Colin Dwyer | Connecticut Public Radio
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Colin Dwyer

Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.

Colin began his work with NPR on the Arts Desk, where he reviewed books and produced stories on arts and culture, then went on to write a daily roundup of news in literature and the publishing industry for the Two-Way blog — named Book News, naturally.

Later, as a producer for the Digital News desk, he wrote and edited feature news coverage, curated NPR's home page and managed its social media accounts. During his time on the desk, he co-created NPR's live headline contest "Head to Head," with Camila Domonoske, and won the American Copy Editors Society's annual headline-writing prize in 2015.

These days, as a reporter for the News Desk, he writes for NPR.org, reports for the network's on-air newsmagazines, and regularly hosts NPR's daily Facebook Live segment, "Newstime." He has covered hurricanes, international elections and unfortunate marathon mishaps, among many other stories. He also had some things to say about shoes once on Invisibilia.

Colin graduated from Georgetown University with a master's degree in English literature.

Updated at 1:49 p.m. ET

Please, everyone, do not try what the president just suggested at home.

That is the consensus from doctors, at least one manufacturer and even President Trump's own administration, after he speculated about possible treatments for the coronavirus during his task force briefing Thursday. After introducing research reflecting the disinfectant capabilities of ultraviolet light on surfaces, Trump mused that scientists may try to find a way to place strong disinfectants directly inside the body to treat a patient's infection.

It was already clear that the coronavirus has the capacity to spread at an alarming rate — that, of course, is why states across the country implemented sweeping measures to slow the rate at which it was filling hospitals. But new numbers released Thursday by New York, the state hardest hit by the virus so far, offered a startling glimpse of just how far the virus has spread there so far.

The public debate over the distribution of federal funds to small businesses has settled over some new battlefields this week: the campuses of wealthy universities across the country. On Wednesday, after a back-and-forth that involved President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Harvard University became the latest institution with a large endowment to announce it would turn down money from the recent federal relief package.

What, exactly, is the status of Kim Jong Un?

That's the difficult question behind a flurry of recent international headlines that have raised the possibility that the North Korean leader's health is in jeopardy after he missed a major state event. And the answer — at least the public answer from observers most familiar with the notoriously secretive state — is that there is no news to speak of at the moment.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Urged by President Trump, states across the country are beginning to eye the next phase of their response to the coronavirus: the cautious process of lifting their widespread restrictions, piece by piece, and returning to a semblance of daily life before the pandemic settled in. But how should that happen — and when?

So far, countries on the African continent have largely managed to dodge the brunt of the coronavirus. Even as the global pandemic has besieged medical centers in the U.S. and Western Europe, with a total death toll north of 100,000 in those regions, all of Africa's confirmed cases number in the thousands — most of which remain concentrated in just a handful of North African nations.

But global health authorities fear this won't continue forever.

In the fight to contain the coronavirus, states have issued sweeping directives shuttering businesses and asking residents to stay at home in recent weeks. Now, with the White House claiming the U.S. has passed its peak of coronavirus cases, at least two of those states have told businesses that the opportunity to reopen their doors may be just a couple of weeks away.

Dr. Michael Saag studies diseases for a living. The epidemiologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, specializes in HIV and AIDS research, so he's familiar with the toll a deadly infection can take on the human body.

No amount of study, however, could have adequately prepared him for having the coronavirus himself.

Almost one month ago, Saag and his son, who is also a physician, came down with symptoms of COVID-19 within days of each other. What came next was days of pain, anxiety and repeatedly dashed hope — until, at last, both men recovered fully.

Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET

New York City's public schools will remain closed to in-person classes for the rest of the school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Saturday. However, according to the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, no such decision has been finalized.

People across Turkey were sent sprinting to convenience stores and markets late Friday night, when authorities announced a widespread 48-hour curfew to combat the spread of the coronavirus just hours before it took effect at midnight.

The lockdown, which applies to all residents and businesses except those carrying out essential services, covers 31 of the country's 81 provinces and its major population centers, including Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.

Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET, April 11

Just over a week ago, the worldwide death toll linked to the coronavirus stood at around 50,000 — a staggering sum for a virus that was still largely unknown to the world at the start of the year. Now, that death toll has doubled.

Updated at 3:51 p.m. ET

Boris Johnson is out of intensive care.

