Texas Standard For July 22, 2021

Sounding new alarms over COVID-19… As state health experts warn of new cases, are the warnings enough? Experts see the COVID-19 data in Texas pointing an ominous direction, and though warnings for masking and vaccination continue, concerns mount over whether that will be sufficient to head off another dangerous spike in the pandemic. Today, our conversation with the Texas’ chief epidemiologist. And: The fight over COVID-19 disinformation. Also: After years of calls for changes, medicaid is being expanded to help new moms in Texas. The implications of that change plus much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJuly 22, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, July 22, 2021.

COVID in Texas

How quickly is the delta variant of COVID-19 spreading in Texas? Which areas of the state have the greatest risk of transmission? Could COVID overwhelm Texas hospitals? For answers to these questions and more, we’re joined by Dr. Jennifer Shuford, chief epidemiologist for the state of Texas.

Changing Telehealth Rules

One welcome side effect of the pandemic has been the advent of telehealth. People all over the country have been able to meet with doctors, therapists and other providers remotely due to temporarily-relaxed rules. But as emergency telehealth rules in many states expire, many patients will have to navigate restrictions they may not have known existed before the pandemic. Here to tell us more about what’s changing and why is Dr. Sherif Zaafran. He’s president of the Texas Medical Board.

Facebook and COVID Disinformation

Last week, President Joe Biden said disinformation about COVID-19 on Facebook was “killing people.” Though he later walked back that charge, the administration remains at odds with the social media giant over the continued spread of anti-vaccine rhetoric and false information. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga is here to talk about what Facebook has – and hasn’t – done that’s gotten the president so upset.

State Rep. Philip Cortez Returns to Texas

A Texas lawmaker who joined dozens of his democratic colleagues in leaving the state last week has returned from Washington D.C. Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios reports state Rep. Philip Cortez went against the wishes of his fellow Democrats who want to stop a controversial voting bill.

Disconnect Podcast

Though this year’s winter blackouts are now part of history, Texans still live with uncertainty when it comes to the implications. Now there’s a podcast dedicated to the fallout, the backstories, and the answers to the many questions that linger. Joining us today is Mose Buchele, energy and environment reporter for KUT Austin and host of the new podcast “The Disconnect: Power, Politics and the Texas Blackout.”

Medicaid Expansion for New Moms

To reduce threats to mothers’ health during pregnancy and post-partum, doctors have been asking for a Medicaid expansion in Texas for years. That expansion will finally start on September 1. Dr. Alison Cahill from UT Austin’s Dell Medical School joins us with details on the expansion – and three big benefits for new Texas mothers.

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

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