Matter of Fact Newsletter

According to CDC data, about 54 percent of West Virginians have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

The Omicron Variant 

Cases of COVID’s latest virus strain are popping up across the globe. That now includes the U.S. Scientists say they’ve got dozens of questions they need answered. They want to know how transmissible it is, how dangerous it is, and how well current vaccines can protect us. While the experts race to get more details, health leaders are scrambling to put safety measures in place. Topping the list: travel restrictions, stricter testing rules, and a renewed push for vaccines.

Bottom of the Pack 

West Virginia’s vaccination efforts are doing a 180. Just not in the way health experts want to see. Last winter, the state led the nation in vaccinating older Americans. Now, West Virginia ranks third for the lowest vaccination rate. Correspondent Julia Sun takes us to the Mountain State this weekend to see efforts to turn it around.

Restricting Safe Abortions 

This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for a case challenging abortion rights. It’s about a Mississippi law banning procedures after 15 weeks. It’s also a direct challenge to Roe. v. Wade. Even if Justices don’t completely overturn the landmark ruling, it could lead to a series of other challenges. Many say that won’t end abortions, just safe abortions. Hear from two women who remember the dangers before the life-saving decision. 

The Jury is Out 

But first, they had to make it through jury selection. Before a jury trial, attorneys try to get rid of anyone who might be biased against their case. They usually call in a jury consultant to help. We call one in to explain what she looks for to help a client win the case. 

On the Open Road

Join us for a road trip along I-70. We travel from Denver to St. Louis asking people what being an American means to them. To see more stories diving into our nation’s vast diversity, check out our Listening Tour page.

Coming Up Next…

Our latest Listening Tour is nearly here! On December 16th, Soledad continues our series on bias and identity with a special streaming event. We’ll explore innovative solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing problems. You can watch our Matter of Fact Listening Tour: Promises of Change at at 7PM EST.  

See when and where you can watch Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien this weekend.