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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of March 7, 2021 - 12:00am

Week of: 
March 7, 2021 to March 13, 2021

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: Why Have Los Angeles County’s Numbers Dropped?

KCAL-TV (March 12) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about Los Angeles County’s dropping COVID numbers and the county’s movement into the state's less-restrictive red tier on Monday, March 15. “We still need to use common sense here, and just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should,” Rimoin said. “We also have more contagious variants circulating, and we're just about to get into the spring break season, where we could see spikes.”

COVID-19: Students Working as Contact Tracers to Stop the Spread

CNBC (March 11) interviewed Joana Fernandez Nuñez, a graduate student in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in a story about college students working as contact tracers and in contact tracing training programs. “A lot of people have these skills, but sometimes we don’t realize we have them,” Fernandez Nuñez said. “It was a way for me to help … It was a way for me to rise to the moment and contribute some of the skills that I had.” It also ran on KXAS-TV (TX), WCAU-TV (PA), and DailyZTechnology.

COVID-19: Are Southern California Counties Close to Wider Reopening?

KPCC-FM (March 9) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about whether Southern California is closer to a wider reopening, and vaccine-related line jumping. “The key is really transparency,” Brewer said. “There have been two fundamental problems with COVID vaccine; the first has been supply … and the second is this very complicated system of understanding who to vaccinate when, and that ties into the supply.”

COVID-19: “Please do not Stop Wearing Your Masks”

KNX-AM (March 9) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the state of the pandemic. “There's still a lot of transmission going on,” Brewer said. “So please do not stop wearing a mask or doing your social distancing.”

COVID-19: Antivirals Could Prevent Hospitalization

CNN (March 9) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the use of antiviral drugs to help prevent hospitalization of COVID-19 patients. “It’s not going to go away; we’re going to be living with COVID-19,” Rimoin said. “We’re going to need to have to have other tools in our toolbox.”

COVID-19: Calls on Congress to Pass Paid Family Medical Leave to Bolster Economic Recovery

CNBC (March 8) 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 calls for a nationwide paid family medical leave program in the United States. It also ran on MSN, KNSD-TV (NBC affiliate San Diego), KXAS-TV (TX), WVIT-TV (CT), NECN-TV (MA), and WCAU-TV (PA), among others.

COVID-19: Why have Los Angeles County’s Numbers Dropped?

KTLA-TV (March 8) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about Los Angeles County’s dropping COVID numbers, herd immunity, and when people under 16 might be eligible for vaccines. “The first thing is we ended up with a catastrophic surge of cases,” Rimoin said. “From Halloween, basically onward, we had compounding infection; we had Thanksgiving, the December holidays, and New Year’s, (and) the virus did what viruses want to do, which is spread.” Also ran on YouTube.

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Here's What to Know About Outdoor Safety

USA Today (March 13) 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 how to enjoy outdoor activities at low-risk. “It’s hard to give rules," said Eisenman, who suggested sports where it's easy to remain distance from competitors – like tennis or disk golf. It also ran on MSN, Yahoo, Spectrum One, in the Palm Springs (CA) Desert Sun, Arizona Republic, Des Moines Register, Indianapolis Star, Nashville Tennessean, on Report Door and more than 50 other outlets.

COVID-19: U.S. Hospitalizations Have Been Falling for two Months

The Wall Street Journal (March 12) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the eight-week-long decline in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. “As fewer people get infected, fewer people will need to be hospitalized and fewer people will die,” Shafir said. “Unfortunately, in many places, we are no longer seeing the numbers decline and they have now plateaued.”

COVID-19: Los Angeles’ Homeless Residents are 50% More Likely to die

The Los Angeles Times (March 12) interviewed Dr. Kathryn M. Leifheit, a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, about research that found homeless people who did contract COVID-19 were 30% more likely to die than those in the general population of the U.S, while in Los Angeles County, homeless patients were 50% more likely to die. “We wanted it to be useful to policymakers, to the general public, to advocates, and we wrote it with that in mind,” Leifheit said. It also ran on Yahoo, and a related item ran on Los Angeleno.

