Texas Standard For April 15, 2021

The governor claims we should be very close to herd immunity. What does the chair of the Texas vaccine allocation panel have to say? About 25% of Texans now reported to be vaccinated… far from what public health experts have estimated is needed for herd immunity. We’ll hear more. And: A turning point in what’s been called the eternal war and why some have lingering concerns about plans to get the U.S. out of Afghanistan by 9/11. Also: In a state that leads the nation in fatal crashes involving large trucks, a bill rolling through the statehouse that would make it harder for people to sue trucking companies. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardApril 15, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, April 15, 2021.

Statewide Vaccine Distribution Update

Are we anywhere near reaching herd immunity and what impact with the temporary halt on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have on that timeline? Imelda Garcia, chair of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine allocation panel and the associate commissioner of Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services for the Texas Department of State Health Services, talks to the Standard.

Troops Leaving Afghanistan

The Biden administration has announced plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. But the move is leaving many in the security and intelligence communities concerned about the fate of the Afghan nation and the region. Jeremi Suri, the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs and Professor of Public Affairs and History at UT-Austin’s LBJ School, talks to the Standard.

State Budget, Latest

Trying to teach kids during a pandemic has been expensive for public schools in Texas. The federal government has earmarked funds to help. But as Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider tells us, a lot has to happen in Austin with the Texas Legislature before schools get the money.

Ring Doorbell Ecosystem

The Ring Video Doorbell has a widespread presence in many neighborhoods, giving residents “eyes” on what’s happening at the front door, and even further away. It often captures images of people and vehicles on the street, or near a neighbor’s home. Tech expert Omar Gallaga recently wrote about the Ring ecosystem, and why a lot of people are concerned about its reach into our lives.

Coastal Erosion

Sand is one natural resource Texas has had some trouble hanging onto. For years, the state has spent considerable money rebuilding its eroding coastline. According to the Texas General Land Office, about 80% of the state’s Gulf shoreline is critically eroded. And that’s a problem because beaches play an important role in protecting the state from storms and rising seas. John Goff is a coastal geophysicist at the University of Texas Institute of Geophysics. And he joins the Standard from Galveston where he’s on a research vessel and about to search for more sand.

Sweta Rajesh on Indie Meme Festival

Fort Worth Lynching Tour

A Black man named Fred Rouse was lynched in Fort Worth a century ago. Now, a local arts organization is trying to bring his name back to the forefront of the city’s history with a bike tour that visits sites associated with his murder. KERA’s Miranda Suarez put on a helmet and followed along.

Trucking Litigation

A bill moving through the Texas Legislature would make it harder for people to sue trucking companies after crashes. The measure comes as Texas leads the nation in fatal crashes involving large trucks. As KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports, business groups are pushing for the change while trial lawyers want to stop it.

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

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