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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of April 12, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
April 12, 2020 to April 18, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: California’s lessons for Australia

Channel9 (April 18, Sydney, Australia television) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the lessons California’s fight against the pandemic hold for Australia. “We’ve actually had much fewer cases than the modelers expected us to see in California, because of this early action,” Kim-Farley said. “We really were on a very steep curve and now we’ve been able to flatten it a bit … (we can’t relax them until) when we know the community (infection) levels are very low, and we have sufficient public health capacity to test people, identify cases, and make sure they get isolated.”

COVID-19: Importance of government transparency with public health information

KGO-AM (April 17, San Francisco) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the importance of government transparency in a public health crisis. “We need to have a fundamental chassis to put all this on,” Jackson said. “The health department is going to have to go back and look for the support to develop and overall system – people have a right to know what’s going on. They need to know the number of cases (and) where they are.”

COVID-19: The case for continued social distancing

ABC (April 16) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of community health sciences and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, on the case for continued social distancing. “It really reinforces the importance of social distancing, because people can spread the disease when they are asymptomatic,” Eisenman said. “You can spread it (just) by talking and exhaling.” The piece also ran on Yahoo News.

COVID-19: Public communications and vaccine safety

MSNBC (April 16, starts at 00:45) 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, on how the public will be persuaded of the safety of a future vaccine. “Vaccines go through a very long process of vetting for safety and efficacy, and right now these trials are all starting,” Rimoin said. “We’ve worked very, very hard in other epidemics, like in Ebola, to be able to roll out vaccines quickly and to be able to work with all the various communities and show them we have all this data … everybody will be spending a lot of time showing people the data and making sure people are comfortable with it.”

COVID-19: Links between discrimination and health

Channel 35’s (April 16) “LA This Week” program interviewed Gilbert Gee, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, on the impact the pandemic may have on ethnic communities, including the stress from discrimination that leads to allostatic load, depressing health. “These links between discrimination and health effects are evident for African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans,” Gee said. “When we have these repeated instances of stress, over and over, it can actually wear down the body.”

COVID-19: UCLA study shows use of cloth masks will reduce spread significantly

CNN (April 15) 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, on the possibility that widespread use of cloth masks will significantly reduce the spread of the pandemic. “It's really important to stress this issue of asymptomatic infection and how this plays out in terms of the spread of the virus,” Rimoin said. “We've just published a paper, in pre-print right now that shows very clearly that the use of cloth masks worn by everyone in the population will reduce the spread of the virus significantly and can bring this reproductive number we've been discussing down very, very low. Perhaps below one. This is very important.”

COVID-19: Pandemic preparedness has been very, very poorly funded

MSNBC (April 15) 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, on the state of pandemic response. “We are not where we need to be with testing, we’re not where we need to be with PPE, we’re not where we need to be with the equipment that we need, we’re not where we need to be able to identify people who are sick, to be able trace their contacts, and (to) do what we need to do to reduce the spread of this virus,” Rimoin said. “Pandemic preparedness has been very, very poorly funded, underfunded, for a very long time, and now we are paying the price.”

COVID-19: What would a second wave look like?

KNBC-TV (April 14, Los Angeles affiliate) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, in a story on the perils of transitioning back to normal without herd immunity, a vaccine, or a cure. “I think it will be end of June before we can talk about significant changes in physical distancing,” Kim-Farley said, before adding that even the extent of the infection in the U.S. population is currently unknown. “Are we at 1 percent of the population? Ten percent of the population? We really don’t know.”

COVID-19: Policy decisions must be based on science

MSNBC (April 14) 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, on the need for rational decision making about pandemic response. “We cannot be basing our decisions of how we will be able to get to the next step, reopening our country, on opinion,” Rimoin said. “It needs to be based on data, it needs to be based on research, it needs to be based on science. Everything that we’re doing, and everything we’ve done so far, all the sacrifices everybody has made, to be able to flatten the curve, to slow the spread of the virus, will be for nothing if we open up too quickly.” The piece was also run by Yahoo News.

