Texas Standard For December 22, 2020

What we should know, and when, about a highly contagious variant of COVID-19: one of Texas’ top infectious disease experts joins us. We’ll ask Dr. Peter Hotez all we can about the latest spread of the coronavirus, the vaccine and what we need to know here in Texas. Meanwhile, a Texas-led challenge to DACA is in court – why it matters, even though a Biden presidency is just around the corner. And: Redistricting will be a top priority when Texas lawmakers start the next legislative session. We’ll break down how they’ll draw maps. Also: We’re not letting Sen. Ted Cruz get away with a bold claim without putting it through a fact-check. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardDecember 22, 2020 9:22 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard.

Dr. Peter Hotez And The Latest On COVID-19

There appears to be some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel now that COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed. But some Texas hospitals are still being pushed to the brink by an influx in coronavirus cases. On today’s show, we’ll get the big picture from Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and co-director of Texas’ Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.

A Tool For Redrawing Texas’ Political Map

When the census results are released next Spring, Texas is expected to gain as many as three new congressional seats. Redrawing the district maps for Congress – as well as for the state legislature and the State Board of Education – will be one of the major tasks Texas lawmakers face in the coming session. And to do that, they’ll be using a computer tool that’s unique to Texas. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider explains.

Ken Paxton’s DACA Legal Challenge

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration couldn’t legally rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. But now, DACA faces yet another legal challenge in federal court, this time led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Julián Aguilar, immigration and border security reporter for The Texas Tribune, joins us to break down the case and what it means for DACA recipients and future immigration policy.

The Pandemic’s Disproportionate Impact On Presidio

Officials in Presidio, in the Big Bend region, are encouraging residents to shelter in place and limit how much they travel. The notice comes after local coronavirus cases surged to record highs last month, making Presidio County one of the nation’s top hot spots at the time. Local health authorities say most cases then, and now, are from the city of Presidio, where the predominantly Hispanic community faces barriers to accessing quality health care and frequent testing. Marfa Public Radio’s Carlos Morales has more.

NPR’s NextGen Radio Project: LGBTQ Youth Shelters During The Pandemic

Overnight, the coronavirus pandemic changed the way many non-profits serve their communities. But Sandra Whitley grew up knowing life can change in an instant. And the shelter for LGBTQ+ youth in San Antonio has not had to close its doors. Whitley shared her story with Solomon Wilson as part of NPR’s Next Generation Radio project.

A Monument To Native American War Veterans

Native Americans join the military at a high rate, but some struggle with the role the military has played in displacing and subjugating Indigenous people throughout the nation’s history. Megan Verlee of the American Homefront Project has more.


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said guidance for vaccinated people to continue wearing masks is quote “profoundly anti-science.” Brandon Mulder dug into this claim for PolitiFact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman.

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

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