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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball star whose battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis inspired the viral Ice Bucket Challenge and raised millions for ALS research, died Monday at age 34.

"Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency," his family wrote in a statement, released by Boston College.

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

Why the Trump administration delayed nearly $400 millions of dollars in security aid to Ukraine is the question at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Democrats say the president tried to coerce an ally to help him take down a political opponent. Republicans argue it's a routine use of presidential power.

Interviews with current and former officials show how the Trump administration's hold-up of aid to Ukraine was irregular and likely violated U.S. law, and has far-reaching consequences at home and overseas.

After months of protests, pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong appeared on course to make major gains in local elections on Sunday in what many activists are calling a rebuke of Beijing.

Results for Hong Kong's district council elections trickled in well into Monday morning local time as residents gathered in the streets to pop champagne and celebrate winning candidates.

The annual Harvard-Yale football game was delayed for almost an hour on Saturday as climate change activists rushed the field at the end of halftime.

Unfurling banners with slogans like "Nobody wins. Yale and Harvard are complicit in climate injustice," protesters from both schools called on the universities to divest their multi-million dollar endowments from fossil fuels companies, as well as companies that hold Puerto Rican debt.

In the industrial city of Dongguan, China, the effects of the trade war on the Chinese economy are measured in idled machinery and empty bar stools.

"One year ago, you probably couldn't even get through the crowd because it would be so busy. But right now, even the smallest vendors can't survive," says Song Guanghui, the owner of Crowdbar, a tricked-out food stall in an open-air market in Dongguan.

Seventy years ago, Mao Zedong appeared on a balcony overlooking Tiananmen Square and conjured a new country into being. On Tuesday, Xi Jinping, arguably the strongest leader since Mao, appeared on that same balcony to reaffirm his vision of modern China.

That vision includes what Xi has repeatedly referred to as the "Chinese Dream," one pillar of which is the idea that all Chinese should have access to the shared prosperity of the nation.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now for a story about soda and state borders. It begins with a Mountain Dew marketing campaign...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Welcome to the land of those who do.

As a kid, Enrique Olvera spent hours in his grandmother's bakery in Mexico City. He loved watching everyday ingredients like flour, sugar and eggs fuse into something entirely different.

For Olvera, even the simple act of baking a cake felt like magic.

He absorbed every detail as his grandmother gently coaxed masa into handmade tortillas. On Sundays, he joined his father in the kitchen, chopping onions and tomatoes for breakfasts of scrambled eggs and dry beef.

More than a decade ago, Anaïs Mitchell was running late for one of her shows. The singer-songwriter, in her 20s at the time, was trying to get from one gig to another and found herself lost. Along the drive, a song lyric popped into her head. "The lines that came were, 'Wait for me I'm coming. In my garters and pearls with what melody did you barter me from the wicked underworld,'" she remembers.

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