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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of May 2, 2021 - 12:00am

Week of: 
May 2, 2021 to May 8, 2021

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: U.S. Mass Vaccination Turnaround: Is Australia Being Left Behind?

The Nine Network (May 8, Australia) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about California’s success in vaccinating the population, and how the state’s record compares to that of Australia. “They were rapidly deployed, through support from the military logistics and then all the public health departments, pharmacies, hospitals around the nation and here also in Los Angeles, were mobilized to actually make sure people were getting the vaccine,” Kim-Farley said. “COVID is not going to completely go away, it's not going to have the herd immunity, if you will, to go to zero and be eradicated.”

COVID-19: What It's Like to Participate in a COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

The CBC (May 8, Canada) interviewed Dr. Kristen Choi, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management about her participation in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trials. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous when I joined the trial last summer,” Choi said. “But at the time it felt like it was really important to be part of the science in finding a solution to the pandemic.”

COVID: Vaccines and Longer-Ranged Immunity

KNX-AM (May 6, begins at 6:55) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about how vaccines are developed, modified, and used to prevent another pandemic outbreak. “We are seeing good immune responses to some of these variants even with the current vaccines,” Kim-Farley said. “There are two aspects of booster shots … one is to boost the immunity that may be waning, for long-range immunity (and) the second is a booster shot that may be a tweak on what is the currently circulating variant, somewhat like we do with influenza vaccines.”

COVID-19: Will Summer See a ‘Travel Window’ Before Fall Infections Rise?

CNBC (May 5) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about how the pandemic may play out over the rest of 2021, including this summer. “(There is) a real chance at a summer with much lower rates of disease, however, it means we all have to pull together and do our part,” Rimoin said. “It all depends upon how many vaccines we get in arms,” Rimoin said. “The variants are more contagious, so … those that are not vaccinated are more easily infected.” It also ran on MSN, KNBC-TV, KXAS-TV (TX), WNBC-TV (PA), WCAU-TV (PA), NECN, the Business Telegraph, and MultiNews.

COVID-19: Los Angeles County Eligible to Move to Least Restrictive Tier in California

KPCC-FM (May 5) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about Los Angeles County reaching the “yellow tier,” of California counties, which allows much wider business re-openings. “We're looking at about 60% of the population (having immunity) in Los Angeles County, which was very hard hit, particularly in January, maybe potentially having immunity to this virus,” Brewer said. “We’re getting increasing evidence that these vaccines not only prevent infection, but also diseases.” Related items ran on KPCC-FM, LAist, Player FM, and the LA Report.

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

Opinion: COVID’s Outsize Impact on Asian Americans Is Being Ignored

Scientific American (May 6) quoted Dr. Ninez Ponce, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, in an opinion piece about the pandemic’s impact on Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. (With Asians getting) “spat on, beaten up, killed … we suspect the Asian community was not getting tested for fear of leaving their homes,” Ponce said. “Testing sites may have been further away from home and not as safely accessible.” It also ran on World News Era.

Opinion: COVID Shows the Silent Epidemic of Premature Death in Black Men

Undark (May 6) published a commentary by Dr. Nina Harawa, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about how the pandemic has widened the already significant life-expectancy gap between Black and non-Black men. “Life expectancy among non-Hispanic Black males plummeted by three years, the largest drop of any racial or ethnic group studied and roughly four times the decline for White men and women,” Harawa wrote. “Even before the pandemic the average life expectancy of Black men was five years shorter than that of White men and roughly a decade shorter than the life expectancies of women overall.”

Opinion: COVID-19 Reporters are Not Okay. Extremely Not Okay

Editor and Publisher (May 6) published a commentary that quoted Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of journalists covering the crisis. “We know a little bit about the experience of needing to do a job at a time when you personally are impacted … you’re much more fragile during those times,” Mays said. “Some of the best journalists are the ones where you can hear, in their voice and their story, that they (understand the trauma they’re writing about) … you have to ask yourself, does this take a toll?” Versions of the piece, by former Daily Beast reporter Olivia Messer, also ran in the American Press Institute’s Need to Know and Study Hall.

