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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of May 17, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
May 17, 2020 to May 23, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: “We’re going to be coexisting with this virus for a long time – maybe forever”

CNN (May 22) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on how individuals can continue to protect themselves against infection, even as public spaces re-open. “It does appear that asymptomatic infection is the big driver of the spread of the diseases and we are still learning things about it, every single day,” Rimoin said. “Everybody should be staying as far apart of each other as they can and wearing masks, which will reduce the spread of droplets … we’re going to be coexisting with this virus for a long time – maybe forever.”

COVID-19: “We cannot have political rhetoric be the basis of how we make public health decisions”

MSNBC (May 22) 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 politics infecting public health decision-making. “Politics and epidemics, and in this case a pandemic, are inseparable and unfortunately that's what we're seeing roll out here,” Rimoin said. “Any place that we have seen uncertainty in terms of messaging, in terms of what the science tells us, we see politics filling those gaps, and the problem is we’re dealing with a novel virus, new to humanity, and so there is so much uncertainty, and we’re seeing political rhetoric come in in every place.”

COVID-19: Public health expert says keep wearing a face mask

MSNBC (May 22) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on how individuals can best protect themselves and the rest of society. “Masks are going to be a critical strategy going forward; we are opening up without vaccines, without therapeutics, without adequate testing,” Rimoin said. “It’s the blunt public health measure that are going to make a difference and save the day here as we open up; please, everybody, wear a mask and keep your droplets to yourself.”

COVID-19: Los Angeles County surpasses 2,000 deaths ahead of Memorial Day weekend

KPCC-FM (May 22, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles, begins at 02:00) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on a wide variety of pandemic-related issues, including signs of positive change in the course of the pandemic. “Because we did take a very early action with Safer at Home from March 19, we have flattened the curve, which is exactly what we were trying to do from a public health perspective,” Kim Farley said. “Hospitalizations are down some 15% from the peak six weeks ago, so these are all hopeful signs.”

COVID-19: “You have to follow the data”

CNN (May 21) 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 effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a therapeutic for COVID-19 patients. “I can only tell you as an epidemiologist you have to follow the data,” Rimoin said. “We don't have enough data yet to determine whether or not using hydroxychloroquine would be enough benefit to outweigh risks. There are a lot of risks with toxicity in this drug … (you) need to consult with their physician first, and in terms of making recommendations, you have to have good data that take into account safety as well as efficacy.”

COVID-19: A second wave this winter?

ABC News (May 21) 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, on the possibility of a second wave of the pandemic this winter. “Cases are growing in South America and in Brazil most of all,” Eisenman said. “It’s growing in their winter, which implies there is a seasonal component which grows more in the winter, which means, if this is the case, it could come back even harder and hit us in our winter, which is also our flu season and our cold season. So we’re walking into a time where’s there’s a double whammy, a 1-2 punch.”

COVID-19: Racial divide in how the pandemic has hit nursing homes

KPCC-FM (May 21) interviewed Steven P. Wallace, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and associate director of FSPH’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on findings that nursing homes with a significant number of black and Latino residents have been twice as likely to be hit by the coronavirus as those where the population is overwhelmingly white. “In nursing homes, once an outbreak occurs, it's really hard to manage," Wallace said. A related story ran in LAist.

COVID-19: The psychology of social distancing during the pandemic

Contagion (May 21) interviewed Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, on the long-term cognitive impact of the coronavirus pandemic and outbreak response. “We’re talking about quarantine fatigue,” Mays said. “The issue of confining people really requires at some point realizing that’s a behavior that has stages to it; you can’t just keep repeating the message `stay home.’ ” Mays was also quoted in a piece that ran on Phys.Org.

COVID-19: Army of contact tracers needed to keep infections down

KCBS-TV (May 20, CBS affiliate, Los Angeles) interviewed Alina Dorian, associate dean for public health practice at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the pandemic response training being provided by the Fielding School and UCLA Extension on contract with the California Department of Public Health. “It is an enormous project; what we’re doing right now is basically trying to train up to 20,000 people,” Dorian said. “All these years that there wasn’t a pandemic was because of public health. Clean water, clean air, sanitation, waste collection – that’s all public health.”

