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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of March 29, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
March 29, 2020 to April 4, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19; BROADCAST)

COVID-19: Social distancing is a blunt instrument

CNN (April 4) 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 need to continue and improve social distancing practices. “Social distancing is like a blunt instrument; all we’re trying to do is use the very most basic method to try and stop the spread,” Rimoin said. “If everybody isn’t doing their part, we’re not going to see the same kind of downturn we’d like to see.”

COVID-19: Pandemic poses a significant threat

KPFK’s “Inside LA” program (April 4, starts at 1:28) interviewed Nina Harawa, professor-in-residence of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the David M. Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, on the threat the pandemic poses to South Los Angeles and similar communities. “There is a particular danger from this threat,” Harawa said. “(The epidemic) is going to flow more to places where there is less access to health care and other resources, and where it is more challenging for people to enact all the things that will prevent you from getting infected in the first place with COVID.”

COVID-19: Improvised PPE can help reduce the spread

ABC (April 3) 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 new direction on improvised personal protective equipment for the general public. “It appears a mask, or even a cloth covering your mouth can stop this emission, so more and more cities are recommending that people wear mask or bandanna or scarf when they leave home and go out into public,” Eisenman said. “The goal here is to help reduce overall community transmission: to prevent people from emitting it out, not so much to prevent people from in breathing it in.”

COVID-19: Face masks protect everyone

KTLA (April 3) 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 latest recommendations regarding face masks for the general public. “The reason that this new recommendations has come to bear is that what we understand now about this new virus is that it is likely to be passed by speech droplets,” Rimoin said. “This is not a medical mask, but a face covering … the purpose of it is to protect everybody else around you, and we know asymptomatic infections do occur.”

COVID-19: Even with a cloth mask, keep that six-foot physical distancing

KPCC (April 3, starts at 16:55) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on multiple questions, including personal use of face coverings. “This has been evolving, and that’s one thing (that) can cause confusion,” Kim-Farley said. “People should, when they are outside, should be wearing masks, cloth masks, not the health care masks because we have short supply of those …. be sure you keep that six-foot physical distancing; the masks would not be a substitute for that.”

COVID-19: Flattening the curve: experts say California is doing better than projected

KCBS (CBS television affiliate, San Francisco, April 3) interviewed Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Program in Global Health at the David M. Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and “Some people predicted that they would be epidemic spread in major cities. And in the absence of epidemic spread, some people are saying ‘well it must mean they stay at home orders are working,” Klausner said. He was also quoted in Epoch Times.

COVID-19: Rapid testing could transform how health care professionals respond to the pandemic

Capradio (April 2) interviewed James R. Greenwood, associate adjunct professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the role of rapid testing in the crisis. “You can jump on them very quickly, so they don’t continue to have contacts,” Greenwood said.

COVID-19: Without a home: a crisis within a crisis

CNN (April 2; starts at 4:22) interviewed Randall Kuhn, associate professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on research that estimates more than 21,000 people across the U.S. who do not currently have housing may require hospitalization during the pandemic. “The aging curve for a homeless person is accelerated by 15, possibly 20 years,” Kuhn said. “So in other words, we see all these graphs about how people over age 80 are at extreme risk of mortality due to COVID-19. That would be the same risk curve for a 65-year-old homeless person.” The story also ran on KVOR-AM (Colorado), KFRU (AM-FM, Missouri), KVIA-TV (Texas), and WICC-AM (Connecticut), among others.

COVID-19: California releases model predicting peak in mid-May

KCBS (April 1, Los Angeles affiliate) 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 possible future course of the pandemic in California. “Models help us understand what our future can be … it’s not our destiny,” Rimoin said. “We’re going to have to make very hard decisions about who gets a ventilator and who does not, who gets care and who doesn’t. This is what’s happened in Italy and that could very well happen here if we do not take it seriously.”

COVID-19: Guidance on personal protection

KNBC (April 1, Los Angeles affiliate) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the need to preserve medical-standard personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, while still encouraging the public to use extemporized protection. ”The most important things are still that physical distancing,” Kim-Farley said. “The important thing to realize is that masks are still in short supply and we need to make sure our health care workers on the front lines have those supplies.”

