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News Archive

October 18, 2020 to October 24, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: Mickey and Minnie Will Have to Wait a While Longer to Get Back to Work

KNX-AM (Oct. 20, begins at 01:40) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about California’s newly-announced guidelines for amusement parks and similar  venues. “It is a prudent measure when you’re considering the fact some of these parks have tens of thousands of people visiting,” Kim-Farley said. “One thing too, is it is not real clear, as to what modes of transmission are happening in these large theme parks …. there is COVID in the outlying communities and it is actually hard and difficult to be able to associate an event, an outbreak, with a theme park.”

COVID-19: “This isn't a movie. Movies end in two or three hours.”

CNN (Oct. 19) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about the likely future course of the pandemic this fall and winter. “We are coming into a dangerous moment here. People are moving indoors, the virus will spread. We do not have a silver bullet,” Rimoin said. “This isn't a movie. Movies end in two or three hours. We have a long way to go. All we have are masks, social distancing, hand hygiene, the things we've been talking about from the very beginning.”

COVID-19: “That’s why it is so important to wear a mask”

The “I am a New Voter” podcast (Oct. 21, starts at 3:12) hosted by singer Kiana Ledé interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about how to vote safely during the pandemic. “Up to 40%, maybe even more, of people are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms whatsoever, none,” Rimoin said. “You can think you’re totally fine, but you are actually infected and can infect other people … that’s why it is so important to wear a mask.”

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Many Californians, Particularly Black Residents, Would Skip a Vaccine Today, Survey Finds

The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 23) interviewed Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about vaccine hesitancy during the pandemic, especially among African Americans. “I have no surprise because this is not just relevant in terms of COVID-19; we’ve seen this even in terms of other types of immunizations,” Mays said. “Sometimes the research has utilized African Americans in order to get data points, but it has not at the end of that study benefited African Americans to any extent whatever.” It also ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian, and on Yahoo.

COVID-19: America and the Virus: ‘A Colossal Failure of Leadership’

The New York Times (Oct. 22) quoted Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, in a piece by columnist Nicholas Kristof comparing South Africa’s failed fight against AIDS under President Thabo Mbeki to the U.S. fight against COVID-19. “We’re unfortunately in the same place,” Rimoin said. “Mbeki surrounded himself with sycophants and cost his country hundreds of thousands of lives by ignoring science, and we’re suffering the same fate.”

COVID-19: New Study Explores how Tracking Virus Mutations Affects Understanding of the Disease

The Daily Bruin (Oct. 22) interviewed Christina Ramirez, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, about a study she co-authored for the journal Virus Research that suggests genome hotspots – seen as "typos" that can occur as the virus replicates during cellular division – could have a significant impact in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “Right now, places like Spain and France have case numbers that are higher than they were at the peak, but we’re not seeing that same increase in death,” Ramirez said. “We want to encourage scientists and people to really be concerned about viral sequences and do more research on it because we can learn so much from the virus itself.”

COVID-19: California has Escaped the National Surge, but Dangers lie Ahead

The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 21) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about how California has largely avoided a new wave of coronavirus cases that have surged elsewhere in the U.S. “We have hit a very good approach with this tiered system of what activities are allowed,” Kim-Farley said. It also ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune and on Yahoo.

COVID-19: How the Election Will Impact the Pandemic

Elemental (Oct. 20) interviewed Nadereh Pourat, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the potential impact of politics during the presidential election season on the CDC and FDA. “It’s been quite disturbing to me — the CDC coming up with guidelines that are quickly retracted or watered down,” Pourat said. “Sound policy is coming out, then being retracted and replaced by something else, and that’s the influence of politics on science.”

COVID-19: New Rules Keep Many California Theme Parks Closed for now

The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 20) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about California’s newly-announced guidelines for amusement parks and similar outdoor venues. “Theme parks are potential areas of transmission,” Kim-Farley said. “I don’t think we want to trade off opening up a theme park if it means that our children are not going to be able to go back to in-person classrooms because the increase in transmission could occur.”

COVID-19: Thanksgiving Gatherings and Three Things Experts Want you to Keep in Mind This Year

Health (Oct. 20) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about best practices during the holidays. “As the number of cases continue to rise across the United States, it's important to stay vigilant about preventing the spread of coronavirus as we approach the holidays,” Rimoin said. “If your household is multigenerational or includes individuals who may have underlying conditions or are in other high-risk categories, everyone attending should consider quarantining for two weeks prior to limit opportunities for infection.” It also ran on MSN.