COVID-19: Medicine Begins to Take Fatigue, Persistent in Cancer and COVID-19 Patients, Seriously

Cambio16 (May 6, Spain) quoted Dr. Emily K. Abel, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor emeritus, about her new book Sick and Tired – An Intimate History of Fatigue, and the importance of studying fatigue as a medical condition. “COVID-19 is showing us that fatigue is really a big issue," Abel said.”(Fatigue) has been little recognized, underdiagnosed, undertreated and is a very common ailment of many chronic diseases. People think it's trivial: 'I get tired too'. They don't really understand what total exhaustion is all about, a fatigue that is really debilitating.”

COVID-19: Study Proves Safety of Hypertension Drugs

MedicalXPress (May 6) referenced Dr. Marc Suchard, UCLA Fielding School professor of biostatistics, about a study he co-authored that found there was no increased risk of COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization, or subsequent complications for users of either angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). “By comparing people exposed to ACE inhibitors and ARBs against people taking other blood pressure medicines, either alone or in combination, we were able to produce highly consistent results that demonstrate the safety of these drugs,” the authors stated. Related work by Suchard was also cited in the Yale School of Medicine, Medical Brief South Africa, Science, Infosurhoy, SciTech Daily, and ScienceDaily.

COVID-19: How Can I Persuade My Loved Ones to Get the Vaccine?

The Los Angeles Times (May 5) interviewed Dr. Chandra Ford, founding director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, about how best to reach vaccine-hesitant people, including friends and family. “If something becomes stigmatized, people become reluctant to admit that they’re part of that ‘problem’-causing group so the situation actually becomes exacerbated,” Ford said. “It’s better to lay the foundation … one of respect, that allows them to build on the possibly that people will be more open across the long haul in ways that they’re not right now.” It also ran in Breathing Labs.

COVID-19: What Vaccinated People Need to Know

Well+Good (May 5) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about whether the U.S. will reach the goal of herd immunity. “About 60 percent of the California population has probably been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus either through having had disease before or having been vaccinated,” Brewer said. “(California) may be progressing toward that point where we’re starting to see something like herd immunity.” It also ran on MSN and Genetic Literacy.

COVID-19: Biden Says U.S. Inoculation Campaign Entering a ‘New Phase’

The Los Angeles Times (May 4) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about President Joe Biden’s administration is beginning a “new phase” of the inoculation campaign to convince more people to help achieve herd immunity “One (definition) is markedly reducing the number of cases and eliminating large outbreaks, and the other is eliminating the virus,” Kim-Farley said. “I don’t think we’ll catch the latter … but we can catch the former.” It also ran in the Bakersfield Californian and Merced Sun Star.

COVID-19: Los Angeles, San Francisco Move Into California’s Loosest Tier

Courthouse News (May 4) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about movements to more widely open commercial establishments in Los Angeles and San Francisco. “We’ve done an amazing job making vaccines available, but there is still work to be done,” Shafir said. “There has been a tremendous amount of guidance from federal and local health agencies who say that you can go outside without a mask and gather with people who are also vaccinated. All of that provides huge incentive to get vaccinated but there are still people who are not yet there. They still can get infected.”

COVID-19: California Positivity Rate Falls as COVID Surges in Neighboring States

The Los Angeles Patch (May 4) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about why California is doing better than Oregon and Washington state. “Oregon and Washington did not experience the large surge in cases that California did last summer and after Christmas,” Brewer said. “Therefore, while an estimated 20.4 percent of Californians have had COVID-19 according to the CDC (based on seroprevalence), only 6.3 percent of Oregon residents and 6.7 percent of Washingtonians have already been infected.”

COVID-19: How We Address America’s Mental Health Crisis

Dame magazine (May 3) interviewed Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact of the pandemic on mental health. “We have a pandemic right now, and that is going to lead us to have a mental health syndemic,” Mays said. ““We have to think about what’s necessary to get us back to a place where we’re opening, we’re vaccinated, but that, in addition to those two things, we’re healthy mentally as well.” It also ran on Salon.

COVID-19: Cracks in Our Vaccine Armor

The Los Angeles Times (May 3) interviewed Dr. Julie A. Elginer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management, about vaccines for children and the best practices for parents as they await FDA approval of COVID-19 immunizations for those under 15. “The more we can do as adults to protect ourselves, the better we’re going to be to ensure that our kids are protected,” said Elginer, whose 15-year-old son Jack signed up for a clinical trial that tested Moderna’s mRNA vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds. “As a mom, I have never been so happy to have my kid having symptoms.” Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, was also referenced in the piece. It also ran on News Break and Breathing Labs.