COVID-19: “Right now we have no idea where we sit on this curve”

MSNBC (March 31; starts at 5:30) 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 the latest developments in the pandemic fight in the U.S., including federal government estimates that even a “best case” scenario in the United States could lead to as many as 240,000 dead. “Right now, we have no idea where we sit on this curve, because of the failure to get testing out, widespread, to the vast majority of the country. Testing is still difficult, for people who are sick, to get,” Rimoin said. “We’ve been thinking about how many people are out there, how many may be sick, but we just don’t know, and even when we get testing up and running its only going to tell us what’s happened about 10-14 days before.”

COVID-19: Answering your coronavirus questions: death toll, treatments, and testing scams

NPR (March 31; starts at 19:50) 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 multiple topics on the “National Conversation” program, including the current state of understanding of the pandemic. “The problem has been that we don't have the equipment. We don't have the ventilators. We don't have the testing. And we don't have national strategy, which has made this all very, very difficult,” Rimoin said. “The first issue is we don't even know where we are in this epidemic. And the lack of testing (has) made it very, very difficult for all of us to understand where we are.” Rimoin was also quoted by multiple NPR affiliates, including WAMU in Washington, DC and WBUR in Boston.

COVID-19: Should the public wear protective gear?

CNN (March 31) 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 the pandemic, including understanding whether the general public should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in their daily lives. “It makes sense that if people can cover their mouths, they might be able to stop community spread,” Rimoin said. “This is a very different issue than PPE for health care workers and I think these things are getting confused and conflated. So, we must have enough PPE – N95s and surgical masks - for our health care workers … that’s not what this discussion is about, for the public, everyone can do their part, they can wear bandannas, they can wear a face covering, and that may make a difference.”

COVID-19: Homeless population at significant risk

KPCC (NPR affiliate, Los Angeles, March 30) interviewed Randall Kuhn, associate professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on research that estimates more than 21,000 people across the U.S. who do not currently have housing may require hospitalization during the pandemic. “A typical homeless person on average will have the health problems and health care needs of someone 15 years older than they are,” Kuhn said. “What percentage of people who are currently living on the streets could safely ride out, say a couple of weeks without food or support? … that number is pretty small.” The research was also referenced by NPRKCRWKABCand the Echo Park-Silverlake Patch community news.

COVID-19: We have the power to change the course of this pandemic

CNN (March 30) 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 the pandemic, including federal government estimates the nation could face as many as 200,000 deaths from COVID-19. “We have power to change the course of this … this is not the first pandemic or epidemic that we’ve fought,” Rimoin said. “We should be taking lessons from Ebola. We know if people do the right things, if people social distance, if we prepare the hospitals well, we can reduce spread and we can reduce mortality. This are all things we have under our control.”

COVID-19: Secrets to combating stress rising from the situation

MSNBC (March 30) 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 individuals can deal with the stress of the situation. “This is a very stressful moment for everyone, and we often have the attitude that “I can handle this,’ … but stress can make you more susceptible to disease,” Rimoin said. “We have some control, and everybody understanding they have some control, and doing these things we’re being told to do … people feel better when they know that they, themselves, individually can do something.” The piece also ran on Yahoo News (March 31).

COVID-19: Everyone has some power to help reduce the spread

KTLA (March 30) 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 federal government directives regarding state and local physical distancing orders. “The thing we have to remember is everyone has some power here to push down this curve,” Rimoin said. “We’re looking at some very dire scenarios, but if we can all do our part … we can reduce the spread.”

COVID-19: “We really are still learning a lot about this COVID-19”

KPCC (starts at 16:57; March 30, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the research process when it comes to an emerging disease. “We really are still learning a lot about this COVID-19, because of the fact it’s not something we had seen before, therefore we don’t know exactly how it is going to behave … we’re constantly having studies done,” Kim-Farley said. “It will be a while before we even know the answers to those questions.” 

COVID-19: “We are not powerless”

CNN (March 30) 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 the pandemic, including the U.S. government’s March 29 estimate as many as 200,000 Americans could die in the pandemic. “We need to take this as what a scenario could be if we are not taking into account good social distancing, good practices of hand hygiene, and all the things we can do to flatten the curve,” Rimoin said. “We do have the possibility to make a difference in the outcome. We are not powerless.”

COVID-19: Navy hospital ships bring capabilities to Los Angeles, New York City for the fight

MSNBC (March 29) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the pandemic, including the deployment of the US Navy hospital ships Mercy and Comfort to Los Angeles and New York City, respectively. “Because of (their) capacity, 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, 80 intensive care units, it really is a floating hospital with all the capacities that you need there,” said Kim-Farley, a retired captain in the commissioned officer corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. “(Mercy) will provide a way of relief then, for hospitals here in Los Angeles.”