COVID-19: Why the Asian American Data Picture is so Incomplete

NBC News (Oct. 20) referenced Ninez Ponce, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about the lack of information on how many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contracted or died from the disease.

COVID-19: The Case for Shaming Influencers for not Social Distancing

Mashable (Oct. 19) quoted Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about whether with a large following have a responsibility to promote social distancing. “They could be doing their part to help stop the spread of this virus,” Rimoin said. “What we know right now is that masks and social distancing work. We cannot rely on any other kind of magic bullet. This virus doesn't care whether or not you believe in it, this virus is going to spread.”

COVID-19: Why Some People are More Likely to Spread the Disease Than Others

The Healthy (Oct. 19) interviewed Dr. Peter Katona, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about coronavirus "super spreader" events, a relatively small proportion of virus carriers are thought to be responsible for most cases of transmission. “Certain types of viruses may be more contagious than others,” Katona said. ”The strain is not as deadly now, but it may be more contagious than the one we had six months ago.” It also ran in Reader’s Digest and on MSN.

COVID-19: UCLA Health Panel Talks Importance of Communities of Color n Vaccine Research

The Daily Bruin (Oct. 19) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the development of a successful vaccine for COVID-19. “There is a well-developed approach to vaccine development that is important to ensure safety and efficacy,” Kim-Farley said. “(Without community immunity), we will continue to smolder along with COVID-19, as compared to being able to actually crush it.”

COVID-19: Should the Pandemic Lead to Postponing Elective Surgery or a Trip to the Emergency Room?

The Hill (Oct. 18) published a commentary by Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor of health policy and management, about whether the pandemic should delay elective surgeries. “Public health officials and agencies should be reminding people not to avoid the ER if they have an emergency and get back on schedule for evidence-based screening and needed treatments and surgeries,” Fielding wrote. “Lastly, and most importantly, public health authorities must remind everyone to consult with their care providers to determine what procedures, treatments and screenings shouldn’t be further delayed.” It also ran on MSN and MSN Canada, and was referenced by KHN.

COVID-19: Students Responsible for Limiting Spread, Even With Holiday Travel

The Daily Bruin (Oct. 18) interviewed Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology, about the risks of travel during the pandemic and the holiday season. “It will be more difficult for people to socialize outdoors which may lead people to want to gather inside, which provides a better opportunity for the virus to spread,” Shafir said.

 

FEATURES (Other)

Dried Fruit is not as Healthy as you Think

MEL (Oct. 24) interviewed Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about dried fruit. “When dried fruit is just dried fruit, it can be a healthy snack. It can provide a quick dose of natural sugar and calories,” Hunnes said. “A portion size of dried fruit is roughly a quarter cup, whereas the same fresh fruit might be one cup.”

Immigrants in the U.S. Illegally are not Eligible for Free Health Care Under the ACA

The Associated Press (Oct. 23) ran a fact check under it’s “NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week” feature that quoted Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about former Vice President Biden’s plans for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if he is elected president. “Biden’s proposal would allow undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance, including the proposed public option, in the ACA marketplaces without federal subsidies,” Kominski said. “That isn’t free care.” The feature ran in more than 200 outlets, including the Bakersfield Californian, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, KABC-TV, and the Toronto Star.

Things To Know About Intermittent Fasting

Café Mom (Oct. 23) quoted Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about intermittent fasting. “Recent studies indicate that you might lose weight on this diet because when you fast, you are burning more fat for energy than you are carbohydrates,” Hunnes said.

What You Can Do Now To Protect Your Bones for Life

Well+Good (Oct. 22) interviewed Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about bone-healthy diets habits. “One of the best things you can do to preserve bone health as you age is to stay active—especially with weight bearing exercises,” Hunnes said. “Running and walking are both good exercises to maintain bone health as it puts pressure on the bones which can help compress the structure making it stronger.”

How the Election Will Impact Your Reproductive Health

Elemental (Oct. 22) interviewed May Sudhinaraset, associate professor of the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, about a study she led, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which found American women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are less likely to give birth to low-birth weight babies. “Our study found that women who lived in states with less restrictive policies have lower risks of low-birth-weight babies,” Sudhinaraset said. “Low-birth-weight babies are more at risk for health problems, (and) more likely to have delayed development or a social disability.” Similar stories ran in O Sul (Brazil), Refugio (Brazil), Galileu (Brazil), and HealthDay Espanol.

Antiretroviral Therapy Can't Completely Stop Accelerated Cell Aging Seen in HIV

Science Daily (Oct. 22) referenced Christina Ramirez, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, in a report about a study she co-authored for the journal Pathogens and Immunityabout the effects of anti-retroviral therapy in HIV-1-infected adults. It also ran in Science Magazine.

