Skip to:

 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of April 5, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
April 5, 2020 to April 11, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19, BROADCAST)

COVID-19: “Herd immunity in California?”

ABC (April 10) 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 herd immunity. ”Herd immunity is (the) indirect protection they get when enough people are immune to the disease,” Eisenman said. “They can get immune to it, either from having the disease and recovering, or from having vaccination.”

COVID-19: Physical distancing may be here to stay

KTTV-TV (April 10, Fox affiliate, Los Angeles) 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 whether physical distancing measures should stay in place until the fall. “What we need to do now is double down and make sure that we really can reap all of the benefits of the sacrifices we've made so far," Rimoin said. "The fall sounds like and seems plausible, but we'll know more in the coming weeks. This is a novel coronavirus and that means it's a new virus. It's new to humanity. We haven't seen it before and we're still learning a lot about it, and I think over the next weeks and months, we'll know a lot more about it.” The piece was broadcast by other Fox affiliates, including KSAZ (Phoenix).

COVID-19: California fast-tracks plans to house homeless amid pandemic

NBC (April 9) interviewed Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on the threat the pandemic poses to 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," said Kuhn, co-author of recent report that found high risks of mortality and illness from COVID-19 among this population, including as many as 3,400 deaths. ABC (April 10) also referenced Kuhn’s research.

COVID-19: Too early to relax physical distancing

CNN (April 9) 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 when physical distancing measures could be relaxed. “We’ve made so many gains by having a really good national effort at social distancing and doing everything we can to flatten the curve; if we start to open up we’re going to see these (infection) numbers rebound,” Rimoin said. “We don’t have a population immunity to this virus; we don’t have vaccines, we don’t have therapeutics – we don’t have wide scale testing in place at this point.”

COVID-19: Existing health inequalities are demonstrated in pandemic mortality rates

MSNBC (April 8) interviewed Chandra Ford, director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, on data from public health officials that shows African Americans dying at a higher rate than other races. “This pandemic is happening not just in test tubes; it’s happening in populations,” Ford said. “When we think about the ways the virus spreads in populations, we have to consider the inequalities that are already there.”

COVID-19: California's early action against COVID-19 delayed the surge at hospitals

The CBC (April 8) 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 early actions — including the first statewide stay-at-home order in the U.S. and emergency procurement of medical supplies — offer for the future. “That just because we're going to have financial difficulties doesn't mean that we shouldn't be paying what's necessary for an insurance policy of having strong, robust stockpiles just for these types of things," Kim-Farley said.

COVID-19: WHO criticisms are misplaced

KPCC-FM (April 8, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about criticisms of the World Health Organization’s work to fight the pandemic. “This is not a productive use of our time and we need to be focusing on the problem and solutions,” Brewer said. “The World Health Organization is dependent on member states to provide it with information and resources, and so it is very difficult of them to act independently of individual member states.”

COVID-19: Californians breathe cleaner air during pandemic

KCRA-TV (April 8, NBC affiliate, Sacramento) referenced research by Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the impact of the pandemic on air quality.

COVID-19: “Normal” requires vaccines, therapeutics, and widespread testing

CNN (April 7) 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 what it will take for the U.S. to get to a new normal. “It is going to take some time to get back to normal, and what normal is for us is going to change,” Rimoin said. “We are nowhere near prepared, we haven’t been, we’ve been suffering from this … our new normal will only begin to occur when we have vaccines and therapeutics and widespread testing.”

COVID-19: Los Angeles has some of the cleanest air of any major city

CNN (April 7) interviewed Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the impact of the pandemic on air quality. “With less cars on the road and less emissions coming from those tailpipes, it's not surprising to see improvements in the air quality overall," Zhu said. “We need to think really hard about how to bring about a more sustainable world, where technologies and policies come together to bring us cleaner energy … so that the air that we're breathing will stay as clean as what we're breathing today." The story also ran online or was referenced in the San Jose Mercury NewsNew York Daily NewsChicago TribuneBusiness InsiderKNVN (Chico, California), KMOV (Missouri), WICU/WSEE (New York), WFSB (Connecticut), and WAAY (Alabama), among other outlets.

COVID-19:How to take care of someone at home

KCRW-FM (April 7, Los Angeles NPR affiliate) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on how to care for sick people in their homes, including for caregivers to be cautious. “This is a stinker of a virus. It's a relative of the common cold. It's pretty good at getting by masks and onto surfaces,” Jackson said. “One thing that I think is important is the bigger the dose of the virus, the more likely you are to get sicker.”

COVID-19: Health care system response and preparedness

KSRO-FM (April 6) interviewed Gerald Kominski, professor of health policy and management at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on the health care system’s emergency preparedness and California’s ability to flatten the curve. He also discussed the insured population and problems with costs or out-of-pocket expenditures, supply shortages, and other gaps in health care access exposed by the pandemic.