COVID-19: “Traffic is down, but air pollution? Not so much”

NPR’s (May 20) flagship “Morning Edition” program quoted Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences and associate dean for academic programs at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the impact of the pandemic on air pollution levels across the United States, including linking to a study she led published May 4 in the journal Nature Sustainability. "We don't need a pandemic to breathe cleaner air," Zhu said. “There is a sustainable way for a society to achieve a cleaner world in the future. We need to do more than we're doing right now." The story ran on multiple NPR radio outlets, including Hawaii Public RadioKUNC (Colorado), KPCW (Utah), and WITF (Pennsylvania), among others.

COVID-19: Exaggerated reporting of deaths for government funding?

WGN Radio (May 20) interviewed Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of Health Policy and Management and senior fellow at the FSPH UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on his take on claims that hospitals are over-reporting COVID-19 cases in order to obtain funding. “There’s no evidence that this is occurring, whatsoever,” Kominski said. “There are a lot of outrageous claims out there; this is one of the more outrageous ones.”

COVID-19: Los Angeles County wants to open by Independence Day. What will it take?

KCRW-FM (May 20, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles) interviewed Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, on the flagship “Press Play” programabout the state of testing in Los Angeles County. “It’s going to be more difficult because people, even if they know what they’re supposed to be doing, they may say ‘Well for me, it’s not a risk, I’m young ... so I’ll take a chance,’” Fielding said. “We're not going to get there just with the natural course of this disease. We're going to need the vaccine for things to really be moving in a positive way to back towards what we consider normal.”

COVID-19: Look at studies in aggregate for guidance

KNX-AM (May 20, Los Angeles, begins at 22:13) 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, on the importance of making decisions based on the aggregate results of research into the pandemic. “We don’t want to look at just one study,” Eisenman said. “We’re getting the picture slowly; this has been around for four months now, this pandemic, and we’re still learning a lot from it.”

COVID-19: In California, Latinos are suffering because social services have huge holes

Radio Bilingue (May 20, Spanish language) interviewed David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, about the pandemic’s impact on ethnic communities in the U.S.

COVID-19: If you protect your neighbors, you’re protecting your family

The New Normal (May 20, begins at -3:45) podcast 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 course of the pandemic. “We don’t understand asymptomatic infection at this point, and there are several indicators that suggest that asymptomatic infection is a driver,” Rimoin said. “The best thing, just knowing what we do know, is to try and to ensure that we’re protecting each other, and if you protect your neighbors, you’re protecting your family and everyone else in your personal circle.” The May 20 episode was the last in a series of three when Rimoin was interviewed by host Neil Katyal, along with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, who wrote the screenplay for the 2011 thriller Contagion; both were also interviewed in Segment 1 (May 13) and Segment 2 (May 16).

COVID-19: What to consider before schools reopen

KPCC-FM (May 19, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the public health issues of reopening K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. “It is a disgrace that five months into this, that we do not have a reliable antibody test,” Jackson said. “These are the tools the schools are going to have to use as they reopen because they are going to have to take action if a child is coming in and becoming ill and perhaps highly infectious.”

COVID-19: “We’re going to see more cases”

News12 (May 18, NYC-area cable news) 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, in a piece on decisions to ease physical distancing restrictions across the United States. “We don't have good guidelines in place for people on how to reopen, it's going to be very confusing for people, we're going to see more cases," Rimoin said.

COVID-19: Phase I vaccine trials are meant to test safety

KPCC-FM (May 18, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles) 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, on the potential of early vaccine trials by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. “Phase I is really meant to test for safety of the vaccine,” Eisenman said. “They check to see if it is safe and well-tolerated … (and) it was, in these 45 people.”

