Author

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

‘Ready to give up’: Eligible Missourians struggle to find vaccine appointments

By: - February 23, 2021

Darlene Davis has been searching for an available vaccine appointment in the Kansas City area at least three times a day. In her search, Davis, a 77-year old nurse who lives in Independence, developed a routine checking sites online for appointments. “I go in the morning when I get up at six. I go about […]

Sara Hart Weir and Kasey Kittell stand side by side smiling

For disability-rights advocate advising Missouri vaccine plan, the work is personal

By: - February 19, 2021

Over two decades ago, Kasey Kittell opened Sara Hart Weir’s eyes to a population of people who are often overlooked. Kittell was born with Down syndrome, a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome that can cause a range of developmental and intellectual disabilities. The two met when Kittell was entering high school […]

Winter weather delays COVID vaccine shipments to Missouri health departments

By: - February 18, 2021

Days of bitter cold and snowy roads have delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to health departments across Missouri — although many are hopeful they’ll still arrive this week. An estimated 186,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine have been delayed in transit due to the weather, Lisa Cox, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health […]

Student Wearing Mask in Classroom

School choice bills have been pushed in Missouri for years. Will the pandemic pave the way?

By: - February 17, 2021

Missouri’s legislative leaders have spent the last decade vowing to pass significant school-choice legislation. Yet despite massive GOP majorities in both the House and the Senate, they often fall short. Since the expansion of charter schools into unaccredited districts in 2012, attempts to push through education reform have crashed into a wall of resistance year […]

Missouri mass vaccination events canceled due to extreme winter weather

By: - February 15, 2021

Mass vaccination events supported by the Missouri National Guard will be canceled through Friday due to the extreme winter weather across the state, Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday. Over a dozen events will be affected, which included administering both initial and booster doses to eligible residents. While the events are being rescheduled, residents who had […]

‘At the whims of the state’: Confusion persists for Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccinators

By: - February 12, 2021

When the St. Louis County Department of Public Health saw itself listed among the hospitals expected to receive thousands of vaccines last week, it came as a surprise.  No one had told the health department or hospital systems that was the plan, or even what that meant — setting off days of confusion over where […]

‘Road to hell’: Students who faced abuse at Missouri boarding schools call for action

By: - February 10, 2021

Thrown to the ground and restrained for hours. Forced to eat food they had thrown up. Silenced with duct-tape over their mouths. Beaten without immediate medical care. Those were just some of instances of the horrific physical and sexual abuse former residents, parents and staff described witnessing in youth residential facilities within Missouri and across […]

St. Louis County sounds alarm at dwindling COVID vaccine supply, appointments may pause

By: - February 8, 2021

Last week, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health was listed along with St. Louis’ four major hospital systems as a “high throughput” provider that would be receiving a portion of 15,600 doses allocated to the region each week to administer to residents. But according to an email sent by St. Louis County Executive […]

With Affordable Care Act in danger, Missouri GOP push pre-existing conditions shield

By: - February 8, 2021

It’s been nearly three months since Rep. Brenda Shields was diagnosed with COVID-19, but her lung issues still persist. Shields said she feels her condition improving every day, but she still has difficulty breathing — especially when she exerts even a small amount of energy. Lawmakers are concerned the pandemic will add to the more […]

Missouri data shows expanding ‘vaccine deserts’ in St. Louis and Kansas City metros

By: - February 4, 2021

An expanding portion of St. Louis and Kansas City are considered “vaccine deserts,” or areas with limited-to-no access to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to analysis by a consulting firm hired by the state. Vaccine deserts are expanding in the state’s biggest cities despite shrinking for the rest of the state as more providers begin administering […]

Calls grow for Missouri to expand underlying conditions eligible for COVID vaccine

By: - February 3, 2021

It’s been 15 years since Julie Vomund had cancer, but its effects still linger.  At 19 years old, Vomund was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that originates in white blood cells called lymphocytes. One of the side effects her treatment left her with was bleomycin toxicity, which can cause lung […]

COVID liability advances in Missouri Senate, expands to shield religious orgs

By: - February 3, 2021

Churches would be immune from most lawsuits alleging COVID was contracted on their premises after an exemption was carved out for religious organizations during the Senate’s first filibuster of the session Tuesday over liability protections for businesses and healthcare providers. After nearly 15 hours of debate and negotiations behind the scenes, legislation sponsored by Sen. […]