Laurel Wamsley

Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's Newsdesk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She will be the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.

Wamsley got her start at NPR as an intern for Weekend Edition Saturday in January 2007 and stayed on as a production assistant for NPR's flagship news programs, before joining the Washington Desk for the 2008 election.

She then left NPR, doing freelance writing and editing in Austin, Texas, and then working in various marketing roles for technology companies in Austin and Chicago.

In November 2015, Wamsley returned to NPR as an associate producer for the National Desk, where she covered stories including Hurricane Matthew in coastal Georgia. She became a Newsdesk reporter in March 2017, and has since covered subjects including climate change, possibilities for social networks beyond Facebook, the sex lives of Neanderthals, and joke theft.

In 2010, Wamsley was a Journalism and Women Symposium Fellow and participated in the German-American Fulbright Commission's Berlin Capital Program, and was a 2016 Voqal Foundation Fellow. She will spend two months reporting from Germany as a 2019 Arthur F. Burns Fellow, a program of the International Center for Journalists.

Wamsley earned a B.A. with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar. Wamsley holds a master's degree from Ohio University, where she was a Public Media Fellow and worked at NPR Member station WOUB. A native of Athens, Ohio, she now lives and bikes in Washington, DC.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Monday that will make HIV-prevention drugs available without a prescription. It allows pharmacists to dispense both PrEP, or preexposure prophylaxis, and PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis.

The cruise ship that was placed under quarantine by St. Lucia because of a confirmed case of measles onboard is bound for Curaçao. It's not clear what will happen when the vessel, called the Freewinds, arrives there.

The Church of Scientology operates the ship and calls Curaçao its home port. Nearly 300 passengers and crew are onboard, NBC News reports.

Updated on April 19 at 10 a.m. ET

Washington state has moved a step closer toward making it more difficult for parents to receive exemptions from having their children receive a required immunization.

Associated Press / YouTube

Flo Filion Meiler is a world-class athlete who lives in Shelburne, Vt.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

In a significant shift, the Trump administration says the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in the courts. Previously, the administration had pushed to remove the law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions but had not argued in court that the whole law should be struck down.

The world has two kinds of measles problems.

In low-income countries like Madagascar and in strife-ridden countries like Yemen, the disease takes a toll because vaccines are not available or accessible or affordable. In Madagascar alone, there have been nearly 80,000 cases and an estimated 900 deaths since September.

Updated at 6:29 p.m. ET

The commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, announced Tuesday that he is resigning the position, effective in one month.

Gottlieb won approval from many as an effective advocate for public health. Within the Trump administration, he stood out for his efforts to more tightly regulate several industries; he's been particularly intent on curbing vaping and making generic drugs more accessible.

Updated on Feb. 20 at 11:10 a.m. ET

For many years, three buckets full of uranium ore sat in a museum building at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Tours often visited the museum collection building, with children on tours sitting next to the buckets for a half-hour.

Altria, the leading U.S. cigarette manufacturer, announced Thursday it will make a $12.8 billion investment in e-cigarette maker Juul – giving it a 35 percent stake in what had been perhaps its most worrisome competitor.

The move allows Altria, which is the parent company of Philip Morris, to hedge its bets on the future of nicotine, as cigarette smoking declines in the U.S.

Fentanyl is now the drug most frequently involved in overdose deaths in the U.S., according to a National Vital Statistics System report published Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report sheds a bright light on the changing nature of America's drug landscape — and the devastating number of overdose deaths that have occurred in the U.S. in recent years.

Twenty-four workers at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey were taken to area hospitals after being exposed to bear repellent on Wednesday morning, when a robot punctured a can of the aerosol spray.

The sudden outbreak of chickenpox at a North Carolina private school isn't exactly surprising.

At least 36 students have become infected with the disease at Asheville Waldorf School in the city of Asheville — a school that has among the highest rates of parents who received an exemption from the state's vaccination requirements.

Editor's note: This story includes graphic imagery and language.

A mocking tweet from the National Rifle Association has stirred many physicians to post on social media about their tragically frequent experiences treating patients in the aftermath of gun violence.

Updated at 3:45 pm ET

The Department of Health and Human Services says it is reviewing all medical research involving human fetal tissue.

Theranos — the Silicon Valley blood-testing startup whose former top executives are accused of carrying out a massive, years-long fraud — is shutting down.

In the Altai mountains of southern Siberia, there's a cave that was inhabited for millennia. It's called Denisova, and it shelters something remarkable: the bones of different types of ancient human relatives.

The State Department said that a U.S. government employee assigned to Guangzhou, China, has reported experiencing "vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that "the medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent" with the symptoms reported by Americans working at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. "We have medical teams that are moving to be on the ground there. We are working to figure out what took place both in Havana, and now in China, as well."

An Ohio fertility clinic said that the remote alarm system on its storage tank was turned off, so it didn't know that the temperature had fluctuated, and that the consequences were worse than it initially thought — all 4,000 eggs and embryos in the cryofreezer are likely nonviable.

The number of new HIV cases reported in the Philippines has surged over the last few years, according the country's health agency. In 2007, fewer than 400 new cases were reported; in 2017, more than 11,000 new cases were identified.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

The FBI says that someone called its tip line to report concerns about Nikolas Cruz, who has told police he killed 17 people in a Florida high school this week — but that the bureau failed to follow protocols to assess the threat.

The bureau says a person close to Cruz contacted the FBI's Public Access Line on Jan. 5 to report concerns about him. Those concerns included information about Cruz's gun ownership, a desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts.

Germany is considering free public transit in its cities in order to curb car use, as it hurries to meet the European Union's requirements for air quality.

Updated 6 p.m. ET

Williamson, W.Va., sits right across the Tug Fork river from Kentucky. The town has sites dedicated to its coal mining heritage and the Hatfield and McCoy feud and counts just about 3,000 residents.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor who has admitted to abusing girls and women who were receiving treatment from him, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on Wednesday.

"I just signed your death warrant," Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said, in her Lansing, Mich., courtroom as she read Nassar's sentence.

An investigation by New York's attorney general found that the Brooklyn Hospital Center improperly billed dozens of patients for the cost of forensic rape exams.

A strange and unsettling thing was happening this morning on YouTube. If you typed the words "how to have" into the site's search bar, one of the suggested searches was "how to have s*x with kids."

By the afternoon, that autocomplete result and a few related ones no longer appeared.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved its first digital drug: a pill embedded with a sensor that transmits whether someone has taken it.

Although the approval is a big step for digital medicine, there are concerns about privacy, convenience and cost.

The nurse who was roughly arrested at a Salt Lake City hospital has settled with the city and the university that owns the hospital for $500,000.

When the drinking water in Flint, Mich., became contaminated with lead, causing a major public health crisis, 11-year-old Gitanjali Rao took notice.

Editor's note: This story contains graphic language.

As women around the world tell their stories of sexual harassment and assault using the phrase "#MeToo," one prominent voice added her own harrowing account.

Well before this year's series of historically powerful hurricanes, Puerto Rico already had a notoriously fickle power supply and crushing debt — the power authority effectively declared bankruptcy in July. Power outages were routine, even in cities.

Pages