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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of February 21, 2021 - 12:00am

Week of: 
February 21, 2021 to February 27, 2021

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: How to Combat Vaccine Fear in Minority Communities

KNSD-TV (Feb. 26, NBC affiliate, San Diego) interviewed Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about vaccine hesitancy in ethnic minority communities in the United States. “For Latinos, the main issue is how do you access them,” Hayes-Bautista said. “It’s the issue of `I don’t have health insurance, my job doesn’t offer it, am I going to get charged?’ … and then there’s the whole issue of trying to get information in Spanish.” Hayes-Bautista was also referenced in an item on the Physician’s News Network.

COVID-19: California's COVID-19 Strain Could be the Most Worrying yet

KFI-AM (Feb. 26) quoted Dr. Marc Suchard, UCLA Fielding School professor of biostatistics, about the work of a UCSF research team that has identified B.1.427/B.1.429, a coronavirus variant that emerged in mid-2020 and surged to become the dominant strain in California. “It remains critically important that we actively sequence the virus as cases are diagnosed in our state,” Suchard said. “I am glad to see such a collaboration between academics and public health departments in California to identify the emergence of a previously unidentified lineage.” It also ran on KOGO-AM.

COVID-19: Vaccine Line Jumpers Improperly Using Access Codes to get Vaccinated

KCBS-TV (Feb. 24) interviewed Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about abuse of Los Angeles County’s system to get vaccines into hard-hit communities by line- jumpers abusing the appointment reservation code system. “It’s human behavior and we should have thought about that,” Mays said. “We have a scarcity of vaccine, people have no idea when they’re going to be able to get vaccinated, and they’re running scared.” It also ran on KCAL-TV.

COVID-19: United States Surpasses 500,000 Deaths

CNN (Feb. 23) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the milestone of 500,000 deaths in the United States, and why the U.S. response in 2020 was so flawed. “The unwillingness to acknowledge what a problem this was from the Trump Administration really did create a major issue,” Rimoin said. “And then of course the lack of investment in our public health infrastructure, chronic lack of investment for decades, really left us quite vulnerable.” It also ran on CNN International.

COVID-19: Optimism About Declining Cases

KPCC-FM (Feb. 23, begins at 1:40) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the decline in confirmed case numbers in southern California. “We’re down to about 1,800 cases on average per day, so that’s much better than where we were with 13,000 per day,” Kim-Farley said. “We’re still not totally out of the woods here on this, but very, very encouraging.”

COVID-19: United States Approaches a Half-million Deaths

KPCC-FM (Feb. 22, begins at 02:00) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the milestone of 500,000 deaths in the United States due to the pandemic. “To put it in context, in Los Angeles County, we’ve had just under 20,000 deaths,” Brewer said. “That’s about what you would expect in a typical influenza season in the entire country.”

COVID-19: United States Reaches Milestone of 500,000 Deaths

KNX-AM (Feb. 22) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the milestone of 500,000 deaths in the United States due to the pandemic. “It’s really important that these are loved ones that are being lost and this is a tragic milestone,” Kim-Farley said. “There were three protagonists here, government, schools and business, and individuals, and they all need to play their part … and where the rubber meets the road, (that) didn’t happen in some places.”

COVID-19: The Efficacy of the Vaccines Against new Strains

KNX-AM (Feb. 22) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the efficacy of the vaccines against new strains. “It's very possible that those variants could have been responsible for a large part of the surge that we saw,” Rimoin said. “We do have some margin here because these vaccines are so effective; even if we see some reduced efficacy right now, we're probably going to see those vaccines doing a great job at reducing, at the very least, severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”

COVID-19: How Much has the Pandemic Deepened Racial Disparities in California?

KMEX-TV (Feb. 21, Univision affiliate, Spanish) interviewed Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact on the pandemic on Latinos in California. “The state of California has neglected the health of Latinos for 170 years, it is nothing new,” Hayes-Bautista said. “The covid19 pandemic shed light on these inequalities.” A similar item ran on Alianza.

