Texas Standard For July 2, 2021

There’s outings and get-togethers planned. The weekend mood for many is celebratory. But doctors worry about COVID-19 variants – we’ll have details. And: COVID-19 may have been the biggest workplace hazard to our health in 2020, but there are other things affecting workers then and now – we’ll tell you more. Also: We’ll talk about the when, the who, the what … every question you may have about why Republican governors outside of Texas are sending their own law enforcement officers to the Texas-Mexico border. Plus: Trees are much more than a marker for a healthy environment; they can also signal class and even race if you look at which neighborhoods can have trees and which ones cannot. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJuly 2, 2021 9:19 am

Here’s what’s on Texas Standard for Friday, July 2, 2021.

Delta Variant Concerns Among Vaccinated And Unvaccinated Texans

Just 41% of Texas residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state health department numbers. Many of the counties with the lowest vaccination rates are in rural parts of the state. As a particularly aggressive strain of the disease known as the delta variant circulates across the country, particularly in unvaccinated communities, could we start seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas? Today we speak with Dr. James McDeavitt, executive vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

GOP Governors Sending Law Enforcement To the Border

Former President Donald Trump’s visit to South Texas on Wednesday was meant to highlight the need for increased border security – a message that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has hammered lately. Abbott has also asked other Republican governors to send National Guard and law enforcement units to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border – and several have answered that call. Claire Hansen covers immigration for U.S. News and World Report and joins Texas Standard for this story.

Immigrant Day Cares

Sometimes out of difficulty comes opportunity. Women left the workforce in droves after day cares and schools closed or went remote. But some entrepreneurs are filling the childcare gap left by the pandemic. Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall went to southwest Houston to learn how women refugees and immigrants are meeting the needs of working parents.

Latino Workplace Injuries

COVID-19 was a major workplace hazard for millions of Americans last year, particularly for people who still had to show up in person for their jobs. A high number of those workers were Latinos. But even before that, numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Latino workers are at higher risk of workplace injuries and death. Those trends concern J.R. Gonzales, executive vice chair for the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce. He joins us today.

Houston Trees

The dog days of summer start this weekend, when it gets hotter than hot in Texas. In the state’s largest city, Houston, that heat isn’t evenly distributed. It’s yet another way racist policies of the past continue to disproportionately affect some people. A new report from the Guardian maps Houston’s heat, its poverty and its trees. Erum Salam is a reporter on that project.

Safety Of Local Buildings

The collapse of the condo tower in Surfside, Florida, has city officials and communities across the country questioning the stability of high rises near them. Texas Public Radio’s Brian Kirkpatrick talked with some experts on the safety of high rises in San Antonio.

Influential Fort Worth Theater Founder, Playwright, Retiring

Forty-five years ago, Johnny Simons co-founded Hip Pocket Theatre, a plucky, outdoor stage company that’s become a beloved Fort Worth institution. But Hip Pocket’s current season will be Johnny Simons’ last. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports the 81-year-old writer-director-performer is retiring.

Week In Texas Politics

We look back at this week in politics with Ross Ramsey, executive editor for the Texas Tribune. Topics for today; James White, big names visiting Texas and more.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.

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