COVID-19: Social distancing measures are key to drive the numbers down

MSNBC (March 29) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the course of the pandemic in California and across the U.S., and the best preventative practices. “The situation is one we also have to realize is something that is not exactly determined yet … it’s all going to turn on whether we can practice these social distancing measures, so that we really can drive the numbers down, because it’s loved ones, family, and friends that are going to be dying,” Kim-Farley said. “In California, Gov. Newsom, very early on, actually made a statewide – the first state in the United States - to do a statewide physical distancing measures, safer at home, and I think that’s one of the things that may have contributed to this, but still, we just don’t have yet the testing we need to fully understand the number of cases that are out there.”

COVID-19: "Pandemic could kill hundreds of homeless people in Los Angeles County

KCBS (March 28, Los Angeles affiliate, on-line) reported on research by Randall Kuhn, associate professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and co-author of a report that estimates more than 21,000 people across the U.S. who do not currently have housing may require hospitalization during the pandemic. “As a humanitarian issue and to protect emergency room resources, it is essential that we do everything we can to help homeless people find safety,” Kuhn said. "To ensure the safety of 60,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, we need every emergency accommodation resource imaginable — new shelters with sufficient space to keep people safe, hotels for the most vulnerable, safe parking, and any other options. The scale of these efforts will be huge." The work also reported in the Los Angeles Daily NewsSan Jose Mercury News, and Long Beach Post, and on-line by Telemundo (Spanish language).

 

FEATURES (COVID-19; TEXT)

COVID-19: Send the homeless from jails to hotels

The Marshall Project (April 6) interviewed Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, on providing emergency shelter for the homeless in a bid to slow spread of the pandemic. “Hotels are clearly an ideal situation right now,” Kuhn said.

COVID-19: How “ER” would handle the pandemic

ENews (April 5) interviewed Dr. Neal Baer, adjunct professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a former writer, producer, and eventual executive producer on the Emmy Award-winning series “ER,” on how he would have handled COVID-19 as a plotline. “The closest we came to a pandemic in the first seven years of `ER,’ when I was a writer/producer, was in "Exodus," an episode (where) the ER was evacuated owing to a benzene spill.” Baer said. “If we were to do the show today, I'd pitch that everyone in the ER would undergo an antibody test to see who has already been exposed to COVID-19 and has recovered.” The story was referenced in the Boston Globe, and a similar story focusing on Baer’s work in the film and television industries and fictional portrayals of pandemics ran in Variety.

COVID-19: Los Angeles County Public Health director “doing a good job”

The Los Angeles Times (April 4) interviewed Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, about Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “In this time of crisis, she’s doing a good job of keeping people informed and trying to anticipate what’s next,” Fielding said. “And being honest about what she knows and doesn’t know.”

COVID-19: Pandemic has changed U.S. vehicle emissions, for now

Newsy (April 3) interviewed Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the health impact of reduced vehicle emissions because of pandemic. “We know from the literature, there's tons of evidence that pollutants from traffic sources have been linked to all sorts of health effects," Zhu said. "We haven't quantified anything, but I think just based on our previous knowledge, this is going to be a substantial benefit on health overall."

COVID-19: UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

The ASPPH Friday Letter (April 3) reported seven items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts and the pandemic. Under the category of “Preparedness and Response,” these included 19 Things to Know About COVID-19, a list of facts and perspectives from Fielding School faculty and other public health authorities published as part of a message by Dean Ron Brookmeyer, professor of biostatistics; a commentary coauthored by Dr. Robert Kim-Farleyprofessor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairsand a report co-authored by Randall Kuhn, associate professor of community health sciences, that estimates more than 21,000 people across the U.S. who do not currently have housing may require hospitalization during the pandemic. Under “Members in the News,” the Letter spotlighted 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, who was interviewed on the issue of paid sick leave amidst the pandemic by both Public Radio International’s (PRI) “The World” program, and Los Angeles’ KTLA television for a special report: “Understanding sick leave amid the Family First Coronavirus Response Act.” Under “Student & Alumni Achievement,” the Letter included the Fielding School’s on-line/virtual “Admitted Students Week” program, which included seven separate events between March 30 and April 3. Under “Events,” the Letter listed the upcoming The Coronavirus and Its Global Impact “virtual dinner” on April 7, sponsored by the UCLA Anderson School of Management's Center for Global Management and the Fielding School; Dean Brookmeyer and Dr. Kim-Farley are both slated to participate.

