Austin Fast

Austin Fast is the inaugural Roy W. Howard Fellow on NPR's investigations team.

Before coming to NPR, Fast reported for KJZZ in Phoenix and covered the world's largest wild salmon fishery at KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska. He's also written breaking news at a Cincinnati TV station and taught English overseas with the Peace Corps.

Fast holds a master's degree in investigative journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and bachelor's degrees in journalism and international studies from Miami University (Ohio).

Rural communities outside America's cities are falling further behind in the race to vaccinate against COVID-19 as President Joe Biden's Fourth of July goal to reach 70% of American adults looms over the horizon.

Georgia Washington, 79, can't drive. Whenever she needs to go somewhere, she asks her daughter or her friends to pick her up.

She has lived in the northern part of Baton Rouge, a predominantly Black area of Louisiana's capital, since 1973. There aren't many resources there, including medical facilities. So when Washington fell ill with COVID-19 last March, she had to get a ride 20 minutes south to get medical attention.