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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of March 14, 2021 - 12:00am

Week of: 
March 14, 2021 to March 20, 2021

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: Encouraging the Public to Receive Vaccinations

KNX-AM (March 19) interviewed Dr. Peter Katona, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the likelihood of getting re-infected with COVID-19. “We've kind of known that reinfections can occur with coronaviruses, and it makes sense that older people whose immunity is not quite as good as younger people's immunity would be more susceptible,” Katona said. “So it's no surprise to see something like this.

COVID-19: Does a Nighttime Curfew Help in Containing Spread?

CNBC India (March 19) quoted Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about effort to curb spread of the coronavirus through nighttime curfews. “The hope is that it will discourage and decrease mobility among populations with the highest infection rates, who are also most likely to be out late at night,” Rimoin said.

COVID-19: Three key Numbers Scientists are Watching to Track the Pandemic

NBC News (March 18) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about metrics to watch to understand the state of the pandemic. “Every hospital in the country is screening every single patient that comes in for COVID-19,” Brewer said. “People who are sick enough to go to the hospital are going to go, regardless of whether or not they're worried about COVID.” It also ran on Yahoo, WRCB-TV (Tennessee), WPSD-TV (Kentucky), KADN-TV (Louisiana), AOL, El Portal de Salta (Argentina), World News, Infobae, Newsfeed, News Headlines, Breaking News, Unfold Times, Vaaju, Remo News, DNYUZ, and Pressfrom.

COVID-19: WHO Says Keep Using AstraZeneca Vaccine

CNN (March 18) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the WHO’s recommendation to continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine, even though some European countries have stopped using the product. “It's really tricky, because halting vaccination in the midst of a pandemic is very serious business,” Rimoin said. “Monitoring the vaccines is critical. We must understand what side effects may occur, but we still have to truly understand, is this related to the vaccine?” She appeared with Dominic Thomas, chair and professor of UCLA’s departments of French and Francophone Studies, Germanic Languages, Italian, and Scandinavian, and a CNN commentator on European affairs. “This is the product of months, weeks, of inconsistent messaging,” Thomas said. “The big picture here, let's not forget, that the European Union invested massively in research and development of the vaccine, and has been embroiled in a battle, a war one could say, for weeks now with AstraZeneca.” It also ran on CNN International.

COVID-19: Encouraging the Public to Receive Vaccinations

KNX-AM (March 18) interviewed Dr. Peter Katona, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about how to encourage the public to receive COVID-19 vaccination. “That to me should be message number one, two, three, four, five to get people to get vaccinated who are reluctant,” Katona said.

COVID-19: Los Angeles County Continues Reopening

KPCC-FM (March 17) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health and director of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, about re-opening plans in Los Angeles County and across southern California. “We’ve seen now that cases are going down steadily, across Los Angeles and across California and the nation, hospitalizations are going down, deaths are going down,” Eisenman said. “People who are vaccinated should feel very safe now going out (but) if I was not vaccinated, I would be a cautious still.”

COVID-19: On Predicting a Pandemic

KQED-FM (March 17) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about what the 2011 film Contagion got right about the pandemic, and what unfolded in real life; Rimoin appeared alongside the film’s screenwriter, Scott Z. Burns. “There are a lot of things that Contagion really hit perfectly,” Rimoin said. “The things we didn’t account for were things like, what was actually happening with the public health system that was underfunded. A public health system that had years of underfunding, and all the shortfalls … and the politicization of science.”

COVID-19: Reopening California as Safely as Possible

Spectrum One (March 15) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the state of the pandemic in southern California, including the current re-opening cycle .“We’re starting to see these little glimpses of normalcy, and that’s wonderful … but the virus is still circulating at very high levels,” Rimoin said. “We have to remember there are still variants out there that are more contagious, that is going to make the virus much easier to transmit from person to person, and we still only have a fraction of the population vaccinated, less than 11% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.”

COVID-19: Warnings of Spring Break Surge as European Cases Spike

Inside Edition (March 15) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about another potential spike, including looking at the fallout from the lifting of restrictions in some European countries. “All we need to do is look to Europe to see what could happen here,” Rimoin said. “As restrictions start to relax, we give this virus more opportunity to spread.” A related item ran on AllUSNews.

