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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of April 18, 2021 - 12:00am

Week of: 
April 18, 2021 to April 24, 2021

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: 'Vaccine Cheat Days' Could Increase COVID Variants

KNBC-TV (April 23) interviewed Dr. Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, about the risks of ignoring recommendations that include wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. “People are under the wrong impression … you still have to wait until your body produces antibodies, and the body needs 2-4 weeks to do that,” Michels said. “Don’t cheat because it actually gives the variants an opportunity, if you are only partly protected.”

COVID-19: The Search to Understand Vaccine Hesitancy

KQED-FM (April 23) interviewed Dr. Kristen Choi, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management, about vaccine influencers. “Even at the point when people are coming to get vaccines, they often still have questions,” Choi said. “I’m finding a lot of people that still believe myths about the vaccine that just aren’t true.”

COVID-19: California Reports Lowest Case Rate in the Lower 48

KPCC-FM (April 22) interviewed Dr. Kristen Choi, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management, about California reporting the lowest case rate in the continental United States. “A part of it is our vaccination (campaign),” Choi said. “We are also making great progress in vaccination at this point; at least 45% of adults in California have gotten at least one vaccine.” It also ran on the LA Report.

COVID-19: UCLA Partners with CDC for Study

KXAS-TV (April 22, NBC affiliate, Dallas) interviewed Dr. Joann Elmore, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about CDC-sponsored research into those testing positively and negatively. “We want to follow them for two years and then you'll be able to see how much of just this terrible last year of the pandemic caused fatigue and anxiety,” Elmore said. “What is associated with actually getting the COVID virus?” It also ran on KMID-TV and KLBK-TV, both in Texas.

COVID-19: Is It Still Necessary to Wear Masks Outdoors?

NBC News (April 22) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, for a story about why CDC health experts are calling for the revision of mask restrictions. “If you're vaccinated and if there's low rates of community transmission, it's definitely reasonable to not worry about wearing masks [outdoors]” Rimoin said.

COVID-19: FSPH Professor Serves as Public Health Consultant for the Oscars

ABC News (April 22) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, for the “Good Morning America” program about COVID-related protections for the 93rd Academy Awards. “It's taking every tool in the toolbox to fight COVID-19; (and) this is the most ambitious and safest production that I have seen,” Rimoin said. “So this is really like a set; we're making sure that when there is something that needs to be done for camera, masks off. The minute that the word cut is out there, masks back on.”

COVID-19: UCLA Study Finds Homelessness Increases Mortality Rate

KPCC-FM (April 21) referenced research by Dr. Kathryn M. Leifheit, a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, that found people experiencing homelessness are 30% more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general population.

COVID-19: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Available Again?

CNN (April 19) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about Dr. Anthony Fauci’s prediction the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is likely be made available again this week, but with restrictions or warnings attached. “It could be a subset of adults that have certain conditions if the data bears out that there are actually conditions that make people more susceptible to these kinds of rare blood clots,” Rimoin said. “Again, these are very, very rare in the general population and only six instances out of almost 7 million doses, so very rare, if the link proves to be true.” It also ran on CNN International.

COVID-19: Can we get to Herd Immunity?

KNX-AM (April 19) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about what the increase in vaccinations in California means to the possibility of herd, or community, immunity. “It can mean a marked reduction in disease transmission, or it can be going to actually zero cases,” Kim-Farley said. “The importance is to recognize there is no real magic number; I think probably around 80% with the current transmissibility of COVID-19 is probably a good target to try and reach.” It also ran on Yahoo.

COVID-19: Calabasas Teen Participates in Moderna Vaccination Trial for Adolescents

KCAL-TV (April 18) interviewed Dr. Julie A. Elginer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management, about her 15-year-old son Jack’s participation as a research volunteer in the adolescent trial of the Moderna vaccine. “I’m a mom first, before I’m a public health professional,” Dr. Elginer said. “My biggest concern is making sure that my kids are protected, and the best way that the kids are protected is through immunity, and that will come primarily through the vaccines.” It also ran on Yahoo.