COVID-19: Vaccination Pace Plunges as Officials Work to Expand Access

The Los Angeles Times (May 3) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about how Los Angeles County health officials should reach those who remain hesitant about vaccines. Kim-Farley said public health officials need to work with behavioral scientists to craft specific messages for people in each of those categories. It also ran on MSN and El Hispano.

COVID-19: ‘An Infection Anywhere is Potentially an Infection Everywhere’

Techonomy (May 3) quoted Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about how to prepare for the next pandemic. “The truth is it could be a lot worse,” Rimoin said. “We really need to learn from this experience.”

COVID-19: Pandemic Has Diminished Services for Those With Autism

U.S. News & World Report (May 3) quoted Carly Hyde, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health graduate student researcher in Community Health Sciences, about a survey conducted by UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment of the pandemic’s impact on therapeutic and educational services for those with autism. “Our first significant finding was that indeed these individuals and their families were in fact profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions," Hyde said. “When we're doing these therapies remotely now, what we're finding is that parents or caregivers really need to be in person on the other side of the screen with their child to redirect instruction, to provide hands-on assistance.” Related items ran on Medscape, HealthDay, MedicalXPress, Brigham Health News, Infosurhoy, Drugs.com, Healthcast, eminetra, the Weekly Sauce, and the DoctorsLounge.

COVID-19: Funders Continue Pandemic Fight

Health Affairs (May 3) reported on a $500,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research to produce data on NHPI populations and address health equity issues illuminated by the pandemic. The center is led by Dr. Ninez Ponce, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management.

COVID-19: As Schools Spend Millions on Air Purifiers, Experts Warn of Overblown Claims

California Healthline (May 3) interviewed Dr. Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about the potential risks of using ozone as an air purifier as a response to the pandemic. “Ozone is a very serious public health problem,” Jerrett said. It also ran on CNN, MSN, Kaiser Health News, PBS, Campus Safety, the Muskogee (OK) Daily Phoenix, World News, and Owasso (MI) Argus-Press.

COVID-19: Crushing the Pandemic Left California With Scars

USA Today (May 2) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the impact of the state’s strategy against the pandemic. “California does have some unique aspects of what they call a vulnerability index,” Kim-Farley said. “So it's kind of hard sometimes to make those direct comparisons as to what would have happened had we done some more relaxation of measures.” It also ran on MSN, Yahoo, the Siskiyou (CA) Daily News, Daily Magazine, Recordnet, the New York Times Post, NewsAmed, GirlSun, and PressFrom.

COVID-19: Vaccine Hesitancy in California

The Los Angeles Patch (May 2) quoted Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about whether a willingness among Californians to get inoculated may be charging the state's progress in reopening and mitigating spread. “People are tired of this, and I understand that,” Brewer said. “But the virus is still in our community. Hopefully, people will not use their fatigue as an excuse not to get vaccinated or if they are vaccinated, to stop doing those other measures that are so important.”

 

FEATURES (Other)

How Bowhead Whales Live for 200 Years

The Atlantic (May 8) interviewed Dr. Steven Horvath, UCLA Fielding School professor of human genetics & biostatistics, about epigenetic analysis, which allows researchers to determine an individual’s age relative to the maximum lifespan of its species. “To me, this is a miracle,” Horvath said. “Let’s say you go into the jungle and find a new species — could be a new bat or any other mammal. I can tell you pretty accurately the maximum lifespan of the species.” It also ran on Knowable.

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Tied to Oral Cancer Risk

Reuters Health (May 7) quoted Dr. Michael Ong, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about a study that found individuals exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop oral cancers than those who do not have this exposure. “As clinicians, we often neglect to ask patients about secondhand smoke exposure," said Ong, who wasn't involved in the study. “However, secondhand smoke exposure has significant health risks, both from cancer risk as this study shows as well as other health risks, such as cardiovascular disease.” It also ran on Medscape, MDAlert, and The Health Guild.

