Texas Standard For December 28, 2020

A new survey shows changing attitudes on vaccinations in Texas, and the numbers offer even more surprises and important insights. We’ll take a deeper dive in to what that means. And: Twelve states have not expanded medicaid, Texas among them. Economist Ray Perryman on why Texas lawmakers should consider 2021 an opportunity to turn things around. Also: A happier new year for Texas’ top energy commodity? Our energy insider with a reality check. Plus: A profile of the person tapped to head up the Dallas Police Department. And the protests of 2020 and those of five decades earlier: a new book recalls the often overlooked intersection of activism and the church. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardDecember 28, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, December 28, 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.

COVID Vaccine Misinformation

In the age of social media, ideas spread quickly. And that vaccine mistrust has been a problem long before a COVID-19 vaccine was approved. Texas Standard’s Caroline Covington reports how public health experts have been battling misinformation about the vaccines that are our likeliest way out of the pandemic.

Episcopal Health COVID Vaccine Survey

Still, many Texans are wary about a COVID-19 vaccine. A recent report from the Episcopal Health Foundation found 35% of Texans say they are “unlikely” to get a vaccine. That number is down slightly from September. Elena Marks is president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation. One of the authors of the report, we’ll speak with her today.

Ruidosa Church

The border town of Ruidosa is nestled between the Rio Grande and the foothills of the Chinati Mountains in a corner of the Big Bend region. Today, this once-bustling farming community is currently home to about 15 people. Marfa Public Radio’s Ari Snider caught up with a local group trying to preserve the town’s church, one of the last remaining monuments to its past.

Oil and Gas Industry

Amid the oil and gas industry’s struggles this year are a few energizing bright spots. Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData, talks to the Standard.

Expanding Texas Health Coverage

We’re about two weeks away from the start of the 87th session of the Texas Legislature. The coronavirus pandemic will change the way lawmakers convene, the policies they’ll make, and how much money they’ll have to spend. Economist Ray Perryman says it all could add up to a perfect time to consider expanding health insurance coverage to Texans. He’s President and CEO of the Perryman Group based in Waco.

Apostles of Change

As protests and demands for racial justice heightened over the summer of 2020, parallels to the summer of 1969 were often heard. But in the retelling of that history, the role of churches often gets short shrift. A new book out in January, focuses on this overlooked intersection of religion, race and activism. Author Felipe Hinojosa, an associate professor of history at Texas A&M University talks to the Standard about his book, “Apostles of Change: Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio.

 New Dallas Police Chief Profile

In September, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall resigned after the department was criticized for its handling of this summer’s protests against police brutality. On Wednesday, the city announced her replacement: former San Jose police chief Eddie Garcia. That’s led some to wonder about his record on protest and police misconduct. KERA’s Mallory Falk reports

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

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