Texas Standard For February 24, 2021

As Gov. Abbott prepares for a statewide televised address on the blackouts, many wonder why they haven’t heard more from him before now. Rapid fallout from the blackout of 2021 already happening, as five ERCOT board members say they’ll tender their resignations. We’ll have the latest. And: More on the implications of last week’s blackout in the fight against COVID-19. Also: Could the disaster actually lead to changes in labor laws? A labor historian on what history tells us about past patterns. Plus: Commentator W.F. Strong rethinks his list of Texas-themed tunes, a PolitiFact check of Beto O’Rourke and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardFebruary 24, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

Abbott’s Storm Response

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is set to address the state tonight about the recovery from last week’s winter storm and power outages. But a lack of communication during the first few days of the event drew criticism from political opponents and left some constituents searching for answers. KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports.

COVID-19 Cases in Texas and Winter Storm Implications 

Texas has been experiencing a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases this month. But will there be an uptick after last week’s winter storm put many Texans in positions where they had to stay with family and friends after losing water power and water and travel to grocery stores and other crowded places to find relief? Can we expect a major setback in Texas’ COVID-19 vaccination efforts? Dr. James McDeavitt, senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine.

Volunteers Helping Seniors

A Northeast Austin senior living community that lost power, water and access to food had to rely on a rescue by local volunteers. KUT’s Sangita Menon reports on what happened after one of the center’s residents reached out for help.

Historic Events and Labor Laws

During last week’s snow and ice storm, many people could not work. So how to mark that time? Vacation time? Sick days? A couple of historic events have affected the labor laws that guide us now. Texas State University’s Tom Alter talks with the Texas Standard.

Border Wall Injuries

The number of people trying to cross the Southwest border illegally has steadily increased during the pandemic. In January, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported nearly 3,000 people a day were taken into custody. The vast majority were quickly expelled under Title 42, a Trump administration policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. KTEP’s Angela Kocherga reports from El Paso, where more and more migrants are climbing over the border wall, suffering serious injuries.

Rural Electric Outages

As of Wednesday morning, thousands of Hill Country residents are still without power, mainly in Gillespie and Kerr counties. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan reports they’re served by a rural electric cooperative that’s facing the challenge of restoring electricity to small numbers of people over huge areas.

W.F. Strong: Ten Songs about Lovin’ the Lone Star State


All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Michael Marks with the talk of Texas.

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