Local News

Leading Off (7/16/21)

A cold front?

Ben Carson, A&M Chancellor Helped Test Unproven COVID-19 Remedy on Seniors. This Dallas Morning News investigation is an interesting one, taking us back to when President Donald Trump and his associates were pushing unproven remedies to fight the coronavirus. Dr. Ben Carson jumped right in, enlisting the help of Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp to arrange trials for a compound found in the “toxic ornamental plant” oleander. Seniors in Bryan and employees at a Corpus Christi meatpacking plant participated. Too, an investor in a company that has tried to find clinical uses for the compound successfully urged the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to join in similar testing, raising ethical questions over his influence. The News  says its findings show that the human testing “violated public health safeguards.” Of course, Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO is also involved—he actually got Carson to help get the trials moving in the first place and later invested in the company. Carson says he’d do it all again to find something to help against COVID-19 at a time when there were no proven therapies available.

Mavericks Introduce Jason Kidd and Nico Harrison. Basketball-wise, the Mavs’ new front office braintrust say they expect “overnight” improvements in the team, but mostly praised Luka Doncic and sought to assuage concerns that Kristaps Porzingis is on the trading block. It took about half of the press conference for questions to begin about Coach Kidd’s past, which include a guilty plea to spousal abuse, allegations in a civil suit that he was violent with his wife in the early 2000s, and a drunken driving charge after he drove his SUV into a pole while playing for the Knicks. Kidd, whose wife and kids were seated in the front row, didn’t directly address the matter. Mavs CEO Cynt Marshall spoke in broad-strokes about conversations she had with Kidd ahead of his hiring, but wouldn’t detail what the new coach told her. He didn’t either, but did say instead it was important abusers “get help.”

COVID Infections, Hospitalizations on the Upswing. On June 27, there were 1,428 patients hospitalized for the coronavirus in Texas. That number has since jumped to 2,519, a 76 percent increase. There are about 680 people hospitalized in the 19-county trauma region of which Dallas is part; that has more than doubled since June 5, when there were only 289 people in hospital beds. Public health officials say this is largely made up of unvaccinated people; the Delta variant is more contagious and those infected with it carry a heavier viral load. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t.

Hot and Humid Weekend, But Front Is Near. This weekend, expect highs in the 90s that’ll feel like triple digits. But a small cold front will come next week, postponing our first day of 100 degree temperatures for at least the next 10 days. Highs will drop into the mid to high-80s in the middle of next week. 

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