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Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.

Previously Keith covered congress for NPR with an emphasis on House Republicans, the budget, taxes, and the fiscal fights that dominated at the time.

Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world, from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues, and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake, and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived of and solely reported "The Road Back To Work," a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.

Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member station KQED's California Report, where she covered agriculture, the environment, economic issues, and state politics. She covered the 2004 presidential election for NPR Member station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and opened the state capital bureau for NPR Member station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio to cover then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 2001, Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.

Keith earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Keith is part of the Politics Monday team on the PBS NewsHour, a weekly segment rounding up the latest political news. Keith is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

President Biden is set to announce new COVID-19 vaccination and testing rules for federal employees Thursday afternoon.

The administration is hoping to increase vaccinations as the highly transmissible delta variant takes hold. But beyond urging Americans to get the shot and trying to expand access to the vaccines, the president has limited ability to force action.

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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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What a difference a vaccine makes (that, and CDC guidance saying vaccinated people can safely do just about anything mask-free). At the Biden White House, which remained a COVID-cautious bubble longer than many corners of the country, it's like 2019 all over again, with large and largely mask-free events in the East Room both Thursday and Friday.

Updated May 21, 2021 at 5:05 PM ET

In what appears to be a mostly symbolic step toward finding common ground with Senate Republicans, the Biden administration has lowered its spending proposal on its infrastructure and jobs proposal, from more than $2 trillion to $1.7 trillion.

Now that the United States has made strides in vaccinating Americans against COVID-19, President Biden has said he wants to marshal global resources to stamp out the pandemic in even the world's poorest countries.

It's a goal that will require convincing other wealthy nations to join in the cause. Biden has put an international development veteran at the helm of this diplomatic push: Gayle Smith, an outspoken advocate for reducing global poverty and unnecessary death from disease.

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In the effort to vaccinate as many Americans as possible for COVID-19 - and at this stage in the game, states and the federal government say they need to get creative about this. Here's NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

President Biden on Tuesday is set to announce new steps to reach rural Americans in the push to get as many people as possible vaccinated for the coronavirus, a White House official tells NPR. This emphasis comes as rural hospitals are raising alarms about the pace of vaccination — even among their own employees.

The Biden administration is moving into a new phase of its campaign to vaccinate as many Americans as possible for the coronavirus, one where the government may not always be the best messenger to persuade people to get their shot.

So it's working to bring together hundreds of local and national groups into something it calls the COVID-19 Community Corps, enlisting people to help their friends, family and neighbors make appointments and get access to vaccines.

The Biden administration will send $1.7 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state governments and other research efforts, starting early next month to find and track coronavirus variants lurking in the United States. Already, the more contagious U.K. variant, B.1.1.7, is now the dominant strain in this country, fueling surges in Michigan and the Northeast.

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When President Biden was asked about actions he would take on gun violence prevention and said "it's a matter of timing," and pivoted to talk about infrastructure, it wasn't what Kris Brown had been expecting.

"I am disappointed, I will say, at what I heard from him," said Brown, who is president of Brady United Against Gun Violence.

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Finding the right message — and right messengers — to persuade skeptical conservatives to get the COVID-19 vaccine has become an urgent concern for public health experts pushing to contain the coronavirus.

President Biden said on Tuesday that a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19 could be reached two months faster than earlier projected. By the end of May, there should be enough vaccine doses for every adult in America, he said — a dramatic improvement to his initial timetable for late July.

A turning point in speeding up that pledge came a few weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon in early February, during a phone call with Johnson & Johnson executives that had been planned for 15 minutes but stretched for longer than an hour, two senior administration officials told NPR.

When the school district in Pima, Ariz., got its first round of federal pandemic relief last summer, Superintendent Sean Rickert put it toward the expenses incurred while suddenly shifting classes online at the start of the pandemic.

Now, as some Republicans in Congress question why COVID-19 aid for schools has not yet been spent, Rickert is just learning how much his district will get from a second relief bill approved in December.

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The United States hit a devastating milestone today - 500,000 people now dead from COVID-19. That's according to the tally kept by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Well, while infections have been falling and vaccinations have been ramping up, about 2,000 people are still dying from the virus in this country each day. President Biden led the nation in remembering and mourning those deaths this evening at the White House.

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