Bill Chappell | WYPR

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.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, he announced Friday. In a video announcement, Johnson said he has "mild symptoms" of COVID-19, including a fever and "a persistent cough."

Johnson is the first world leader found to be infected with the coronavirus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under self-quarantine after her doctor tested positive for the virus. She has undergone two tests that yielded negative results; a third test is scheduled for early next week.

"We are at war with a virus that threatens to tear us apart," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told world leaders Thursday, in a special virtual summit on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadly coronavirus, Tedros said, "is the defining health crisis of our time."

The Navajo Nation reported its first two coronavirus cases on March 17. Just over a week later, there are now 69 cases. The reservation is under stay-at-home orders — but thousands of people must regularly leave their houses for necessities such as water.

The Sheetz convenience store chain is giving hourly pay raises of $3 to roughly 17,000 workers in its stores, the company announced Wednesday in response to the coronavirus crisis. It's one of the most aggressive moves yet by companies that are boosting pay to retain, attract and motivate employees.

The widescale raise is retroactive to March 13 and will be in effect through April 23.

Spain is now reporting more than 3,400 COVID-19 deaths, making it the second European country with a death toll higher than in China, where the new coronavirus was first detected in late 2019.

Italy is reporting 7,503 deaths from the viral respiratory disease — the most in the world, and more than double the 3,285 deaths reported in China.

Prince Charles has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and is now in isolation, according to a statement issued by Clarence House, the prince's royal residence in London. The prince and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 72, are currently living at Balmoral Castle, the royal family's estate in Scotland.

"The statement said the 71-year-old prince of Wales is displaying mild symptoms but 'remains in good health,' " NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from London. He adds that Camilla, 72, has tested negative for the virus.

The rate of new coronavirus cases in New York is "doubling about every three days" and is speeding up even more, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. "That is a dramatic increase in the rate of infection."

The new estimates are "troubling and astronomical numbers," the governor said. He added that the apex of the curve of rising coronavirus cases in New York is still 14 to 21 days away, according to the latest projections. The governor also said New York is in urgent need of ventilators and other vital resources.

China's Hubei province is preparing to emerge from a two-month lockdown that was prompted by tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases. In recent days, the province and its capital city, Wuhan, have reported a dwindling number of new coronavirus cases.

Updated at 6:13 p.m. ET

The Tokyo Summer Olympics will not begin in late July and instead will be held "by the summer of 2021," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday. The delay comes after an increasing number of athletes and sporting federations called for the games to be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the first time an Olympics has been postponed, though the games were canceled three times, because of World War I and World War II.

With the coronavirus outbreak blowing past the 300,000-case mark, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says world leaders and health officials won't be able to defeat COVID-19 if they rely only on defensive measures such as social distancing and requiring people to stay at home.

The coronavirus has now spread to nearly every country on the planet, the head of the World Health Organization said.

New York state has confirmed 20,875 cases of the coronavirus — a jump of 5,700 cases that Gov. Andrew Cuomo says is because of his state's aggressive approach to testing. New York can now conduct more than 16,000 tests a day, the governor said.

As he announced those sobering numbers, Cuomo reiterated that New York, the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, needs to sharply increase hospitals' capacity to treat patients. The governor escalated that call Monday, saying his office is issuing an emergency order to require all hospitals in the state to increase their capacity.

"I want America to understand this week it's going to get bad," U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Monday morning, speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to stop the coronavirus from infecting more people in the U.S.

Adams also urged people to stay home to prevent the respiratory virus from spreading — and he said too many people in New York and other states are ignoring guidance to observe social distancing and avoid close contacts with others.

The Federal Reserve says it will buy bonds and mortgage-backed securities "in the amounts needed" to keep markets working smoothly, unveiling a plan that also includes measures to make sure credit is available to businesses and consumers.

The head of USA Swimming is calling for the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics to be postponed until next year, citing disruptions the COVID-19 global pandemic has forced onto athletes' lives as well as their training and competition schedules.

