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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of June 14, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
June 14, 2020 to June 20, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: Testing positive today is only reflective of exposure two to three weeks previously

CNN (June 20) 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 contact tracing process that should follow notice that testing found six members of the Trump Campaign’s advance team are infected. “We all really would like to know who are these people, where have they been, exactly who they’ve been in contact with,” Rimoin said. “You’re not going to test positive the first day you become infected … the fact these people are positive today is only reflective of what their exposure was two to three weeks previously.”

COVID-19: “We’re seeing a spike in cases because we’re re-opening”

KTLA-TV (June 20) 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 increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in California and across the United States. “We’re seeing a spike in cases because we’re re-opening,” Rimoin said. “Transmission of the virus is pretty clear. We know its spread person to person, so as people start going out into the world, and start mixing, we’re going to see more cases.”

COVID-19: Should U.S. states quarantine southerners due to the increases in the U.S. South?

ABC News (June 19) 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 effectiveness of interstate travel restrictions in the United States. “Florida restricted travel from New York and the tri-state area back in March, and now look, they’re having a rising number of cases,” Eisenman said. “A lot of these travel restrictions end up becoming COVID theater and more political, than they uphold public health.”

COVID-19: The pandemic is still clearly spreading

KPCC-FM (June 18, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, on the mid-morning “Air Talk” program, about increases in cases in southern California, including in Orange and Ventura counties. “In Los Angeles County, we have not overwhelmed our surge capacity (but) we certainly want to keep an eye on all of these numbers,” Brewer said. “COVID-19 is still very clearly in all of our communities and it is still clearly spreading.”

COVID-19: “We’ve had politics infect our public health”

MSNBC (June 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 increase in confirmed cases across the United States, including in California, and the best public health responses. “We know that wearing a mask, the data is showing us, wearing a mask is the thing that can really make a difference in terms of community spread; there is really no downside to wearing a mask,” Rimoin said. “The politicization of masking is really a problem. We’ve had politics infect our public’s health and it’s a major issue here. Everybody should be wearing masks; it’s the right thing to do.” The story also ran on Yahoo News.

COVID-19: “In Los Angeles, as around the nation, stark inequities exist by race and ethnicity”

LACityView (June 17, begins at 1:11:44) presented an appearance by Chandra Ford, founding 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, before the City of Los Angeles’ Civil & Human Rights Commission on the issue of structural racism and the COVID-19 pandemic. “Twenty four percent of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. - that’s more than 21,000 people - those deaths occurred among black people, if we only count the deaths where the race of the person who died was known,” Ford said, citing the nationwide totals as of June 3. “This is true even though black people only make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population … and in Los Angeles, as around the nation, stark inequities exist by race and ethnicity.”

COVID-19: “Everyone is susceptible to this virus”

KNX-AM (June 16; begins at 08:05) 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 increase in infections among younger adults. “Everyone is susceptible to this virus, and we have seen, now here in Los Angeles and across the country a big jump in cases between the ages of 18 and 34,” Rimoin said. “They are in fact the largest share of new infections in our state, and we’re seeing this trend everywhere; everyone is susceptible to this virus.”

COVID-19: “Wear a mask - that is what everybody should be doing”

CNN (June 15) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on the importance of wearing masks during the pandemic. “Wear a mask - that is what everybody should be doing,” Rimoin said. “The thing about masks is that it depends upon the mask, it depends on the quality of the mask, it depends on how the person is wearing the mask, and nothing is going to provide perfect protection against infection.”

COVID-19: Masks with exhalation valves may not be adequate

ABC News (June 15) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, for the “Good Morning America” program on the utility of masks with exhalation valves with regard to preventing spread of the pandemic. “Masks with valves are not the kind of masks we need to prevent the transmission off COVID-19,” Rimoin said. “Those masks that have the valve in them do not comply with recommendations.”

COVID-19: “We are still in the midst of a pandemic”

CNN (June 14) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on the state of the pandemic, including the possibility of a second wave later this year. “We are still in the midst of a pandemic. We do not have therapeutics. We do not have a vaccine. We are still struggling to have testing, tracing and isolating of patients, or of people who are infected,” Rimoin said. “It is still a challenge for us here in the United States. We are really at a very critical point in this pandemic. I think we are going to be paying the price for opening too soon.

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: What does “normal” look like now?

Centennial Today (June 20; note no link available) quoted Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, on how the pandemic may develop over the rest of the year, including the potential impact on the health care system. “The primary risk is that the viral transmission increases above what is already happening in many communities,” Brewer said. “The inability to provide safe and effective care, because of lack of resources such as ventilators or personal protective equipment, could endanger both patients and health care workers.”

COVID-19: With curtains, sanitization, and social distancing, gymnasiums reopen

Los Angeles Times (June 19) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on how gyms are taking precautions to prevent spread. “The devil is in the details,” Rimoin said. “Who’s going to be doing the cleaning? What about shared bathrooms, how often are those going to be cleaned? How are you going to keep people more than six feet apart from each other? Are people going to have to wear masks? They should have to wear masks.”