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Here’s What Los Angeles County is Doing About the Vaccine Hesitant

The Los Angeles Daily News (April 23) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about progress in Los Angeles County’s vaccination campaign. “We can’t be complacent about average levels of immunity in the community,” Kim-Farley said. “They can hide pockets of low levels of immunity. If you have pockets of people who are vaccine hesitant, COVID will find those pockets and you’ll have small outbreaks, like brushfires going on in different areas.” Dr. Paul Simon, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and chief science officer at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, also was quoted: “A couple things may be playing into this. Our case numbers and hospitalizations are so down that it may be that some people are feeling a sense of complacency or a sense that the vaccine is not all that important.” Including the Daily News, the story ran across seven of the Southern California News Group’s papers, including the Pasadena Star-NewsSan Gabriel Valley TribuneLong Beach Press-TelegramWhittier Daily News, and the Torrance (CA) Daily Breeze, Ontario-Pomona (CA) Daily Bulletin. It also ran on e-news.

COVID-19: Professor Chases the History of Fatigue Through the Centuries

The Los Angeles Daily News (April 23) interviewed Dr. Emily K. Abel, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor emeritus, about her new book Sick and Tired – An Intimate History of Fatigue, published this month by the UNC Press. “Long COVID is showing us that fatigue really is an important issue,” Abel said. “It’s been under-recognized, under-diagnosed, under-treated, and is a very common ailment of a lot of chronic illnesses. People think it’s trivial — ‘I get tired too.’ They really don’t understand what complete exhaustion, a fatigue that really is debilitating, is about.” Including the Daily News, the story ran across all 11 of the Southern California News Group’s papers, including the Orange County RegisterRiverside Press-EnterpriseSan Bernardino SunPasadena Star-NewsSan Gabriel Valley TribuneLong Beach Press-TelegramWhittier Daily News, Torrance (CA) Daily Breeze, Ontario-Pomona (CA) Daily Bulletin, and the Redlands Daily Facts. It also ran on e-news.

COVID-19: Vaccine Site Will Pop up at San Francisco Christian Center

Mission Local (April 23) referenced a 2020 report by CHPR's California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) under the leadership of Dr. Ninez Ponce, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about vaccination acceptability rates in California. Ponce’s work was also referenced in CalMatters.

COVID-19: One Year After Former President’s “Chinese virus” Tweet

The American Journal of Public Health (April 23) quoted Dr. Gilbert Gee, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about the impact of anti-Asian violence on the physical and mental health of Asian Americans. “I really believe that the discourse that has become more negative has used Asians, in particular Chinese, as scapegoats for the COVID pandemic,” Gee said. “I can’t help but believe that this actually has played an important role in the rise of anti-Asian violence.” The interview is from a podcast with AJPH editor-in-chief Dr. Alfredo Morabia.

COVID-19: California Goes From Worst to First in Virus Infections

The Associated Press (April 22) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about why California has the lowest infection rate in the U.S. “It has been a success story for California to have gone from our, if you will, viral tsunami that happened after the back-to-back holiday season to where we are now,” Kim-Farley said. “Some states in the United States that lifted mask mandates are suffering the consequences of that with increasing numbers of cases while we are continuing to see decreases.” It ran in more than 400 outlets, including U.S. News & World ReportABC NewsFox NewsYahooMSN, the San Diego Union-TribuneSan Francisco ChronicleFresno BeeModesto BeeKNBC-TV (NBC affiliate, Los Angeles), KTTV-TV (Fox affiliate, Los Angeles), KEYT-TV (ABC affiliate, Santa Barbara), Spectrum One (Los Angeles), KPBS-FM (NPR, San Diego), KFI-AM, the New York Daily News, the New York PostMedscape, and SFGate, among others.