COVID-19: Los Angeles County Moving Into “Red Tier”

KCAL-TV (March 15) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about Los Angeles County’s official move into the state's less-restrictive red tier Monday, allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining and theaters and gyms to reopen. “Dining indoors is probably the biggest risk, because that's people coming together from multiple households sitting inside masks off,” Rimoin said. “If you're going to a gym, make sure that it's got really good ventilation and that you really limit your time indoors. It also ran on KCBS-TV and Yahoo.

COVID-19: Los Angeles County Moving Into “Red Tier”

KNX-AM (March 15, begins at 02:05) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about Los Angeles County’s official move into the state's less-restrictive red tier Monday, allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining and theaters and gyms to reopen. “It’s great, we have opportunities to do more than we were before,” Rimoin said. “I'm ready to wait a little while longer for it to be very safe, as opposed to just because we can do something, I'm going to go do it.” She commented in a second KNX-AM piece on how screaming on a roller coaster could potentially spread the virus.

COVID-19: “The Pandemic has Left no Community Untouched in California”

RadioBilingue (March 15, Spanish) interviewed Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact of the pandemic on California’s Latinos.

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Vaccines ‘Light at the end of the Tunnel’

The Eureka Times-Standard (March 20) quoted Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, who spoke at a virtual town hall hosted by Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg). “Our test positivity rate is running about 2.3%. In Los Angeles County, that was up around 20% at the peak. Now it’s closer to 2.0% positivity,” Brewer said. “We’re doing much better than we were two short months ago. That having been said, in the northern counties like Humboldt County you’re running at about 2.9% and Sonoma County is at about 2.4% test positivity. While you’re better off than you were in January, you are lagging a little bit behind the rest of the state.”

COVID-19: Why are Side Effects Worse After a Second Dose of Vaccine?

The Los Angeles Times (March 19) interviewed Dr. Kristen Choi, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management, about second-dose side effects tend to be stronger than the first. “It’s a signal that the vaccine is working,” Choi said. “I’m very grateful to have gotten the vaccine and to be able to have that protection, and really want to see that opportunity be made available to everyone.” She was also quoted by Clinical Advisor.

COVID-19: Opinion - Post-pandemic World Challenges

Business Recorder (March 19) published a commentary quoting Dr. Jared Diamond, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. “‘For the first time in world history, people around the world are being forced to acknowledge that we all face a shared threat that no country can overcome by itself,” Diamond said. “In that case, COVID-19 will have brought not only tragedy but also salvation, by finally setting the world’s peoples onto a sustainable course.” Diamond was also quoted or referenced in Ricochet, Resilience, and The Bookseller.

COVID-19: What do we Know About the Pandemic and High School Athletes?

The Los Angeles Times (March 18) interviewed Dr. Matthew Mimiaga, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the risks of contagion as high school sports resume this year. The community infection rate is one of the top things to consider when deciding whether it is safe to let kids return to sports, Mimiaga said. It also ran on News Break.

COVID-19: Townhall Focuses On Vaccine Distribution Efforts

The Lake County (CA) Record-Bee (March 18) quoted Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, who spoke at a virtual town hall hosted by Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg). “The good news is that we are way down from where we were at the peak,” Brewer said. “We still need to be aware that Coronavirus is in our communities and (need to keep) doing all those things like wearing our mask, washing our hands, maintaining our physical distancing which have been so important to get us where we are today.”

COVID-19: UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Professor to Speak at Town Hall

The Lake County News (March 17) reported that Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, will speak at a March 18 town hall in Mendocino County hosted by Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg). Similar items ran on the North Coast Journal and Redheaded Blackbelt.

COVID-19: Lockdowns Improved air Quality; Where are we a Year Later?

Mirage News (March 17) quoted Dr. Yifang Zhu, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences and senior associate dean for academic programs, about the state of air quality in southern California and its relationship to the pandemic. “We shouldn’t need a pandemic to clean the air,” Zhu said. “The pandemic and lockdowns allowed us to see what can be done and what changes we can expect.” It also ran on Phys.org.

