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.

 

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

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.

POLITICAL WRAP: U.S. COVID Deaths Nearing 500,000; Texas Power Grid

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Another grim milestone nearing, as the U.S. prepares to reach 500,000 COVID deaths.

The latest as health officials stress the battle is far from over and remind the public to remain vigilant.

And a week of no power for many in the Lone Star State.

While Texas is the only state to have its own power grid, what are the vulnerabilities for North Carolina and the rest of the country?

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

POLITICAL WRAP: President Trump 2nd Impeachment Trial; COVID Rollout Improvement Efforts

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Senate plans to begin former President Trump’s trial next month.

The article will be presented Monday, and Senators will be sworn in as jurors Tuesday.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more on this in the video above, along with the latest on efforts to improve the COVID vaccine rollout.

Mary C. Curtis: COVID-19 Vaccinations Underway

CHARLOTTE. NC — The first COVID-19 vaccines, from Pfizer and approved by the FDA for emergency use, have been sent throughout the country, including North Carolina, where health care workers and residents of care facilities are tops of the list to receive the shot. A Moderna vaccine might get approval later this week. This is happening as the country passes 300,000 dead from the virus, with hospitalizations reaching record highs in North Carolina.

WCCB political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more.

POLITICAL WRAP: Electoral College Meets Monday; Latest on COVID Vaccine

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Monday, the Electoral College will meet to formally cast their ballots for President and Vice President of the United States.

It comes just days after the Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit by the Texas Attorney General to overturn millions of votes.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more on this and the latest on the arrival of the COVID vaccine, in the video above.

Local News Roundup: COVID-19 Cases Continue To Surge With Vaccines On The Way; A New Curfew; CMS Returns To Remote Learning

Friday, Dec. 11, 2020

On the next Charlotte Talks local news roundup …

Gov. Roy Cooper imposes a statewide curfew of 10 p.m. beginning Friday as numbers for COVID-19 spike, and in Mecklenburg County, trends reach new highs. We’ll give a local and regional update on the coronavirus and what the new curfew means for businesses.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools opts to go back to remote learning until January in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the area. We’ll talk about the school board vote and what it will mean for all students, especially those about to take exams.

The Department of Health and Human Services has released the list of hospital systems that will receive the first shipment of a coronavirus vaccine. The state expects about 85,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer, which are going first to health care workers and residents in adult care facilities.

And Charlotte Moves recommended last week that the city put a 1-cent sales tax hike on the ballot for next year’s election. The tax would fund several transportation projects in Mecklenburg County. But for that to happen, legislators in North Carolina would need to authorize the increase and approve a referendum. We’ll hear what some of those legislators say about the proposal and its chances.

Those stories and more as Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into this week’s top news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

GUESTS:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

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

Steve Harrison, WFAE political reporter

Annie Ma, education reporter for the Charlotte Observer

Mary C. Curtis: Trump Signs Order on COVID-19 Vaccine

CHARLOTTE, NC — COVID-19 vaccines will be given to Americans just as soon as the FDA approves emergency use authorization.

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday, which will prioritize the U.S. receiving doses over other countries.

This move comes after a New York Times piece claimed Pfizer offered to sell more doses to the U.S. over the summer, but the Trump Administration turned it down.

Political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more.