Mary C. Curtis: North Carolina Expands Vaccine Rollout, Pres. Biden Steps Up National Goal

CHARLOTTE, NC — President Joe Biden says all adults will be eligible to receive a covid-19 vaccine by April 19.

The date is almost two weeks earlier than the previous deadline may first.

The news comes as North Carolina makes vaccinations available to anyone 16 and older starting Wednesday, April 7.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis has more.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

Pandemics and gun violence are real life, not ‘theater’

Perhaps Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky needs a refresher course on the meaning of the word “theater.” His GOP colleague Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas could listen in.

The former recently initiated a verbal brawl with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease specialist who has been providing information and advice to guide Americans dealing, along with the rest of the world, with a deadly pandemic. The latter accused anyone proposing the consideration of gun restrictions, in light of two horrific mass shootings in the space of a week, of “ridiculous theater.”

Now, I realize the term “theatrical” can be used as an insult hurled at someone accused of exaggeration, but what is happening in America is a fact. So let me offer my own definition: “Theater” is the thrill of escaping from it all in a darkened hall with a group of strangers, to see and hear professionals act or sing or dance, and to be uplifted by the experience, if only for an hour or two.

And it’s something we’ve been deprived of during this past, very long year amid the pain of COVID-19, with deadly gun violence that has not abated as a backdrop, and so much more.

 

Back to the Future: The ERA

The Equal Rights Amendment known as ERA — yes that ERA — is back.

The House passed a bill last week that would extend the deadline to ratify the amendment to the Constitution prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex.

But is this five-decade-old amendment up to this moment? A moment that includes #MeToo, rising hate crimes against women of color and a pandemic that has battered women more than men? We turn to professor Julie Suk, who published “We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment,” to discuss.

Local News Roundup: Vaccine Eligibility Increases But Finding Appointments A Challenge; Atlanta Killings Reaction; Arrests In Capitol Riot

This week, more people are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and more appointments are being made available throughout the county to help people get their first dose of the vaccine. We’ll talk about who is eligible.

Once you’re eligible for the vaccine, some finesse and persistence may still be required to find a place to get vaccinated. We’ll talk about some mass vaccination events and where to look for appointments.

This week’s killing of six Asian American women in Atlanta brings the rise in violence against Asian Americans to the forefront in the Southeast. We’ll hear local reaction.

GOP lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly are working to put a limit on the governor’s emergency power during long-term emergency events. We’ll talk about what they’re trying to do and how that will affect Gov. Roy Cooper’s ability to manage the pandemic in the state.

And two York County, South Carolina, men are arrested for their alleged role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. We discuss how they were identified and their role in the violence.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into the week’s top news on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

GUESTS:

Nick OchsnerWBTV’s Executive Producer for Investigations & Chief Investigative Reporter

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time” and contributor at WCCB-TV

Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Mary C. Curtis: Biden Hits Road to Promote COVID Relief Plan

CHARLOTTE, NC — This week President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are touring the country to highlight their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan as $1,400  dollar direct payments begin hitting bank accounts.

Some Republicans approve of parts of the bill that will benefit constituents, though they voted against it because they say it is too big and not targeted enough.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses how the bill with benefit small businesses, schools and families.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

You can also check out Mary’s podcast ‘Equal Time.’

POLITICAL WRAP: NY Governor Cuomo Under Fire Over Sexual Harassment Allegations; Nursing Home Deaths

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted advances.

Cuomo says he isn’t going anywhere, even as New York’s two Senators and a majority of the state’s democratic congressional delegation call on him to resign.

The Governor is also in hot water for allegedly under reporting  COVID 19 deaths in nursing homes.

What the pandemic taught America about racial injustice

It’s been one year since the global pandemic hit. Most Americans had no idea what was in store. The number of those impacted by COVID-19 is staggering. More than half a million American lives have been lost to the virus. And for people of color, the negative impact on their lives has been disproportionate — lost jobs, homes, health and lives.

Looking back, the pandemic has shined a light on just how deep the incisions are from structural and racial inequities. We turn to Shawn Fremstad of the Center for Economic and Policy Research to discuss the whys, the whats and how Biden administration policies are an attempt to right some of the wrongs and level the field.

Mary C. Curtis: What’s Included in the COVID Relief Bill

CHARLOTTE, NC — Congress is on the verge of passing the one point nine trillion dollar COVID-19 relief bill.

The historic legislation proposes to give relief to millions of Americans affected during the year long pandemic.

So what’s in the bill and how will it affect you? WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis breaks it all down.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

POLITICAL WRAP: COVID Relief Plan Passes Senate; Latest on Vaccine Distribution

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The U.S. Senate has passed the latest COVID relief bill.

Next, it heads back to the House for approval, before it lands on President Biden’s desk.

And the latest on COVID vaccination, as North and South Carolina enter new phases, while some states reopen without restrictions.

Our political contributor, Mary C. Curtis, gives us her take in the video above.