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NPR's Michel Martin discusses the challenges confronting the Biden administration on policing with civil rights attorney Arthur Ago and Ramsey County, Minn., prosecutor John Choi.

Millions of Americans either hesitate or don't want to get a COVID-19 vaccine. A recent measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest offers lessons in convincing people to say "yes" to vaccination.

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Gregory Koger, a political science professor at the University of Miami, about the challenge President-elect Biden faces passing legislation in a split Senate.

Next week marks one year since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first coronavirus case in the United States.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the outgoing CDC director, has been heading the federal public health agency's response to the pandemic from the start.

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One year ago this weekend, life as we knew it was about to change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, had been tracking a cluster of what looked like pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan. They'd issued an alert, told health care providers to be on the lookout for symptoms in patients who had been to Wuhan. And then January 17, 2020, the CDC made this announcement.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

One year ago this weekend, life as we knew it was about to change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, had been tracking a cluster of what looked like pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan. They'd issued an alert, told health care providers to be on the lookout for symptoms in patients who had been to Wuhan. And then January 17, 2020, the CDC made this announcement.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Pandemic Fuels Record Overdose Deaths

Jan 14, 2021

After their son died, Jackie and Robert Watson found a stack of popsicle sticks in his Milwaukee apartment. He'd written an affirmation on each one.

"I am a fighter." "Don't sweat the small stuff." "My kids love me."

Brandon Cullins, 31, had been working with a drug counselor, who advised him to write the messages to himself.

Picking up the popsicle sticks, the Watsons were able to see how hard their son wanted to kick his battle with cocaine. But they also wondered why he hadn't asked them for help.

In Los Angeles, COVID-19 cases continue to soar at an astonishing rate. In the first seven days of the year, for instance, roughly seven people died each hour.

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Isolation from the pandemic has led some struggling with addiction to relapse. It has kept others from getting help. And overdose deaths last year are expected to be a record-breaking 81,000. Corrinne Hess with Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

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Isolation from the pandemic has led some struggling with addiction to relapse. It has kept others from getting help. And overdose deaths last year are expected to be a record-breaking 81,000. Corrinne Hess with Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

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Automakers around the world, from Japan to Texas, are grappling with a global shortage of computer chips.

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And I want to bring in another voice - that of NPR's Mara Liasson, who was listening in, along with the rest of us, to that last conversation.

Hey, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi there.

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Switching gears now - making a big life decision can be overwhelming, but there might be a better way to think through a hard decision than just staring at a list of pros and cons. Meghan Keane of NPR's Life Kit explains.

MEGHAN KEANE, BYLINE: 2020 brought a lot of change, and that means people are facing a lot of big decisions this year.

RUTH CHANG: The pandemic has definitely wrought some big changes in our society. I think it's a great opportunity to think about how to think.

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