Franco Ordoñez

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

Ordoñez has received several state and national awards for his work, including the Casey Medal, the Gerald Loeb Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists, and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Georgia.

President Trump is racing from tarmac to tarmac in the final weeks of the campaign, holding large rallies to blast out an array of closing arguments — buckshot style — for a second term in office.

So far, most of the stops have been in swing states — Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada. But he has also held rallies in Iowa and Georgia, states he won easily in 2016 — signs the electoral map has shifted on him.

President Trump tried out a new message for seniors on the campaign trail on Friday — an important bloc of voters who have given him poor marks for how he has handled the coronavirus.

Trump, who has consistently downplayed the threat and the impact of the pandemic, delivered his most empathetic speech to date in prepared remarks in Florida, a swing state critical to his frenzied homestretch push for a second term in office.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Vice President Pence tested negative for the virus on Tuesday and remains symptom-free, his physician Dr. Jess Schonau said in a memo. Even so, his team says it is taking extra precautions as he picks up campaign trips for President Trump, who has returned to the White House.

Pence "has remained healthy, without any COVID-19 symptoms, and has continued to have daily COVID-19 antigen tests and intermittent PCR tests which have all resulted as negatives," Schonau wrote.

The White House is struggling on Monday to show that it has a burgeoning public health and political crisis under control as President Trump enters his third day of aggressive and experimental treatment for the coronavirus.

Vice President Pence — who has tested negative for the coronavirus — has been working from home rather than going into the White House complex since President Trump was diagnosed with the virus late on Thursday, a senior administration official told NPR.

Vice President Pence has tested negative for the coronavirus, a spokesman says, after President Trump announced his own positive test.

Devin O'Malley, the vice president's spokesman, told NPR that Pence is tested every day.

Miguel Arango had just turned 18 when he voted for Barack Obama in 2012.

Four years later, he was a passionate supporter of Bernie Sanders, but opted for a third-party candidate in the 2016 general election.

"I was not going to vote for Trump either," he said. "I thought all these things about him — that he was this, he was that. And slowly it started transitioning."

When Vice President Mike Pence speaks to the Republican National Convention from Baltimore's Fort McHenry on Wednesday, he will aim to leverage his conservative bona fides to make the case that President Trump is a stronger choice for the economy and law and order than his Democratic opponent.

It's the kind of message this loyal wing man has hammered home time and again with evangelical Christians, social conservatives and mainstream Republicans who have become part of the voting base for Trump, a former reality star and real estate developer.

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Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

President Trump stoked an untrue conspiracy theory being promoted by supporters — and his campaign — that Sen. Kamala Harris of California is not eligible for the vice presidency.

The Democrat was born in California and therefore qualifies for the job.

The Trump administration's decision to entrust $765 million of taxpayer money to Eastman Kodak raised several questions about the financial vetting of the struggling camera company even before the deal was put on hold amid an investigation into potential insider trading.

President Trump tapped into the emotions and nostalgia of a bygone era, charging that Kodak would lead U.S. efforts to bring pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States.

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And let's pick up on the question of quite how the White House and the sitting president are going to react to today's big news of the pick of Kamala Harris. I want to bring in NPR White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

The renewed surge in coronavirus cases has left some states once again scrambling to find supplies of masks, gowns, gloves and other medical supplies. The shortages have drawn attention to President Trump's plan to help rebuild the national stockpile of these supplies — a plan that involves a little-known foreign investment agency.

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Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump once again questioned the expertise of his top public health officials Monday morning, retweeting a conspiracy theory from former game show host Chuck Woolery, who suggested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the "Media, Democrats [and] our Doctors" are lying about COVID-19 in an effort to hurt Trump in November's general election.

President Trump on Friday said he plans to unveil sometime in the next month an immigration measure that he said would include some protections for DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that provides for work permits and other protections for people brought to the U.S. as children by undocumented parents.

Trump had tried to cancel the Obama-era program, but the Supreme Court last month said it could stay in place.

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President Trump and his Chinese counterpart spoke about Trump's reelection prospects "frequently," former national security adviser John Bolton told NPR.

According to Bolton, Chinese President Xi Jinping lamented that Trump couldn't run for a potential third term, to which Trump "said yes," Bolton recounted.

Updated 5:45 p.m. ET

President Trump on Monday extended a freeze on green cards for new immigrants and signed an executive order to suspend new H-1B, L-1, J and other temporary work visas for skilled workers, managers and au pairs through the end of the year.

The goal of the move is to protect 525,000 jobs as part of the White House response to job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, said a senior administration official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity. NPR first reported the impending order on Saturday.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Tuesday that she is encouraged by the latest data showing declines in new cases of the virus, hospitalizations and deaths across all but a few areas of the United States.

The White House coronavirus task force rejected detailed guidance drafted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how workplaces ranging from schools to bars to churches should resume operations to prevent the spread of the virus because it was viewed as "overly prescriptive."

President Trump said the existing coronavirus social distancing guidelines that are set to expire with the end of April on Thursday will not be extended further, as more governors begin steps to lift restrictions and reopen their economies.

The administration said the existing social distancing recommendations are being incorporated by governors into their new future plans.

"They'll be fading out, because now the governors are doing it," Trump said.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at addressing concerns about meat shortages.

The order invokes the Defense Production Act to ensure beef, pork, poultry and egg plants keep running.

Vice President Pence says comments he made last month about coronavirus testing were misunderstood by the public.

At issue: test distribution versus test completion.

Pence joined President Trump on Monday to announce a federal "blueprint" to help states ramp up their testing of the virus. Testing is seen as crucial for states to begin to lift social and economic restrictions.

Vice President Pence is slated to leave the confines of Washington twice this week — the latest in a series of trips the White House is using as test runs for President Trump to get back on the road after the coronavirus brought political travel to a screeching halt.

Two leading former federal health officials who served in recent Republican and Democratic administrations are spearheading a call for a $46 billion public health investment in a future coronavirus aid package in order to safely reopen the economy.

New White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is working with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to see how to reduce wage rates for foreign guest workers on American farms, in order to help U.S. farmers struggling during the coronavirus, according to U.S. officials and sources familiar with the plans.

Opponents of the plan argue it will hurt vulnerable workers and depress domestic wages.

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, criticized governors Thursday, saying they don't have a handle on their own supplies of masks and ventilators needed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

In a rare appearance in the White House briefing room, Kushner urged governors and some senators to be more resourceful in their own states instead of looking first to the federal government for help.

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Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, made a rare appearance during yesterday's coronavirus briefing. He criticized governors for not having a handle on their supplies of masks and ventilators.

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