COVID-19: How to care for someone at home

LAist (April 3) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-FarleyUCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on how to care for someone at home. “The first thing that you need to realize is that you need to be monitoring them to make sure that if they start having trouble breathing or, you know, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, that you're calling their healthcare provider to say that, ‘Hey look this person is experiencing some more severe symptoms,’ especially if they're elderly or they had pre-existing conditions,” Kim-Farley said.

COVID-19: What could help us return to normal?

The Los Angeles Daily News (April 3) interviewed Dr. Roger Detels, distinguished research professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Ralph Ferichs, professor emeritus of epidemiology, on the possible future course of the pandemic, including the potential development of serologic testing. “With effective serologic testing to complement existing diagnostic testing, we will have a clearer idea of where the epidemic is going, and will start thinking again of personal, social and economic recovery,” Ferichs said. The story also ran in the Orange County RegisterRiverside Press-EnterpriseLong Beach Press-TelegramPasadena Star-NewsSan Gabriel Valley Tribune, Torrance Daily Breeze, and Whittier Daily News.

COVID-19: Wealthy areas report higher rates, but numbers are deceiving

The Los Angeles Times (April 2) interviewed Chandra Ford, director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, who said that accessibility to testing may explain why wealthier communities are reporting higher infection rates than elsewhere at this point in the pandemic. “Over the long run, the population of people who were missed are likely to be the most vulnerable members of our society,” Ford said. “I expect what we will see is the nature of the epidemic in Southern California will actually shift, where these vulnerable populations will account for a greater share of the new cases.” The story ran elsewhere, including papers in Maryland.

COVID-19: The city of Los Angeles scrambles to open shelters for the homeless

The Los Angeles Times (April 2) interviewed Randall Kuhn, associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on research that estimates more than 21,000 people across the U.S. who do not currently have housing may require hospitalization during the pandemic. “COVID-19 has done that work for us in under a week,” Kuhn said, referencing the need for shelter. “Now ... we can imagine a reality in which everyone is quickly sheltered (safely) and then must be moved to permanent housing as part of the next phase.”

COVID-19: Impact in Los Angeles mitigated by lifestyle?

The Wrap (April 2) interviewed Dr. Neal Baer, adjunct professor in Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the course of the pandemic in Los Angeles. Baer noted that Los Angeles’ “car culture,” together with the city’s “safer at home” order, could be why Angelenos have not yet seen as high a number of cases. “That’s not to say that people don’t get exposed in Los Angeles, but maybe we’re less exposed,” Baer said. “Two weeks ago, we were already sheltering, and we were in our cars weeks before then.” The piece also ran on Yahoo News.

COVID-19: Mitigation efforts may reduce projected deaths in U.S.

Xinhua (April 2) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, on the course of the pandemic in the United States, including mitigation efforts, the development of treatments for COVID-19, experimenting with the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine and blood-related therapies, and offering fast tests. "These measures would help delay the peak of the epidemic, leaving more time for the U.S. medical system to prepare for the crisis, and prevent it from collapsing," Zhang said.

COVID-19: Testing issues cloud scope of California’s outbreak

KCBS (CBS television affiliate, Sacramento, April 2) quoted Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of community health sciences and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, on the status of testing in California. “Testing is uneven, which is to put it kindly,” Eisenman said. “The number of cases identified is not an accurate count of anything because it’s such a select group of people who get the testing done.”

COVID-19: UCLA epidemiologist joins telephone town hall

The Larchmont Buzz (April 2) 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, who had spoken at a community town hall sponsored by Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. Rimoin stressed the need for Angelenos to practice physical distancing and good hygiene to avoid further spread. “We are always behind the curve. We have to get in front of it.”

COVID-19: Risk among smokers

The UC Merced News (April 2) reported on the risk of contracting COVID-19 among smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke and cited data from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s California Health Interview Survey on the population in San Joaquin Valley that reported being exposed to secondhand smoke or vape.

COVID-19:  International effort on pandemic preparedness

Armenpress (April 2) reported that Alina Dorian, associate dean for public health practice at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, is working through UCLA’s The Promise Armenian Institute on a pandemic preparedness initiative with the Armenian Ministry of Healthcare.