COVID-19: Lessons must be learned from this response

MSNBC (April 6) 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 lessons learned from the pandemic. “People we take the idea we need to prevent pandemics before they start much more seriously,” Rimoin said. “We’re all coming to terms with the fact we have not been prepared for a major catastrophic event that affects everybody in this nation.”

COVID-19: Everything we see today is based on exposure two weeks earlier

KTLA-TV (April 6, Los Angeles television) 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 lag between infection and symptoms. “This is going to be a tough week; we’re going to see a lot of deaths and were going to see a lot of people get sick,” Rimoin said. “Everything we see now is based on exposure, two to three weeks previously.”

COVID-19: Precautions and preventive best practices

KPCC-FM (April 2, starts at 26:33) interviewed Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, about personal protection against infection as more information becomes known about the pandemic. “One of the things that took us a long time to figure out is how common it is that people gets infected from somebody who is not showing symptoms,” Fielding said. “It’s reasonable that people wear some kind of masks (when) they’re going to be close to a bunch of people and that unfortunately puts them at risk.”

 

FEATURES (COVID-19, TEXT AND ON-LINE)

COVID-19: UCLA professor joins virtual town hall

The Ukiah Daily Journal (April 11) reported on a community town hall where UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer spoke as an expert panelist. The April 8 virtual event, organized by State Sen. Mike McGuire (2nd District, northern coastal California), is the third in which Dr. Brewer has spoken. The event was also reported by the Lake County News.

COVID-19: Clean air in cities could outlast lockdowns

Forbes (April 10) referenced research by Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, that found the “safer-at-home” policies enacted to fight the pandemic have resulted in better air quality in cities around the world, including Los Angeles.

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (April 10) reported five items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts and the pandemic. Under the category of “Preparedness and Response,” these included “Creating a Framework for Conducting Randomized Clinical Trials during Disease Outbreaks,” a New England Journal of Medicine Sounding Board article co-authored by Dean Ron Brookmeyer, professor of biostatistics; a commentary, “Good Communication Will Help Beat COVID-19,” written by Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management. Under “Members in the News,” the Letter spotlighted an appearance on CNN by 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; and Fielding School Associate Dean for Research Finds New Role: COVID-19 Media Expert, describing the media relations and civic engagement work of Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, during the pandemic. Under “Academic Resources and Tools,” the Letter linked to “FSPH Experts Present to Los Angeles City Health Commission on COVID-19,” spotlighting Rimoin and Gilbert Gee, professor of community health sciences, for their presentation to the city’s public health commissioners.

COVID-19: Hospital staff running risks

The Los Angeles Times (April 10) interviewed Steven Wallace, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and associate director at the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on concerns over nonclinical hospital workers’ risk in the pandemic. They “likely face similar to higher risks as others who still have to report to work,” Wallace said. “Almost everyone in a hospital comes into contact with someone who has patient contact.” Wallace was also quoted in Becker’s Hospital Review and Red Green and Blue.

COVID-19: “Coronavirus got rid of smog; can electric cars do so permanently?”

Wall Street Journal column (April 10) referenced research by Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, that found the “safer-at-home” policies enacted to fight the pandemic have resulted in better air quality in cities around the world.

COVID-19: Protections needed for voters

The Daily Beast (April 10) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about the health impacts of the pandemic on voters and what methods could best prevent spread of the virus during an election. “Anything that reduces the amount of time that people have to spend together particularly indoors and in close contact would be valuable in preventing COVID-19 transmission,” Brewer said. “Designing in a way where people can go to one of multiple locations—as was already done in the California primary—so they don’t necessarily have to go to their particular polling place, they could go anywhere, over a wide range of time and multiple days, and even allowing people to book appointments I think would also be valuable.”

COVID-19: The tiniest bit of air pollution makes COVID-19 more deadly

Grist (April 9) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, on a Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health study that links long-term exposure to pollution and COVID-19 death rates. “This is a very strong indication that air pollution is associated with death from COVID-19,” said Zhang, who was not involved in the Harvard study but who has found similar results in the aftermath of the 2003 SARS outbreak. He was also referenced in a similar story in Salon and RawStory.

COVID-19: Due to the pandemic, air quality is improving

The Washington Post (April 9) interviewed Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the impact of the pandemic on air quality in Los Angeles, where particulate matter counts have dropped from 16 micrograms per cubic meter to about 12 micrograms per cubic meter. “This is significant,” Zhu said. “This is a dramatically changed air-quality level from medium to good.”

COVID-19: California’s curve means fewer deaths but a longer stay-at-home requirement

The Los Angeles Times (April 9) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the apparent success of the state’s “safe at home” orders. “We are really buying for ourselves the reduced peak. And that is a thing that will save us from a lot of unnecessary deaths because of an overloaded healthcare system,” Kim-Farley said. “You can’t sacrifice the population for the economy, because ultimately that’s going to kill the economy as well if you have healthcare systems overwhelmed.” Kim-Farley was also referenced on Fox NewsYahoo News, and the Patch community newspapers.

