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 FSPH In The News

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

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

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: Should schools open when the U.S. is setting a single-day record?

KTLA-TV (July 17) 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 risks of re-opening schools. “Everybody wants their kids to be able to get back to school,” Rimoin said. “The problem is the rates of transmission in the community are high enough that it makes it very difficult to get kids back into school because it’s not just the kids: it kids, it’s the staff, the teachers, everybody around them.”

COVID-19: Can heated air filters make indoor environments safer?

KCRW-FM (July 16) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about research from the University of Houston that suggest air filters heated to 392 Fahrenheit (220C) degrees could instantly kill the virus indoors, or aboard a ship or aircraft. “This will require installation in air handling systems, and there are millions of air handling systems, so it’s a very big commitment,” Jackson said. “Heating things up kills things you need to worry about, but (the) thing feared most on an aircraft or ship is fire … this has to be proven and shown to be very, very safe before you can use it in a closed, vulnerable space.”

COVID-19: Pandemics and the built environment

KCRW-FM (July 16) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the pandemic should influence how planners, architects, and builders should adapt to the realities of a pandemic-threatened human population. “I think the big lesson of the pandemic is that none of us can do this alone. Yes, we're going to have to wear a mask. Yes, we're going to be socially distant,” Jackson said. “But we've got to take care of ourselves, and take care of each other, and build places that are pleasant that we want to be in.”

COVID-19: “There is no magic bullet” regarding vaccine development

Fox News Radio (July 16) 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 vaccine development as a response to the pandemic. “There is no magic bullet, and even if we end up with a vaccine, it will take time to get it out to people,” Rimoin said. “When we start seeing a vaccine that is widely available to people and distributed to large swathes of the population, then we’re going to be able to have a little bit of normalcy.”

COVID-19: Pandemic response grows in Central Africa

The PBS News Hour (July 15, starts at 33:40) 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 the pandemic response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she has worked since 2002. “The real picture of what’s going on in the interior of the country is very, very difficult to paint at this point without widespread access to testing, really good disease surveillance, and an understanding of what’s happening on the ground,” Rimoin said. “Congo is not a place where you are going to have great access to vaccines and therapeutics early on; the key in a place like the DRC is having adequate access to testing, contact tracing, being able to isolate people who are sick, and being able to quarantine the people around them.”

COVID-19: “White House tries to discredit Fauci as virus surges”

MSNBC (July 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 Trump Administration’s reported decision to disregard advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the federal government’s top professional medical advisors. “It just is unbelievable,” Rimoin said. “I’ve been working in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo for my entire career, and my colleagues there say `well, now you know what it’s like’ … we need to be focusing on facts and science and staying away from politics. It’s literally insane.” The interview also ran on MSN, Yahoo News, and Raw Story, and related reports ran on Stock News Press and Brinkwire.

COVID-19: Tension between politics and medicine

CNN (July 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 tension between politics and medicine in the U.S. response to the pandemic. “This is a huge problem. We’re letting politics dictate our public health agenda here, and it is just not acceptable,” Rimoin said. “We need to be led by science. This is a virus. We know how this virus spreads. We know now so much more about how to be able to attack this. And what we need is our top scientists to be advising the president, and to have policy enacted as such.”

COVID-19: “We have to double-down on our efforts right now”

ABC News (July 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, about how to best continue the fight against the pandemic in California. “We have to double-down on our efforts right now: we need to be closing bars, we need to be closing restaurants, we need to be going as far back into the early phases of lockdown as we possibly can to get our arms around this,” Rimoin said. “They only way we’re going to be able to be opening schools in the fall is if we can drive down community transmission, and what we are doing right now is not enough.”

COVID-19: The state of the pandemic in the Golden State

KPCC-FM (July 13) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the state of the pandemic response – with some 6,300 Californians currently hospitalized. “This is a record high; the peak back in April was 3,497, so we’ve had about a 50 percent increase statewide,” Kim-Farley said. “We could see more and more increases in hospitalizations, because there is a lag between detection of cases and then when they get sick enough to go into the hospital.”

COVID-19: Latino and African American Workers in Sacramento region face high economic hardship

Capradio (July 13, NPR affiliate in Sacramento) interviewed David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact of the pandemic in Sacramento County, including that Latinos and African Americans make up over a third of the cases in Sacramento, though they are just under a quarter of the region’s population and have to deal with existing health inequality issues. “(They are the) least likely to have insurance, most likely to speak Spanish, almost 100% immigrant, 70% undocumented,” Hayes-Bautista said. “Farmworkers, the people who grow the food that we eat, they’re in these public exposure situations that made it possible for the wealthier communities to shelter in place.”

