Texas Standard For June 23, 2021

Health experts are closely watching the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. We’ll unpack the risk and the concern about further variants. Also, Texas Governor Greg Abbott latest moves are looking to some like a concerted effort ahead of the 2024 presidential race. The view from outside of Texas. And as America continues to re-examine monuments and building names honoring leaders in the Confederacy. Some everyday people are also reexamining their family histories. Plus we’ll fact-check a claim about how much border wall was built under the Trump Administration. And we’ll explore the impact of the pandemic on the therapists who’ve been walking us through the past year. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJune 23, 2021 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Delta Variant Concerns and Texas Vaccine Rates

So far, the nation has missed the mark when it comes to getting 70% of Americans vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That said, concerns are growing among public health officials about the threat now posed by a more highly-contagious variant of the coronavirus circulating through the United States. Texas is one of the states where vaccination rates are far below 70%. Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston talks to the Standard.

Abbott Revolt Against Biden

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s conservative push this legislative session has definitely set the stage for his gubernatorial reelection bid in 2022. Restricting abortion access, expanding gun rights and challenging how racism is taught in public schools were all his big ticket items this session. And then there’s Abbott’s plan to crowdfund a border wall. It all has some speculating the governor is already looking beyond 2022, to 2024 and a presidential run. Politico national political correspondent David Siders talks to the Standard.

Hot Car Deaths

The Texas summer is just starting, and the seasnon’s scorching temperatures can sometimes be deadly. In the past 30 years, 143 Texas children have died from being left in the car on a hot day – more than any other state in the country. Bekah Morr from KERA North Texas reports on efforts to prevent those deaths.

Therapist Burnout

The last year and a half has been challenging for many. The pandemic pushed healthcare workers to the brink. Teachers had to redefine what their jobs looked like. Others who didn’t lose their jobs saw their day to day change in some way. KUT Austin’s Claire McInerny wanted to check in with members of one profession who were tasked with supporting everyone else through this tough time: therapists.

Exploring Confederate History

The Belo name has been around for a long time in Texas business and philanthropic circles. But it’s now being removed from buildings, parks and even from the company A.H. Belo himself began in 1842. Belo was a colonel in the Confederate Army. His family owned slaves. The changes come amidst ongoing calls for the removal of Confederate monuments. And it’s prompting some people to look closer at their own family histories. Including Jordan Gass-Poore, a producer for the Southern Poverty Law Center podcast “Sounds Like Hate.” Jordan grew up in the Texas Hill Country and she explores her roots in one of the podcast’s latest episodes.

The Sounds of Texas: Jackie and Steve on Mother and Son Story Time

Women In STEM Exhibit

If you’re shopping at Dallas’ NorthPark Center it’s hard to miss 121 new, bright orange statues. Look closer and you’ll see they’re all women working in the sciences. The exhibit’s called “If Then, She Can.” Reporter Mia Estrada asked four North Texas women what it’s like to be among the models for a show meant to inspire young girls.

PolitiFact: George P. Bush on Border Wall

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush says only “150 miles of border wall were constructed” under Trump…. But is that a fact? To find out we turn to Brandon Mulder of Politifact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman.

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

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