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: How Los Angeles County became a pandemic epicenter

The Los Angeles Times (May 23) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about why Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents are suffering the highest rate of deaths and the second highest infection rate in California. “The Bay Area probably figured it out sooner, and that’s why the Bay Area looked like it was worse early on,” Brewer said. “I think Los Angeles was a little bit behind San Francisco. and some of the surrounding areas in the Bay Area ... and now we’re seeing the after effects of that.” Dr. Paul Simon, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health adjunct professor of epidemiology and chief science officer and director of the Division of Assessment, Planning, and Quality at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, was also quoted. The story also ran on MSN.

COVID-19: “Density, poverty keep Los Angeles struggling against virus”

The Associated Press (May 23) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, on the state of the pandemic response in Los Angeles County, which with a quarter of the state’s nearly 40 million residents, accounts for nearly half of its COVID-19 cases, and more than 55% of the state’s more than 3,600 deaths. “Los Angeles had sort of a distorted picture in the beginning of who was infected,” Michels said. “The wealthier people were able to get the test kits. So it seemed like there was more disease among the wealthy.” The story also ran in US News & World Report, ABC News, the Seattle Times, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Yahoo News, the Sacramento Bee, KNBC-TV (NBC affiliate, Los Angeles), KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), the Fresno Bee, San Diego Union-Tribune, the Long Beach Post, and Indian Country Today, among more than 250 others.

COVID-19: “To think the virus has changed is a fantasy”

The Guardian (May 23) interviewed Chandra Ford, founding director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, on the future course of the pandemic. “To think the virus must have changed just because we’re tired of being at home is almost a fantasy,” Ford said. “The US response to the pandemic at the federal level has lacked a meaningful public health response … so it’s not surprising that the push to reopen isn’t driven by public health indicators. In fact, it appears to be driven against public health indicators, in the interest of political or economic gains.”

COVID-19: “Let’s remember that the coronavirus is still a mystery”

The Saint Paul (MN) Pioneer-Press (May 23) 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, in a column by Nicholas Kristof about how much remains to be learned about the pandemic. “This is a novel virus, new to humanity, and nobody knows what will happen,” Rimoin said. The column also ran in the New York Times and the Sun Sentinel (Florida).

COVID-19: Newsom urges public to answer recruiting call for contact tracers

Bay City News (sfbayca) (May 23) referenced the pandemic response training being provided by the Fielding School and UCLA Extension on contract with the California Department of Public Health. “We are bringing together the best minds in public health, academia and private industry to design a program that can help lower the risk for COVID-19 in all of our communities and keep us on the path to reopening,” said California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell. Similar items were published by Yubanet, Random Lengths News, and Monrovia Weekly.

COVID-19: The germs that transformed history

The Wall Street Journal (May 22) published an essay by Jared Diamond, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about how the current pandemic compares to past incidents, and what that suggests for the future. “A challenge for the future will be to ensure that face masks, vaccines, treatments and ventilators become available to everyone in the world. If they don’t become available, we shall all remain vulnerable,” Diamond wrote. “If they do become available, that global response to a global problem may inspire other global responses to other global problems. That would be a delayed benefit of the COVID-19 tragedy.”

COVID-19: Devastating impact on California’s Pacific Islanders

The Guardian (May 22) 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 impact of the pandemic on the Pacific Islander population. Ponce said that “healthcare entities may not be required to collect and report racial and ethnic data and…Data collection is prone to errors. Patients sometimes don’t self-identify on hospital intake forms, and healthcare staff can report inaccurate information or leave sections blank, rendering racial and ethnic data imperfect.”

COVID-19: Can the NBA safely resume this season?

Yahoo Sports (May 22) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about whether the NBA can safely resume this season. “The harder you breathe the more likely you are to aerosolize droplets. Just like coughing leads to more droplets than talking, breathing hard will lead to more droplets being produced than regular breathing,” Brewer said. “A basketball game typically goes on for over an hour, so that is a prolonged period where people are going to be in close contact with each other, (and) that would create a higher risk for transmissions as opposed to either playing outdoors or not allowing people within six feet of each other.”

