Texas has been the story of the week… battered by a winter storm that left millions without power. While much of the power has been restored after days in freezing temperatures, there is still a food and water crisis there. It has also exposed huge flaws in the Texas power grid when it comes to extreme weather events. Josh Lederman, correspondent at NBC News, joins us for how huge demand for power and power plants that failed to produce that power led to a power grid failure.
Next, the latest data from Pfizer shows that its vaccine is less effective against the South African variant of coronavirus. While clinical trials have not been done, lab experiments show that there is about a two-thirds drop in the neutralization powers against this variant. Andrew Joseph, reporter at STAT News, joins us for what this means for the current batch of vaccines we have.
Finally, while the main concern with variants right now are those from the U.K. and South Africa, scientists are finding at least seven variants that originated here. More concerning is that they are all evolving in the same way, potentially becoming more contagious. These other strains are not as prevalent yet, but it makes the case for better surveillance on how the virus is changing in the population. Carl Zimmer, columnist at the NY Times, joins us for more.
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