Sacha Pfeiffer | WYPR

Sacha Pfeiffer

Sacha Pfeiffer is a correspondent for NPR's Investigations team and an occasional guest host for some of NPR's national shows.

Pfeiffer came to NPR from The Boston Globe's investigative Spotlight team, whose stories on the Catholic Church's cover-up of clergy sex abuse won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, among other honors. That reporting is the subject of the movie Spotlight, which won the 2016 Oscar for Best Picture.

Pfeiffer was also a senior reporter and host of All Things Considered and Radio Boston at WBUR in Boston, where she won a national 2012 Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast reporting. While at WBUR, she was also a guest host for NPR's nationally syndicated On Point and Here & Now.

At The Boston Globe, where she worked for nearly 18 years, Pfeiffer also covered the court system, legal industry and nonprofit/philanthropic sector; produced investigative series on topics such as financial abuses by private foundations, shoddy home construction and sexual misconduct in the modeling industry; helped create a multi-episode podcast, Gladiator, about the life and death of NFL player Aaron Hernandez; and wrote for the food section, travel pages and Boston Globe Magazine. She shared the George Polk Award for National Reporting, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, among other honors.

At WBUR, where she worked for about seven years, Pfeiffer also anchored election coverage, debates, political panels and other special events. She came to radio as a senior reporter covering health, science, medicine and the environment, and her on-air work received numerous awards from the Radio & Television News Directors Association and the Associated Press.

From 2004-2005, Pfeiffer was a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, where she studied at Stanford Law School. She is a co-author of the book Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church and has taught journalism at Boston University's College of Communication.

She has a bachelor's degree in English and history, magna cum laude, and a master's degree in education, both from Boston University, as well as an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Cooper Union.

Pfeiffer got her start in journalism as a reporter at The Dedham Times in Massachusetts. She is also a volunteer English language tutor for adult immigrants.

With coronavirus cases surging in the U.S., many people are concluding they'll have to learn to live with the virus until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available — and that's led to a huge increase in orders for plexiglass and other types of clear plastic barriers meant to keep us safe.

"Demand is ridiculously high," said Jackie Yong, a 17-year employee of J. Freeman, Inc., a plastics distributor and sign supplier in Boston whose products include plexiglass and other plastic sheets. "Everything's just been flying out the door."

Twice now, on March 13 and again on April 27, President Trump gathered some of the country's top corporate executives — from test producers to lab processors to major retailers — to tout his plan to make COVID-19 testing widely available. His vision: Blanket the country in drive-through testing sites.

Widespread testing for the coronavirus is key to safely reopening the country, but the U.S. has struggled for months to get to the level of testing many experts say we need — even as states and cities begin to loosen restrictions.

The coronavirus has not spared the U.S. military court and prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where legal proceedings have come to a virtual standstill due to the pandemic. That has critics of Guantánamo, which has cost taxpayers more than $6 billion despite finalizing only one conviction in nearly two decades, saying this is a chance to shut it down for good.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Trump administration says it will now spend billions of dollars to help states make COVID-19 testing more widely available, a move meant to address months-long complaints about test shortages.

But here's the puzzle: Many labs say they have plenty of tests. So what's the disconnect?

Turns out a "test" is not a single device. COVID-19 testing involves several steps, each one requiring different supplies, and there are shortages of different supplies at different times in different places.

Banks handling the government's $349 billion loan program for small businesses made more than $10 billion in fees — even as tens of thousands of small businesses were shut out of the program, according to an analysis of financial records by NPR.

The banks took in the fees while processing loans that required less vetting than regular bank loans and had little risk for the banks, the records show. Taxpayers provided the money for the loans, which were guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

One month ago today, President Trump declared a national emergency.

In a Rose Garden address, flanked by leaders from giant retailers and medical testing companies, he promised a mobilization of public and private resources to attack the coronavirus.

"We've been working very hard on this. We've made tremendous progress," Trump said. "When you compare what we've done to other areas of the world, it's pretty incredible."

But few of the promises made that day have come to pass.

Tens of thousands of women across the country trying to have a baby through fertility treatments are in limbo because of COVID-19: They've had to postpone their appointments indefinitely due to coronavirus recommendations recently issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. But now some fertility specialists and their patients are pushing back.

Among the people whose lives are being turned upside down by the coronavirus are many pregnant women.

As they prepare for one of the most intense and emotional experiences of their lives, they face the possibility of delivering babies in hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients — and plans they've made for where to give birth and who will be there with them are often now in question.

As COVID-19 spreads rapidly through the United States, many American doctors could soon be making the decisions that overwhelmed health care workers in Italy are already facing: Which patients get lifesaving treatment, and which ones do not?

One of the architects of the CIA's torture program for the accused Sept. 11 terrorists testified Wednesday in a Guantánamo Bay courtroom that he eventually came to believe that those torture techniques had gone too far and verged on breaking the law.

Editor's note: This story includes graphic descriptions of torture techniques.

The new movie The Report — which comes out Friday and tells the true story of a U.S. Senate staffer who doggedly investigated the CIA's use of torture after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — is a look back on a controversial part of our country's past. But the CIA's torture program continues to have huge implications at the U.S. military court and prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where 40 accused terrorists are still being held.

The U.S. military court and prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have cost more than $6 billion to operate since opening nearly 18 years ago and still churn through more than $380 million a year despite housing only 40 prisoners today.

Updated at 5:5o p.m. ET

For the first time, a U.S. military court judge in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has set a trial date for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four men charged with plotting the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Judge W. Shane Cohen, an Air Force colonel who took over the case in June, said the trial should begin on Jan. 11, 2021, though a number of other deadlines would need to be met for the long-delayed trial to begin.

After the Wedding is a movie full of transformative secrets.

It's a gender-swapped remake of a 2006 Danish film, and when we first meet the main character — Isabel, played by Michelle Williams — she's living a modest, humble life running an orphanage in India. Then one day she's asked to go to New York City to clinch a deal for a life-changing donation to the orphanage. The money would come from a media mogul, Theresa, played by Julianne Moore.

Stories of first-generation Americans tend to stress the same struggles. How do you fit in with your peers when your parents aren't assimilating? How do you balance your instinct to rebel against your parents with your awareness of what they sacrificed to get here?

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the Earth."

So begins the story of the flood in Genesis — God's decision to restart creation by sparing two of every animal, and just one family from the deluge.

The ark carries the family of Noah and his sons, plus a pair of every living creature. It also carries Noah's wife, who is not named in the Bible, but who goes on to become the matriarch of all future generations.