COVID-19: This is When Your Kids Will be Eligible for the Vaccine

Well+Good (April 22) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about when children can get the vaccine. “We’re in a very different place than we were 50 or 60 years ago in terms of childhood diseases because of vaccines—they’ve really altered the landscape of what it’s like to be a child and the diseases that you had to run the gamut through before the vaccines existed, including polio, measles, encephalitis bordetella pertussis, and diptheria,” Brewer said. “It would be terrific if they could continue to benefit from the COVID-19 vaccine just like they have from other vaccines in the past.”

COVID-19: Rates in Los Angeles Have Gone From Worst to Among the Best

The Wall Street Journal (April 22) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, for a story about why Los Angeles County has one of the lowest rates of infection per capita of the nation’s 10 most populous counties. Also interviewed was Johnese Spisso, chief executive of the UCLA Hospital System.

COVID-19: Explain Why We Need Masks Outside

The Daily Beast (April 22) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the importance of continuing to wear a mask in public. “I do that as much to set as an example, as because of concern about risk,” Brewer said. “The chances are extremely low that I would become infected, especially now that I’m vaccinated… Really, I do it to set an example.” It also ran on MSNYahoo, and the Daily Magazine.

COVID-19: $1.7 Million for Research on Racism and Crisis Communication

The Washington Informer (April 21) quoted Dr. Chandra Ford, founding director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, about a $1.7 million grant a Howard University-UCLA team was awarded. “We have to shift the focus beyond merely documenting higher rates of death, disease and underlying conditions in our communities toward eradicating the inequities,” Ford said. “As with any other threat to health, we can only do that by identifying the root causes – meaning the causes of the unequal social conditions.”

COVID-19: Will You Need a Vaccine Passport in California?

The New York Times (April 20) interviewed Dr. Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about the uses of digital certificates of vaccination. Jerrett explained that “as long as there is `equal access’ to vaccines themselves, vaccine verification could be used to help prevent workplace outbreaks in the future.” It also ran on WION (India).

COVID-19: Is Herd Immunity Possible?

USA Today (April 20) interviewed Dr. Christina Ramirez, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, about the significance of immunizing the majority of Americans. “As soon as vaccination rates hit 50%, you saw cases and deaths just start to plummet,” said Ramirez, citing the results of Israel’s vaccination campaign, where 62% of the population has been vaccinated. Also quoted was Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology: “It almost doesn’t matter if the virus is transmitted in the population if it’s not causing serious problems,” Brewer said. It also ran on more than 50 other outlets, including MSN, Yahoo, and in the Arizona Republic.

COVID-19: Move Faster on Climate Change

The Los Angeles Times (April 20) quoted Dr. Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about the impact of poor air quality on COVID-19 patients and the spread of the pandemic in Los Angeles County. Problems “tend to be higher in areas where there is some level of social disadvantage, whether that’s having a population like Black and Latinx people who are victims of racism and historical injustices like redlining, or whether it’s an economically disadvantaged population,” Jerrett said.

COVID-19: This is When You’re Going to Need a Booster Shot

Well+Good (April 20) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about COVID-19 vaccine boosters, especially to deal with potential variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “While they certainly do change—that’s why we have variants—the question is, do they change rapidly enough that you need to get a booster, and that’s still unclear,” Brewer said. It also ran on MSN.

COVID-19: Researchers Co-Author Editorial on Impact of Work Stressors

UCI News (April 20) referenced Dr. Pouran D. Faghri, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, in an item about her work published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine on the impact of work stressors on the severity of COVID-19, particularly among essential workers.

COVID-19: Grant Investigates Public Health Messaging Best Practices

Patient Engagement (April 19) quoted Dr. Chandra Ford, founding director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, about a $1.7 million grant her team was awarded to improve emergency public health messaging in underserved communities and mitigate racial health disparities. “We have to shift the focus beyond merely documenting higher rates of death, disease, and underlying conditions in our communities toward eradicating the inequities,” Ford said. “As with any other threat to health, we can only do that by identifying the root causes - meaning, the causes of the causes of the unequal social conditions.” Ford’s work was also referenced in LA Progressive.