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Mental Health 'Epidemic' Threatens Communities of Color Amid Pandemic

U.S. News & World Report (Feb. 26) quoted Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about racial disparities in the pandemic response, including mental health. “We're about to have a mental health epidemic because of COVID,” Mays said. “Think about what it's like to be Black or Latinx, lose somebody in your family, and you can't provide the going home celebration for them. That's a hurt and a grief that people don't get over.” It also ran on UPIHealthDay NewsDrugs.comWebMDDoctorsLoungeClinical Connectionhealthcast, and MedicalXPress.

COVID-19: Federal Judge Rules CDC Eviction Moratorium Unconstitutional

Al Dia (Feb. 26) interviewed Dr. Kathryn Leifheit, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health scholar, about the impact on infection and mortality rates of evictions. “When people are evicted, they often move in with friends and family, and that increases your number of contacts,” Leifheit said.

COVID-19: How Life is Changing for Some of the Fully Vaccinated

The Los Angeles Times (Feb. 25) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about behavior is changing for those Californians who have been vaccinated. It also ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune and on Yahoo.

COVID-19: Coronavirus Today - Rediscovering Life’s Rhythms

The Los Angeles Times (Feb. 25) referenced Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, in an item about lifestyle changes for vaccinated Californians.

COVID-19: Vaccinations Spawn Battle Over When to end Distancing

Talking Points Memo (Feb. 25) interviewed Dr. Christina Ramirez, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, about whether “a return to normalcy” should be the goal of the public health response to the pandemic. “Most people care if they’re going to be put in the hospital or if they or their loved ones get really sick and die,” Ramirez said. “The whole purpose of the vaccine is to prevent hospitalizations.”

COVID-19: Missteps in Los Angeles’ Pandemic Response Left Disadvantaged Communities Behind

Capital & Main (Feb. 25) interviewed Dr. Steven Wallace, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about disparities in Los Angeles County’s pandemic response. “Pronouncements are made and then they’re changed. Oftentimes for good scientific reasons. But the reasons aren’t really well explained,” Wallace said.

COVID-19: Truth and Trust in Public Health

Sciencenet (Feb. 25) advanced the March 3 address by Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, on “Truth and Trust in Public Health” at the 46th Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecture sponsored by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

COVID-19: Biden Gets Mixed Reviews in his First Month in Office

Xinhua (Feb. 24) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor of epidemiology and associate dean for research, about the success of the U.S. vaccination campaign under the Biden Administration. “The vaccines could provide some protection against the variants," Zhang said. “If we can complete mass vaccination to reach general immunity before the variants take hold, the situation could get in control.” A similar story ran in China Daily.

COVID-19: Coronavirus Today – Your Questions Answered

The Los Angeles Times (Feb. 24) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about how long someone should wait to get vaccinated after recovery from a coronavirus infection. “We believe that when someone gets COVID and recovers, they’re protected and have antibodies for at least three months,” Shafir said. “Since we have such limited supply right now, we kind of want to take advantage of the fact that there are people who are already protected, and we can use those doses for people who are completely susceptible or completely at risk.”

COVID-19: How to get the Coronavirus Vaccine

The California Patch (Feb 24) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the importance of the vaccination campaign. “If the vaccine only prevents disease, and the person can still get infected, that means they're capable of spreading COVID-19 to other people, even though they won't get sick," Brewer said. “In fact, an important thing for everyone to remember is that we don't actually know if vaccines prevent infection … we know they're very good at preventing disease. And there's a difference between the two.”

COVID-19: Should Schools be Reopening?

Healthline (Feb. 24) interviewed Dr. Frederick Zimmerman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about his research, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, about whether the costs of closing schools in the spring of 2021 outweighed the benefits. “There has been a huge medical response to COVID, and politicians have stepped up to protect the economy, which will bounce back rapidly once herd immunity is achieved,” Zimmerman said. “But a kid who decides to drop out of school — that is a whole life changed. And there just hasn’t been any response to the educational problems. None.”

COVID-19: Study Identifies Strengths and Challenges in Responding to Dual Disasters

Science Magazine (Feb. 24) referenced Dr. Kenneth Wells, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, in an item about a report he co-authored in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health examining how organizations with experience in natural disaster relief have responded to the pandemic.

