Watch: New Texas senators discuss plans to address COVID-19’s impact on health, businesses

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. (edited) Three new state senators who jumped from the Texas House to their current positions share one priority for this legislative session: minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on Texans. Sens. César Blanco, D-El Paso; Roland …

Facing a crush of COVID-19 patients, ICUs are completely full in at least 50 Texas hospitals

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

Hidalgo County Health Authority Ivan Melendez says coming into COVID-19 units nowadays feels like going through a nonlinear version of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. “You cry,” he told the Tribune. “There’s a lady that I’m taking care of that I’ve known since I was a child. … We …

U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, hospitalized with cancer last year, tests positive for coronavirus

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, R-Arlington, has tested positive for the coronavirus, he said in a statement Thursday afternoon. Wright, 67, who was hospitalized in September due to complications from cancer treatment, said in a statement that he’s been in quarantine since Friday and “will continue to quarantine until my doctors and medical professionals give me …

Toxic substance or water supply? Lawmakers to weigh whether wastewater from oil fields could replenish the state’s aquifers

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

Deep underneath the ground, fluids travel down and shoot through ancient shale formations, fracturing rock and starting the flow of oil — the essential part of hydraulic fracturing technology that’s transformed America’s oil industry. But that’s not all that comes up out of the earth. Salty, contaminated water — held in porous rocks formed hundreds …

Reversing Donald Trump policy, Joe Biden will include undocumented immigrants in critical census count

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. The Trump administration’s protracted efforts to keep some immigrants from being counted when Congressional seats are divvied up after the 2020 census ended with the former president’s departure from the White House, but President Joe …

Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th president

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, pledging to unite the country and confront an array of convulsing challenges dividing a fractured nation. “This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge,” Biden said in an inaugural address that called on the nation to end its …

Joe Biden to pause border wall construction, issue protections for DACA recipients and roll back other Trump immigration policies

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

On the same afternoon he’s sworn in as the nation’s 46th president, Joe Biden will take executive actions that will undo several of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, his transition team announced Wednesday. The list of orders includes reissuing protections established under the 2012 Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals program, halting further construction of …

Texas has administered most of its 1.7 million vaccine doses as it prepares to receive 333,000 more

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day’s latest updates. Sign up here. Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday said his health priorities for this year’s legislative session include expanding telemedicine across the state, increasing services for those dealing with mental health issues, …

Point of Order: The Queen’s Gambit

Mike Chiari The Texas Tribune Leave a Comment

Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Senfronia Thompson—affectionately known as “Mrs. T” to colleagues and other Capitol goers—about COVID-19, race, public ed and that young whippersnapper Dade Phelan. Rep. Thompson has served in the chamber since 1973, making her the longest-tenured woman and Black person in the House. This episode of Point …

Texas-based anti-vaccine group received federal bailout funds in May as pandemic raged

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Texas-based anti-vaccine organization Informed Consent Action Network was among five anti-vaccine groups that collectively received more than $850,000 in federal loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, The Washington Post reported Monday. The organization received $166,000 in May, according to founder Del Bigtree. “Vaccine hesitancy” or “vaccine skepticism” poses a significant and ongoing challenge for health …