Roberta Rampton

Roberta Rampton is NPR's White House editor. She joined the Washington Desk in October 2019 after spending more than six years as a White House correspondent for Reuters. Rampton traveled around America and to more than 20 countries covering President Trump, President Obama and their vice presidents, reporting on a broad range of political, economic and foreign policy topics. Earlier in her career, Rampton covered energy and agriculture policy.

Two weeks ago, President Trump entered the White House briefing room and announced an aggressive plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stay home for 15 days, he told Americans. Avoid groups of more than 10 people. "If everyone makes this change, or these critical changes, and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus," he said.

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

The White House disclosed its first case of the coronavirus on Friday night: a person who works in the office of Vice President Pence.

"Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual," Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller said in a statement. She declined to give further details.

"Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines," Miller said.

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump announced new coronavirus guidelines for at least the next 15 days, including that Americans should avoid groups of more than 10 people.

In a briefing at the White House on Monday, he also urged people to avoid discretionary travel and going out to bars, restaurants and food courts. He recommended that schools close.

The stricter guidelines marked a shift for the president, who has repeatedly stated that the virus is under control.

"Whatever it takes, we're doing," Trump said.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

States hit hardest by the spread of coronavirus will see drive-through and walk-through testing sites set up this week, the White House said on Sunday, a shift that will provide more information about how widely the virus has spread across the country.

The sites each will be able to screen 2,000 to 4,000 people per day, with priority given to health care workers, first responders and people age 65 and older with respiratory symptoms and fevers above 99.6 degrees.

President Trump on Thursday defended new restrictions on travelers from most parts of Europe, a decision that angered allies and trading partners, was questioned by some public health experts and sent stock markets reeling.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

President Trump proposed $4.4 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade in his budget for fiscal year 2021 — a document that is expected to be quickly dismissed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

The proposal included slashing foreign aid by 21%. Budget chief Russell Vought said the White House wants to boost funding for the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation while cutting other types of foreign aid.

Updated at 3:31 p.m. ET Saturday

President Trump, who has expressed anger about officials who testified in his impeachment inquiry, fired two of them on Friday.

Trump recalled European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and ended the White House National Security Council assignment of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

President Trump took full advantage of the large television audience for his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to make his case for reelection in November, touting the strong economy and delighting Republicans in the room with a series of made-for-TV moments.

President Trump ordered an airstrike on Thursday evening that killed the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, a man he said was "plotting imminent and sinister attacks" against Americans in the region.

Soleimani was the leader of the Quds Force, a covert section of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The White House says he was the mastermind behind attacks on Americans during the past two decades — including two recent attacks.

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