COVID-19: Death rate among Latinos appears low

The Los Angeles Times (April 8) interviewed Arturo Vargas Bustamante, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of health policy and management, about pandemic-related mortality among Latinos. “The first time I read these results, I was quite surprised,” said Vargas Bustamante, who had expected “Latinos would do worse compared to the white population, and really relatively close to the outcomes of African Americans.” Dr. David Hayes Bautista, professor of health policy and management at the Fielding School, was also interviewed, and mentioned there is high awareness of the threat in the Latino community. “Clearly in the Spanish-language media, both print and electronic, there’s just been a high, high awareness,” he said.

COVID-19: Is bringing back sports realistic or safe?

The Los Angeles Times (April 8) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the safety issues re-starting sporting events would pose, including the example of the 1918 influence pandemic. “I would be very nervous about having any sports, whether it’s football or basketball or even baseball,” Jackson said. “Sometimes the most strapping people are the ones who have the strongest immune response. It was immune response that killed so many people in 1918, not the virus.” It also ran in the Guam Daily Post.

COVID-19: Physical distancing remains necessary

Detroit News column (April 8) referenced 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 importance of physical distancing policies.

COVID-19: Research links air pollution to higher death rates

Elektrek (April 8) referenced Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, in a piece about a Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health study that links long-term exposure to pollution and COVID-19 death rates. He was referenced in similar stories in 3Bmeteo (Italy), the Chinese language edition of the New York TimesZemag (France), Clarin (Argentina), Terra (Brazil), News163 (China), Sina Finance (China), the Pioneer-Press (Minneapolis), and the Sina Daily News (China), among others.

COVID-19: Impacts on people experiencing homelessness

The Daily Bruin (April 8) interviewed Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on the threat the pandemic poses to the homeless. “You hear about 80-year-olds being at extraordinarily high risk of dying from COVID-19,” Kuhn said. “That would be like 65 for a homeless person.”

COVID-19: Delays for the homeless could be disastrous

Frisc (April 8) interviewed Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on how to use technology to help get the homeless into shelter. “It’s the quickest way to do outreach, and you can potentially screen them and get to more people per day,” Kuhn said.

COVID-19: Disasters and Recovery

NonProfit Quarterly (April 8) referenced 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. “Of food service workers, four out of five lack sick leave; three out of four childcare workers lack sick leave,” Heymann said. “This is a devastating impact on them and their families, but also to everyone they come into contact with.”

COVID-19: Air pollution linked to higher death rates

The Los Angeles Times (April 8) interviewed Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about the links between air pollution and disease, including a Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health study that links long-term exposure to pollution and COVID-19 death rates. “(It’s) a potentially important finding given that so many Americans and people all over the world live in areas with unhealthy pollution levels,” Jerrett said. “The main concern is with the likely huge uncertainty with the findings due to undercounting of the deaths in many places … because testing capacity is still very low, many deaths that were likely due to COVID have not been counted as such, and this has the potential to bias the results.”

COVID-19: Research links air pollution to higher death rates

The New York Times (April 7) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, on a Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health study that links long-term exposure to pollution and COVID-19 death rates. Zhang, who was not involved in the Harvard study but who has found similar results in the aftermath of the 2003 SARS outbreak, said the Harvard work was “very much consistent” with his findings.

COVID-19: L.A. releases first racial breakdown of fatalities; blacks have higher death rate

The Los Angeles Times (April 7) interviewed Chandra Ford, director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, on data from Los Angeles County health officials that shows black residents were dying at a slightly higher rate than other races. “There’s something about the context in which people live, the inequalities in our society, that render some groups more susceptible to the same exposure,” Ford said. “If they are exposed to the same thing another group is exposed to, they’ll fare worse.”

COVID-19: Air pollution could make pandemic more severe

The New Orleans Times-Picayune (April 7) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, on the impact of air pollution on COVID-19 patients, based on his own work in the aftermath of the 2003 SARS outbreak. “We were a very early group to do this study," he said. "Other studies that came later showed similar results."

COVID-19: Fluid dynamics research hints at spread by spoken word

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) (April 7) 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 research on how fluids travel from our respiratory tracts when we sneeze, speak, or breathe. “Eliminating speech droplets could be a significant part of reducing community spread,” said Rimoin, who added that medical-quality masks should be reserved for medical personnel. “What we’re talking about is that a simple cloth mask or face covering can stop droplets from spreading.”

COVID-19: No connection between 5G and the deadly pandemic

Fortune (April 7) interviewed Leeka Kheifets, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology, on the impact of 5G wireless service on the pandemic. “(Technology) makes social distancing more possible, by allowing more people to work from home, and more bearable, by allowing people to stay connected with friends and family," Kheifets said.

