Weekend brunch for 16 February 2020

News and views from around the web

Image credit: JaseMan/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

[WB1] The Houston Health Department tweeted (inaccurately and irresponsibly) this week that the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid19) can be prevented by the common flu shot:

Interestingly, the new site created by Harris County to address Covid19 rumors rightly points out in its downloadable FAQ that “There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection.” The same website also knocks down the “rumor” that the flu vaccine can prevent the novel coronavirus (without linking the Houston Health Department tweet).

When its inaccurate tweet was pointed out (and ridiculed), the Houston Health Department did not correct the tweet – but instead, days later, seemed to determine to pick a fight with talk-radio host Michael Berry over the same:

Anyone with the City of Houston wondering why the public might not trust its institutions need look no further than this sort of erratic behavior on twitter (or from the mayor’s noxious communications staff during the last campaign), which is just embarrassing.

[WB2] Harris County DA Kim Ogg says a second man (Steven Mallett) convicted based on the casework of disgraced former HPD officer Gerald Goines is actually innocent. The review of cases tied to Goines (the seemingly dirty cop who was the ringleader of HPD’s Harding Street Massacre) is ongoing.

[WB3] Both Wayne Dolcefino and Houston Chronicle investigative reporter Matt Dempsey dunk on the Turner administration’s idea of government transparency.

[WB4] Mayor Sylvester Turner endorsed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg this week. For anyone at all surprised, this New York Times article explains how Bloomberg’s billions have cultivated a network of politicos and cronies to advance his political ambitions.

[WB5] KTRK-13’s Ted Oberg looks into problems with Harris County’s GPS monitoring program for accused criminals (one of the main problems being that actually picking up the monitors and charging them seems to be optional).

[WB6] KPRC-2’s Mario Diaz is trying to figure out why African art described as “priceless” is being stored in a shed in Commissioner Rodney Ellis’s district:

[WB7] Chronicle reporter Zach Despart lays out a compelling case that Harris County Precinct 2 Constable Chris Diaz “blurred the line between the constable’s office and his campaign….” It’s good to be part of the ruling class in the Houston area.

[WB8] Houston Public Media takes note of more Harvey survivors frustrated by the slow recovery effort.

[WB9] The Harris County Department of Education should be abolished (part whatever).

[WB10] The medical school at the University of Houston – the city’s first new medical school in decades – received accreditation this week, and is set to begin classes this summer.

[WB11] Astros owner Jim Crane organized a widely panned media event before the start of spring training to apologize for the sign-stealing scandal (sort of). Carlos Correa’s fiery followup a day later seemed much more effective. Thankfully, the talk is just about done and the actual season is just around the corner.

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Kevin Whited
About Kevin Whited 4226 Articles
Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX