Sam Gringlas

Sam Gringlas is a producer for NPR's All Things Considered and is helping cover the 2020 election for the Washington Desk. He's produced and reported with NPR from all over the country, as well as China and the U.S.-Mexico border. He started as an intern at All Things Considered after graduating with a public policy degree from the University of Michigan, where he was news editor at The Michigan Daily. He's a native Michigander.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


As the coronavirus spread across the country in March, President Trump held a conference call with the nation's governors and reportedly told them they should try to find their own supplies of ventilators and respirators.

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As demonstrators gathered around the White House last weekend, Howard University law student Tope Aladetimi leaned her cardboard protest sign against the street median and took a load off her feet. She had already been out protesting for a few hours, and the temperature was climbing into the 90s.

"There's a power in using your body, and actually physically being here," Aladetimi said. "Oftentimes, our voices aren't heard and this is the only way we're able to get our message across."

Domonique Dille, a Howard law school classmate, feels an urgency to this moment.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced on Thursday an expansive plan to restart the economy and protect public health during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including federally funded testing for every worker called back on the job, guaranteed paid sick leave for workers affected by COVID-19 and a federally coordinated contact tracing workforce.

As protests against police brutality have unfolded across the country, calls to defund or abolish police departments are picking up traction among activists and even sparked a pledge by the Minneapolis City Council to "dismantle" the police force there. But Joe Biden's campaign said on Monday that the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee does not support that approach.

OK America, we see your sourdough starters, and your Duolingo sessions and your new cross-stitch hobby, and we raise you a Doorway to Imagination.

That's the backyard branch and wood art piece that David North built with all his social distancing-created free time.

His niece Kimberly Adams, a correspondent for the public radio show Marketplace, tweeted about it.

One month ago, the White House announced principles for reopening the country. Soon after, governors who felt they weren't getting enough federal guidance banded together to coordinate regional reopening plans.

Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for example, told NPR last month that she'd been in regular contact with the governors of Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio.

My grandpa Sol Gringlas was born in August.

But every year, on April 11, I drop by his house in Michigan, or call him on the phone, to wish him a happy birthday.

That's because my grandpa considers April 11 his "second birthday."

It's the day in 1945 when his life started over again — when he was liberated from the Nordhausen concentration camp in Nazi Germany by American soldiers.

The day has always been special to my grandpa, and I never miss the ritual birthday greeting.

Among the more than 1,200 people in Michigan who have died during the coronavirus pandemic is Otis Knapp Lee, better known as Detroit's king of corned beef. He died Sunday, at age 72.

Lee opened Mr. Fofo's Deli in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood in the early 1970s when he was 25.

In Indiana, restaurants and bars are shuttered, schools are closed, and like much of the country, people are being ordered to stay home.

The Indiana Historical Society is trying to document what it's like to live in this time, and have asked the public to help.

"We thought, this is a period of time people are going to study for centuries," says Jody Blankenship, president of the Indiana Historical Society. "And we need to collect the voices of our community right now."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he told President Trump on Wednesday that the United States should grant hazard pay — additional pay for hazardous duty — to frontline federal employees responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 11:36 a.m. ET

Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii U.S. representative and Iraq war veteran who has stirred controversy within her own party, is suspending her bid for the White House.

She had been one of only three candidates left in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, despite only garnering two delegates.

Gabbard made the announcement in a video posted Thursday morning, and said, "It's clear that Democratic primary voters have chosen" former Vice President Joe Biden to be the person to take on President Trump in November.

Officials are stepping up their warnings to younger Americans about the coronavirus, because they can more easily spread the virus without having symptoms and now because new evidence shows the potential for some younger people to suffer severely from it.

Rep. Dan Lipinski, a moderate eight-term Democratic congressman from Illinois, lost his primary on Tuesday to progressive challenger Marie Newman.

Newman, a business consultant and founder of an anti-bullying nonprofit, narrowly lost to Lipinski in a 2018 primary in a suburban Chicago district by about 2 points.

With a shiny city bus as backdrop, Vice President Joe Biden rolled up his shirtsleeves for a 2015 speech in Detroit.

"Detroit isn't just an important city," he told the crowd at an event celebrating the arrival of 80 new city buses. "It's an iconic city."

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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was scheduled to be in Dallas last night, rallying voters before Super Tuesday. Instead, he flew home to Indiana and suspended his presidential campaign. NPR's Sam Gringlas was in Dallas and sends this postcard.

At the Schweinhaut Senior Center in suburban Maryland, about a dozen seniors gather around iPads and laptops, investigating a suspicious meme of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Plastered over her image, in big, white block letters, a caption reads:

"California will receive 13 extra seats in Congress by including 10 million illegal aliens in the 2020 U.S. Census."

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Updated at 8:26 p.m. ET

Andrew Yang, a tech entrepreneur who built his campaign around a signature policy proposal — universal basic income — has ended his bid for the presidency.

"We have touched and improved millions of lives and moved this country we love so much in the right direction. And while there is great work left to be done, you know, I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race," he told supporters on Tuesday night.

Updated at 11:42 a.m. ET

In the final sprint before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, Democratic presidential candidates are taking a more sharply negative tone about their rivals than they have up until now.

The top target is former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He faced a barrage of attacks as the other Democratic candidates seek to blunt his momentum from a strong showing in Iowa.

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In 2019, Kalim Patel became a Grammy-nominated producer. He worked with James Blake on Assume Form, which was nominated for best alternative music album. Now, he's releasing a full-length album of his own music as Khushi, a childhood nickname and a Hindi word for "happiness." His new album is called Strange Seasons, and he thought it might never come out.

South Carolina received approval from the Trump administration on Thursday to impose Medicaid work requirements, a move likely to trigger a challenge in federal court.

Under the new rules, most adults who qualify for Medicaid coverage will be required to prove they work at least 80 hours a month, or are doing other activities like volunteering or hunting for a job.

Police in northeast India fired tear gas into protesters on Wednesday, as clashes escalated over a controversial citizenship bill passed by parliament.

The legislation, which the Indian president is expected to sign this week, would fast track citizenship for scores of immigrants living in the country — but not Muslims.

The de facto leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, listened quietly in the audience of the United Nation's high court on Tuesday, as lawyers recounted the mass killing, rape and torture of Myanmar's Muslim minority Rohingya.

A bill introduced in the House Tuesday aims to block Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from implementing changes she's seeking in Title IX rules.

In exchange for millions of dollars in bribes, a former top Mexican security official allegedly allowed the Sinaloa cartel to operate with impunity.

That's the accusation in a criminal indictment unsealed Tuesday in Brooklyn. The official, Genaro Garcia Luna, served as the secretary of public security in Mexico from 2006 to 2012. Federal agents arrested Garcia Luna in Dallas on Monday.

A Chilean military plane with 38 people on board has crashed on its way to Antarctica, Chile's air force said Tuesday.

Air force officials say they have not been able to locate the Hercules C-130 transport, but based on the number of hours it has been missing, have determined it likely crashed. A search and rescue mission is ongoing, The Associated Press reports.

Pierce Bush, the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, says he's running for Congress in Texas.

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