COVID-19: Send homeless from jails to hotels

Ms. (April 7) quoted Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on providing emergency shelter for the homeless in a bid to slow spread of the pandemic. “Hotels are clearly an ideal situation right now,” Kuhn said. The story originally was published by the Marshall Project.

COVID-19: Treatment could be paid by Medicaid under bill

The Orange County Register (April 7) interviewed Gerald Kominski, professor of health policy and management at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about proposed legislation to pay for COVID-19 treatment under Medicaid.

COVID-19: Will everyone get equal access to care?

LAist (April 7) 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 wealth impacts care and testing. “This probably reflects differences in access to health care between the rich and the poor." Eisenman said. "It's unfortunate, but it's logical … If you have health insurance and a doctor, it's easier for you to get (tested)." Dr. David Hayes Bautista, professor of health policy and management at the Fielding School, was also interviewed. "The public service announcements always say at the first sign of a fever to contact your doctor," Hayes-Bautista said. "[Latinos] often don't have a physician to whom they can contact."

COVID-19: Physical distancing or social distancing?

LAist (April 7) quoted Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the terminology. “I really actually prefer and I'm now been using it … this concept of physical distance,” Kim-Farley said. “We want to keep people physically apart, but actually we want to be promoting social bonding."

COVID-19: Most aggressive states against the coronavirus

Wallethub (April 7) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and chair of the department, on how different state governments have dealt with the pandemic. “Less densely populated states will do better to begin with. Hence states like Alaska, Oregon, New Hampshire, Maine have been doing much better than the densely populated New York despite, New York’s progressive actions,” Michels said. “But given its population density, California has been doing pretty well – after initial bumps – we are seeing some slowing of the growth rate here.”

COVID-19: Keeping restaurant staff and customers safe

Food&WinePro (April 7) interviewed Dr. Roger Detels, distinguished research professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on best practices for restaurant workers. “The early stages of COVID-19 infection are really indistinguishable from things like flu,” Detels said. “So anybody that has any sort of respiratory symptoms, fever, or doesn't feel well really should stay at home and not come to work until they’re over the episode.”

COVID-19: Is there an impact from air pollution?

The Guardian (April 7) interviewed Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about the links between air pollution and disease. “Being in areas of higher exposure to common air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, does increase the risk of acquiring pneumonia,” Jerrett said. “So to the extent that Covid behaves in a similar way to bacterial pneumonia, which is more common, or other viral pneumonias, we have evidence that long-term exposure well increases your susceptibility to acquiring the disease.” Fox News ran a similar story that also quoted Jerrett; the original story was reprinted by Herald-Mail (Maryland) and the Union-Journal (New York).

COVID-19: California and New York compared

EN24 (April 6, an outlet of the Spanish news service EFE) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and chair of the department, on why California appears to be doing relatively better than New York in the course of the pandemic. “The governor issued “safer at home” and “shelter in place” orders relatively quickly,” Michels said. “Universities like UCLA and other large employers closed even earlier and sent people to work, teach, and study from home.” The story also ran in El Diario (in Spanish).

COVID-19: Media must continuously revisit coverage

MM&M (April 6) interviewed Dr. Rishi Desai, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health alumnus (MPH, 2009), on being interviewed as an expert by the media, including Fox News and CNN. “Medicine is not static. The things I learned in med school are not the same as the things I do in practice today,” Desai said. “We’re promising to update our information and we’re staying in touch with the reality of the situation. We’re not going to let [dated information] stagnate.”

COVID-19: Personal hygiene and physical distancing remain key

The Wall Street Journal (April 6) quoted 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 best preventative practices, including handwashing, personal hygiene, cleanliness, and physical distancing – and taking care not to get sick otherwise, including getting a flu shot. “It prevents you from getting an illness that you think is coronavirus, because they can act very similarly,” Eisenman said.

COVID-19: California and New York compared

Yahoo Noticias (April 6) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and chair of the department, on why California appears to be doing relatively better than New York in the course of the pandemic. “The governor issued “safer at home” and “shelter in place” orders relatively quickly,” Michels said. “Universities like UCLA and other large employers closed even earlier and sent people to work, teach, and study from home.” The story, originally from EFE, also ran on TelemundoEl Diario (New York), EN24DebateImpacto LatinoVive USARepublica, and Diario Libre, all in Spanish.

 

BRIEFS

The most stylish work from home sets

A column (April 8) published by Mediaite referenced 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.

The consequences of America’s public health infrastructure

A column (April 7) published by the World Socialist referenced Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management.

Changes in U.S. Health Care Delivery

An opinion piece (April 6) in BenefitsPRO on the U.S. health care system cites data from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research on the amount of taxpayer dollars going towards health care spending.