COVID-19: U.S. needs to 'reimagine' how we live

MSNBC (April 14) 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, on the historical impact of the pandemic on American society. “We’re going to need a complete reimaging of how we work, how we live, how we interact,” Rimoin said. “And before we reorganize how we live as a society, we can’t re-open, because we’ll be back to the problems that made this an issue in the first place.”

COVID-19: Protecting public health is integral to democracy

Salon’s “The Gist” podcast (April 14, starts at 06:45) interviewed Miranda Yaver, a postdoctoral scholar in health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on discuss the political consequences of the pandemic. “It’s no secret the United States had a lot of missed opportunities to intervene earlier,” Yaver said. “The United States has higher rates of significant preexisting conditions that make what might be otherwise mild cases more severe, we have high rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes; (and) we also have a real distrust of government in the United States that makes it harder to have successful policy interventions when we need them.”

COVID-19: We need to understand how many people have been infected

The Dr. Oz (April 14, starts at 02:00) program 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, on the need to ramp up COVID-19 testing, as well as testing and tracking health care workers and first responders. “This is the most important thing we can be doing right now; we need to understand how many people have been infected so far,” Rimoin said. “Who has active infections? And who may have already had this infection and whether or not having previous infections actually means people have immunity,” Rimoin said. “We’re going to be regularly screening health care workers, and when I say health care workers, I mean everybody who works in a hospital, to be able to understand are people infected without their knowledge of being infected.” Rimoin’s interview continued (Part 2 and Part 3), and ran on multiple stations, including WWJ-TV (CBS affiliate, Detroit)

COVID-19: When will we have robust testing for everyone who needs a test?

CBS (April 14) 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, on how crucial it is to ramp up testing, including how that impacts the health care workers who are the subject of an epidemiological study she is leading at UCLA. “We need to know, first of all, who has active infection … we also need to know who may have already had this infection, and whether or not having previous infections actually means people have immunity,” Rimoin said. “We’re going to be regularly screening health care workers, and when I say health care workers, I mean everybody who works in a hospital, to be able to understand are people infected without their knowledge of being infected.”

COVID-19: Antibody testing finds has immunity

KSNV-TV (April 14, NBC affiliate, Las Vegas) 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, on the issue of antibody testing, drawing from an NBC report. "I think healthcare workers (should) know they have antibodies," Rimoin said. "They will be able to go into work more confident that they are not getting themselves sick or passing this virus to others around them." The story also ran on KTVL-TV in Oregon.

COVID-19: A natural origin of the pandemic

KTLA-TV (April 13, Los Angeles television) 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, on the origins of the pandemic. “This is a virus that looks like it came through the natural roots of infection, so what we’d expect,” Rimoin said. “There’s no evidence that this came from an intentional or accidental release out of a laboratory; all the (work) that’s been done suggests that this is something that comes from a natural spillover farm animals to humans. Which is something that happens frequently, so that is not an unusual event.”

COVID-19: Back to basics for symptoms and prevention

KPCC-FM (April 13, NPR affiliates, Los Angeles, starts at 19:00) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on symptoms and prevention. “It is a cough that is a dry cough, and it does happen frequently for COVID-19 patients, about 59 to 82 percent,” Kim-Farley said. “By waiting three days after the fever has stopped, or seven days from the initial start of symptoms, whichever is longer, would be a safe time for the person to be approached by others.”

COVID-19: To be safe, safe at home should stay in place the end of May or early June

KPCC-FM (April 13, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles, starts at 04:02) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, on the prospects for an early end to California’s “safe at home” order. “In the last 2-3 weeks we have seen big, positive changes; you can see the whole U.S. (infection) numbers reducing, and the deaths start to reduce,” Zhang said. “In California, we acted much, much earlier than New York City and we are in a very good situation right now, including in Los Angeles.”

COVID-19: UCLA study of health care workers and first responders focuses on antibodies

NBC (April 13) 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, on the COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative she is leading to test for and track potential exposures among health care workers and first responders in Los Angeles, including whether they have developed antibodies to protect against the disease. “How can we expect our health workforce to be protecting us if we’re not doing everything that we can to protect them?” Rimoin said. “I think that health care workers that know they have antibodies will be able to go into their work more confident that they are not getting themselves sick or passing this virus to others around them." The study was also reported in a separate piece by KNBC-TV, NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate, which also ran April 13.