COVID-19: Opinion - How we can Create a More Equitable Vaccination System

The San Diego Union-Tribune (Feb. 24) published an op-ed by Tram-Elayne Nguyen, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health graduate student working on the UCLA Against COVID-19 Project, on the need to help elderly non-English speakers get vaccinated. “Mobile health clinics, which have been shown to be cost-effective and reduce health disparities in underserved groups, should be used for vaccine campaigns in communities,” Nguyen wrote. “To address the current appointment system, in-person centers and call systems in multiple languages need to be accessible for this population.”

COVID-19: Canada Doesn't Give Paid Sick Leave. Can Small Businesses Change That?

The Christian Science Monitor (Feb. 23) interviewed Dr. Jody Heymann, a UCLA distinguished professor of public health, public policy, and medicine, about research published by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's WORLD Policy Analysis Center, about paid sick leave during the pandemic, with a focus on Canadian government policy. “But Canada does have important gaps to fill,” Heymann said. It also ran in Nuevo Periodico.

COVID-19: California’s Coronavirus Strain Looks Increasingly Dangerous

The Los Angeles Times (Feb. 23) interviewed Dr. Marc Suchard, UCLA Fielding School professor of biostatistics, about the work of a UCSF research team that has identified B.1.427/B.1.429, a  coronavirus variant that emerged in mid-2020 and surged to become the dominant strain in California. “It remains critically important that we actively sequence the virus as cases are diagnosed in our state,” said Suchard, who was not involved in the UCSF work. “I am glad to see such a collaboration between academics and public health departments in California to identify the emergence of a previously unidentified lineage.” It also ran in The Sun.

COVID-19: California's Slow Vaccine Rollout Leaves Essential Workers Exposed

The Guardian (Feb. 23) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the pace and priorities of California’s vaccination campaign. “We need to begin prioritizing those who have been doing essential work for nearly a year,” Shafir said.

COVID-19: Vaccines are not Reaching Hardest hit Los Angeles Communities

Capital & Main (Feb. 23) quoted Dr. Steven Wallace, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about disparities in the vaccination campaign. “Taking the vaccine to where the people are is the most effective way of reaching those harder to reach populations,” Wallace said. Also quoted was 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. “Early on, it was such a limited supply, and such great pressure to get folks vaccinated as quickly as possible so we weren’t holding on to the vaccine, that I think we did prioritize volume,”  Simon said. “(The County) pivoted as quickly as possible to making sure that [we had an] equitable distribution.” Simon was also quoted by the Los Angeles Times, Wehoville, and Refinery29.

COVID-19: The Key is to Increase Rate of Vaccine Rollout

Yahoo Finance (Feb. 23) interviewed Dr. Kristen Choi, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management, about the best course of action dealing with the new variants of COVID-19. “The good news is that it's looking like our vaccines will probably be effective, at least to some degree, against some of these new variants,” Choi said. “It's critical that we continue getting vaccines out to as many people as possible to try to achieve herd immunity before they can spread too much further.” It also ran on MSN.

COVID-19: Vaccine Rollout Contributes Significantly to Drop in new U.S. Cases

Xinhua (Feb. 22) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor of epidemiology and associate dean for research, about the success of the U.S. vaccination campaign. “The vaccine rollout is the major reason for the decreasing of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations,” Zhang said. “The average daily COVID-19 incidence on Dec. 14 was about 652 infections per 1 million people, and it dropped to about 257 infections per 1 million people on Feb. 15, a 60 percent decrease in the ninth week after the start of vaccine rollout in the country.” Related items ran on Xinhua North America, Xinhua Espanol, and Explica.

COVID-19: Coronavirus Today – Your Questions Answered

The Los Angeles Times (Feb. 22) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about whether it dangerous to get a COVID-19 vaccine if diagnosed with active coronavirus infection. “When we have natural infection or when we get the vaccine, the part of the virus that our body will see is the spike protein,” Shafir said. “Then our body says, ‘Well, that doesn’t belong here, let me make a response to try and deal with this spike protein, to neutralize it or kill the infected cell.’ So even if someone is asymptomatically infected and they get the vaccine, all that’s happening is their body is being presented with more spike protein to which to respond.”

COVID-19: New Strains - What We Know

Rolling Stone (Feb. 22) interviewed Dr. Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, about the best response to new strains of COVID-19. “That is why we get a flu shot every year — because the flu virus changes and we have a new variant each year,” Michels said. “We may have to get the annual COVID shot from now on in addition to the annual flu shot.” It also ran on MSN, Yahoo, and in the Norwalk (CT) News-Times and The Hour.