COVID-19: Flu should not be confused with coronavirus

The Daily Beast (April 2) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about confusing the flu with coronavirus. “This was a very active flu season, and so most people who felt sick in December, January, or February either had influenza or another respiratory virus other than COVID-19,” Brewer said. The story also quoted Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the Fielding School and professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Program in Global Health at the David M. Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

COVID-19: Use of recreation center as emergency homeless shelter stirs concern

The Palisadian Post (April 2) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about use of city recreation centers as emergency shelter during the pandemic. “The optimal thing would be to shelter individuals in individual settings, for example using hotel rooms or other places where each individual can have their own space … so they wouldn’t have to share living quarters or bathroom facilities,” Brewer said. “But if you don’t have the resources or spaces available to do that, then you would want to do it in a way that maximizes protection for each individual.”

COVID-19: “Creating a framework for conducting randomized clinical trials during disease outbreaks”

The New England Journal of Medicine (April 2) published a commentary co-authored by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Dean Ron Brookmeyerprofessor of biostatistics, advocating the development of a new approach - a “core-protocol concept - to clinical trials conducted during pandemics such as COVID-19. “Implementing clinical trials for treatments during disease outbreaks under a core protocol could increase the chances of efficiently generating reliable evidence to determine which therapies are effective, thus providing timely information to public health officials and clinicians caring for patients,” the authors wrote.

COVID-19: Hitting young Americans harder than we thought?

The Guardian (April 1) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about whether more young people falling severely ill with than had been expected earlier in the pandemic. “Initially, people were very focused on mortality rates, and death rates in young adults are low pretty much everywhere you look,” Brewer said. “And I think people interpreted that to mean that young adults were not getting infected, and were not getting severely ill. As more data came out about hospitalizations and infection rates, we learned that was not the case.” The story also ran on Yahoo News.

COVID-19: What you need to know about face masks

GQ (April 1) 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 whether widespread adoption of masks can actually help limit the spread of the virus. “Because the virus can be spread by speech droplets, it makes sense for everyone—if they must go out—to cover their mouths to avoid spreading the virus even if they are feeling well,” Rimoin said. The story also ran on Yahoo.

COVID-19: First homeless patient tests positive in Fresno

The Fresno Bee (April 1) referenced research by Randall Kuhn, associate professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, that estimates 134 homeless people will be hospitalized, 45 will need critical care, and 22 will die in Fresno.

COVID-19: efforts in California vs. New York

El País (April 1), a Spanish-language outlet based in Spain, interviewed Nadereh Pourat, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of health policy and management and associate director at the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on efforts to flatten the pandemic curve and preventive measures California has taken. She discussed the need for widespread population tests in order to know accurate numbers of cases in the state. “The governor of California predicted last week that we were surely going to reach the New York levels, but those predictions seem to have changed," Pourat said. "I think California has taken preventive measures, like isolation, before New York, and the population here is more dispersed and that helps."

COVID-19: LGBT risk for illness

YubaNet (April 1) featured a story on a study by UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute which features data from the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s California Health Interview Survey on the number of LGBT individuals in California who are 65 and older and reported having fair or poor health (in relation to overall risk for this population).

COVID-19: Preserve high-end equipment for medical staff

LAist (April 1) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the changing guidance for how individuals should protect themselves as more is learned about COVID-19, including extemporized protection for those who are sick. “Really the masks are for someone who is ill. And they of course should be staying in self-isolation, not going out,” Kim-Farley said. “But if they went out, for example, to have to seek medical care, that's the person that should be wearing a mask, so that when they cough, they don't infect others.”

COVID-19: The need to prioritize equity in policy responses to the pandemic

LA Social Science (April 1) published a commentary co-authored by Chandra Ford, director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and associate professor of community health sciences, that calls upon policy makers and public health officials to prioritize equity in policy responses to the epidemic. The commentary was co-written by Ford and professors Bita Amani, of Charles R. Drew University; Keith Norris, of the David M. Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Kia Skrine Jeffers, of the UCLA School of Nursing; and Randall Akee, of UCLA and the Brookings Institution.

COVID-19: “Are quarantined tournaments a good idea?”

538.com (March 31) 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 possible NBA plans for an early return to the court. “Even if you test them, they could be incubating for up to 14 days,” Rimoin said. “They would need to be in complete isolation, put in an isolation chamber — meaning no contact with anybody — for 14 days prior. They wouldn’t be allowed to have contact with anybody during that period, or while they’re playing. That’s the science of it. But I don’t see that happening. These people have families, friends. They might need to get groceries."

