Army

What do Texans think of the Legislature’s actions this session?

Economists call it political theater, but the implications of failure to reach a debt ceiling deal are very real.

As Washington faces a debt deadline, lawmakers in Texas race to beat the clock on the end of the legislative session, and one issue in particular could send them into overtime: The latest on the big divide over cutting property taxes.

With much of this session focused on culture war issues, where do registered voters in Texas stand? A new survey from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation may offer more than a few surprises.

It’s do or die for the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup race.

And a toxic worm that’s got Texans talking.

NASA’s new head scientist on the future of space exploration

Two lawsuits in Texas, one in Galveston and one in Amarillo, have potential impacts on a post-Roe v. Wade world. SMU legal scholar Seema Mohapatra on the implications for people seeking abortions in Texas and beyond.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn says he plans to block a Biden administration proposal that would allow thousands of migrants to live in the U.S. while their asylum cases are being considered.

We talk to Dr. Nicola Fox, who has been named NASA’s new head of science – a dream gig that comes with a $7.8 billion budget and responsibility for more than 100 missions.

And a new book, “The People’s Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medicine,” claims a hospital in Houston could serve as a model for improving health care access nationwide.

Texas Standard: September 6, 2021

Texas 2nd special session of the year is over. And a new opinion poll suggests the result is not a necessarily good look for Governor Abbott. If critics were correct that the Governor’s legislative agenda was an effort to win over Texans prior to his reelection campaign, it hasn’t quite worked out as a net positive for him, if a new opinion poll is correct. What’s behind Governor Abbott’s highest ever disapproval numbers? Also, the Pentagon says a Texan was among the last U.S. service members to die in Afghanistan We’ll hear from the widow of another soldier killed in the attack on Kabul airport. Plus a call for a rethink of the American military and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 25, 2021

Texas lawmakers are coming back to the capitol for a special session. But what’s going to be on the agenda? We’ll have a few predictions. Plus: accountability. That’s at least one thing critics say has been lacking in the way the Army handles sexual assault and harassment cases. Efforts to change that. And for a small college a big financial gift opens up huge opportunities. The story from Odessa. And in Austin: understanding an incredible spike in housing prices. Plus even DJ Screw’s biggest fans admit there’s a lot they don’t know about the late, great Hip Hop icon. A new attempt to delve deeper. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 19, 2021

The Asian American community in Texas and beyond demanding change in the wake of shootings in Atlanta. Also, after concerns at Forth Hood and elsewhere about sexual harassment complaints being ignored. What’s the army doing to change things? And an ongoing journey helping immigrants and refugees navigate healthcare in the U.S. Plus Texas families struggling with virtual learning. Also a film about a Texas whistleblower and the line between breaking the law and speaking out to stop violations of the law. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 2, 2021

President Biden faces an early policy test for his administration, and at the heart of it is what’s happening right now at the border. The homeland security director calls for patience as the Biden administration tries to undo the Trump administration’s legacy on immigration. We’ll hear how Mr. Biden is trying to move forward on issues concern asylum seekers and what to do about unaccompanied minors. Also new research offers more detail on a little discussed chapter of history: an underground railroad running south through Texas to Mexico. And why the NBA’s betting big on a new generation of trading cards. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 30, 2020

The timetable for COVID-19 vaccines in Texas? The first doses could be here within days, says the governor. We’ll have more on the state’s plans for a rollout of Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccine in Texas, who gets it and when. Bob Garret of the Dallas Morning news with details. Also more on the incoming Biden administrations plans for fighting the pandemic. And contraband crossing the border: not drugs coming into the U.S., but arms going south to Mexico. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 7, 2020

10 out of 12 hospitals reach capacity in the Rio Grande Valley, and the top health official in Hidalgo county tests positive for COVID-19. We’ll have more on the effects of the pandemic and the strain on health care resources in Texas. Also, a new survey on conflicting attitudes about the Coronavirus in Texas and the role of politics in opinion. Plus, on the eve of the first face to face meeting between the president of the US and the president of Mexico, a look at how the crisis is playing out south of the border. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

The Man Who Led The Battle Against Yellow Fever

By W. F. Strong

I’m walking on the veranda of the Gorgas Building at Texas Southmost College in Brownsville. It’s named for the famous Army physician, William Gorgas, who was sent here to Fort Brown in 1882. This building was already here when he was. It was the hospital he ran. What he would learn here, and what would happen to him, would change the world.

Gorgas was just 27 years old when arrived at Fort Brown. There was a full-blown yellow fever epidemic raging at the time. It was so named because it turned eyes and skin yellow. About half the people who came down with it, died. Yellow fever was not only deadly, it was quick. You could feel fine on Wednesday morning, have symptoms kick-in that afternoon, and be dead by Saturday.