COVID-19: An Enemy That ‘hit the Sweet Spot of Controversy’

The Los Angeles Daily News (March 16) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the politicization of the pandemic response in the United States in 2020. “Had that number been 10 times less 0.1%, back down to like influenza, we would have been saying ‘oh, this is interesting. We have a new virus and we don’t have to close down society,” Kim-Farley said. “However at this 1% level you have legitimately arising two different camps … one saying yes it is 1% every life is precious but there are other things that are important too.” 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. Including the Daily News, the story ran across all 11 of the Southern California News Group’s papers, including the Orange County Register, Riverside Press-Enterprise, San Bernardino Sun, Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Whittier Daily News, Torrance (CA) Daily Breeze, Ontario-Pomona (CA) Daily Bulletin, and the Redlands Daily Facts. It also ran on BusinessFast.

COVID-19: A Roaring 2020s in Post-Pandemic California

The California Sun (March 16) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about similarities between California's coronavirus pandemic of 2020 and to the influenza pandemic of 1918. “It's really important to note that in 1918, when there was no vaccine, they were able to control the pandemic with the other measures that we have been putting forward,” Shafir said. “All of those things together, helped them control the pandemic. So will it be more efficient now? Absolutely. But is a vaccine the only tool or the only path forward? No, it's not.”

COVID-19: Inequities. We Told you so. And, we Were Right

Medium (March 16) published a two part series examining health inequalities illustrated by the pandemic response, co-written by 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. “We warned that stark, devastating inequities were likely to emerge in the COVID-19 pandemic. Failure to take action immediately would render them eminent,” the authors wrote. “Today, we are saddened and angered by all that has happened since then. The inequities materialized as predicted. We believe it is important to say, “We told you so.” Part 1; Part 2.

COVID-19: The Vaccine and Kids

Parents (March 16) referenced Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about what parents should know about the vaccines’ safety, effectiveness, and availability for children.

COVID-19:Let's Listen to—and Support—Our Nurses”

Health Affairs (March 15) interviewed Dr. Kristen Choi, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management, about the need to leverage “technology to meet the unmet needs of our children.”

COVID-19: Proves Especially Lethal to Younger Latinos

The Washington Post (March 15) interviewed Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about research that Latinos’ reduction in life expectancy due to the pandemic has been more than three times the loss experienced by the White population. “When communities have very solid social umbrellas, COVID is not going to make much headway,” Hayes-Bautista said. “But when you get communities that have great big, gaping holes — lack of health insurance, lack of providers, have to be out and exposed, low-income — COVID is just going to go right through there.” It also ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune, SFGate, Seattle Times and Houston Chronicle, while Hayes-Bautista was interviewed for related stories on RadioBilingue, Healthy Family News, and the Latin Post.

COVID-19: The Great Reopening

The Los Angeles Times (March 15) quoted 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, about the state’s vaccination criteria. “We certainly hope people won’t try to take advantage of the situation and will be honest in terms of presenting with legitimate chronic health conditions that are serious and/or disabilities that are significant,” Simon said. The story also referenced research by Dr. Kathryn M. Leifheit, a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, whose team has found homeless people who did contract COVID-19 were 30% more likely to die than those in the general population of the U.S.

COVID-19: What you Need to Know

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (March 15) referenced Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about prevention and preparation. Brewer was also referenced in Redheaded Blackbelt.

 

FEATURES (Other)

It’s Not Only Access, it’s Also-Money

Panay News (March 20) quoted Dr. Nadereh Pourat, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about her research on the role economic, social, and environmental factors play in oral health. “Few studies have examined the role of social determinants of oral health,” Pourat said. “Our study found striking disparities in oral health status when we examined a broad array of socioeconomic and environmental factors, with income being the most influential of these indicators.”

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (March 19) reported 11 items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health faculty and staff experts, FSPH efforts related to the pandemic, or other news. These included interviews of faculty Randall Kuhn in STAT, Vickie Mays in USA Today, and Shira Shafir in VICE, and graduate student Joana Fernandez Nuñez by CNBC. The Letter also spotlighted COVID-19-related research by David Hayes-Bautista and Paul Hsu, a natural gas study by Lara Cushing, an $8.8 million NIH grant awarded to a team led by Matthew Mimiaga, and Dr. Harvey Fineberg’s address at the 46th Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecture. Also listed was a commentary in The Progressive by graduate student Myrella Gonzalez and an April 9 event hosted by Ninez Ponce and an April 23 event hosted by Chandra Ford.

