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Dr. Jonathan Fielding | Op-Ed Articles

Dr. Jonathan Fielding, professor-in-residence in FSPH's Department of Health Policy and Management, writes opinion articles on a wide range of topical public health issues, from childhood obesity, gun violence, and the opioid crisis to dietary supplements, distracted driving and strategies to reduce dementia risk. Please see articles below.


Should COVID still force us to postpone elective surgery or forgo a trip to the ER?


Source: The Hill

Date: October 18, 2020


"As early as April, doctors worried that people experiencing life-threatening emergencies were avoiding hospitals. Those fears were validated."


Dissecting physical vs social distancing


Source: The Hill

Date: September 1, 2020


"Physical, not social distancing is essential to prevent transmission of the virus. And ironically we need to couple that with “social connectivity” the opposite of “social distancing."


Publicly funded vaccines must be priced fairly and available for all


Source: The Hill

Date:July 23, 2020


"What will be done to ensure vaccines are accessible for those who need them most? It is amazing that the answer is not yet determined, considering the gravity of the situation.”


COVID-19: What is happening in the developing world?


Source: The Hill

Date: June 1, 2020


"And in all countries, the economic hardship is falling most heavily on its poorest citizens."


"COVID-19 going forward — a US perspective"


Source: The Hill

Date: April 28, 2020


“Remember, in 1918 the worst wave of the pandemic was after it appeared to be over.”

"Fighting pandemics abroad is in our own best interest"


Source: The Hill

Date: March 31, 2020


“We need to be prepared — not only against pandemics, but epidemics that threaten to become pandemics and to anticipate potential unknowns. Investment in global public health is, in the end — less costly, more effective and safer for everyone.”

"Coronavirus and what needs to be done to get in front of global pandemics" 

Source: The Hill

Date: February 24, 2020


“In the case of infectious diseases, America’s public safety cannot be addressed in a vacuum. Instead, we need to work with all global stakeholders to effectively fight this disease and other diseases that will certainly follow it.”

E-scooters present a growing public-health challenge


Source: The Hill

Date: November 30, 2019


"A study found that for every 100,000 e-scooter trips taken, 20 individuals were injured — for comparative purposes, nationally there is less than one injury (.75) for every 100,000 car trips."

Gun suicides: America's unseen public health crisis


Source: The Hill

Date: October 11, 2019


"In 2017, 60 percent of the nearly 40,000 gun deaths in the United States were suicides."

Social determinants of health — health care isn't just bugs and bacteria


Source: The Hill

Date: September 4, 2019


"A new bill would make grants available to states and communities to help people with housing, employment and other non-medical factors that affect their health."

COVID-19: What is happening in the developing world?


Source: The Hill

Date: August 20, 2019


"And in all countries, the economic hardship is falling most heavily on its poorest citizens."

Making sure that your place in the sun is a safe one


Source: The Hill

Date: June 29, 2019


"Is sunscreen safe?"

Noise can adversely affect human health and quality of life


Source: The Hill

Date: June 7, 2019


"Even modest reductions in noise can have a positive impact."

In the vaccine fight, measles is winning


Source: The Hill

Date: April 24, 2019


"We need to start treating the measles outbreak as the public-health emergency that it is."

Americans aren't getting enough sleep and it's killing us


Source: The Hill

Date: March 30, 2019


"You can’t trade hours of sleep and not increase your health risks."

States are failing on vaccinations. The federal government must lead.


Source: The Washington Post

Date: March 7, 2019


"Federal policymakers have a responsibility to protect those children who have been put at risk whenever a parent claims the “right” to refuse vaccination."

The e-cigarette epidemic — recognizing Big Tobacco's Trojan horse


Source: The Hill

Date: February 11, 2019


An addiction epidemic caused by nicotine products targeting our kids is irrefutable.

The US must invest in fighting foodborne illness


Source: The Hill

Date: January 3, 2019


On food safety, the U.S. can and should do better.

Marijuana has economic benefits, but public health risks are undecided


Source: The Hill

Date: November 7, 2018


There's a lack of evidence behind health claims associated with marijuana.

Loneliness is an emerging public health threat


Source: The Hill

Date: October 9, 2018


As the population ages, the burden of social isolation on public health will only increase.

There's a lack of US leadership on breastfeeding


Source: The Hill

Date: August 20, 2018


U.S. leadership needs to actively support breastfeeding, both in domestic and international health policymaking.

Chickenpox shows how unprepared we are at the border


Source: The Hill

Date: July 2, 2018


Victorville puts into stark relief our government’s responsibility toward those whom they detain or deport and all those with whom they interact.

Good communication will help beat COVID-19


Source: The Hill

Date: June 21, 2018


Slashing budgets self-destructively courts disaster by eliminating one of our most effective national security programs.

Treat owning and using a gun like owning and using a car


Source: The Hill

Date: May 14, 2018


The number of deaths from gun violence should erase any doubt that a real epidemic is underway.

We can take care of children by taking care of their teeth


Source: The Hill

Date: April 5, 2018


The federal government needs to get involved to secure the future health of America’s children.

Tame the Flu


Source: U.S. News and World Report

Date: February 20, 2018


It's time to get serious about a universal flu vaccine.

Good Relationships are Good for Our Health


Capitol Hill's miserable work environment holds a lesson for our own health and well-being.

The High Cost of Rising Drug Prices


Pharmaceutical company profits should not outweigh the public interest.

Our Lifestyles Are Killing Us


America is facing a Type 2 diabetes epidemic stemming from lack of exercise and poor diet.

Protect the Elderly, Protect Yourself


Team Trump endangers everyone by scrapping seniors' right to litigate nursing home abuse.

Stay Healthy to Prevent Dementia


Recent research suggests exercise, a healthy diet and good sleep are key to reducing the risk of dementia.

Get Kids Exercising Again


The new surgeon general can make a real impact in reducing the number of overweight kids.

Time for Action on Opioids


The president's budget takes several significant steps back in the fight against opioids.

Can you hear me now?


3 big steps we can take to lower the costs of hearing aids for consumers.

Be Wary of Dietary Supplements


If a supplement sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Gun violence is a public health crisis.


The key to reducing firearm violence begins with treating it like a public health epidemic.

Fentanyl Is Killing Us


The opioid's easy availability and high toxicity are contributing to American overdose deaths.

Driving Safely Is on You


Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people every year. Here are 5 ways to stay safe.

Responding to the Next Ebola


Government health agencies can take these four steps to better prepare for the next disease outbreak.

Take Care of Children's Teeth


Tooth decay disproportionately affects low-income kids with limited access to dental care.

We Can Make Medicine Affordable


Commonsense fixes to Medicare and FDA drug approval can lower the cost of lifesaving drugs.

Stop Pushing Our Luck


Without the necessary funds, fighting Zika, Ebola and other infectious disease is a losing battle.