COVID-19: California bought time to prepare for virus peak

The Associated Press (March 31) 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 pandemic in California. “There are many of us who see early indicators that make us cautiously optimistic,” Eisenman said. “But we could be wrong. At least these early indicators are not going the opposite way.”

COVID-19: “Good communication will help beat COVID-19”

The Hill (March 31) published a commentary by Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, calling for pandemic-related public communications to be based on science. “To most effectively reach individuals, U.S. organizations, communities and governments should follow HHS and CDC guidelines based on lessons learned from previous outbreaks. All directives should be science-based and when officials don’t know the answers, they should positively admit to uncertainty, allowing people to take precautions and prepare for possible outcomes,” Fielding wrote. “Spokespeople should train for clarity of message, transparency and honesty. Taken together, these approaches build trust, ensuring that individuals are able to understand what they face and act responsibly toward their communities while protecting themselves and their families.” The commentary was also referenced by Kaiser Health News.

COVID-19: How air pollution makes the disease so much more dangerous

The Huffington Post (March 31) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and associate dean for research, on the impact air pollution may have on susceptibility to the current coronavirus. Zhang was interviewed about a study he led that found that patients in the 2003 SARS patients who lived in the most polluted places were twice as likely to die from the disease as those in the cleanest areas. “We found a very strong correlation between air pollution and deaths,” Zhang said.

COVID-19: Use epidemiology as a tool to fight the pandemic

The Hindustan Times (March 31) referenced Dr. Roger Detels, distinguished research professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in a commentary about how best to fight the pandemic in India. “Epidemiology, as our doctoral mentor Dr. Roger Detels defines it, is the basic science of public health, because it describes the relationship of health or disease with other health-related factors, like human pathogens, in human populations. The crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is a good example to show that, if the epidemiology is not properly understood, it can bring lethal consequences. Countering the adverse impacts of Covid-19 requires two types of measures: Containment and mitigation.” The authors are Giridhara R. Babu, professor and head of life-course epidemiology at PHFI, Bengaluru, and Tarun Bhatnagar a scientist with ICMR-NIE, Chennai; both scientists have personal or professional connections with FSPH.

COVID-19: Anti-immigrant measures will worsen the pandemic

The New York Daily News (March 31) published an op-ed by Goleen Samari, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health alumnus and assistant professor of population and family health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Harsh immigration enforcement undermines the first defense that we have in public health, which is people coming forward to disclose their symptoms for early diagnosis and treatment. Immigration enforcement in and around hospitals should immediately be halted,” Samari wrote. “Pandemics don’t discriminate, and access to health care should not discriminate either. We can only win the battle against COVID-19 if we do it together. Trump’s immigration policies endanger and will lead to premature mortality among large portions of the population and do nothing to keep Americans safe. A unified approach to health for all — including immigrants and those who lack documentation — is the only way to protect all Americans.”

COVID-19: Means building owners, companies need to consider new health standards

Bisnow (March 31) referenced Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and managementin a story about a task force to research the health burden from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Fielding serves as co-chair of the panel formed by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

COVID-19: “Everything we do and don't know, so far, about COVID-19 and food”

LAist (March 31) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, and Catherine Carpenter, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health adjunct professor of epidemiology, on best practices when it comes to food. “The food itself is fine," Carpenter said. "The virus spreads through respiratory droplets that come from breathing. The USDA and the CDC have concluded that there isn't any evidence for the virus to be transmitted through food packaging."

COVID-19: Some states are declaring abortions to be “nonessential” medical procedures

The Washington Post (March 31) published a commentary by Miranda Yaver, a postdoctoral scholar in health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on state decisions to declare abortions to be “nonessential” medical procedures during the pandemic. “What exactly counts as elective? A growing number of states are putting abortion in that category,” Yaver wrote. “These state efforts could affect women’s rights to terminate pregnancies for a long time to come.”

COVID-19: Has social distancing helped California slow the virus’ spread?

The Los Angeles Times (March 31) quoted Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences on the possible development of the pandemic in California. “I will anticipate that we will continue to see increased in hospitalizations and deaths,” Kim-Farley said. The story also ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and at least 10 other smaller newspapers and news aggregators.

COVID-19: Is sterilizing and reusing masks safe?

