is an award-winning journalist who reported for the Tribune from 2011 to 2020. He covered the dramatic collapse of Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign and went on to write an ebook about it called “Oops! A Diary from the 2012 Campaign Trail.” Root also broke the story that put the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, on the path toward criminal indictment, co-wrote an exposé that brought an end to privately funded prosecutions in Travis County, and authored a series of watchdog articles that prompted a wave of firings and resignations at two major state agencies.
In 2017, Root co-directed “Beyond The Wall,” a film exploring border politics in the age of Trump, which won a national Edward R. Murrow award for best news documentary. Root’s latest film, “Border Hustle,” was released in early 2019 and reveals how desperate migrants have become cash cows on both sides of the border.
Previously, for a dozen years, Root was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where he chronicled the rise of then-Gov. George W. Bush, wrote about cartel violence in Mexico and covered Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. During a three-year stint at the Associated Press, Root was twice named AP Staff Reporter of the Year for his watchdog reporting, including a story that sparked felony charges against a sitting state representative.
As health care professionals beg for supplies to protect themselves from COVID-19 infection, a Texas company found a seller with at least 2 million masks and quietly offered them for sale at $6 each. Before the pandemic, they cost around $1. Full Story
Though Texas has dramatically increased its testing capacity, many who have gotten one are waiting days on end, and sometimes a week or more, for the results, according to interviews with patients and health care professionals. Full Story
In fabric shops and on factory floors, the race is on to make and manufacture personal protective equipment in Texas before supplies run out for those on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. Full Story
Mayor Sylvester Turner said a lack of personal protective equipment for health workers is one reason three sites in Houston and Harris County can't open yet. Long lines formed at the one that did. Full Story
After the Ebola outbreak, a task force recommended stockpiling protective gear and expanding state powers to deal with infectious diseases. "Tinfoil hats" opposed to big government killed a bill that would have done it, its sponsor says. Full Story
If there is an epicenter of the new coronavirus in Texas, it’s arguably Fort Bend County, which had the first confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of the federal quarantine site in San Antonio. There are six total cases there now, all stemming from an Egypt cruise trip. Full Story
Two Trump administration initiatives have driven down traffic, locals say: the “remain in Mexico” program requiring people to wait out their asylum cases south of the border, and the threat to slap tariffs on Mexico unless it cracked down on migrants crossing through it. Full Story