Tamara Keith

Updated December 2, 2021 at 2:56 PM ET

President Biden announced Thursday that private health insurance plans will soon reimburse people who buy over-the-counter, at-home rapid tests for the coronavirus — one of a series of steps the White House is planning in order to encourage better detection and prevention of COVID-19 this winter.

Beloved stuffed animals in hand, they lined up at schools, pop-up clinics and children's hospitals to do something that little kids generally hate to do: get a shot. COVID vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds began in earnest late last week, ramping up over the weekend and early this week.

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Friday night was a long one for President Biden, working the phones at the end of a week where his party lost a bellwether race in Virginia, following months of Democratic infighting over his agenda. Down in the polls, he had just returned from an overseas trip where he said he faced questions about whether he had support to back the pledges he made on the world stage.

President Biden said on Sunday that the world can't immediately stop using oil and said OPEC and Russia need to pump more of it, even as he pushes the world to pledge to cut climate-changing carbon emissions at the Glasgow climate summit this week.

After three days of meeting with world leaders in Rome, where he attended the G-20 summit, Biden said he is worried that surging energy costs are hurting working class families.

Within minutes of the Food and Drug Administration's decision Friday to authorize the lower-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, teams began packing up the vaccines to be shipped. The vials are being packed with syringes, dry ice and tracking labels and are being loaded into shipping containers that were specially designed for the pediatric vaccine.

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In two weeks, most people traveling to the U.S. from overseas will have to provide proof of vaccination. It's all part of the reopening of international travel that had been shut down for more than a year. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith has new details.

Adam Willmann was born in Goodall-Witcher hospital in Clifton, a small town in central Texas. Now he's its CEO, and he's worried his hospital may have to stop delivering babies.

That's because some of the experienced nurses in the Goodall-Witcher obstetrics department aren't vaccinated for COVID-19 and don't intend to be. But under a new federal mandate, hospitals will soon have to require their staff to be vaccinated.

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Updated September 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET

President Biden called on rich nations and philanthropists to do more to end the pandemic, saying the United States will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to donate to countries around the world for delivery by next September.

The White House said the goal is to vaccinate 70% of the world's population for COVID-19 by this time next year.

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Updated September 9, 2021 at 8:34 PM ET

President Biden on Thursday unveiled a series of steps to combat the newly surging pandemic, including the announcement of a forthcoming federal rule that all businesses with 100 or more employees have to ensure that every worker is either vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing for the coronavirus.

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The share of adults saying "no" to getting the COVID-19 vaccine dropped 5 percentage points in a month, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer's vaccine.

President Biden is in Wilmington, Del., this weekend, a place he has spent a lot of time as president. In fact, he has spent twice as many weekends at his home there as in the White House. Sometime next week, he has expected to start a summer vacation in — where else? — Delaware.

For Biden the draw of Delaware — the need to be there with his family, in his home — runs deep. Biden is far from the only president to spend time away from the White House, but so far, he's spending fewer weekends there than the two men who held the office just before him.

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Updated August 3, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET

The U.S. has delivered 110 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 65 countries, from Afghanistan to Zambia, President Biden announced Tuesday at the White House.

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President Biden fell short of his goal of having 70% of adults get their first COVID-19 shot by July Fourth. Today, he announced the next steps in the campaign to get more people vaccinated.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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July 4 is almost here, and the U.S. has not quite reached President Biden's vaccination goal despite a campaign-style push to get out the vaccine. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 2:47 PM ET

Vice President Harris visited the U.S.-Mexico border Friday in El Paso, Texas, after weeks of badgering by Republicans and at the urging of some Democrats, and she called for an end to the political "finger-pointing" over who's to blame for record numbers of people seeking asylum at the southern border.

Harris is in charge of the thorny issue of migration from Central America at a time when the Biden administration has struggled to keep up with a surge in migrants.

The country will narrowly miss President Biden's goal of having 70% of the U.S. adult population at least partially vaccinated by July 4, according to a White House official who did not want to get ahead of the public announcement.

But the official also noted that 70% of those 30 and older have already been vaccinated a week and a half ahead of Independence Day and that those 27 and older are expected to also reach the 70% mark by July 4.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 3:46 PM ET

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Geneva Wednesday. Here's what you need to know:

  • The closed-door meeting, which began at about 7:45 a.m. ET, lasted 3 hours, 21 minutes, shorter than the White House had projected.
  • They held separate news conferences with Putin going first.
  • Putin described the meeting as "constructive."
  • Biden said he did what he came to do.

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Vice President Harris is in Guatemala City on Monday to kick off the first foreign trip of her time in office, a two-day mission aimed at trying to strengthen ties with Guatemala and Mexico and tackle tough and longstanding problems such as corruption, violence and poverty — some of the issues behind the record number of migrants from Central America seeking asylum at the U.S. border in recent months.

Updated June 6, 2021 at 5:32 PM ET

When Vice President Kamala Harris arrives in Guatemala on Sunday for her first foreign trip in office, she'll follow the same politically treacherous path President Joe Biden took when he was in the role. The mission: to help solve deep-seated problems driving tens of thousands of Central American people to try to seek asylum at the U.S-Mexico border.

"She is really picking up where then-Vice President Biden left off," said Symone Sanders, press secretary to Harris.

Updated June 3, 2021 at 3:17 PM ET

The United States will send its first shipments of surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad on Thursday, spelling out for the first time how it will share its wealth of vaccines with parts of the world struggling to get shots in arms.

Vice President Harris has announced a new initiative to bring business and economic investment to Central America's Northern Triangle countries that are driving much of the migrant surge at the U.S. southern border that she's been tasked with addressing.

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