on its website called Coronavirus Rumor Control to fight the misinformation as officials work to assure the public there is, in fact, no "national quarantine," nor has FEMA deployed "military assets."

"No, FEMA does not have military assets," the site notes.

President Trump has made a lot of promises about actions that his administration is taking to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Not all of them have been exactly on the mark — and some have yet to pay off as advertised.

Naval hospital ships

The president announced on Wednesday that the Navy would dispatch its two hospital ships, the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, to help treat patients and free up land-based hospitals for coronavirus patients.

Aside from the financial assistance the Trump administration and Congress are considering for individuals, small business and corporations, the federal government itself could be the beneficiary of a huge injection of money if lawmakers and the White House agree to it.

President Trump announced Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency "now is fully engaged at the highest levels" in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Trump says the agency is activated at level 1.

FEMA is best known for coordinating responses with state and local governments to natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Responding to a pandemic is a different job for the agency.

"This is a very different kind of work for FEMA," Trump said, "but they will come through as they always do. We have tremendous people, tremendous talent in FEMA."

Updated at 5:39 p.m. ET

President Trump, widely criticized for his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, tried to shift blame Friday to his predecessor's handling of a health crisis 11 years ago.

In a series of tweets Friday morning, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of making unspecified changes that "complicated" the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention's testing system.

Updated at 1:00 p.m. EDT

One way employers are hoping to prevent the spread of coronavirus and its toll on their workforce is through telecommuting. Companies from Apple to The Washington Post are giving their employees the option to work from home.

The nation's largest employer is sending a more mixed message.

President Trump, a self-professed germophobe, said Thursday night that despite concerns over transmitting the coronavirus, he will continue to shake hands with people.

At a town hall meeting in Scranton, Penn., televised by Fox, Trump was asked if he has made any changes to his habits since the outbreak.

Trump responded that "if there was ever a time where you convince people not to shake hands this could be it." But Trump went on, "you can't be a politician and not shake hands."

President Trump, bowing to political reality, says he is putting off his thoughts of finding a replacement for the Affordable Care Act until after the 2020 election.

In remarks to reporters Tuesday, Trump said, "I wanted to put it after the election because we don't have the House." But it became clear that he didn't have support for a replacement to Obamacare in the GOP-led Senate, either.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

The assertion by Attorney General William Barr that special counsel Robert Mueller found the Trump campaign did not conspire with the Russian government in 2016 removes, for now, a major focus of Democrats' messaging.

But it has also given them an opening to turn to an issue they believe is more important to many voters anyway: health care.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

President Trump denied the death toll of nearly 3,000 from hurricanes Maria and Irma, which swept across Puerto Rico a year ago, in a series of tweets Thursday morning.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," he tweeted. "When I left the island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths."

The nation's opioid epidemic has been attributed to many factors, including the over-prescription of painkillers and the availability of cheap synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

In Congress, lawmakers are trying to make it harder to buy fentanyl, in part by forcing the U.S. Postal Service to make it more difficult to send narcotics through the mail. But the measure has been languishing.

President Trump says he is ready to declare the nation's opioid crisis "a national emergency," saying it is a "serious problem the likes of which we have never had." Speaking to reporters at the entrance to his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, where he is on a working vacation, Trump promised "to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis."

The Senate voted Tuesday to begin debating a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It remains uncertain as to what that replacement might look like. No formal legislation has been drafted. But senators moved to take the procedural first step, known as a "motion to proceed." The vote was 51-50, with Vice President Pence casting the tiebreaking vote.

Debate will now begin, most likely on a measure to fully repeal the law, also known as Obamacare.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

The House voted Thursday to narrowly approve a Republican-drafted measure that would eliminate many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act — the first step toward keeping one of President Trump's campaign pledges and a victory for GOP lawmakers who have long railed against Obamacare, as the ACA is commonly known. The vote was 217-213.

The measure moves to the Senate, where its fate is far from certain — and where top lawmakers in both parties are already signaling that there is a long legislative process ahead.

The debate over how many people would lose health insurance under the Republican health care overhaul and its impact on the budget deficit obscures one of the major and most far-reaching effects of the proposal: sweeping changes to Medicaid.

The Republican health care overhaul working its way through the House is opposed by Democrats and by many Republican conservatives. It's none too popular with the people on the front lines of health care, either — including doctors, nurses and hospitals.

The chief medical officer of Medicaid, Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky, tweeted out his opposition on Wednesday. "Despite political messaging from others at HHS, I align with the experts ... in opposition to #AHCA," the career staffer said.

With two House committees set to take up the Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, party leaders have begun trying to sell the proposal to the American public.

Leading the effort is President Trump, who met with Republican House leaders at the White House, saying he is "proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives."

President Trump's declaration during his speech to Congress Tuesday night that Obamacare is "collapsing" and must be replaced was cheered by Republicans.

But Republican lawmakers remain unable to coalesce behind an approach to their oft-stated goal of repeal and replace, and Democrats believe they hold the upper hand to the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

In an interview with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that aired Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the odds "are much greater than half" that the ACA will remain in place.

President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services defended stock transactions he made as a member of Congress as "above board," while vowing he would not pull the rug from under any American with health care as result of replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Tom Price, a Republican from Georgia, faced the first of two hearings he'll have as the nominee for HHS secretary. Wednesday's was before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. It will not vote on Price's nomination; that's up to the Senate Finance Committee.

Opening punches were thrown in what one top Democrat today called "the first big fight" of the new congressional year — the promise by President-elect Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama met with Democrats on Capitol Hill while Vice President-elect Mike Pence sat down with Republicans, as each side prepared for the skirmishing in the days and months ahead.

Asked what advice he gave Democrats in the closed-door meeting about the legacy program that bears his name, Obama responded, "Look out for the American people."

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

Former President Bill Clinton will take his wife's place at several campaign events in the next couple of days. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has been recovering from pneumonia at home after abruptly leaving a Sept. 11 commemoration ceremony in New York on Sunday, where her campaign said she became overheated and dehydrated.

Hillary Clinton was due to appear at fundraisers in California on Tuesday and make an appearance for a campaign event near Las Vegas on Wednesday, where her husband will now go instead.

Hillary Clinton's begrudging release of information related to her health on Sunday follows a pattern set by candidates and many who have won the Oval Office.

It is a pattern of secrecy and, in some cases, cover-ups that would be scandalous if they occurred on other issues of policy.

Pages