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Dave Davies

Dave Davies is a guest host for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

In addition to his role at Fresh Air, Davies is a senior reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia. Prior to WHYY, he spent 19 years as a reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, covering government and politics.

Before joining the Daily News in 1990, Davies was city hall bureau chief for KYW News Radio, Philadelphia's commercial all-news station. From 1982 to 1986, Davies was a reporter for WHYY covering local issues and filing reports for NPR. He also edited a community newspaper in Philadelphia and has worked as a teacher, a cab driver and a welder.

Davies is a graduate of the University of Texas.

Editor's note: This interview contains graphic details that some readers may find upsetting.

Of the roughly 100,000 Americans included in the official COVID-19 death count, 20,000 died in New York City in a period of two months. Time magazine reporter W.J. Hennigan recently spent several weeks looking into the practical challenge of how a city deals with so many bodies suffused with a deadly pathogen.

In 2013, Edward Snowden, a contractor with the National Security Agency, rocked the world when he leaked thousands of classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross.

When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was first elected to Congress, there wasn't a women's bathroom near the House floor, and it would be several years before women were allowed to wear pants in the chamber. Things have changed since then. Pelosi has now led the Democratic Party's House caucus for 18 years, and our guest at Time, national political correspondent Molly Ball, says she's used her negotiating talents to outmaneuver President Trump repeatedly in policy battles.

As millions of people remain socially isolated and anxious about COVID-19, several U.S. governors are at least making plans to relax controls in their states and revive economic activity — against the advice of many public health professionals.

President Trump's daily briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic have introduced millions of Americans to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

COVID-19 attacks indiscriminately: Young or old, rich or poor, it seems like everyone is vulnerable to the virus. But New York Times economics writer Nelson Schwartz says increasing economic inequality in the U.S. means that, as a group, the country's wealthiest one percent are likely to fare better during the pandemic than everyone else.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies filling in today for Terry Gross. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, Americans and citizens of many countries are getting a new look at their national leaders, evaluating their performance in a moment of crisis. Our guest today, author Erik Larson, has a new book about one of the most renowned leaders of the 20th century, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and his leadership during some of the darkest hours of World War II.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Over the past week the ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has provoked an oil price war with Russia, sending energy and stock markets into a tailspin, and ordered the detention of four senior members of the country's royal family. Our guest, New York Times reporter Ben Hubbard, says no one should be surprised by erratic behavior from the crown prince, who is probably best known for his association with the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi carried out by his agents in Turkey.

In 2014, wilderness explorer Roman Dial experienced every parent's nightmare when he learned that his son, then 27, was missing in a remote Central American rainforest, thousands of miles away.

Dial, a professor of mathematics and biology at Alaska Pacific University, is known for his skills in mountaineering, rafting and backcountry endurance racing. He shared those passions with his son, Cody Roman, who went by the name Roman. Over the years, father and son embarked on exotic adventures together, once packrafting in Australia, another time venturing into Arctic Alaska.

Four and a half million Americans are on probation or parole — more than twice the nation's jail population. Parolees and probationers are required to check in regularly with officials, who are charged with helping them rebuild their lives.

But being a parole officer is tough work. "The pay is poor. The benefits are expensive. The hours are long," says former New Orleans parole officer Jason Hardy.

Hardy initially entered the field because, he says, it "seemed to be something that you could get involved with and really make a big difference in a short period of time."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. It's President's Day, and today, we take a look at the Trump presidency through the eyes of two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters from The Washington Post, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. I spoke with them in January when their new book was published, but our interview was preempted on most stations by special coverage of the impeachment trial in the Senate. Today, we'll air that interview along with an update on events since it was recorded.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. At Democratic presidential debates this year, candidates have clashed over health care and specifically over the idea of "Medicare for All."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Our ears are complicated, delicate instruments that largely evolved in far quieter times than the age we currently inhabit — an early world without rock concerts, loud restaurants, power tools and earbuds.

Writer David Owen describes our current age as a "deafening" one, and in his new book, Volume Control, he explains how the loud noises we live with are harming our ears.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.

More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, and a growing number of those deaths are attributed to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Journalist Ben Westhoff says the drug, while an important painkiller and anesthesia medicine in hospitals, is now killing more Americans annually as a street drug than any other in U.S. history.

Nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties across America are currently participating in a massive multidistrict civil lawsuit against the opioid industry for damages related to the abuse of prescription pain medication. The defendants in the suit include drug manufacturers like Mallinckrodt, wholesale distributors McKesson and Cardinal Health, and pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens.

Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth has explored unmapped, underwater caves deep in the earth, as well as the submerged crevices of an iceberg. She has seen hidden creatures and life forms that have never been exposed to the light of day.

"Since I was the smallest child, I always wanted to be an explorer — to have an opportunity to go someplace where nobody has ever been before," she says. "As an artist with my camera, it's an incredible opportunity to document these places and bring back images to share with others."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.

You might know our guest Keith Hernandez as a big-league ballplayer or as a memorable guest on two episodes of "Seinfeld." And if you're a New York Mets fan, you'll know him as a color analyst for the team's TV broadcasts. In 17 seasons in the big leagues, Hernandez was known for hitting wicked blind drives and for dazzling defensive plays at first base. He won Gold Glove Awards, a batting title, a Most Valuable Player Award and two World Series rings.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Although President Trump was forced by the courts a year ago to end his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, recent reports from the border have described hundreds of children, teens and toddlers being held in squalid conditions at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. In the days following the 1986 explosion in the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, a military officer working to manage the response from an abandoned hotel nearby noticed a mysterious black carpet in the empty dining hall. When he got closer, he realized it was not a carpet; it was thousands of flies, alive but immobilized by the radiation in the air. That's one of the details you'll find in the book "Midnight In Chernobyl" by our guest, journalist Adam Higginbotham.

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