Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Chappell's work for NPR includes being the lead writer for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 to Pyeongchang in 2018 – stints that also included posting numerous videos and photos to NPR's Instagram and other branded accounts. He has also previously been NPR.org's homepage editor.

Chappell established the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR's website; his assignments also include being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road. Chappell has coordinated special digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He also frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as The Salt.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to tell compelling stories, promoting more collaboration between departments and desks.

Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that performed one of NPR's largest website redesigns. One year later, NPR.org won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

Prior to joining NPR, Chappell was part of the Assignment Desk at CNN International, working with reporters in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Chappell also edited and produced stories for CNN.com's features division, before moving on to edit video and produce stories for Sports Illustrated's website.

Early in his career, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants, and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

Russia is now reporting more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than any other country except the U.S. after a surge in cases vaulted it past both Spain and the U.K. In another new development, President Vladimir Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, has confirmed he's being treated for COVID-19.

"Yes, I have fallen ill," Peskov told state-run Tass media. "I am receiving treatment."

The U.K. is extending a worker furlough program that pays people idled by the COVID-19 pandemic up to around $3,088 a month, as Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak says the program will now run through the end of October. The government is doubling the original four-month timeline, he said, to support workers when the economy starts to emerge from a crippling shutdown.

"As we reopen the economy, we will need to support people back to work," Sunak said.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Public health officials closed a restaurant in Castle Rock, Colo., on Monday, one day after its owner hosted a Mother's Day event in which the entire dining room was open to seat customers — most of whom weren't wearing face masks.

Wuhan is reporting a small new cluster of COVID-19 cases, more than a month after lockdown restrictions were eased in the city that was the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Wuhan now has at least six new COVID-19 cases, the first to be confirmed in Hubei province in at least 35 days.

"An 89-year-old Wuhan man tested positive for COVID-19 this week," NPR's Emily Feng reports from Beijing, adding that the man's wife and several other people who lived in the same residential community also tested positive — although they had displayed no clinical symptoms of the disease.

Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET

It was supposed to be a day of parades, a vast party that would transcend borders and bring generations together, not unlike the spontaneous euphoria that swept through victorious European allies when Nazi Germany finally surrendered.

But instead of a mega-event, leaders in London, Paris, Moscow and other capitals, observed the 75th anniversary of V-E Day at a diminished level Friday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It took only minutes for Shanghai Disneyland to run out of tickets to Monday's reopening as people jumped at a chance to visit the amusement park for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak forced it to close in late January. Visitors to the theme park will be required to wear face masks at all times unless they are eating.

Shanghai Disneyland said it's taking "a deliberate approach" as it reopens. It will require physical distancing and sharply reduce capacity; some crowd-oriented features, such as children's play areas and theater shows, will remain shut down.

The Republican-led Michigan Legislature is suing Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, ratcheting their dispute over COVID-19 restrictions to a new level as lawmakers seek to force an end to orders that have closed down many nonessential businesses and largely confined residents to their homes.

The legislators say the governor is acting illegally and overstepping her authority; Whitmer says she is protecting citizens from a global pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly driving the European Union into a "deep and uneven recession," with national economies contracting because of widespread disruptions in work, daily life and the movement of goods, the European Commission said Wednesday. The EU economy is predicted to shrink by 7.5% in 2020 — far worse than the 2009 contraction of around 4.5% during the so-called Great Recession.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says his state has hit a new record low in the rate of positive test results for COVID-19, as only around 2.5% of nearly 24,000 tests confirmed an infection on Monday. The test results were the most Florida has received in a single day.

A global alliance responded to calls to fight the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, as world leaders pledged some $8 billion to develop vaccines and treatments to fight COVID-19. The cavalcade of donors did not include the U.S., which did not participate despite being a major contributor to global health initiatives.

Trish Pugh started an Ohio trucking company with her husband in 2015. Even for a small business, it's small — they had two drivers, counting her husband, until they let one go because of the coronavirus crisis.

And so her company applied for a loan under the first, $349 billion round of the Paycheck Protection Program, which the federal government had set up to rescue small businesses.

It didn't go well.

A majority of Americans — 8 in 10 — say strict shelter-in-place guidelines are worth it, to keep people safe from COVID-19 and control the spread of the virus, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll. The same percentage, of around 80% of Americans, also say they can follow the restrictions for at least one more month.

The family of John McDaniel, an Ohio man who died from COVID-19 after initially claiming the pandemic was overblown, is grieving this week. McDaniel's wife says they're also mourning the fact that her husband didn't get a chance to change the stance he took against the initial public response to the outbreak. It's now clear, she adds, that shutdown orders were necessary.

Spain is poised to relax a ban on children leaving their homes this Sunday, easing a restriction that has frustrated parents since it took effect in the middle of March. Anger spiked this week, after the government initially said children would only be allowed outdoors to accompany adults on trips to essential businesses, such as grocery stores. Officials quickly said they would reconsider.