COVID-19: People who are Homeless are Invisible Victims

STAT (March 11) interviewed Randall Kuhn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, about research into whether a 32% increase in homeless deaths in Los Angeles County in March may be connected to the pandemic. “I don’t fully understand what’s going on,” Kuhn said. “But something happened in March.”

COVID-19: How the new CDC Rules About Post-Vax Hangouts Affect you

VICE (March 11) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the CDC’s new guidelines for post-vaccination activities. “The CDC is a very risk-averse organization,” Shafir said. “It’s a very big deal that they’ve released this guidance, and, as we vaccinate more people, we’ll get updated guidance.”

COVID-19: Diverse, Accessible Online Resources Will Alleviate Fears Surrounding Vaccinations

The Daily Bruin (March 11) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the usefulness of social media for public health-related communications. “When we’re thinking about reaching the UCLA population, just sending out an email probably isn’t sufficient,” Shafir said. “Putting it on an Instagram account or utilizing TikTok, … if our amazing UCLA gymnasts can go viral with their routines, it is possible for knowledge and information that’s accurate about vaccines to also go viral.”

COVID-19: The Plague Cycle — why Vaccines Can’t Cure Societies

The Financial Times (March 11) referenced Dr. Jared Diamond, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, in a book review that cited his Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Guns, Germs, and Steel. “The ground covered by The Plague Cycle will be broadly familiar to those who have read earlier books analyzing the history and geopolitical impact of infectious disease, such as Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs & Steel,” the reviewer wrote. “And more books on pandemics are in the works, inspired by Covid-19.” Diamond’s work was also cited in a commentary published by Medium.

COVID-19: Will UCLA Will Accept Non-FDA-Approved Vaccinations

The Daily Bruin (March 10) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about if international students vaccinated overseas will have to be vaccinated again in the U.S. because of FDA approval requirements. “I think that (vaccine approval) will totally just depend on the company making the vaccines and whether or not they choose to submit their data to the FDA,” Brewer said.

COVID-19: UCLA Anderson Forecast Anticipates Near-Record Growth as Economic Recovery Continues

Yahoo Finance (March 10) referenced Dr. Leah Vriesman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and co-director of the Center for Healthcare Management, in an advance on the March 10 quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast, specifically on her views on pandemic-induced change in the business of health care. The piece ran in the California Business Journal, Markets Insider, Latin Business Today, Global Banking and Finance, and more than 50 other outlets.

COVID-19: Assemblymember to Host Vaccine Town Hall

The Altadena Patch (March 10) referenced Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, as a panelist in an advance on a March 10 vaccine town hall webinar hosted by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena).

COVID-19: California vs. Florida: Who handled the Pandemic better?

The Los Angeles Times (March 9) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the pandemic response in California and Florida. “If California had behaved like Florida, where mask use and physical distancing was not being practiced as thoroughly, our cumulative death rate would have been higher than Florida,” Kim-Farley said. “And conversely, had Florida been practicing California’s more rigorous attention to masking and physical distancing, curtailing indoor dining, et cetera, it would have followed a death rate trajectory that would have been the same or lower than California.” It also ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune and MSN.

COVID-19: California and Florida Took Vastly Different Approaches

The Los Angeles Times (March 9) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about pandemic mortality in California and Florida. “Florida paid the price of a very heavy death rate early on,” Kim-Farley said. “California, by having delayed their onset of their worst surge, these patients were able to be treated in a more effective way, resulting in higher survival rates.” It also ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Bakersfield Californian, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, SFGate, Sonora (CA) Union-Democrat, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Raleigh News & Observer, and Miami Herald.

COVID-19: UCLA Expert to Speak at Pasadena-Area Vaccine Town Hall

Pasadena Now (March 9) referenced Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, as a panelist in an advance on a March 10 vaccine town hall webinar hosted by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena).