COVID-19: UCLA study focuses on health care workers

KNBC-TV (April 13, Los Angeles affiliate) 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, on the COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative she is leading to test and track COVID-19 exposures among health care workers in Los Angeles. “This is how we can get started and be able to understand how to keep our health system functioning and be able to allay the fears of health works who are putting their lives on the line every day and by association their families lives on the line every day,” Rimoin said. The report also quoted Dr. Ashley Gray, a pediatric hematologist at UCLA-RR Medical Center’s Mattel Children’s Hospital, who is participating in the study. “Peace of mind is something a lot of us would like to have right now and many of us struggle with on a daily basis,” Gray said. “Everybody in the lab has been working incredibly hard, but to come to this day is very fulfilling, so we’re very excited about it.”

COVID-19: If we open up, we will see a rebound in the number of cases

KNBC-TV (April 12, Los Angeles affiliate, starts at 04:30) interviewedAnne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on the flagship “News Conference” program, along with University of California President Janet Napolitano and California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, on the state of the pandemic. “We need to know how many people have been infected, we need to know how many have recovered, and we need to know who may have some sort of immunity to this and who doesn’t,” Rimoin said. “All of those things need to be in place for us to even consider opening up our economy.”

COVID-19: Health and social circumstances are intertwined

Phoenix TV (April 12, Hong Kong) interviewed Gilbert Gee, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, on the impact of the pandemic in the United States, including upon the Asian-American community. “It appears that the (Asian American) business community, like the restaurants and Asian stores, have been hit economically earlier than most other communities,” Gee said. “Here in the U.S. the recommendations vary so much by geography, what California is doing is very different than what New York or Texas are doing, so the big problem with that is (the public) is getting conflicting information.”

COVID-19: We still are missing widespread testing

NBC (April 12) 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, during the flagship Meet the Press program. “We still are missing the widespread testing that's needed for us to understand exactly where we are on this curve,” Rimoin said. “We still don’t have good testing in place. We still do not -- are missing the widespread testing that’s needed for us to understand exactly where we are on this curve.”

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and on-line)

COVID-19: Massachusetts remains a hot spot

The Boston Globe (April 18) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on California officials’ decisions early in the pandemic to ban large gatherings, shut down businesses, and issue a strict shelter-in-place order, with penalties and fines for violators. “Those were not popular things they did because nobody knew anyone that was sick at that time and it sounded like they were overreacting,” Jackson said. “But now ... it doesn’t seem like overreacting.” MSN also ran the story.

COVID-19: Housing for the homeless

The Los Angeles Times (April 18) cited research by Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on the impact of the pandemic on the homeless.

COVID-19: Infections could be much more widespread than believed, study suggests

The Los Angeles Times (April 17) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and chair of the department, on a Stanford University study of infections in Santa Clara County. “How do we protect the vulnerable, while letting other people who are maybe immune because they’ve been infected and have antibodies come back to work? How do you sort this out?” Michels said.

COVID-19: Continue to take measures to prevent infection

Nikkei (April 17, Japan’s largest financial newspaper) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and chair of the department, on a strategy of aiming for collective immunity. The result would be "many dead and the price is too large,” Michels said. “We should continue to take measures to prevent infection, such as keeping a distance from others until the vaccine is put into practical use."

COVID-19: Predicting the impact of the pandemic on the world

The Daily Bruin (April 17) referenced Dr. Haroutune Armenian, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology, and Roshan Bastani, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, in a story about the pandemic’s long-term impact. “UCLA has the opportunity of developing projects, research and learning about some of the fallbacks and problems, as well as the possibility of learning some of the potential positives of this situation,” Armenian said.

COVID-19: Ease social distancing?

