Case Counts/Testing in Texas – Sunday, July 11th (1:10 PM data)
Confirmed Cases – 2,559,734 (516 new cases)
Hospitalizations – 1,961 (10,944 available beds, 854 available ICU beds)
Fatalities – 51,486 (8 new deaths)
Vaccine Data – Sunday, July 11th (1:00 PM data)
Doses Shipped by state – 21,608,280
People vaccinated – 14,131,454
People fully vaccinated – 12,192,795
Total doses administered – 25,320,155
Inside the Numbers
Positivity rate as of Sunday, July 11th was 4.28%. One month ago, there were 922 new cases reported, one week ago there were 291 new cases reported, compared to the 516 reported yesterday. The 1,961 COVID patients in hospitals now is 304 more patients compared to one week ago, and COVID patients make up 2.9% of total hospital beds in the state.
Over the last week, an average of 44,144 doses have been administered each day in the state. As of Sunday, July 10th 42.1% of Texans have been fully vaccinated.
Voting Bills Advance to Floor after Overnight Committee Hearings
Republicans are kicking off the 30-day special session with several pushes to pass a series of bills that failed to pass during the regular session. This weekend, they brought the fight back to their voting suppression bill. Early Sunday morning, after a 26 hour hearing where over 300 people signed up to testify, a Texas House committee voted to advance a bill related to voting procedures. House Bill 3 contains many of the proposals that failed to pass at the end of the recently concluded regular session. A panel of Senate lawmakers followed suit later in the day, and approved a similar, but more stringent measure. The Senate also had several hours of testimony, with over 200 signing up to voice their opinion on the legislation.
Both House and Senate versions contain provisions that Democrats say amount to voter suppression. Both bills ban drive-thru and 24-hour voting options, improve access for partisan poll watchers, and forbid local election officials from proactively distributing applications to request mail-in ballots. The legislation would also further restrict the state’s voting-by-mail rules, including new ID requirements for absentee voters. Now that the bills have passed through the Republican-majority committees, they on track to be voted on by the full chambers this week.
Democrats Intend to Break Quorum.. Again
This is the HUGE breaking news of the day. As they did in the regular session, the Democratic members of the Texas House plan to fly to Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon, leaving the state to deny Republicans the quorum needed to pass new voting restrictions. With 27 days left in an already short 30-day special legislative session, time is not as abundant as Republicans might like. At least 51 of the 67 House Democrats were confirmed to be in the process of leaving this afternoon. With at least 51 members absent, the House will not have a quorum. A quorum of the 150 member House is 100 members. Without a quorum, the House will be unable – according to their rules – to conduct any business on the floor.
Many Republican members have already indicated they will make a motion to put a “call” on the House tomorrow. This motion is to put in place the procedures necessary to secure and maintain a quorum. The motion will need 15 seconds and then can be approved by a majority of those present. If the motion carries, then the Speaker has the authority to direct the Department of Public Safety to go and locate, detain, and return the absent House members to the Capitol. DPS does not have jurisdiction outside of the state of Texas.
Health Experts Warn Public of Delta Variant
The Delta variant, a new and highly contagious variant of the coronavirus, is believed to be the cause of the recent outbreak of 125+ cases of COVID-19 linked to a Houston-area youth church camp. A Texas virologist says the breakout is a warning not to be taken lightly. Dr. Benjamin Neuman, a virologist and professor at Texas A&M University said, “clearly, COVID is not over. COVID isn’t ever gone until it’s completely gone. And I think we’ve made the mistake of assuming that the virus would go away or assuming that the virus wouldn’t affect children … We keep stumbling into the same mistakes over and over, and that is not a way out of COVID-19.”
According to Texas health experts, the delta variant is predicted to become the dominant variant in the United States withing a few months. Their primary concern is the risk the variant is for those who are unvaccinated.
Dr. Rebecca Fischer, an infectious disease epidemiologist and assistant professor at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health, said that although dozens of variants have spawned from the original COVID-19 virus, this one has proven itself to be the most transmissible and has led to higher rates of hospitalization for those infected.
There are 27 days remaining in the 30 day special session. The House is in recess until 10AM tomorrow. Due to a lack of quorum in the Senate this morning, the Senate stands in recess until 10AM tomorrow.