Texas Standard For July 20, 2021

Increasing concerns among doctors and other frontline health workers in Texas as COVID-19 cases rise once again. In some places in Texas, the COVID-19 risk level has again returned to historic highs as the Delta variant takes hold. @e’ll talk with two Texas health experts about what the trends are signaling. And: The FDA’s approval of an Alzheimer’s drug, and why some doctors are refusing to prescribe the drug, and lawmakers are asking questions. Also: An historic liftoff in West Texas. Plus: The end of an era for Texas’ oldest licensed radio station? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJuly 20, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

COVID Trends in Texas

COVID-19 cases are spiking again, fueled by a rise in the more contagious delta variant of the virus. What does it mean with schools set to resume in-person learning in a little over a month? For answers to these and other questions, we’re joined by Dr. Benjamin Neuman, professor and virologist at Texas A&M University, and Allison Stewart, lead epidemiologist for Williamson County and Cities Health District.

ERCOT Storm Losses

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has started to settle almost $3 billion of debt incurred by companies forced to buy electricity at extremely high prices during last February’s blackout. As KUT Austin’s Mose Buchele reports, the next step will determine who pays what.

Controversial Alzheimer’s Drug

In June, the Food and Drug Administration approved a drug called aducanumab, marketed as Aduhelm. It’s a treatment for Alzheimer’s patients. The company behind it, BioGen, said that clinical trials showed the aducanumab slowed cognitive decline in some patients. So why are some doctors refusing to prescribe the drug, and why are members of congress investigating its approval? For some answers we now turn to Dr. George Perry, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

WRR Under New Management

Dallas’s WRR is a unique radio station for a number of reasons: It was the first licensed radio station in Texas, the first west of the Mississippi, and perhaps most unusual: it’s owned by the City of Dallas. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan reports the city wants to outsource the management of the station and that has some concerned.

Sounds of Texas: Benjamin Anyacho, Knowledge Cafe Book

Dem Walkout Harris County Voters

It’s now been more than a week since most of Texas’ Democratic House members flew to Washington, D.C. to prevent a vote on election legislation they claim will reduce voter turnout. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider spoke with Harris County voters who used the voting methods Republicans are now trying to ban.

Blue Origin’s Manned Space Flight

This morning Blue Origin launched its first manned spaceflight in far West Texas. For the latest on the launch, which included former Amazon CEO and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, we’re joined by Marfa Public Radio’s Travis Bubenik.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.