The Daily Beast (March 31) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, on whether the sterilization and re-use of personal protective equipment is safe. “That’s obviously not how we use them in the United States, but it’s better than not having anything at all,” said Brewer. “We’re now in a situation where we have to be more judicious in their use and probably have to reuse them in order to have access to them while we’re caring for COVID patients … my colleagues in other countries felt it was better than not having a mask at all, and I would agree with that.”

COVID-19: Choir rehearsal deemed a “super spreader” event

Business Insider (March 31) referenced Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, in a story about a choir rehearsal in Washington State in March that led to 45 of 60 attendees being diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19.

COVID-19: New York is at war with the pandemic. Expect the same across the United States

The Latin Post (March 30) quoted Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, on the lessons New York state’s fight has for the rest of the country. “The disease does not care if you’re in a big city, small city  ... everybody is at risk,” Fielding said.

COVID-19: Homeless population is highly vulnerable

The San Jose Mercury News (March 30) interviewed Randall Kuhn, associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on research that estimates more than 21,000 people across the U.S. who do not currently have housing may require hospitalization during the pandemic. “This is a highly vulnerable population,” Kuhn said. “Homeless people present with risk factors typical of someone 15 years older than they are, and given that half of them are age 50 and older, that means they are much more vulnerable to the effects of COVID than the general population.”

COVID-19: How to grocery shop safely

Mic (March 30) referenced UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, in a story about safe grocery shopping during the pandemic.

COVID-19: City of Los Angeles suspends farmers’ markets to slow spread

The Los Angeles Times (March 30) quoted Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences,  on the possible development of the pandemic in Los Angeles. “I think we should be able to see some leveling off of those numbers in a couple of weeks because of the physical distancing measures,” Kim-Farley said.

COVID-19: Emergency rooms still open for urgent needs, even during the pandemic

The American Heart Association News (March 30) 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 whether those with urgent health problems should go to the emergency room. “In fact, as we get further on into this pandemic in America, the COVID patients will be in a whole different area possibly than the rest of the emergency room,” Eisenman said. "People get sick and people die way after a disaster because of lack of access to care, possibly because of stress, possibly because of loss of social support or other things." The story was run on-line by ABC

COVID-19: Cases among the homeless during the pandemic

HotAir (March 30) referenced research co-authored by Randall Kuhn, associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, published as a report that estimates more than 21,000 people across the U.S. who do not currently have housing may require hospitalization during the pandemic.

COVID-19: Grocery shopping safety during the pandemic

New York Magazine (March 30) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, on how to shop safely. ““There’s no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by objects like cans of food or reusable bags,” Brewer said.

CODID-19: Deaths surpass 130 as California faces a critical few weeks

The Los Angeles Times (March 30) quoted Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on what can be expected in California in April. “I think we should be able to see some leveling off of those numbers in a couple of weeks because of the physical distancing measures,” Kim-Farley said.

COVID-19: Inconsistent messaging around young people’s risk contributes to spread of infection

The Columbia Spectator (March 30, Columbia University newspaper, New York) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor Steven Wallace on the risk to different age cohorts “The initial messages that came out on COVID-19 was that the highest risk group was over 70,” Wallace said. “When you’re in your twenties you might think that your grandparents who live across the country are not at risk if I get it, but we are seeing younger people both getting sick and dying, so the messaging is starting to change.”

COVID-19: New York is at war with the pandemic. Expect the same across the United States

USA Today (March 29) interviewed Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, on the lessons New York state’s fight has for the rest of the country. “The disease does not care if you’re in a big city, small city  ... everybody is at risk,” Fielding said. “Everybody should consider that the place that they work and the place that they live has a bit of New York City in it … I don’t think you can do enough too soon. (Time) is not on your side. Time is the enemy.” The story was picked up by smaller papers in Missouri.

COVID-19: Public health officers showing stress of pandemic

The Los Angeles Times (March 29) interviewed Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management on the pressure health officials face in California and elsewhere as the pandemic takes a rising toll. “Remember, for these men and women, the population is their patient,” Fielding said. “They are there to prevent, respond, evaluate and monitor the health of a whole community, in much the same way a doctor will for a single patient.” The story also ran in smaller papers in Maryland.

COVID-19: Heightened fear among immigrant communities with public charge impact

The Guardian (March 29) interviewed Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on the relationship between public charge impacts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. She commented on the already-existing barriers immigrant communities face when seeking health care and other services. Ponce said, “We can’t stop the spread of disease while denying health coverage to people. It’s irresponsible public health policy.”  She also noted that, “Healthcare is not just about addressing an emergency situation. We want to do everything we can to help people stave off and fight infections.”