COVID-19: Research into origins of measles provides insight for dealing with current, future pandemics

Science (June 19, AAAS journal) reported on research by a team co-led by Dr. Marc Suchard, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, which found the measles virus appeared in 6th century BCE, and is based on the oldest human-infecting RNA virus genome sequenced to date. “Measles appears to have arisen alongside the growth of large and, for the first time, inter-connected cities, which can be directly compared to the situation we face today in regard to emerging infectious diseases, like COVID-19, that arise from zoonotic pathogens,” Suchard said. “Travel between these urban areas took months or years when measles first appeared, but now it takes only hours or day – so we have similar health concerns, but vastly different time-scales.”

COVID-19: Law enforcement tactics during protests can spread infection

LAist (June 19) 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, about law enforcement tactics and political protest during the pandemic. “During this time when we're protesting police brutality, the use of tear gas is causing more harm in the way of spreading COVID,” Eisenman said. “There is some culpability on the police for using this method, which increases the sneezing and increases the coughing and therefore increases the spread.”

COVID-19: Supreme Court saves ‘dreamers’ on pandemic’s frontlines

Bloomberg Law (June 18) interviewed Steven P. Wallace, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and associate director of FSPH’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about the DACA decision’s impact on the 29,000 health-care workers and 142,000 workers in food industries, who could have lost their jobs if the court had allowed the Trump administration to end the program. “There are a lot of health-care workers, but right now we don’t have any to spare,” Wallace said.

COVID-19: Protests prompt re-examination of inequality in medical research

Bloomberg Law (June 18) Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, on preventing biases from creeping into new studies by using its funding to encourage studies that feature interdisciplinary research teams rather than one researcher. “If you bring the right people to the table, you actually will have greater insight into the problem you’re trying to discuss,” Mays said. “We need to rethink the expertise that’s needed to actually ensure that there is adequate protection.”

COVID-19: The geography of despair: homeless deaths are Los Angeles’ other epidemic

Capital & Main (June 18) referenced research co-authored by Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on the impact of the pandemic on the homeless.

COVID-19: How to deal with public restrooms during the pandemic

The New York Times (June 17) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about a study confirming that infectious coronavirus is present in feces and how to safely use public toilets. “Mother Nature intended us to get rid of waste, and it doesn’t take much time to get backed up … don’t hold it until it hurts,” Jackson said. “If you’re going to have to use the facilities, use gloves and masks.”

COVID-19: Firefighting agencies planning ahead for wildfire season

LAist (June 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 to firefighters from the pandemic as the wildfire season approaches in the western United States. “We're very concerned at how fast an outbreak can impact the workforce," Rimoin said.

COVID-19: Homeless likelier to go on ventilators for respiratory infections than others

Science Magazine (June 17) referenced Dr. Yusuke Tsugawa, assistant professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management, in an item about a study published in the June edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. A similar item ran in Mirage News.

COVID-19: How accurate are the at-home test kits?

The Science Times (June 17) referenced the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in an item about research into the accuracy of at-home test kits.

COVID-19: As pandemic spikes, will some states shut down again?

Live Science (June 17) quoted Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, about the possibility of future shutdowns in the U.S. related to the pandemic. “I don't think you're going to see any national consensus [on when to shut down again] because the situations are very different from place to place," Fielding said. “It's hard to put the genie back in the bottle … I think it's difficult to legislate, to put restrictions in place that don't have public support."

COVID-19: Complicates dental treatment for patients with intellectual disabilities

Dentistry Today (June 17) interviewed Dr. Alicia Bazzano, an alumnus of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, (MPH, 1998; PhD, 2012), who serves as chief health officer for the Special Olympics, on issues the pandemic poses for patients with intellectual disabilities. “Many patients with ID have comorbid conditions, which put them at a higher health risk for COVID-19,” Bazzano said. “Social distancing regulations, while absolutely necessary for preventing the spread of COVID-19, present unique challenges for those with ID who may rely on others for support in self-care.”

COVID-19: Pandemic pushback drives health directors to quit

CalMatters (June 16) interviewed Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, about political pressure and harassment of public health officers over physical distancing restrictions that have led to their resignations across the United States. “None of us has the unfettered right to do what we want,” Fielding said. “People are saying, ‘Our president’s not doing this, why do I have to?’ That’s one of the roots of this problem — the radicalization of views on individual rights.” The price ran in multiple other outlets, including KQED-FM, SF Gate, Times of San Diego, and the San Antonio News Express.

COVID-19: Will surges in COVID-19 cases mean a return to lockdowns?

Marketplace (June 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 likelihood of a second wave of infection. “The bottom line is that people are re-opening despite the fact that the virus hasn’t changed, it’s just as contagious, and we are just as at risk,” Rimoin said.

COVID-19: Returning to work and worried about safety? Here’s what to know

The Los Angeles Times (June 16) 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 whether workers concerned about their employers’ response to the pandemic can file a complaint with California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “(Their) priority is not going to be on office work environments because they’re dealing with positive cases and fatalities related to COVID in healthcare settings, in meatpacking,” Delp said.