COVID-19: Hollywood’s Four Biggest Questions to Get Production Back to Normal

The Wrap (Feb. 22) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about how film and television production can continue safely during the pandemic. “There may need to be changes to the frequency of testing or a greater focus on working remotely whenever possible," Shafir said. “We're in a race against a virus whose natural function is to mutate. The more people that get infected, the more chances for mutations and stronger variants to be created as the virus replicates.” It also ran on MSN.

COVID-19: Can we get to Herd Immunity by April?

Healthline (Feb. 22) interviewed Dr. Christina Ramirez, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, about whether the importance of the vaccination campaign. “Even with the variants, data shows that the new vaccines really work at reducing hospitalizations and deaths,” Ramirez said. “Variant or no variant, if you are at risk [for COVID-19], you should get the vaccine and not wait for herd immunity to protect you.”

COVID-19: Do Costs of Closing Schools Outweigh the Benefits?

Medical Research (Feb. 22) interviewed Dr. Frederick Zimmerman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about his research, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, about whether the costs of closing schools in the spring of 2021 outweighed the benefits. “Our study was based on data from the spring (of 2020) … unfortunately over the summer the whole situation changed, and individual behaviors became politicized. Instead of people coming together and doing what would help protect themselves and their communities, wearing masks became a left/right issue and people saw going to bars as a kind of political statement,” Zimmerman said. “As we saw, this behavior led to a large increase in COVID cases in the summer, which was not surprising, even though schools were of course closed.” Related items ran on WRAL-TV, WTVY-TV, and ExpressDigest.

COVID-19: Visitors System Threatens Mitigation of Coronavirus on Campus

The Stanford Daily (Feb. 22) quoted Dr. Matthew Mimiaga, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about how to stay safe during the pandemic. “The only way to stay safe is to stay at home and only physically interact with people in your household system but ensure that they, too, are not physically interacting with anyone outside the household,” Mimiaga said. He was also referenced in items in The Financial and the Milwaukee Community Journal.

 

FEATURES (Other)

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health efforts spotlighted in ASPPH Friday Letter

The ASPPH Friday Letter (Feb. 26) reported eight items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health faculty and staff experts, FSPH efforts related to the pandemic, or other news. These included COVID-19-related interviews by Dr. Marc Suchard in the Los Angeles Times, by Dr. Karin Michels in STAT, by Dr. Chandra Ford on KCRW-FM, and by Dr. Vickie Mays on KCBS-TV. The Letter also spotlighted research by Dr. Matthew Mimiaga, published in The Lancet, and by Dr. Steve Wallace and Dr. Maria-Elena De Trinidad Young, published in the American Journal of Public Health. The Letter also listed the March 3 Lester Breslow lecture featuring Dr. Harvey Fineberg and the March 3 Center for Global and Immigrant Health presentation by Dr. Nicole Hoff on the pandemic response on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Battle Over Climate Change is Boiling Over on the Home Front

The Washington Post (Feb. 23) quoted Dr. Yifang Zhu, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences and senior associate dean for academic programs, about research examining the health risks of long-term exposure to exhaust from gas appliances. “Fossil fuel use in household appliances can adversely impact indoor air quality and public health,” Zhu said. It also ran on SFGate and in the Anchorage (AK) Daily News.

Fielding School of Public Health Launches Online Masters to Bolster the Ranks of Healthcare Administration

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Feb. 23) quoted Dr. Leah Vriesman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and co-director of the Center for Healthcare Management, about the launch of its first online Masters of Healthcare Administration (MHA). “Leading in the modern healthcare enterprise is increasingly complex, and it increases a unique combination of skills that span system administration, coordinated care management, and an increased focus on data and information technology," Vriesman said. “Today's global public health threats have underscored the ways in which our society depends on the professionals who manage and lead healthcare systems in an increasingly connected and interdependent world.” Similar items ran on approximately 50 other outlets.

Medical Professionals Discuss Inequities in Health Care at UCLA Symposium

The Daily Bruin (Feb. 21) interviewed 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, and Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact, about health equity. Both spoke at the 25th annual UCLA Healthcare Symposium.