The American Independent (April 17) quoted Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the possibility of easing social distancing rules. "We have to err on the side of protecting human life. So we should not rush back to business as usual, at the expense of a second wave. That indeed could be a tsunami that would endanger many more lives," Kim-Farley said.

COVID-19: Why are we supposed to stand six feet apart?

The Daily Beast (April 17) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer on the reasons behind physical distancing. ““Being farther away reduces the chance of coming in contact with infectious droplets,” Brewer said. “Individuals infected with respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 tend to produce droplets larger than 5 microns when they cough, sneeze or talk. Because of their size and weight, these droplets usually fall to surfaces within about a 3 to 6 foot distance … any susceptible person within 3 to 6 feet of an infected person could have these droplets land on them and possibly become infected.”

COVID-19: Minorities get a double dose of strife with crisis

The Sentinel (April 17, Colorado) interviewed Gilbert Gee, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, on how scapegoating of Asian Americans can exacerbate health issues in at-risk populations. “Do we want to fool ourselves into thinking that the fight is against other people and waste our energy blaming them, or face the reality that we live on a planet where pathogens are constantly emerging from everywhere?,” Gee said “ … Blaming other people will give us some temporary comfort through the illusion of control, but it is ultimately counterproductive. Now is the time for solidarity, not slurs.”

COVID-19: Website launched to track pandemic-inspired hate speech and abuse online

The Star (April 17, Malaysia) quoted Gilbert Gee, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, on efforts to track online hate speech and xenophobia targeting other minority communities in the US during the pandemic. There is also evidence that stress, like that caused by racist abuse, can weaken an individual’s immune system and make them more vulnerable to contagions like the novel coronavirus, Gee said. The net effect of that stress response – known as allostatic load – combined with the reluctance of victims to seek treatment would be to worsen the pandemic.

COVID-19: UCLA Fielding School of Public Health efforts spotlighted in ASPPH Friday Letter

The ASPPH Friday Letter (April 17) reported two items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts and the pandemic. Under the category of “Members in the News,” the Letter spotlighted the Guardian’s interview of Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about the links between air pollution and disease; and the Público interview of Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on access to health care issues for low income, undocumented individuals.

COVID-19: In California, social distancing makes the difference

Le Figaro (April 16, Paris) 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, on how California has dealt with the pandemic. “Once the virus begins to spread, it spreads exponentially, so acting quickly to keep people from crowds is the best thing to do," Rimoin said. “If we just reopen everything, the virus will still be there and we will find ourselves at the starting point.” Rimoin was also quoted by Vice TV and Diario26 (Argentina).

COVID-19: How California kept ahead of the curve

The BBC (April 16) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer on how California has dealt with the pandemic. “We certainly don't have the population density of New York City," Brewer said. "The less dense the population, the more easy it is to maintain physical distances from each other."

COVID-19: Why California's strategy has been so effective and how it differs from New York's

The BBC (April 16) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and chair of the department, on how California’s state and local governments have dealt with the pandemic. “(California has) good health coverage that allows us to be able to provide the necessary care, without falling into a chronic shortage of hospital beds, intensive care or health workers," Michels said. “The key now is to maintain those measures long enough. There are still many challenges and uncertainties ahead. The story ran on the BBC’s “Mundo” Spanish language service. The story also ran on La Nacion (Argentina, in Spanish).

COVID-19: US and China have no choice but to team up on pandemic

China Daily (April 16) interviewed Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, on the issue of international cooperation against the pandemic. “We have to collaborate,” Fielding said. “I don't think it's a question of whether we want to or do not want to. There are some things where you can't let politics intrude, and this is certainly one of them.”

COVID-19: Lack of adequate paid sick leave has likely worsened the spread

The Brennan Center (April 16) quoted Dr. Jody Heymann, founding director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s WORLD Policy Analysis Center and a UCLA distinguished professor of public health, public policy, and medicine, in a column discussing the need for paid sick leave as a response to the pandemic.

