Texas Standard For December 7, 2020

Front line workers in Texas will get COVID-19 vaccines but educators and staff are demanding a better place in in the vaccination line. We’ll have details. And: As Texas lawmakers get ready to start a new session, both Republicans and Democrats prepare to take on issues of voter fraud and voter access. Also: Powering up: with a new administration in Washington, what’s set to change for the energy capitol of the U.S.? Plus: Billions of federal dollars for pandemic relief and time’s running out for Texas to spend it all. Where’s the money going? Plus listener questions about COVID-19 and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardDecember 7, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, December 7, 2020. 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.

Vaccines for Teachers and Staff

When the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, there’s an argument to be made that teachers should be among the first to receive it. Kent Paredes Scribner, the superintendent of the Fort Worth Independent School District, talks to the Standard.

GOP-Led Voter Fraud Bills

Grocery Competition in Lubbock

Texas grocery store chain HEB recently opened its first store in Lubbock. That’s United Supermarket’s hometown territory. Texas Tech Public Media’s Sarah Self-Walbrick reports that when a competing brand comes into the market, shoppers are the real winners.

Lab Mice Heroes 

Even with promising developments on the vaccine front, scientists around the globe are still racing to find other vaccines and potential treatments for COVID-19. And as KUT’s Jimmy Maas reports, there’s a growing group of unwitting and unsung heroes in this pursuit — the lab mice.

Biden and Texas Energy 

What will a Biden administration mean for the Texas energy industry? On the campaign trail, the former vice president once pledged to ban fracking, the controversial drilling technique that’s made Texas oil fields among the most prolific in the world. But he also plans to invest in greener energy like solar and wind, where Texas also leads. David Spence, the Baker Botts chair at the University of Texas School of Law, specializing in energy law, talks to the Standard.

CARES Act Spending

Texas received $11.2 billion in federal CARES Act funding to pay off COVID-19 costs. But there’s a catch: the state has to spend everything by year’s end. Anything left over goes back to the feds. So how’s the money being spent?  Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider takes a closer look at one group’s analysis.

Body Collector

Frontline workers during the pandemic include more than grocery store clerks and health care workers. Juan Lopez picks up bodies for a living in McAllen. Since the pandemic hit, he gets calls nearly every 20 minutes. He says it’s an honor to do the job.

Ask a Doctor: COVID-19 Questions Answered

A vaccine is coming, but details about how and when it will be administered are still scarce. To answer questions about the vaccine, the Texas Standard turns to Dr. Fred Campbell, an internal medicine physician and associate professor of medicine at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio.

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

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