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (May 7) reported seven items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health faculty and staff experts, FSPH efforts related to the pandemic, or other news. These included reports on an opinion piece on the impact of the pandemic on Asian Americans by Dr. Gilbert Gee posted by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; an upcoming conference on veteran’s health issues hosted by Dr. Kenneth Wells; and an upcoming keynote address by Dr. Anne Rimoin on preventing the next pandemic. The Letter also listed a USA Today interview of Dr. Robert Kim-Farley on California’s strategies against the pandemic, and a separate USA Today story that quoted Dr. Christina Ramirez and Dr. Timothy Brewer about herd immunity in the U.S. The Letter also reported on breast cancer research by Dr. Beth Glenn and Dr. Ninez Ponce, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professors of health policy and management, and on work by Dr. Dana Hunnes about diet.

Intermittent Fasting - Some Serious Transformations

Women’s Health (May 6) quoted Dr. Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about intermittent fasting, which centers around eating and fasting for specific periods. “The 16:8 diet is where you eat for about eight hours of the day and then fast for the rest of the day,” Hunnes said.

Cinco de Mayo is Not Mexican Independence Day — Here's What it is

NBC News (May 5) interviewed Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the story behind the May 5 holiday, which commemorates an 1862 victory of Mexico over a French invasion, during the American Civil War. “Back then, when Latinos here got the news that French were stopped at Puebla, it electrified the population, and propelled them to a new level of civic participation. Latinos joined the Union army and navy and some went back to Mexico to fight the French,” Hayes-Bautista said. “For Mexicans in the U.S., the Civil War and the French invasion of Mexico were like one war with two fronts. They were concerned about France, which sided with the Confederacy, being on America’s doorstep.” Similar items were run by KNBC-TV (Los Angeles); KNTV-TV (San Francisco); KXAS-TV (NBC affiliate, Dallas); WMAQ-TV (NBC affiliate, Chicago); WNBC-TV (NBC affiliate, New York); WCAU-TV (NBC affiliate, Philadelphia); WTBS-TV (NBC affiliate, Boston), WTVJ-TV (NBC Affiliate, Miami); Axios, the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Redlands Daily Facts, Pomona-Ontario (CA) Daily Bulletin, San Bernardino Sun, Latin Sun, Uno-TV, RadioBilingue, and Revista101.

The Origin of Cinco de Mayo Celebrations in the U.S.

KABC-TV (May 5) interviewed Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the story behind the holiday, which commemorates an 1862 victory of Mexico over a French invasion, during the American Civil War. “You had Latinos from California, Californios, who went to Mexico and fought with Juarez's army, and you had Latinos here who joined the U.S. Army," Hayes-Bautista said. “Latinos basically repurposed that news here to show the world where they stood on the issues of the American Civil War.” His work was also referenced on WPVI-TV (ABC, Philadelphia), KRBE-FM (TX), Real Clear Politics, Flatland KC, and RadioBilingue.

Steven Wallace Remembered for Public Health Research, Care for His Students

The Daily Bruin (May 4) interviewed Dr. Nadereh Pourat, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, in an obituary of the late Dr. Steven Wallace, Fielding School professor of community health sciences and an associate director at UCLA CHPR. “He represented the true efforts of service and giving, with his knowledge and willingness to get everyone else’s career to take off, especially the students he mentored throughout his career,” Pourat said. Also quoted were Fielding School colleagues and current or former students Adrian Bacong, Angela Gutierrez, and Imelda Padilla-Frausto.

Behavioral Health Treatment Effect Study Shows 64% Reduction in Inpatient Utilization

Yahoo (May 4) referenced Dr. Robert Kaplan, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished research professor of health policy and management, in an item about a study of preventative behavioral healthcare office visits among individuals who have untreated behavioral health needs and medical comorbidities.

Top New York Restaurant Eleven Madison Park to Go Meat-Free

The Huffington Post (May 3) quoted Dr. Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the environmental impacts of food. “If each and every person in the United States gave up meat and dairy products on one or more days of the week, ideally, all days of the week, we would save the environment from thousands of tons of carbon emissions,” Hunnes said. “We would be saving untouched habitats (Rainforests, marshes) from being destroyed to produce more livestock feed, and we would be creating less pollution in our waterways, streams, and oceans that indirectly threaten human, animal, and plant lives.”