Maria Godoy

Maria Godoy is a senior science and health editor and correspondent with NPR News. Her reporting can be heard across NPR's news shows and podcasts. She is also one of the hosts of NPR's Life Kit.

Previously, Godoy hosted NPR's food vertical, The Salt, where she covered the food beat with a wide lens — investigating everything from the health effects of caffeine to the environmental and cultural impact of what we eat.

Under Godoy's leadership, The Salt was recognized as Publication of the Year in 2018 by the James Beard Foundation. With her colleagues on the food team, Godoy won the 2012 James Beard Award for best food blog. The Salt was also awarded first place in the blog category from the Association of Food Journalists in 2013, and it won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Blog from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation in 2013.

Previously, Godoy oversaw political, national, and business coverage for NPR.org. Her work as part of NPR's reporting teams has been recognized with several awards, including two prestigious Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Silver Batons: one for coverage of the role of race in the 2008 presidential election, and another for a series about the sexual abuse of Native American women. The latter series was also awarded the Columbia Journalism School's Dart Award for excellence in reporting on trauma, and a Gracie Award.

In 2010, Godoy and her colleagues were awarded a Gracie Award for their work on a series exploring the science of spirituality. She was also part of a team that won the 2007 Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for Excellence in Reporting on Drug and Alcohol Issues.

Godoy was a 2008 Ethics fellow at the Poynter Institute. She joined NPR in 2003 as a digital news editor.

Born in Guatemala, Godoy now lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC, with her husband and two kids. She's a sucker for puns (and has won a couple of awards for her punning headlines).

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Wearing a mask protects the wearer, and not just other people, from the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized in an updated scientific brief issued Tuesday. And the protective benefits of masks are stronger the more people wear masks consistently and correctly, the agency says.

Back in July, President Trump's administration began the formal process of withdrawing the U.S. – and its critical funding – from the World Health Organization. Trump had accused the U.N. agency of conspiring with China to downplay the infectiousness of the novel coronavirus early on. The withdrawal was to be complete in July 2021.

As a candidate, Biden vowed to reverse the decision on his first day in office. Global health experts are counting on President-elect Joe Biden to restore and reimagine the U.S. relationship with the world's leading public health agency.

Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic, often too small for the eye to see. They're created as plastic degrades.

And they're everywhere.

They're in oceans, thanks to plastic garbage. They're in fish. They find their way into the water we drink in various ways, from surface runoff and wastewater effluent to particles deposited from the atmosphere.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

How long do you need to be exposed to someone with COVID-19 before you are at risk for being infected?

In a bid to protect the candidates from the coronavirus, the stage for Wednesday night's vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City will feature plexiglass barriers between Vice President Pence and Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California. Concerns about viral spread are heightened in light of the outbreak in the White House.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says the coronavirus can be spread through airborne particles that can linger in the air "for minutes or even hours" — even among people who are more than 6 feet apart.

By now, it's become clear that the coronavirus pandemic is not gender neutral. While men are more likely to die from the virus itself, "in terms of the economic and social fallout, it's really women that are particularly affected," says Silke Staab, a research specialist with U.N. Women.

President Trump will be staying in the presidential suite at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the next few days, according to the White House.

The president's doctor released a written statement saying Trump is "is doing well," after testing positive for the coronavirus, adding that the president is "not requiring any supplemental oxygen."

It's a grim roster of alerts. A woman, age 19, last spotted in July wearing sky blue jeans, a black sweater and black sneakers. A 16-year-girl missing since she left her home one morning in July. A 14-year-girl last seen heading to the supermarket at the end of June; she was wearing blue shoes.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant worth $7.5 million over five years to EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based nonprofit that hunts emerging viruses. The award comes months after NIH revoked an earlier grant to EcoHealth, a move scientists widely decried as the politically motivated quashing of research vital to preventing the next coronavirus pandemic.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, mortality rates and life expectancy are far better for white Americans than they are for Black people during normal, non-pandemic years, according to an analysis published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a historic public health achievement, the 47 nations of the World Health Organization's Africa region were certified to be free of wild poliovirus on Tuesday.

The declaration comes four years after the continent reported its last case of wild poliovirus, in Nigeria, and 24 years after it launched an ambitious eradication campaign.

But the region's fight against polio isn't over — vaccine-derived polio still poses a threat.

How many children in the world have been exposed to dangerous levels of lead?

That's a pressing question that has had no definitive answer until now. About 1 in 3 children have been exposed to lead at levels shown to damage their health and cognitive development, according to a groundbreaking report that is the first to document the problem globally.

So you want to wear a face mask? Good call.

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that wearing face masks in public, even when you feel well, can help curb the spread of the coronavirus — since people can spread the virus even without showing symptoms. That's the main reason to wear a mask: to protect other people from you.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

New federal data reinforces the stark racial disparities that have appeared with COVID-19: According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Black Americans enrolled in Medicare were hospitalized with the disease at rates nearly four times higher than their white counterparts.

Mask wearing has become a topic of fierce debate in the United States.

Protesting during a pandemic likely leaves participants with at least two questions: Did I get infected? And might I be putting others at risk?

Given that COVID-19 has an incubation time of up to two weeks, experts say it will take a couple of weeks before the impact of the protests on community transmission is known. But in the meantime, there are critical steps you can take to minimize the risks to yourself and those you live with.

Note: This page is not being updated. Find a more up-to-date version of this data here.

In April, New Orleans health officials realized their drive-through testing strategy for the coronavirus wasn't working. The reason? Census tract data revealed hot spots for the virus were located in predominantly low-income African-American neighborhoods where many residents lacked cars.

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