COVID-19: “Why should Congress improve paid leave policies?”

The Hill (June 16) published a commentary that 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 connection with a study she co-authored that shows that with paid sick leave, workers are more likely to not go to work when they are ill. “We can wait no longer. Families are being torn apart by this virus, and leave laws are an important solution to the struggles faced by millions. With or without a vaccine, paid leave is essential to keep people safe and secure.”

COVID-19: Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health affiliate on June 20 protest

Disability Matters (June 16) interviewed Sharrelle Barber, a faculty affiliate with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health, about the planned June 20 “Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington.” Barber is the national advisor and coordinator for the Poor People’s Campaign COVID-19 Health Justice Advisory Committee.

COVID-19: Highlights the impact of air pollution

Blue & Green Tomorrow (June 16) referenced Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences and associate dean for academic programs at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in a column about the impact of the pandemic on air quality.

COVID-19: How to avoid a second wave as California pandemic deaths top 5,000

The Los Angeles Times (June 15) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on what Californians can do to minimize the risk of a second wave of the pandemic. “We also need to instill a compassion for others and recognize we all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and others from disease,” Kim-Farley said. “While at the same time, supporting those who are vulnerable to the economic impacts of our mitigation efforts.”

COVID-19: U.S. may not see pandemic "turning point" for a year, experts say

Xinhua (June 15) interviewed Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, on the possible course of the pandemic in the U.S. over the next year. “Based on the (modelling and) projection and the current COVID-19 fatality rate of 5.55 percent, we will see an additional 1 million confirmed cases in the United States in the next three and a half months," Zhang said. "The situation is very worrying.”

COVID-19: Breaking the chain of infection

DearPandemic (June 14) interviewed Anne Pebley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and 39 other public health experts, on the school’s multi-lingual “Breaking the Chain of Infection” website, currently translated into six languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Armenian. “Immigrants are a large proportion of the population of Southern California -- about a third of the population of Los Angeles County, for example,” Pebley said. “So if we are going to reach all of the population, we need to do so in English and other languages.”

 

FEATURES (Other)

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (June 19) reported nine items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts and FSPH efforts related to the pandemic. Under “Preparedness and Response,” these included a report on a $1.3 million NOH grant for COVID-19 research by a team co-led by Dr. Marc Suchard, professor of Biostatistics, Biomathematics, & Human Genetics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and a commentary in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) on racism and COVID-19 co-authored by Gilbert Gee, professor of community health sciences and Anne Rimoin, professor of epidemiology and director of the FSPH Center for Global and Immigrant Health. Under “ASPPH Members in The News,” these included a New York Times column that quoted Rimoin about leadership in the pandemic response, and a National Geographic article that quoted Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences and associate dean for academic programs, on air pollution related to them pandemic. Under “Academic Resources and Tools,” it listed the “COVID-19: Breaking the Chain of Infection (Simplified Chinese)” listing. Under “School and Program Updates,” it listed the 2020 Virtual Commencement Celebration and an open letter about the June protests co-signed by Chandra Ford, associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and director of Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health. Under “Student & Alumni Achievements,” the Friday Letter listed the Dean’s Outstanding Student Award received by Zarreen Amin, MPH ’20, and the Korn Scholars Award received by Consuela Abotsi-Kowu, MPH ’20.

Professor emeritus receives Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award

Hospitals Management (June 16) referenced Robert Kaplan, distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in an item reporting his receipt of the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award, which recognizes a health educator who has made a substantial contribution to advancing the field of health education.

Policy and other opportunities to intervene on firearm-related injuries in the United States

The Journal of Surgical Research (June 15) published a commentary advocating the implementation of hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) in trauma centers, co-authored by Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences; Dr. Tony Kuo, adjunct associate professor at FSPH; and Noel C. Barragan, with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. “An emerging best practice for intervening on firearm injury – especially for youth in their teens and early 20s - is the implementation of hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) in trauma centers,” the authors wrote. “HVIPs are designed to reduce the risk of violent re injury by enrolling victims into culturally competent, hospital- and community-based wraparound services that provide long-term case management and other intensive resources tailored to managing social and behavioral health problems, such as drug addiction, alcohol abuse, re-entry status, homelessness, and mental health disorder that may also contribute to firearm injury.” The item is scheduled to be in the September issue of the journal.

Healthcare cost discussions of drug prices ignores realities of U.S. pharmaceutical industry

Harvard Magazine (June 15) published a commentary by William Comanor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, on the costs of drugs in the United States. “There are two identifiable pharmaceutical industries, comprised largely of different companies which operate under very different regulatory regimes,” wrote Comanor, referring to the generic and branded pharmaceutical manufacturers. “Ignoring these differences leads to much confusion.”

Does a mix of honey and cinnamon may have health benefits?

USA Today (June 14) quoted Dana Hunnes, adjunct assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in a story on the potential health benefits of honey and cinnamon. “Bees collect the dilute-sugary nectar of flora plants, produce an enzymatic activity after ingestion, regurgitate it into honey cells and evaporate a high percentage of water out of it,” Hunnes said.