COVID-19: Paid sick leave is essential during pandemic

Healio Primary Care (May 22) 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 piece about a study she co-authored that shows that with paid sick leave, workers are more likely to not go to work when they are ill. “The cost of providing paid sick leave is modest compared to the cost of reining in a pandemic,” Heymann said. The study was published by the journal Global Public Health, and related stories ran in the Los Angeles Times (whichincluded two maps created by the WORLD staff), Yahoo Finance, the Las Vegas Sun, KNBC-TV (NBC affiliate, Los Angeles), CNN Opinion, WICU/WSEE (Pennsylvania), and New Jersey Today, among others.

COVID-19: What public health experts have to say about using public restrooms

Buzzfeed News (May 22) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about best preventive practices to use in public restrooms, including using paper to open and close doors, flushing, and similar tasks. “The less contact with touch surfaces the better," Jackson said. "No proof that this would work on COVID, but why not?"

COVID-19: NFHS releases guidelines detailing for reopening high school sports

EducationDive (May 22) referenced Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in a story about the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) newly-released releases guidelines for reopening high school sports.

COVID-19: UCLA Fielding School of Public Health efforts spotlighted in ASPPH Friday Letter

The ASPPH Friday Letter (May 22) reported six items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts and FSPH efforts related to the pandemic. Under “Preparedness and Response,” these included information about the establishment of a contact tracing training program to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including referencing UCLA Fielding School of Public Health dean and professor of biostatistics Ron Brookmeyer, associate dean and adjunct assistant professor of community health sciences Alina Dorian, as well as professor and department chair of community health sciences, Michael Prelip. The Letter also spotlighted a report from The Promise Armenian Institute on the provision of COVID-19 expertise to Armenia, featuring Alina Dorian. Under “Members in the News,” Good Housekeeping interviewed Jonathan Fielding, distinguished professor in residence of health policy and management, on how consumers can help workers in the serve industry in the midst of the pandemic. It also listed an op-ed published by CNN and co-written by founding director of UCLA FSPH’s World Policy Analysis Center and distinguished professor of public health, public policy, and medicine,Dr. Jody Heymann, on how paid sick leave could reduce the spread of COVID-19. Under “Academic Resources and Tools,” a guide on how to break the chain of COVID-19 infection was published in Vietnamese, and under “Faculty and Staff Honors,” the Letter included the NIMHD’s recognition of Gilbert Gee, of Community Health Sciences, as a “Pioneer” for his research into how racial discrimination is related to illness.

COVID-19: “Let’s remember that the coronavirus is still a mystery”

The New York Times (May 21) 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, in a column by Nicholas Kristof about how much remains to be learned about the pandemic. “This is a novel virus, new to humanity, and nobody knows what will happen,” Rimoin said. The column also ran in the Sun Sentinel (Florida).

COVID-19: Minorities disproportionately affected by pandemic

The Orange County Register (May 21) interviewed David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, about the impact of the pandemic on minority communities in California. “They are the farm workers who grow and pick food, meat packers, truck drivers, grocery stockers, checkout clerks, auto mechanics, bus drivers and attendants in nursing homes,” Hayes-Bautista said. “They have a high rate of exposure. But they were also the last ones to get personal protective equipment like masks and gloves. So it’s not surprising at all that they have higher case rates.” The story also ran in the Woodland (CA) Daily Democrat.

COVID-19: What do I do if I think I might have it?

LAist (May 21) referenced Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, in a piece about what actions someone who thinks they are sick, or are caring for someone who is sick, should take in response.

COVID-19: UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor among leaders of China’s fight

The Daily Bruin (May 21) interviewed Dr. Roger Detels, distinguished research professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Virginia C. Li, research professor and professor emerita, and Dr. Zunyou Wu, adjunct professor and a FSPH alumnus (PhD, 1995), for a profile of Wu, who serves as chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and is among the first scientists to study SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. “The future is uncertain globally, but we do our best to control the epidemic in China and share our experience with other countries,” Wu said.

COVID-19: Air quality during the pandemic

Fleet Owner (May 21) referenced research by Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences and associate dean for academic programs at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the impact of the pandemic on air quality.