  

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Workers vanished as pandemic swept through Los Angeles apparel firm

The Los Angeles Times (July 17) interviewed Linda Delp, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health adjunct associate professor of environmental health sciences and director of the UCLA-Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, about how management at a Los Angeles apparel firm dealt with the pandemic’s impact on the workforce. “They’re workers that are already paid low wages, so they don’t have a cushion to depend on,” she said. “Unless they can stay home when they’re sick, when they have been exposed or infected, there’s this real pressure to continue coming to work.” The story also ran on Prudent Press.

COVID-19: UCLA launches pandemic website with critical information in 40 languages

The Rafu Shimpo (July 17, Japanese language newspaper in Los Angeles) quoted Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (FSPH) professor of health policy and management, on the COVID-19 Multilingual Resource Hub (translatecovid.org), a freely accessible website with information in 40 languages. “COVID-19 is seriously affecting the way we live and we need to learn how to live safely in the midst of the novel coronavirus,” Mays said. The story also quoted Gilbert Gee, FSPH professor of community health sciences, and Karen Umemoto, director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

COVID-19: California’s continuing fight against the pandemic

France24 (July 17) interviewed Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and senior fellow at the FSPH UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about California’s fight against the pandemic. There was a sense that California might be particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, seeing as it hosts “large metropolitan areas, a very mobile population and lots of international travel, especially out of Los Angeles and San Francisco,” Kominski said. The story also ran on Yahoo News UK.

COVID-19: The U.S. isn’t merely failing to deal with the coronavirus; we’re actually moving backwards

The Los Angeles Times (July 17) 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, for a piece by business columnist Michael Hiltzik about why the U.S. pandemic response is so poor compared with other nations. “People are not going to be willing to lock down again,” Eisenman said “People walked into the first lockdown with some trust that this would matter and their actions would make a difference. That proved not to be the case. My concern is that we’re going to be a country where the coronavirus appears on and off for quite a long time.” The story also ran on Yahoo Finance, the San Jose Mercury News, East Bay (CA) Times, the Finger Lakes (NY) Times, Newsbreak and The World News.

COVID-19: As Disney reopens parks, some are questioning the Magic Kingdom.

Business Insider (July 17) 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 risks inherent in reopening theme parks and large crowds. “(Disney World is, indeed), "the happiest place on earth... for the coronavirus," Rimoin said.

COVID-19: Why California Latinos carry more worries in pandemic and why many don’t get help

The Sacramento Bee (July 17) cited research by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, led by Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management, that found Latinos are less likely to have health insurance coverage than other Californians. An estimated 13.7% of California Latinos remain uninsured.

COVID-19: Growing wait times for test results hinder virus response

The Wall Street Journal (July 16) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on how failures and delays in the U.S. testing effort are hobbling the pandemic response. Kim-Farley made the point that contact tracing already trails behind the pathogen, since it can take up to two weeks for a person to develop symptoms and then get tested, and people can often spread the disease before symptoms appear. “We’re now talking about something that happened three weeks ago as compared to being right on it as soon as we can,” Kim-Farley said.

COVID-19: New lockdowns threatened in virus-stricken U.S. states

Bloomberg News (July 16) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the possibilities of new “safer at home” orders in virus-stricken states, including Texas, which on July 16 posted its worst day of fatalities, 129, and recorded more than 10,000 new cases for a third-straight day. “It’s like a slow-turning supertanker,” Kim-Farley said. “You turn things on, and it take a few weeks before you see the results. Then you try to correct those results, but it takes another two to three weeks to see the results of that correction.”

COVID-19: Pandemic response leaves Florida a state of confusion

The Los Angeles Times (July 16) 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 pandemic response in Florida, which is now the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic. “Public health has become politicized and that is a recipe for disaster,” Rimoin said. “The fact that masks have become politicized is nonsensical. It’s a proven public health method of reducing disease transmission.” Similar stories also ran in MSN, NewsbreakThe World News, PressFrom, VNExpress (Vietnam) and Vietgiatri (Vietnam).

