With lines for COVID testing stretching for blocks in large Texas cities, Gov. Greg Abbott has requested federally supported COVID testing sites in six of the state’s large counties. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, who oversees one of those six counties, joins us to talk about how Tarrant County is experiencing the latest surge.
Despite the latest COVID surge, Texas is again suing the Biden administration over a vaccine mandate. At issue now is the requirement that all troops get vaccinated, including National Guard troops. Rose Thayer, Austin-based reporter for the military publication Stars and Stripes, joins with the latest.
Midland’s only hospital readies for COVID surge
Health officials are all but certain the omicron variant of the coronavirus has arrived in the Permian Basin. Positivity rates have skyrocketed in Midland in recent weeks and the community’s only hospital is seeing an increase in patients with COVID-19. As Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden reports, health care leaders are making preparations for a potential surge as they continue to face staffing shortages.
Texas energy infrastructure just faced its first cold weather test since last year’s deadly winter storm. How did it fare? Bloomberg reports that despite repeated calls for better winterization of the state power grid, pollution was up and gas production was down. Sergio Chapa, energy reporter for Bloomberg News, joins us with more.
The numbers are in, and last month will go down as the warmest December on record since 1889 – and possibly the warmest winter month in Texas ever. John Nielsen-Gammon, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University and state climatologist, joins to talk about it.
Wizzie Brown is a program specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and our go-to insect expert. She waxes about phasmids today.
Shocking developments along the San Antonio River
River biologists hope to see a return of freshwater mussels to the San Antonio River. The way they’re trying to get them to return is shocking – literally. Dominic Anthony Walsh plumbs the currents for Texas Public Radio.
A viral post making the rounds on social media says that covid vaccines are why flights have been delayed and cancelled worldwide. Is that a fact? (Spoiler alert: it isn’t!) Nusaiba Mizan with PolitiFact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman, joins with more.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.