COVID-19: California is winning the battle, even as deaths rise

The Los Angeles Times (May 20) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, about signs the outbreak is slowing in California, even as the death toll has climbed past 3,400 and pressure has grown to relax physical distancing restrictions. “Obviously, we have some tensions that will always exist, some wanting to move faster than others,” Kim-Farley said. “The idea here of ... trying to all agree on what are the guideposts along the way and then, let’s open up accordingly ... these phased processes are a good approach.” The story also ran in the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Kansas City Star, and Charlotte Observer, among others.

COVID-19: Is it safe to swim in a pool, lake or the ocean?

The Los Angeles Times (May 20) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, on the risk of contagion in the water. “There is no data that somebody got infected this way,” Michels said. “I’m not concerned about the ocean and large lakes … the dilution effect is so humongous that I don’t think there is a risk that anybody gets infected this way.”

COVID-19: “I got tested for COVID-19. Should you?”

The Los Angeles Times (May 20) referenced the UCLA COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative, an epidemiological study of health care workers and firefighters in Los Angeles County led by 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, and UCLA’s Dr. Grace Aldrovandi, in a piece by columnist Steve Lopez.

COVID-19: Contact tracing training includes wide range of skills

The Sacramento Bee (May 20) reported on UCLA’s creation of a 20-hour contact tracing “virtual training academy,” a joint project of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and UCLA Extension, to help California reach the goal of having 20,000 tracers at its disposal, by ramping up from 550 trainees this week to 3,000 per week from now through to July. “They’re learning basic principles of public health and epidemiology, then case investigation and contact tracing,” said Eric Bullard, dean of continuing education and UCLA Extension. “Then cultural sensitivity and confidentiality, involving role playing, interviewing skills, working with diverse populations.” The story also ran on GovTech.

COVID-19: CDC leadership has faltered

AlJazeera (May 20) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on how the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has responded to the pandemic. "This is the kind of thing the CDC has been preparing for. I expected they would be functional and they weren't," Jackson said. “There should have been hands-on, omnipresent leadership from day one while this thing was breaking.”

COVID-19: Assembly line workers are vulnerable

The WSWS News (May 20) interviewed Julia Heck, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health adjunct associate professor of epidemiology, on risks to assembly line workers because of close quarters and noise. “The plant is an environment where it’s loud and people have to shout at each other to be heard, there could be a lot of virus being transmitted through the air,” Heck said.

COVID-19: Mistakes to avoid if you're going to fly

MSN (May 19) quoted Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, on tips for air travelers in thepandemic era. “Try to board the plane last, after the line has thinned, so you're not stuck waiting in a tight space with lots of other people as they board,” Fielding said. The story also ran in Best Life.

COVID-19: UCLA, UCSF, CDPH collaborate to train contact tracers

The Daily Bruin (May 19) interviewed Michael Prelip, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences, on the pandemic response training being provided by the Fielding School and UCLA Extension on contract with the California Department of Public Health. “If we do have a good system of testing, (tracing) and investigation, tracing it should make it easier to reduce some of the restrictions that are in place,” Prelip said. The story also ran on Newsbreak.

COVID-19: Public health experts urge U.S. to withdraw order enabling mass expulsion of asylum seekers

Reliefweb (May 19) published a letter to Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, co-signed by Anne Pebley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and 39 other public health experts, to use evidence-based measures. “The nation’s public health laws should not be used as a pretext for overriding humanitarian laws and treaties that provide life-saving protections to refugees seeking asylum and unaccompanied children,” the authors wrote.

COVID-19: African-American and Latino communities have suffered an unusually high rate of infections

The Wall Street Journal (May 18) 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 impact of the pandemic on African-American and Latino populations in California. “Lack of access to health care and also with that, a disproportionate burden of some chronic conditions for communities of color, that’s getting exacerbated, or spun out more in places like Los Angeles,” Ponce said.