COVID-19: Social distancing in California "made a difference" to coronavirus

AFP (April 15; French language news service, video and text) interviewedAnne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on how California has dealt with the pandemic. “If we look at the data, it is clear that rapid measurements make the difference to flatten the curve,” Rimoin said. "California has really been at the forefront of regulations to keep people at home, to promote social distancing, to cancel concerts and large gatherings, and even to encourage people to cover their faces. All of this put together, it makes quite a difference.” The story was published in French by La Presse (Quebec); Le Point (Paris), Le Express (France), and Boursorama (France); in English by MSN (begins at 00:16), Yahoo News, the International Business TimesAl-JazeeraNews24 (South Africa), and The Red & Black (University of Georgia student newspaper); and in Spanish (translated by AFP) by El Nuevo Dia (Puerto Rico), TVN (Panama), and La Prensa (Honduras).

COVID-19: State coalitions race to fight virus, but gaps remain

Bloomberg News (April 15) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on efforts by coalitions of U.S. states – including on the Pacific Coast, the northeast and New England, and the Great Lakes – to work together in the fight against the pandemic. “It would not be appropriate if a state says, ‘We need to be taking restraints off,’ with large numbers of cases that would then be exported to their neighbors and overwhelm their own health-care system,” Kim-Farley said. “It’s important to be a good neighbor.”

COVID-19: Transparency key to decision-makers’ credibility

The Los Angeles Times (April 15) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the importance of transparency in a public health crisis. “As the general principle, the public has a right to important information that would influence their own health,” Jackson said. “The fastest way to lose your credibility is to give out incorrect information … the second fastest way would be to give out no information.” Jackson’s quotes were referenced in USA Today and AZCentral, and the story also ran in the Concord (NH) Monitor and on Arcamax.

COVID-19: Halt L.A. concerts, sporting events until 2021?

The Los Angeles Times (April 15) referenced Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, in a story on a possible timeline for relaxing physical distancing restrictions in California.

COVID-19: “China didn’t warn public of likely pandemic for six key days”

The Associated Press (April 15) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, about reported delays in the Chinese government’s response to the pandemic in early January. “This is tremendous,” Zhang said. “If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient. We might have avoided the collapse of Wuhan’s medical system.” The story also ran in the Los Angeles Times.

COVID-19: Threatening to bankrupt California's community health clinics

LAist (April 15) interviewed Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on the impact of the pandemic on the state’s community health clinics, which serve roughly one-sixth of the state’s population. “A catastrophic loss of funding for clinics would ultimately mean that millions of patients in the safety net would potentially face additional barriers to accessing quality, comprehensive care," Ponce said. The article was also published by KCET.

COVID-19: Testing is necessary before movement restrictions are lifted

LAist (April 15) reported on a news conference called by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti that included Dr. Paul Simon, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health adjunct professor of epidemiology and chief science officer and director of the Division of Assessment, Planning, and Quality at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “If the number of infections goes down, and the city can quickly and aggressively test those who are sick, it's possible that then frees up other folks to have more freedom in terms of their movement.” Simon said.

COVID-19: Do chefs need to wear gloves?

Eater (April 15) interviewed Dana Hunnes, adjunct assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on best practices for preparing food, including whether cooks should use personal protective equipment (PPE). “I would not suggest wearing disposable gloves if food has been properly sanitized,” Hunnes said. “Health care workers need all the gloves and PPE they can get, and using disposable gloves for this purpose is unnecessary.

COVID-19: California quick to fight the pandemic

The Associated Press (April 14) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and chair of the department, on how the California state government has dealt with the pandemic. Michels said California has been aided in its virus fight by cultural factors like its low-density housing, younger population, and residents’ overall health, but that Gov. Gavin Newsom deserves “a lot of credit for being quick.”

COVID-19: How California could reopen, from restaurants and schools to offices and sports

The Los Angeles Times (April 14) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on a possible timeline for relaxing physical distancing restrictions in California. “This is the most significant public health pandemic of our lifetimes. That is something to recognize,” Kim-Farley said. “And I tell that to my public health students ... ‘You are witnessing something that you may never see again in your lifetime.’ ” A similar quote by Kim-Farley was used in a second story in the Times the same day (April 14), and he was referenced in two additional related stories in the Times, both on April 15. The story also ran in the Finger Lakes Times (NY).