The British prime minister's office announced Thursday that medical workers have moved him back to the regular ward at St. Thomas' Hospital in central London, where he continues to receive treatment for persistent symptoms linked with COVID-19.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

In New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S., no ethnic group has been harder hit by the deadly disease it causes than the Latinx community. Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out the preliminary data during a briefing Wednesday, offering one of the first detailed glimpses yet into the breakdown of patients' race and ethnicity.

Just over two months after Kobe Bryant's death shocked the world, his career has received his sport's highest honor: The Los Angeles Laker legend headlined the list of players selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, is scrambling to obtain ventilators wherever it can find them. The state ordered 17,000 of the lifesaving devices from the federal government, but "that order never came through," Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters at a news conference Saturday.

For three minutes on Saturday, people across China stopped what they had been doing. In public spaces in major cities, residents clad in masks, together but physically separate, bowed their heads and paid respects to the thousands of neighbors and fellow Chinese nationals — friends, family, patients and medical workers — who are no longer with them.

As they stood in silence, air raid sirens and vehicle horns wailed their lament.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear cloth or fabric face coverings, which can be made at home, when entering public spaces such as grocery stores and public transit stations. It is mainly to prevent those people who have the virus — and might not know it — from spreading the infection to others.

Jason Hargrove was behind the wheel of a bus in Detroit when he said a passenger began to cough. The middle-aged woman let loose four or five times without covering her mouth, he said, and watching her do this — at the same time Michigan was under a state of emergency for the coronavirus — got him so upset, he felt compelled to vent his frustrations in a video afterward.

Across the world, officials have been desperately adopting sweeping measures in a bid to keep people separated and the coronavirus at bay. But even among the wide range tried so far, one attempted solution in Peru and Panama has proven unusual: Officials in both countries have begun to limit their residents' movement by gender — with men only allowed to leave the home on some days and women on others.

"We have to get fewer people on the streets every day," Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra explained in comments to his Cabinet ministers Thursday.

About six months after several major pharmacies pulled Zantac and its generic equivalents off their shelves, citing a potentially harmful contaminant in the heartburn medication, federal regulators are throwing their weight behind the drug's removal from the market. The Food and Drug Administration requested Wednesday that manufacturers immediately pull all prescription and over-the-counter versions of the drug.

For weeks, when healthy Americans asked whether they should be wearing face masks in public to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, health authorities in the U.S. have answered with a definitive no.

Updated at 4:24 p.m. ET

New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus' spread in the U.S., has reported yet another sizable leap in confirmed cases. With more than 9,200 new cases, the state's grand total is more than 75,000 as of midday Tuesday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning that the rise in the number of New York's confirmed cases is only going to get steeper as testing increases and more time passes.

"We're all in search of the apex and the other side of the mountain," he told a news conference Tuesday.

Last week, when the Internet Archive announced its "National Emergency Library," expanding access to more than a million digitized works, the group explained the move as a goodwill gesture in the time of coronavirus.

Updated at 10:32 p.m. ET

After broaching the possibility of quarantining New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, President Trump backtracked late Saturday, saying a "quarantine will not be necessary."

Earlier in the day, the president said he was "looking at" quarantining New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut because they had developed as "hot spots" of the coronavirus outbreak.

Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, whose inflexible support of conservative policies placed him at the heart of many major congressional battles, has died at the age of 72. His former communications director, John Hart, confirmed that Coburn died Saturday morning "after a long battle with prostate cancer."

Coburn's former colleague, fellow Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, remembered the senator as a "friend and a leader."

Updated at 9:14 p.m. ET

The United States marked another grim milestone in its fight against the coronavirus on Saturday, when the number of deaths from the virus topped 2,000.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 2,010 Americans have now died from the coronavirus. The majority of deaths have been in New York City.

Singapore, one of the first countries in the world to report cases of the coronavirus outside China, has so far managed to keep its numbers in the hundreds even as confirmed cases in the U.S., Italy and elsewhere have exploded into the tens of thousands. For that, the small island country has won international praise — but the victory hasn't come easily for residents, nor is it complete.

Heading into Wednesday evening, Kosovo had already been tangled in tumult.

Update March 30: Since this story was published, we've become aware of authors' allegations that the Internet Archive has obtained their works without their permission. You can read more about their objections here.

Prisoners affiliated with the Taliban will soon be released from Afghan lockups, in a move that's likely to kick off peace talks between Afghanistan and the Islamist insurgent group. On Wednesday, a pair of Taliban spokesmen and a U.S. official confirmed the prisoner release — a key condition in the peace framework between the militants and the U.S. announced about a month ago.

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