Gorgas fought yellow fever head on. He didn’t yet know that mosquitoes spread it, but he did know that good sanitation and quarantining patients was useful. He launched public health measures that helped cut short the epidemic. Perhaps the best thing that happened to him during this time, and it will seem a strange thing to say, is that he came down with yellow fever himself, but it gave him life long immunity. He vowed to make fighting the disease his life’s work.

His next significant posting in his war on yellow fever was to Cuba.  It was there that the research of the Cuban doctor, Carlos Finlay, had laid out a convincing case for mosquitoes being responsible for transmitting the illness. Walter Reed, a name you likely recognize, tested Finlay’s theories and proved without a doubt that mosquitoes were responsible. Then Gorgas put the knowledge to practical use with fumigation, screening, and outlawing open cisterns and standing water. Astoundingly, those efforts virtually wiped out yellow fever in Havana in a couple of years, reducing cases from thousands a year to fewer than 20.

Then Dr. Gorgas made his big leap onto the world stage. You will remember the French had tried to dig the Panama Canal but failed miserably because they lost thousands of workers to yellow fever. Disease drove them out and silenced the steam shovels. The Americans, in a cannot-fail bid to do what the French couldn’t, resumed the dig. But in the first years, yellow fever and malaria threatened to drive the Americans out, too. Some said it would have taken 50 years and 80 thousand lives to finish the canal under those conditions.

Gorgas was brought in to solve the problem. But the political leaders in charge didn’t want to hear anything about his mosquito theory. They told him to keep that crazy theory to himself because “everyone knew that those tropical illnesses came from miasma, bad air.” Hell, the word Malaria itself came from Italian, translating verbatim “mal” “aria” – bad air. Gorgas learned as Galileo did that getting the world, even scientists, to ditch a centuries old belief system in favor of a new one, has always been unfathomably difficult.

Gorgas wanted to take what he had learned in Brownsville and Cuba and put it to work on a grand scale in Panama. He applied for a million dollars to protect Panama. The U.S. gave him 50 thousand. But with such poor funding, hundreds of workers were dying each month and the Americans risked being embarrassed by failure, just like the French. Teddy Roosevelt himself intervened and more or less said “give Gorgas what he wants.”

So it was then that Gorgas screened all the houses, buildings and particularly the hospitals in the Canal Zone. This was essential because a patient could only get yellow fever from a mosquito that had bitten someone with yellow fever. Gorgas also had an army of fumigators at work across the isthmus every day.

As he had in Cuba, Gorgas got rid of standing water and required covers on cisterns. He also drained swamps and treated undrainable waters with oil to keep larvae from forming. Within two years yellow fever had been completely eradicated from Panama.

Gorgas was considered the medical hero of the canal because, without his work, the engineers and diggers and construction workers could never have done their work. Gorgas without question, made the canal a reality.

After Panama, Gorgas eventually became Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and was knighted by the King of England for his work in tropical diseases, from which the British greatly benefited.

So here I sit on the veranda of his old hospital at Fort Brown in Texas. The building still bears Gorgas’ name. I also admire the fact that his name has a place of honor 8 thousand miles away on the side of the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Here at Texas Southmost College, funded from this very building, are many fine programs in nursing and health professions active today.  I think Gorgas would be pleased.

Texas Standard: September 26, 2019

A newly declassified complaint at the center of an historic hearing on Capitol Hill may test the question, is a cover up really worse than the crime? We’ll have a Texas perspective on the rising push toward impeachment. Also, after two major flood events more residents of the biggest city in Texas are asking, is Houston worth it? And an innovative program among women incarcerated in Texas to bring recidivism to zero. Plus, what the spectacular rise and fall of we work says about the state of the tech industry. All of that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 22, 2018

A video considered a confession, but police say it doesn’t reveal a motive, we’ll have the latest on the Austin serial bomber. Also, after years of record-setting growth, what are the new census numbers telling us about the state of Texas? We’ll find out. And are you concerned over how your private data is being used by Facebook or companies doing business with them? So are you sticking with Facebook? Why? And Beto O’Rourke’s challenge to Ted Cruz for Senate: the El Paso Democrat makes a big claim about school shooters…does it wash? We’ll take it to the truth o meter. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 21, 2015

Going online: the army powers up cyber protection units in Texas and beyond amid new reports of power grid hackers- the latest today. Plus they call them the iceboxes…a new report on border detention centers reveals what migrants describe as overcrowded freezers used as holding cells…we’ll have details.And a plan to bail out some who’ve fallen prey to unscrupulous lenders. Also the possible perils of holiday comestibles…especially when one’s taking prescriptions. And the best books of 2015—pay attention last minute shoppers. Those stories and many more on todays Texas Standard: