Texas Standard For April 23, 2021

Some parts of Texas are now closing vaccination hubs as demand falls. Though a majority of Texans have yet to be vaccinated at all. We’ll find out why this is happening and what it could mean for efforts to reach herd immunity. And: Who’s minding the militias? A push to update and enforce Texas laws against private militias in the wake of the January 6 storming of the U.S. capitol.Also: A question many Texans are asking: why so many caterpillars? Those stories and more, today on the Standard:

By Texas StandardApril 23, 2021 9:42 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, April 23, 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccine Demand Dwindling

State health leaders say the rate at which Texans are getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is starting to slow down. Several mass vaccination sites across the state including in Williamson and Galveston counties are shutting down. With nearly a quarter of the state fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – and 36% of Texans having received at least one vaccine dose – how much does a  slow-down in vaccinations hurt the chances of reaching that coveted “herd immunity” status? Catherine Troisi is an infectious disease epidemiologist with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s School of Public Health.

Militias in Texas

The January assault on the U.S. Capitol Building is still under investigation and much of it focuses on the role played by paramilitary organizations or private militias. Dozens of the rioters were from Texas, a state that has anti-militia laws. One group is arguing the state should be updating and enforcing those laws. Texas Public Radio’s Paul Flahive reports.

Bipartisan Border Solutions

Three Texas members of Congress are behind a bipartisan effort to address the current increase in the numbers of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Currently, thousands of unaccompanied children and teenagers are being held at federally-run shelters in Texas and across the country after crossing into the United States. This new push, led by Republican Sen. John Cornyn, would create new facilities for migrants to be processed and streamline asylum requests. Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden has the story.

Inchworm Explosion

It’s not anything unusual to see caterpillars hanging around this time of year in Central Texas. But you might be seeing more of them than usual. KUT’s Matt Largey looked for answers.

Matthew McConaughey-Abbott Poll Analysis

Matthew McConaughey hardly lives in anonymity in Texas. After all, he’s a movie star in addition to being a professional soccer team owner and UT fan and professor. But is name recognition enough to make McConaughey a viable gubernatorial candidate? A poll released by the University of Texas at Tyler and The Dallas Morning News indicates more registered voters in Texas would mark their ballots for McConaughey over Gov. Greg Abbott. Still, little is known about the “Dazed and Confused” and “Dallas Buyer’s Club” actor’s political affiliations and more importantly, what sort of policy priorities he would campaign on. The Standard talks to Gromer Jeffers, political reporter for The Dallas Morning News

Tony Rogers on Covid Cello Project

Spring Costume Parade

COVID-19 has certainly not gone away, but with the vaccines – and warm weather –  more people seem to be coming out of hibernation. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports here was even a parade Saturday in Dallas, a colorful little street festival celebrating spring, renewal, change and the collaboration of two theater companies.

Typewriter Rodeo: Fireflies

The Week in Texas Politics, with The Texas Tribune

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

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