Leila Fadel | KUNR

Leila Fadel

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On a recent Friday afternoon, the critical care charge nurse at a South Los Angeles hospital tries to send another nurse off to grab lunch. Maria Arechiga is interrupted by the beeping of an alarm, the vitals of a patient declining, organs failing.

She dons a surgical gown and unzips a plastic tarp that hangs from the doorway of a hospital room — a makeshift isolation room on this floor temporarily transformed into a larger intensive care unit to make space for the patients that just keep coming. She slips inside.

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From her couch in Minneapolis, Nuny Nichols watched a mob of largely white extremists stage an insurrection in Washington, D.C., set up a noose on a wooden beam outside the U.S. Capitol and walk a symbol of violence and slavery — the Confederate flag — through the building as they stormed and raided it.

She was angry, but she was not surprised at the way people in the mob laughed as they took things from the building. There were white extremists who felt at ease giving their names to media outlets and taking selfies with a white police officer.

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In Los Angeles County now, someone dies of COVID-19 every 15 minutes. Here's NPR's Leila Fadel.

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The brief hope for more COVID relief appears to have faded.

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A new, highly contagious coronavirus strain has made its way to the United States.

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Relief aid will be on the way to millions of struggling Americans and a looming government shutdown has been avoided. President Trump signed into law last night the massive coronavirus relief and spending package that Congress passed last week.

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It was almost two years ago that Shahid Shafi, a surgeon in Southlake, Texas, was targeted by members of his own political party for his Muslim faith.

A few Republican precinct chairs lobbied to remove him from his post as vice chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party. But they lost in a vote of 139-49.

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And back to U.S. politics now. The state of Nevada was called for Joe Biden earlier today, but it was a close race there. NPR's Leila Fadel is in Las Vegas, and she is with us now. Leila, welcome. Thanks for joining us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thank you.

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Reymundo Torres is an Arizonan, a devout Roman Catholic, ethnically Mexican and a staunch supporter of the president.

"The thing that initially attracted me and keeps me tied to him is that he has taught Republicans how to not just win, but no longer throw our faces and bodies in front of every punch that the left is willing to throw," Torres said.

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Soon after being discharged from the hospital for treatment for COVID-19, President Trump tweeted the slur "Chinese virus" to refer to the coronavirus, something he's often repeated during the pandemic.

It's the latest example of Trump's alarming language that critics charge is xenophobic, discriminatory and even white supremacist. While Trump denies those labels, he has increasingly returned to the issue of race in the runup to the November election.

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