COVID-19: Masks, telecommuting, and social distancing at restaurants

The Los Angeles Times (April 14) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on how countermeasures to the pandemic should change over the rest of the year. “Otherwise, what’s going to happen is we will end up in a situation which I would call a smoldering epidemic, in the sense that we will be having cases with us, kind of like seasonal influenza — it may wax and wane,” Kim-Farley said. The story also ran in the Hagerstown (MD) Herald-Mail.

COVID-19: Failure of federal testing in U.S.

The Times of Israel (April 14) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of community health sciences and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, on how nursing homes have coped with the shortfall of testing materials. “Approved lab kits did not make it out to local testing sites fast enough. It was impossible to scale up so quickly for something that should have been scaled up in the weeks and months before COVID-19 arrived,” Eisenman said. The story also quoted Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research; it also ran on The Jewish Link.

COVID-19: What will ‘back-to-normal’ look like for California?

The Los Angeles Times (April 13) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on what is needed to ease stay-at-home orders: a dramatic reduction in virus transmission; testing capacity; hospital space; and resources to investigate new infections, a practice called contact tracing.

COVID-19: Extricating the U.S. from physical distancing

The Daily Beast (April 13) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer on the path away from physical distancing as a response to the pandemic, including more diagnostic tests, antibody tests, and “contact-tracing” to track who might have been exposed to the virus. Americans may be coming out of shelter-in-place in “more than a month but less than four months,” Brewer said. Brewer’s comments were also referenced in the Daily Mail (U.K. newspaper).

COVID-19: Farmworkers at risk from the pandemic

Slate (April 13) quoted Dr. Beate Ritz, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and environmental health sciences, on the threat farmworkers face from the pandemic, and how the agricultural industry should respond. “You can have either a large outbreak and the whole system breaks down, or, as we’re trying to do now by what they call the ‘leveling of the curve,’ so that it doesn’t peak too much, you can have it spread over time,” Ritz said. The story also appeared on Wired and Grist.

COVID-19: “A dual threat to public health and to our democracy”

Salon (April 13) published a commentary by three current or former UCLA Fielding School of Public Health scholars on the impact the pandemic has had on the related issues of political disenfranchisement and racial health inequities. The authors include Mienah Z. Sharif, an FSP postdoctoral researcher; Anna K. Hing, an FSPH doctoral candidate; and Héctor E. Alcalá, an FSPH alumnus (PhD, 2015), and an assistant professor of public health at Stony Brook University in New York.

COVID-19: Pasadena hotels, motels could be used to house homeless during pandemic

Pasadena Now (April 13) quoted Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on the impact of the pandemic on the homeless. “As a humanitarian issue and to protect emergency room resources, it is essential that we do everything we can to help homeless people find safety,” Kuhn said.

COVID-19: A lifeline for the rich world’s homeless?

The Economist (April 12) interviewed Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on the impact of the pandemic on the homeless. “If the choice is between putting someone in a really crowded shelter or leaving them where they are in an unsheltered place, think carefully,” Kuhn said.

COVID-19: Air quality improvement in southern California

CalMatters (April 12) interviewed Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about findings that average levels of airborne particles, known as PM2.5, dropped from about 16 micrograms per cubic meter to about 12 in southern California after the stay at home orders. “We don’t need a pandemic to breathe clear air,” Zhu said. “This should be the air we breathe every day.”

 

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Study: Red flag laws reduce gun suicide rates in older adults

Boise State Public Radio (April 17) referenced a study co-authored by Fred Zimmerman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, that found extreme risk protection order laws — also known as “red flag laws” — were associated with a 2.5% decrease in firearm-related suicide among those age 65 and older and a 2.4% decrease in firearm suicides for those aged 55-64. The study – “The impact of gun violence restraining order laws in the U.S. and firearm suicide among older adults” - was published in the April edition of BMC Public Health. Zimmerman’s co-authors include Altaf Saadi, of Harvard Medical School; Kristen R. Choi, of the UCLA School of Nursing; and Kristen R. Choi, of the David M. Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.