The first U.S. death known to be from COVID-19 occurred on Feb. 6 — nearly three weeks before deaths in Washington state that had been believed to be the country's first from the coronavirus, according to officials in Santa Clara County, Calif. The person died at home and at a time when testing in the U.S. was tightly limited not only by capacity but by federal criteria.

South Carolina's beaches now have Gov. Henry McMaster's approval to reopen, after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the governor's executive order took effect Tuesday, some of the state's most popular beaches opted to stay closed and others reopened, creating a hopscotch pattern of differing polices.

"I've restored public beach access, allowing locals to use their discretion," McMaster announced on Monday, saying his decision was informed by the latest projections that showed the disease's worst effects might have already peaked in his state.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will not hold its popular finals event this year, calling off a showdown of the country's best young spellers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's the first time the spelling bee has been canceled since World War II.

The finals had originally been scheduled to be held in Maryland in late May, but organizers postponed the event last month, saying they hoped to reschedule the showcase event for later this year.

Italy is seeing signs of progress in its fight against COVID-19, as health officials report a drop in active coronavirus cases for the first time since February. The decrease was small — a difference of just 20 cases — but it accompanied the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in more than a month.

The total number of people reported to have contracted the virus as of late Monday was 181,228, Italy's Civil Protection Agency said. Of that number, 108,237 people were still testing positive — 20 fewer than the day before.

A state prison has become a hot spot of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio, with at least 1,828 confirmed cases among inmates — accounting for the majority of cases in Marion County, which leads Ohio in the reported infections. Ohio officials say an aggressive testing program is responsible for the large number.

The large cluster of cases was found through mass testing of everyone at the Marion Correctional Institution; 109 staff members were also positive. No COVID-19 deaths have been reported at the prison.

Shake Shack is returning a $10 million federal loan after the Paycheck Protection Program that was meant to help small businesses ran out of money in less than two weeks of operation. The burger chain and other large businesses were able to get the money because the program covers any company with fewer than 500 workers in a single location.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

A large nursing facility in New Jersey is emerging as a symbol of how nursing homes are being overwhelmed by COVID-19, after an anonymous tip led to the discovery of 17 dead people at the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center I and II long-term care facility.

Families who lost loved ones say they received form letters telling them their loved ones were sick – and in at least one case, the letter arrived after the patient died.

"We regret the decision of the president of the United States to order a halt in funding to the World Health Organization," WHO Direct0r-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday in response to President Trump's plan to stop U.S. money from going to the agency.

The U.S. is the top contributor to the WHO, which is leading the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

President Trump's plan to put a hold on U.S. funding for the World Health Organization during a global pandemic "is as dangerous as it sounds," says billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder joined others defending the WHO, which they say is doing vital work to fight COVID-19.

The coronavirus has plunged the world into a crisis that's being compared to World War II and the Great Depression. It's the worst time possible, Gates and others say, to take money away from the U.N. health agency.

For the billions of people now living under some form of stay-at-home or lockdown orders, experts from the World Health Organization have new guidance: We should be ready to "change our behaviors for the foreseeable future," they say, as the agency updates its advice on when to lift COVID-19 lockdown orders.

The question of when to ease shutdowns is a hot topic, as economic output is stalled in many countries — including the U.S., now the epicenter of the global pandemic.

Taiwan reported no new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, marking the first time authorities there have reported zero new cases in more than a month. It's also the latest achievement for a health system that first acted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 back in December.

Taiwan, with a population of around 23 million, has just 393 confirmed COVID-19 cases; six people have died from the disease.

The last time Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center announced no new cases was on March 9 – 36 days ago.

The world is facing "a dangerous epidemic of misinformation" about COVID-19 — and the only vaccine is to reestablish public trust, the head of the United Nations said Tuesday.

"Around the world, people are scared. They want to know what to do and where to turn for advice," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.

The distortion and willful ignorance of scientific facts is a "poison that is putting even more lives at risk" during the most challenging crisis since World War II, Guterres said.

The governors of New York and California — two of the largest economies in the U.S. — have formed alliances with their respective neighbors to coordinate an eventual easing of COVID-19 shutdowns, posing a potential new obstacle to President Trump's plans to restart the national economy.

In separate announcements, the governors said they've agreed to let science, not politics, determine when to lift social and business restrictions.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 may or may not be immune to getting sick again – and it's too soon to know how long any immunity might last, World Health Organization experts say. The appraisal comes as WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says COVID-19 is "10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic."

The Christ the Redeemer statue towered over Rio de Janeiro in a doctor's white coat on Easter Sunday, as a tribute to health care workers who put themselves at risk every day to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. The striking scene included messages of thanks in many languages, along with images of nurses and doctors smiling in protective gear.

Americans returning home from abroad are being greeted with varying levels of health screenings at U.S. airports — with some saying the U.S. measures are less stringent than what they've experienced overseas.

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