COVID-19: We cannot reopen schools with a very high level of transmission

Yahoo Money (July 16) 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 prospects of safely re-opening K-12 schools in the fall. “We all want to get our kids back to school — getting our kids back to school is so important,” Rimoin said. “That being said, we cannot do it in unsafe conditions, and if we have a very high level of transmission, like we do here in Los Angeles, it is not safe to put kids back in school and to put teachers and staff in a position of potentially being exposed.” The story also ran on Yahoo News (Australia), Yahoo Finance (Canada), Yahoo Hong Kong, and Yahoo Philippines, and the quote was used in a story by the International Business Times.

COVID-19: What America can do to stop the surge

Yahoo Finance (July 16) 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 U.S. can fight the pandemic. “We’re seeing an increase in cases because the virus still has the ability to spread,” Rimoin said. “But opening up, by giving this virus an opportunity to spread … people not wearing masks, people congregating together, all of these things have provided ample opportunity to let the virus do what the virus wants to do, which is to spread from person to person.”

COVID-19: Taking public health advice from non-experts is “insanity”

The Daily Mail (July 16) quoted Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about President Trump’s re-tweets of critics of public health experts in connection with the pandemic, including former game show host Chuck Woolery. “This idea that our president is taking advice from somebody like Chuck Woolery, or promoting these kind of words from the guy whose biggest claim to fame is being the host of the Love Connection or a name in a Beastie Boys song is just utterly insanity,” Rimoin said. Woolery, who tweeted July 12 that “Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust,” wrote July 13 that his son has tested positive for the virus, the Daily Mail reported. The story also ran on Express Digest and Sound Health.

COVID-19: Face mask myths you need to stop believing right now

Well+Good (July 15) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, on myths about using face masks to slow the spread of the pandemic. “We are continually accumulating more data to suggest that masks are beneficial,” Brewer said. “Since we can’t easily identify [asymptomatic] individuals, having people wear masks ensures that if you are infected and don’t realize it when you cough, talk, sneeze, or breathe, any respiratory droplet particles coming out of your mouth and nose will get caught in the mask and are less likely to be disseminated to other individuals.” The story also ran on MSN.

COVID-19: Health-safety rating offered for all building types

Green Lodging News (July 15) referenced Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management,in a piece that cited a rating system of buildings related to the health burden from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Fielding serves as co-chair of the panel that created the system, formed by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

COVID-19: “A dangerous new chapter of the outbreak: Every state for itself”

Politico (July 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, about the state of the national response to the pandemic in the United States. “We shut down the country for three months and we could have used that time for all kinds of planning and preparing, and we did not use it at all,” Eisenman said. "People are tired and they don't see the benefit of going back into lock down." The story also ran on MSN and Politico Nightly.

COVID-19: Are California hospitals over-counting coronavirus patients?

The Sacramento Bee (July 14) interviewed Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and senior fellow at the FSPH UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about the importance of hospitals reporting testing all patients and reporting all coronavirus infections, including asymptomatic patients who are hospitalized for a condition separate from the pandemic. “We need to do this testing in order to protect both hospital personnel and other patients who are in the hospital,” Kominski said. It also ran on MSN and the Fresno Bee.

COVID-19: Pandemic’s impact on Major League Soccer in the U.S.

The Los Angeles Times (July 14) quoted Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about the risks inherent to players in the MLS quarantine bubble in Florida. “It’s hard to contain this virus given the nature of how it is spread and the rate of transmission that is happening in the state of Florida,” Rimoin said. “Real quarantine should mean that no one is coming in or out of the bubble.”

COVID-19: The art and science of pandemic risk communication

Medscape (July 12) quoted Deborah Glik, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about best practices for informing the public about the pandemic. “The goal is to get as much information as possible out to as many people as possible, as quickly as you can. That means the messages themselves have to be simple,” Glik said. “Our President has had opportunity after opportunity to show that he can communicate in a way that’s responsible, consistent, credible, (and) empathetic. This was his big test, and he flunked.” It also ran on The Week and IDose.

 

FEATURES (Other)

Is pork bad for you? A look at what the science says

ZME Science (July 17) interviewed Dana Hunnes, adjunct assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the nutritional and health aspects of eating pork. “All animal proteins, exclusive of what animal they come from, can be harmful to health, especially if and when they are processed. So I would never recommend eating animal products, and certainly not pork,” Hunnes said. “Pork is considered a red meat, and it is high levels of saturated fat, and all of the other animal protein compounds that are deleterious to health. Pork is not a “white meat”, and even if it were, white meat has also been demonstrated to be deleterious to health.”

UCLA FSPH faculty presents at national eye health summit

Invision magazine (July 17) referenced Anne Coleman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and professor of ophthalmology, UCLA Stein Eye Institute, in a piece about the annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit, held a as a virtual event in 2020 because of the pandemic.