COVID-19: COBRA is Free for six Months Under COVID bill – do you Qualify?

The Boston Herald (April 18) referenced Dr. Thomas Rice, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor of health policy and management, about provisions of the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act that allow Americans who lost a job in the last 18 months are able to stay on their former employer’s health plans. It also ran on MSN and in the Seattle Times, Roanoke (VA) Times , Hampton Roads (VA) Virginian-Pilot, the Newport News (VA) Daily Press, Italia24, and Head Topics.

COVID-19: Half of Californians 16+ are at Least Partially Vaccinated

The Los Angeles Patch (April 18) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the key vaccine milestone. “At the end of December, beginning of January, we had among the highest case rates, if not the highest case rates in the country,” Brewer said. “We're now in the bottom third, so we're doing well, relative to much of the country.”

 

FEATURES (Other)

Lessons From the Rise and Fall of Ancient Cities

Undark (April 23) referenced Dr. Jared Diamond, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, in a review of Annalee Newitz’ Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age; Newitz cites Diamond’s 2004 “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed as helping inspire her work. “Diamond is right to highlight environment as a contributing factor in urban dissolution, but that’s only part of the story,” Newitz says. “Abandonment is most importantly a political process.” Diamond’s work was similarly cited in pieces in the Financial TimesHindustan Times, ProspectThe GuardianMediumSalonIrish Tech NewsGrist, (e-know (Canada); Ipswich News  (MA); The Journal (Ireland); The New RepublicEuropean ScientistYork Daily RecordGreater KashmirDNyuzBig Think, and Word on Fire.

ARP Subsidies Projected to Help Over 1.6 Million Californians

State of Reform (April 23) referenced a report by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, led by Ninez Ponce, that suggests some 1.6 million Californians will be helped by the Biden Administration’s proposed American Rescue Plan (ARP), including 151,000 individual market enrollees who will qualify for subsidies for the first time and 135,000 uninsured people who will become insured.

'She Coughs When She's Sleeping': Life in Polluted Pacoima

KPCC-FM (April 22) interviewed Dr. Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about air quality and health issues in the northeast San Fernando Valley community of Pacoima. “There is a scientific literature out there that would suggest that people living in more polluted areas are more likely to develop asthma,” Jerrett said. “And they’re more likely to have severe and more frequent symptoms.” Similar items ran in Healthcare Purchasing News and LexBlog.

Natural gas Leak Evacuations will Extend Overnight

The Los Angeles Times (April 22) interviewed Dr. Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about safety issues tied to a natural gas leak in the city of Downey, in southeastern Los Angeles County. “I wouldn’t be concerned about going back to my own house if it was the same circumstances,” Jerrett said.

Tips For Navigating A Request for Abstracts

Health Affairs (April 22) reported on a webinar with Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of health policy and management, about what makes a successful abstract for someone hoping to publish in Health Affairs.

How to Lower Your Carbon Footprint With the Foods You Eat

The Huffington Post (April 22) quoted Dr. Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the environmental impacts of food. “If each and every person in the United States gave up meat and dairy products on one or more days of the week, ideally, all days of the week, we would save the environment from thousands of tons of carbon emissions,” Hunnes said. “Similarly, by reducing our animal-based foods consumption, we would reduce our water use at least by half as animal husbandry utilizes more than 50% of fresh water.”

Optimism in Response to Biden’s Potential Title IX Reforms

The Daily Bruin (April 22) interviewed Dr. Jennifer Wagman, UCLA Fielding School assistant professor of community health sciences, about the potential impact of the Biden Administration’s plans to reform Title IX policies introduced by the Trump Administration regarding sexual assault cases on campus. “It’s unethical and not accurate for policymakers or institutions to define how somebody experiences their own lived exposure to something,” Wagman said.