Brian Naylor

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."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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 on Thursday defended new restrictions on travelers from most parts of Europe, a decision that angered allies and trading partners, was questioned by some public health experts and sent stock markets reeling.

Updated at 2:10 p.m.

President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from several European nations starting at midnight Friday in a bid to rein in the spread of the coronavirus. Here's a look at what that means and who will be affected:

Who's affected

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."

The Secret Service says it's "fully prepared" to provide protection to the Democrats running for president.

It's just that it hasn't been asked to yet.

The issue of who is protecting the candidates was raised in dramatic fashion on the night of Super Tuesday when anti-dairy protesters rushed the stage as Joe Biden was delivering a victory speech in Los Angeles.

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."

Former Vice President Joe Biden may have won the most states on Super Tuesday, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders captured the one with the most delegates: California.

There are 415 delegates at stake in California, the largest haul of any state.

With 79% of the state's precincts reporting, Sanders had 33.5% of the vote to Biden's 24.8%.

The Trump administration is being criticized for its handling of certain government records.

Historians and activists charge that the White House has failed to keep notes of the president's meetings with foreign leaders, including with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that other papers, including records of alleged abuses of undocumented immigrants, could be destroyed.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Attorney General William Barr has told people close to him that he has considered resigning over his growing frustration with President Trump and the president's public statements about the Justice Department and its ongoing cases, an administration official tells NPR.

It is unclear whether the attorney general ever informed the president he was considering quitting, and for now, Barr remains at the department's helm. A spokeswoman says he has "no plans to resign."

Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET

The Justice Department announced Friday that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will not be charged following an allegation by the department's inspector general that he lied to investigators about a leak to the media.

In a letter to McCabe's attorneys, the department said that "based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed."

The decision is not likely to sit well with President Trump.

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