COVID-19: Fighting Food Insecurity During the Pandemic

Physician’s News Network (March 9) referenced Dr. May C. Wang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, in an item about meeting the nutritional needs of low-income households during the pandemic.

COVID-19: One Year After the Pandemic, What Have we Learned?

Excelsior (March 8, Spanish language) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about what has been learned by the public and decision makers, one year after the pandemic hit Los Angeles County with full force. “Public health requires messages that are clear, transparent and consistent and that everyone is on the same page,” Kim-Farley said. “Public health officials had a pretty clear clue early on (about the virus), but unfortunately that message was not well received at the highest levels of government.”

COVID-19: Will Kids go Back to School in the Fall?

Parents (March 8) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about when children may return to the K-12 classroom and what it could look like. “It's likely that kids will be back in school this fall,” Rimoin said. “We anticipate that by this time, every adult American that wants a vaccine will have access by the end of the summer if the supply chain is as anticipated.” It also ran on Yahoo.

COVID-19: Sen. Romney is Right on Reopening Public Schools

The Deseret News (March 8) published a commentary citing research by Dr. Frederick Zimmerman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, about whether the costs of closing schools in the spring of 2021 outweighed the benefits.

 

FEATURES (Other)

The Hidden Cost of Being a Black Male

KTLA-TV (March 12) interviewed Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about her study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that found that Black men of all income levels reported experiencing higher levels of discrimination than white counterparts. “You can have a Harvard education, but when the police drive up, it doesn’t protect you,” Mays said. “What you see with minorities is that (income) can be very high, but you still don’t gain an equal amount of protection, so we call it the minorities’ diminishing return.” Mays was also referenced on Yahoo, Mirage News, and Science Magazine

More than 500,000 Americans Live Within Three Miles of gas Flares

The Daily Mail (March 12, UK) quoted Dr. Lara Cushing, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of environmental health sciences, about her study in the journal Environmental Research Letters 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. “There is growing evidence linking residence near unconventional oil and gas operations with negative health impacts for nearby residents, including impacts on fetal growth and preterm birth,” Cushing said. “This includes our recent finding that living within about three miles of flaring is associated with increased risk of preterm birth.” It also ran on MSN, and similar items ran on Phys.org and Nation of Change.

African-American Males Face High Level of Discrimination

Our Weekly (March 12) quoted Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about her study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that found that Black men of all income levels reported experiencing higher levels of discrimination than their white counterparts. “Black men face constant experiences of discrimination and disappointment when they try to contribute,” Mays said. “They are treated like criminals in a society where they often are not allowed to achieve their full potential.”

Opinion - Justice for Immigrants in Detention

The Progressive (March 12) published an op-ed by Myrella Gonzalez, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health graduate student pursuing a dual degree in social welfare and public health on the need for reform of the federal detention system for immigrants. “Immigration detention centers are not safe places for immigrants,” Gonzalez wrote. “As the daughter of an immigrant and someone who studies immigrant health and wellbeing, I am tired of seeing news headlines of immigrant women being forcibly sterilized and immigrants dying in ICE custody.” It also ran in the Richmond County (NC) Daily Journal.

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (March 12) reported eight items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health faculty and staff experts, FSPH efforts related to the pandemic, or other news. These included a COVID-19-related interview of Dean Ron Brookmeyer, faculty Wendelin Slusser and Deborah Glik, and graduate student Jessica Arzola. The Letter also listed interviews of faculty Kristen Choi by KPCC-FM (NPR), Ninez Ponce in La Opinion/EFE, and references to research by Chandra Ford and Gilbert Gee in The Nation. Research by Ninez Ponce, and a study by Vickie Mays and Susan Cochran was also included, as were an April 9 event hosted by Ninez Ponce and an April 23 event hosted by Chandra Ford.