COVID-19: “California let 1 in 4 of its public health labs close”

The Sacramento Bee (March 29) interviewed James R. Greenwood, an associate adjunct professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the role of public health laboratories in an epidemic. “Doing 10,000 tests at some place with people who drive through who may not even be sick doesn’t help as much as doing 20 samples when people are out in the field looking at clusters, interviewing people,” Greenwood said. “It’s the same test, but different in the sense of where the data goes.”

COVID-19: Global cooperation against pandemic

The Star (March 29, Malaysia) referenced UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang in a story about international cooperation against the pandemic.

COVID-19: How bad will the next few weeks be for California?

The Los Angeles Times (March 28) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on what can be expected in California in the coming weeks. “I would be expecting that within another week or two … the number of cases or deaths will slow down and ultimately will become less and less, like we saw in China,” Kim-Farley said. “It’s hopeful they would not see a major second wave … that is the $64,000 question: What will happen?” The same story ran on more than 20 other newspapers or sites, including the San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate)Fresno Bee and Bakersfield Daily Californian in California, and the Miami Herald and the Fort Worth Star-TelegramHouston Chronicle, and San Antonio News-Express in Texas.

COVID-19: Arizona's prospects unknown

The Arizona Daily Star (March 28) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang on the likely course of the pandemic in Arizona. “My sense is that I think it’s probably going to drop down in May or June,” Zhang said. “If those patients get into your state, and they contact other people, that can cause outbreaks,”

COVID-19: Blood tests take longer than others

The Canon City Daily Record (March 28, Colorado) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, on the use of serologic, or blood, tests in the pandemic fight. Such tests are unlikely to detect if someone has COVID-19 until at least five days after they develop symptoms and seven to eight days after they are infectious. “When we’re managing patients in the hospital we like to know as soon as possible what they have,” Brewer said.

COVID-19: Link with air pollution?

Impakter (March 27) referenced research by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang on possible connections between COVID-19 and air pollution.

CODID-19: Impact on communities of color

Sojourner Truth (Mar. 19) interviewed Chandra Ford, director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health, on the potential impact of the pandemic on the community. “This virus doesn’t see color, it doesn’t see race or ethnicity … it takes anyone that it can,” Ford said. “But we live in a society where those kinds of inequalities are embedded, and so if our focus on addressing the epidemic looks only at the virus and ignores all these other considerations (is) that we will see disparities that persist along these lines of inequality.”

 

FEATURES (OTHER)

“Some mother’s child, some father’s daughter”

LA Progressive (April 1) published a commentary co-authored by Chandra Ford, director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and associate professor of Community Health Sciences. The piece, pegged to the death in prison of convicted serial killer Lonnie Franklin, called for a special task force to investigate additional crimes similar to Franklin’s in South Los Angeles, and a series of other proposed reforms. Her co-authors were Margaret Prescod, who serves on the Center’s executive board, and Los Angeles attorney Nana Gyamfi.

Smog drives up dementia risk, particularly for older men and women with heart disease

US News & World Report (March 31) interviewed Dr. Jesus Araujo, associate professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on research that found smog drives up dementia risk, particularly for older men and women with heart disease. Araujo was not involved in the study, published March 30 in JAMA Neurology. “(All of these factors) "are important in the development of both cardiovascular disease and dementia," Araujo said. The story also ran on Healthday.

Perception the U.S. is not a good place to raise children presents problems

Angle News (March 30) quoted Dr. Jody Heymann, founding director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s WORLD Policy Analysis Center and a UCLA distinguished professor of public health, public policy, and medicine, in a reprint of a Daily Mail (U.K.) story examining ratings of the best countries in which to raise a child. The Daily Mail story, also picked up by the news aggregators Health Medicine NetworkNewsgrooveCelebrity Best Newsnewsamedmogaz news, and Express Digest was predicated on US News & World Report’s 2020 rankings of the best countries, which listed the U.S. 18th, falling behind the UK, Canada, Australia, and many European nations. “'We should absolutely be concerned, because it is an incredibly important measure of how our country is doing now and will be doing over the coming decade,” Heymann said. “The extent to which we support the healthy development of all children, which we could do so much better at in the U.S., will affect the future quality of life of everyone who lives here.”