COVID-19: Restarting entertainment production could put crews “in harm’s way”

The Associated Press (May 18) 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 to safely restart production in the entertainment industry. “No way,” Baer said. “I’m not going to put people potentially in harm’s way.” The story ran on multiple outlets, including ABC News, US News & World Report, KNBC-TV (NBC affiliate, Los Angeles), the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Washington Post, Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Bakersfield Californian, Modesto Bee, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Hartford (CT) Courant, Houston Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sun-Sentinel (Florida), Arizona Daily Star, Detroit News, the CBC (Canada), Mainichi (English language, Japan), WYNT-TV (NBC affiliate, New York City) and WEAR-TV (Florida), among many others.

COVID-19: “Pathetic sick leave policies are killing our coronavirus response”

The Las Vegas Sun (May 18) 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 piece about a study she co-authored that shows that with paid sick leave, workers are more likely to not go to work when they are ill. “When people are out because they are so gravely ill that they would never go to work, (sick leave benefits) ensure that they have an economic safety net. That’s obviously crucial,” Heymann said. “But it also means that people who have mild symptoms of infectious diseases, but could readily spread it to others who might get severely ill, will stay home.” The piece first ran in a front page Business section column in the Los Angeles Times (whichincluded two maps created by the WORLD staff), and also ran on Yahoo Finance. Results of the study, published by the journal Global Public Health, were also reported by KNBC-TV (NBC affiliate, Los Angeles) and New Jersey Today, among other outlets.

COVID-19: Inside the City of Los Angeles’ pandemic war room

Los Angeles Magazine (May 18) referenced 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, in a feature examining the decisions of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti during the pandemic. Rimoin and Garcetti filmed a public service announcement for the city in early March.

COVID-19: Missing data and testing

The Ventura County Star (May 18) quotes 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 need for missing data to better track and address COVID-19 rates in California. “While an area without as many positive cases could mean the novel coronavirus isn’t circulating there, it also could mean there are barriers to accessing a test,” Ponce said. “Knowing how many people were tested in a specific area or a specific population could shed light on those details.”

COVID-19: Los Angeles County saw a spike in people dying at home in April

LAist (May 18) interviewed Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, about an increase of 53% in the number of people dying at home in Los Angeles County than during the same period last year. “The increase in deaths could also be attributed to people dying at home from COVID-19, or dying from heart attacks and strokes because they avoided the hospital,” Michels said. “These drastic increases in mortality are a mix of corona[virus] deaths and death from other [diseases] -- mostly heart attack and strokes -- that are not appropriately treated.”

COVID-19: Indian states will see peak at different times

OneIndia (May 18) referenced UCLA Fielding School of Public Health alumnus Giridhara R. Babu (MPH, 2008; PhD, 2012) on the course of the pandemic in the Indian states of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Babu is a professor of epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India. The story also ran in the Hindustan Times, OutlookIndia, and News18 (India).

COVID-19: Advancing the role of buildings in protecting health

CelebrityAccess (May 18) referenced Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and managementin an item that cited 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).

 

FEATURES (Other)

“BPA: Finding unpolluted products is difficult”

RBB24 (May 18, Germany) quoted Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, on the prevalence of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), a known health hazard, in food containers in Europe. “We had volunteers test a portion of canned soup and measured the bisphenol A level in the urine before and after," Michels said. “After enjoying a serving of canned soup, the level of bisphenol A in urine rose by 1,000 percent."

Study: Gas-powered appliances may be hazardous for your health

Yahoo News (May 18) published a commentary that referenced a study led by Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences and associate dean for academic programs at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, that found that after an hour of using a gas-fired stove or oven, levels of nitrogen dioxide inside California homes reached levels that exceeded both state and national ambient air-quality standards. Similar column was published in Sierra Magazineand The Fifth Estate.

 

BRIEFS

The Antelope Valley Press (May 19) published a commentary about the Los Angeles County Public Health Department’s work on the pandemic response that referenced Dr. Jonathan FieldingUCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management. Fielding was referenced in a similar story on KTLA-TV.

An article in MyNewsLA (May 18) cites data from a study conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and Charles Drew University on the impact of a census undercount on federal funding for Los Angeles County. The article sheds light on the current status of response rates and the push to encourage survey completion based on the anonymity of the responses.