Atlanta Shootings Represent Public Health Crises, Medical Groups say

STAT (March 18) interviewed Gilbert Gee, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about placing the murders of eight people in Atlanta, six of them Asian, at the intersection of several public health crises, including racism. “Negative sentiment against Asian Americans has always been present,” Gee said. “It's just that it manifests more forcefully under times of social stress ... and is worsened by politicians who decide to scapegoat this community.”

The Trial of the Chicago 7 Edition: Defendant John Froines

The Legal Talk Network (March 18) interviewed Dr. John Froines, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor emeritus of environmental health sciences, about writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s 2020 film “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which received six Oscar nominations March 15 and included a portrayal of Froines, an anti-Vietnam War activist who was acquitted on all counts in the 1968 trial. “The first night of the demonstrations, police came through at about 11 pm at night beating students and protestors, and so that set in motion what was going to happen that week,” Froines said. “We anticipated violence (from the Chicago Police) but we did not want violence.”

North Dakota Bill Aims to Rescind Ratification of Equal Rights Amendment

The Fargo (N.D.) Forum (March 18) referenced the referenced research by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's WORLD Policy Analysis Center, led by Dr. Jody Heymann, a UCLA distinguished professor of public health, public policy, and medicine, in a report about a pending measure to rescind North Dakota's 1975 ratification of the ERA. It also ran in the Grand Forks (ND) Herald, the Dickinson (ND) Press, and the Jamestown (ND) Press, and on InForum.

UCLA Symposium on Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project

The Marina del Rey Patch (March 18) referenced Dr. Richard Ambrose, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, in an advance on an April 13 conference on the state of the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project. The 577-acre California state reserve is the largest coastal wetland complex in Los Angeles County.

Best and Worst Beverages Before Bedtime

Everyday Health (March 16) interviewed Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the best and worst beverages related to peaceful sleep. “Tart cherries are rich in melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone that we naturally create,” Hunnes said. “Alcohol can absolutely disrupt sleep patterns, especially the important brain waves we have when we sleep. It makes it more difficult to fall into a deep sleep.”

Health Care: A Topic of Heated Debate

The Daily Bruin (March 15) interviewed Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about current health policy reform plans, from campaign proposals to standing obstacles. “Our current healthcare system is a patchwork of coverage,” Kominski said. “And because we have this patchwork, people fall through the cracks.”

Recommendations Seek to Reduce Racial Bias in Cancer Care

Healio (March 15) referenced Dr. Marjorie Kagawa Singer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor emeriti of community health sciences, of in a report on efforts by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network NCCN), American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and National Minority Quality Forum to improve equity in cancer care. Kagawa Singer is one of 17 leading researchers from across the United States who contributed to a report set for release March 19 at the NCCN Virtual 2021 Annual Conference.

UNC Alumna Receives Association of Black Women Physicians Lifetime Achievement Award

The Daily Tar Heel (March 15) 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, about her lifetime achievement award from the Association of Black Women Physicians. “One would think that it would be closer to my retirement years, or maybe even during my retirement years, so I’m really humbled and honored by the recognition,” said Ford, a graduate of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Receiving this lifetime achievement award has also made me feel a sense of responsibility to continue the work, which is kind of ironic.” Dr. Nina Harawa, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, was also quoted: “I think Chandra’s incredibly committed, very much a deep thinker, always operates with a high level of integrity,” Harawa said. It also ran on Fintech.

“That’s a Baby Being Born too Early”

KCBS-AM (March 14) interviewed Dr. Lara Cushing, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of environmental health sciences, about her research that found more than a half million Americans are exposed to oil and gas “flaring” events — the burning off of excess natural gas at production sites — resulting in potentially serious health risks. ”Living within a 5 kilometers of what we called high levels of flaring, that’s at least 10 flares over the study period, the women in that group had a higher risk of pre-term births,” Cushing said. “That’s a baby being born too early.” A similar report ran in Engineering360.