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (July 17) reported 8 items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts and FSPH efforts related to the pandemic or other news. Under “Preparedness and Response,” these listed an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star by professor-in-residence of epidemiology, Nina Harawa, and a Knowable Magazine interview of professor of community health sciences, Deborah Glik. Under “ASPPH Members in the News,” these included a Thomson Reuters Foundation story that quoted distinguished professor of public health, public policy, and medicine, Jody Heymann; and a Politico interview of professor-in-residence of community health sciences, David Eisenman. Under “Academic Resources and Tools,” the updated Armenian and Vietnamese translations of the COVID-19: Breaking the Chain of Infection pages were listed; and under “Member Research and Reports,” a study on workplace discrimination led by  Jody Heymannand a study on gas flaring and pregnancy risks led by assistant professor Lara Cushing were included.

Study ties natural gas flaring sites to more preterm births

Environment & Energy (July 16) interviewed Lara Cushing, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, who co-led a study published n the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, that foundthe risk of premature births is 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring. “Our findings suggest that living within three miles of flaring adversely impacts pregnant women and infants,” Cushing said. “When we looked at the subset of women who were exposed to a high number of flaring events during pregnancy, the rate was 14% … when we accounted for other factors such as age, prenatal care, and smoking, we found that exposure was associated with 50% higher odds of preterm birth compared with no exposure.”

Risk of premature births 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring, researchers find

KPCC-FM (July 15) interviewed Lara Cushing, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, who co-led a study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, that foundthe risk of premature births is 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring in Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas region. “Flaring is on the rise and is very common in other parts of the country and so it is a practice that impacts populations beyond the ones that we studied,” Cushing said. Similar stories ran on FrackCheck WV and Tuoi Tre (Vietnam), and the study was referenced by Politico and Real News Network.

UCLA, USC study suggests natural gas flaring increases preterm births

KFI-AM (July 15) quoted Lara Cushing, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, who co-led a study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives,that foundthe risk of premature births is 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring. “Prior studies suggest living near oil and gas wells adversely affects birth outcomes, but no studies had yet examined flaring … the open combustion of natural gas,'' Cushing said. “Our findings suggest that living within three miles of flaring adversely impacts pregnant women and infants in Texas' Eagle Ford region.'' Similar stories ran on The Hill, MSN Health, MyNewsLA (City News Service), Los Angeles Patch, Redondo Beach Patch, KEIB-AM (California), WIFC-FM and WHBL-AM (Wisconsin), KDAL-AM (Minnesota), Netscape News, Health News Digest, Environmental News NetworkHealth Medicine, MD Alert, Home Health Choices, Science Daily, Science Codex, ScienceBlog, SRN News, ExBulletin, USC News, EurekAlert, Ecotopical, the Daily Magazine, the Hindustan Times (India), The Dawn (Pakistan), Capital Queretaro (Mexico), Capitaldomex (Mexico), Pressetext (Germany), Sharjah24 (United Arab Emirates), Vietnam+ (Vietnam), Vietgiatri (Vietnam), BaoNhanh24/7 (Vietnam), Tin247 (Vietnam), ErnstvEncana, infosurhoy, PressFrom, WorldNews, Times of News, and Bright Surf.

Risk of premature births 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring, researchers find

The Houston Chronicle (July 15) interviewed Lara Cushing, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, who co-led a study (published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives) that foundthe risk of premature births is 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring. “It’s a pretty large effect,” Cushing said. “It’s on par with what you see for moms who smoke during pregnancy compared to moms who don’t.” Similar stories were run by Reuters, the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, MSN, Haaretz (Israel), Environmental Health News, MedicalXpress, Metro New York, Science News, Science Magazine, KFGO-AM (North Dakota), KELO-AM and KWSN-AM (South Dakota), WTAQ-FM and WSAU-AM (Wisconsin), WTBX-FM and WNMT-AM (Minnesota), WZOX-FM, WHTC-AM, WTVB-AM, WKZO-AM, and WLMI-FM (Michigan), WJXB-FM (Tennessee), Tunissoir, Alert, and Mirage News.

UCLA faculty member to advise on study of indoor environmental quality

Businesswire (July 13) referenced Dr. Jonathan Fielding,UCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management,in a piece that cited a scientific research center that uses human-centered research to understand the interaction between health and well-being and indoor environments. Fielding serves on the organization’s advisory board.