Ranking Near Beers by How ‘Healthy’ They are

MEL (March 11) interviewed Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the relative healthiness of non-alcoholic “near” beers. “It’s healthier than alcoholic beer, but it isn’t that much lower in calories,” Hunnes said. “It’s sort of like having a soda without some of the sugar.”

Trial Highlights America's Racial Divide After George Floyd's Death

USA Today (March 10) quoted Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about her study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that found that Black men of all income levels reported experiencing higher levels of discrimination than white men. They “face constant experiences of discrimination and disappointment when they try to contribute,” Mays said. “They are treated like criminals in a society where they often are not allowed to achieve their full potential.” It also ran in the Palm Springs Desert Sun, Arizona Republic, Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Nashville Tennessean, MSN, and Spectrum One.

More than 500,000 Americans Live Near Natural gas Flares

The San Fernando Sun (March 10) quoted Dr. Lara Cushing, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of environmental health sciences, about her study in the journal Environmental Research Letters that found more than a half million Americans are exposed to oil and gas “flaring” events resulting in potentially serious health risks. “There is growing evidence linking residence near unconventional oil and gas operations with negative health impacts for nearby residents, including impacts on fetal growth and preterm birth,” Cushing said. “This includes our recent finding that living within about three miles of flaring is associated with increased risk of preterm birth.” Similar items ran on DeSmog, Mirage News, and USC News.

“More Than Half a million Americans are Exposed”

KNX-AM (March 9) referenced work by Dr. Lara Cushing, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of environmental health sciences, 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. Cushing was also quoted by NS Energy: “There is growing evidence linking residence near unconventional oil and gas operations with negative health impacts for nearby residents, including impacts on fetal growth and preterm birth,” Cushing said. “This includes our recent finding that living within about three miles of flaring is associated with increased risk of preterm birth.”

Researchers Get $8.8 Million for Study Aimed at Reducing Spread of HIV

KCBS-TV (March 9) reported on an $8.8 million NIH grant award to mobile app project designed to reduce the spread of HIV among young transgender women, led by Dr. Matthew Mimiaga, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for LGBTQ Advocacy, Research & Health. Mimiaga was also quoted in a City News Service story: “The constant and unrelenting exposure to gender minority stigma, compounded by the psychosocial challenges associated with social disadvantage and economic marginalization, exacerbates disparities in HIV incidence among young transgender women,” Mimiaga said. “This can lead to behaviors such as substance use, sex work, health care avoidance and others that increase HIV acquisition risk.” Similar items ran on KABC-TV, on MyNewsLA, and WEHOville.

‘Black tax’ of Daily Discrimination Takes Toll at all Education and Income Levels, UCLA Study Says

The Los Angeles Daily News (March 8) quoted Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about her study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that found that Black men of all income levels reported experiencing higher levels of discrimination than their white counterparts. “Black men face constant experiences of discrimination and disappointment when they try to contribute,” Mays said. “They are treated like criminals in a society where they often are not allowed to achieve their full potential.” 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. Also quoted was co-author Dr. Susan Cochran, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology. Similar stories ran in MyNewsLA, City News Service, KEIB-AM, KFI-AM, the Antelope Valley Times, OurWeekly Los Angeles, Eurasia Review, News Medical, HealthNews Digest, Phys.org, Sciencemag, Scienceblog, UC News, Bioengineer, MirageNews, ScienceCodex, and YubaNet, among others.

More than 500,000 Americans Live Near Natural gas Flares

MyNewsLA (March 8) quoted Dr. Lara Cushing, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of environmental health sciences, about her study in the journal Environmental Research Letters 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. “There is growing evidence linking residence near unconventional oil and gas operations with negative health impacts for nearby residents, including impacts on fetal growth and preterm birth,” Cushing said. “This includes our recent finding that living within about three miles of flaring is associated with increased risk of preterm birth.” Similar stories ran on City News Service, KFI-AM, KEIB-AM, News Medical, NS Energy, and Sciencenewsnet.