The 2020 Presidential Election: What’s at Stake for Health?

Health News Digest (Oct. 22) reported on the Oct. 21 Paul Torrens Health Forum, moderated by Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management. The program featured two health policy experts, Lanhee Chen of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and Mark Peterson, professor of public policy, political science and law at UCLA, discussing the Democratic and Republican health platforms, their key policy implications, and how each reflects the party’s vision for the nation’s health. A similar item ran on Science News.

Polluted air Kills 500,000 Newborns Annually, Study Finds

The Guardian (Oct. 21) interviewed Dr. Beate Ritz, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and of environmental health sciences, about a study that found air pollution caused the premature death of nearly 500,000 babies in their first month of life, with most of the infants being in the developing world. “This is not the air pollution we see (today), but that which we had 150 years ago in London and other places, where there were coal fires indoors. Indoor air pollution has not been at the forefront for policymakers, but it should be,” said Ritz, who was not involved with the study. “There is also damage to the brain and other organs from this pollution, so just surviving is not enough – we need to reduce air pollution because of the impact on all these organs too.” It also ran on more than 50 others outlets, including  MSN and Yahoo. Ritz was also quoted in a video produced by the Health Effects Institute, which produced the study.

What the Election Means for Health Equity

Elemental (Oct. 21) interviewed Nadereh Pourat, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact of politics on health for people of color and the LGBTQ+ community. “(There are) a million subtle ways that politics impact health and the health care system,” Pourat said. “(They) are much less obvious than the ACA or health insurance.”

Americans’ Understanding of Health Insurance has not Gotten Better, Even in an Election Year

Policy Genius (Oct. 21) interviewed Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about Americans’ health insurance literacy. “The reality is, a substantial portion of the population may not take the time to learn about Obamacare because they have employer-based insurance and they believe they’re immune to being uninsured,” Kominski said. “Then something like a pandemic or economic recession occurs and large numbers of people start losing their jobs and suddenly, you have no health benefits.”

The Campaign to get Public Health Experts to Declare Racist Policing a Crisis

The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 20) interviewed Dr. Camara Jones, a member of the board of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health, about the American Public Health Association’s 2018 policy statement “Addressing Law Enforcement Violence as a Public Health Issue.” “There was nobody who would get up and say, ‘We don’t care about police violence,’ but there was what I would characterize as a lack of readiness,” Jones said.

Here's How Much Vitamin B12 You Actually Need

Men’s Health (Oct. 20) interviewed Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the recommended amount of vitamin B12. It also ran on MSN and Yahoo.

Immigrants in the U.S. Illegally are not Eligible for Free Health Care Under the ACA

The Associated Press (Oct. 19) interviewed Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the reality the Affordable Care Act (ACA) excludes immigrants living in the country illegally from receiving tax credits, and that Vice President Biden has not proposed changing that if he is elected president. “Biden’s proposal would allow undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance, including the proposed public option, in the ACA marketplaces without federal subsidies,” Kominski said. “That isn’t free care.”

Documentary Explores Overcoming Bigotry and Anger to Embrace Empathy and Inclusivity

KPBS-TV (Oct. 19) broadcast an interview with psychologist Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, filmed as part of the documentary “Love Wins Over Hate,” examining how individuals have survived brutality, including the Holocaust. “There are individuals for whom having these experiences have them bereft and there’s not the resources for them to harness this resiliency; they are left scarred,” Mays said. “On the other side, people survive, they survive well, and they go on to teach others.”

Cap and Trade-Offs: Did California's Landmark Legislation Help or Hurt the State's Most Vulnerable?

Grist (Oct. 19) interviewed Lara Cushing, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the effectiveness of California’s cap and trade legislation. “It’s really hard to disentangle whether changes can be attributed to a program or not,” Cushing said. “There are all these other things going on. We had a huge recession in 2008 so emissions were down relative to where people thought they would be in 2013 — so the cap greatly exceeded the amount of pollution that was being emitted because the economy was still recovering.”

“Catholics Cannot Forget Workers' Rights When Voting”

The National Catholic Reporter (Oct. 19) published a commentary that cited research by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s WORLD Policy Analysis Center about the usefulness of paid family and sick leave to help slow the pandemic. “Children suffer and die due to the lack of paid parental leave in the U.S. According to the World Policy Analysis Center, laws mandating paid parental leaves, sick leave, family medical leave and breastfeeding breaks significantly lower infant and child morbidity and mortality.”

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