Updated at 5:48 p.m. ET

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday afternoon issued an order for all Illinois residents to stay at home, as the deadly coronavirus has spread to a quarter of the state's counties and infected more than 500 people.

The stricter limits go into effect on Saturday.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 needed more than three months to infect 100,000 people worldwide, most of them in China. But the number of cases has surged since hitting that milestone earlier this month, with health agencies reporting another 100,000 people becoming infected in just 12 days, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Updated at 8:53 p.m. ET

West Virginia is no longer coronavirus-free.

It was the final state without any reports of infection by the highly contagious coronavirus, but on Tuesday evening Gov. Jim Justice announced officials have confirmed the state's first case.

"We knew it was coming," Justice said at a news conference.

"We've prepared for this and we shouldn't panic. We should be cautious. We should be concerned, but we shouldn't panic. We ought to be West Virginia mountaineer strong always," he added.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The United States has now begun its first week of widespread school closures and restrictions on restaurants, bars and other businesses, with the COVID-19 pandemic remaking daily life for millions of Americans. And the White House added new recommendations Monday, calling for millions of people to work from home and to home-school their children if that's possible.

"The EU disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation," the heads of the European Union said Thursday, expressing their displeasure with President Trump's plan to block visitors from 26 European countries from entering the United States.

"The Coronavirus is a global crisis and requires cooperation," the EU leaders said.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 viral disease that has swept into at least 114 countries and killed more than 4,000 people is now officially a pandemic, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday.

"This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva.

It's the first time the WHO has called an outbreak a pandemic since the H1N1 "swine flu" in 2009.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

The coronavirus outbreak has now infected more than 1,000 people in nearly 40 U.S. states — and the country's top authority on infectious diseases says things will only get worse.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warns that the number of cases of the COVID-19 viral disease will continue to grow because containment measures and contact tracing have failed to prevent community spread of the virus.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

New York is creating a "containment area" around a community in New Rochelle, in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus in an area that quickly became the state's largest source of COVID-19 infections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

"It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country," Cuomo said. "And this is literally a matter of life and death."

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

California's Sacramento County is calling off automatic 14-day quarantines that have been implemented for the coronavirus, saying it will focus instead on mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

The change is an acknowledgement that the county cannot effectively manage the quarantines while its health system copes with coronavirus cases. It also reflects problems with the U.S. government's coronavirus testing program — issues that slowed efforts to identify people with the deadly virus and to contain COVID-19.

Israel is taking the extraordinary step of requiring a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday. Israel has reported nearly 40 cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

In a brief video announcing the new policy, Netanyahu said the decision was a difficult one to make. He added that the policy will force people flying into Israel to enter a two-week home quarantine period and that it will be in effect for two weeks.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

After several days of circling off the coast of California, the Grand Princess cruise ship has docked at a port in Oakland.

The ship has 3,533 people on board — including at least 21 who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, out of 46 people who were in the first round of testing.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Twenty-one people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California have tested positive for the coronavirus disease COVID-19, Vice President Pence announced Friday.

The Grand Princess had been returning to San Francisco after a cruise to Hawaii and has been kept away from port while a small portion of the roughly 3,500 people on board are tested for the coronavirus.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

The Grand Princess cruise ship is in limbo off the California coast after a former passenger became the state's first known person to die from COVID-19. Health workers say they will now test some current passengers to determine whether they have the respiratory virus.

"We are going to be flying testing kits to the cruise ship, and we are going to be sending those quickly back to the state," Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference late Wednesday. "We'll be able to test very quickly within just a few hours."

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 11 people, after officials reported fatalities in California and Washington state on Wednesday. The most recent death is connected to a cruise ship that traveled from the U.S. to Mexico.

Officials in Placer County, Calif., announced that an elderly resident has become the first person to die from the illness in California. The patient, who was not identified, had underlying health conditions, according to the county.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is now in at least 75 countries, the World Health Organization said in a Wednesday update on the respiratory disease that has killed more than 3,200 people globally. Italy is being hit particularly hard, with more than 2,000 cases.

Despite the increase in cases, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says, "We can push this virus back."

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