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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of May 31, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
May 31, 2020 to June 6, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: “Even more likely to spread, among the protestors, and from the protestors to the police”

KNX-AM (June 4) 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 risks of infection at political protests. “The virus is transmitted the more we cough, the more we sneeze, and tear gas makes people cough and sneeze,” Eisenman said. “The protestors are wearing masks, but often, when they are arrested and confined, their masks are stripped off their faces, so if they’ve been exposed to tear gas, they’re now coughing on each other and coughing on the law enforcement.”

COVID-19: “Even more likely to spread, among the protestors, and from the protestors to the police”

ABC News (June 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 the risks of infection at political protests. “We’ll certainly see more cases as people go to protests, and it’s also occurring at the same time as more people are socializing in general, and our states are opening up,” Eisenman said. “I’m very concerned.” Eisenman was also referenced by VnExpress and tintucvietnam.

COVID-19: Infection risks at political protest

KPCC-FM (June 2) 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 risks of infection at political protests. “Anyone who attends a protest is attending a crowded outdoor event,” Eisenman said. “Anyone who attends is increasing their risk.”

COVID-19: Paid sick leave policies in the wake of the pandemic

Foreign Affairs (June 2, starts at 02:30) interviewed 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, 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. “It matters because this is not going to be our only pandemic; in the past two decades, we’ve had four outbreaks of respiratory illness alone,” Heymann said. “There will be more; they’re happening more frequently now – we need that long term coverage in order to ensure (people stay home); that’s what really prevents spread.”

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Running errands and socializing safely

CNBC (June 6) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. about the risks of running errands and socializing, including exercise – with or without a pet. “Usually on the dog walks, because we’re tending to walk around areas where there are other people, my nose and mouth are always covered,” Dr. Timothy Brewer said. “If I’m biking along the bike path or stretch of street where I’m not around other people, then [the mask] kind of positioned closer to my chin than over my nose.” The article was also run by MSN.

COVID-19: Should you be worried about a spike from the protests?

Slate (June 5) interviewed Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health adjunct associate professor of epidemiology, on the possibility of increased infections stemming from political protests. “We should be worried,” Shafir. “Any time now we see people who are not maintaining social distancing, there’s the potential for those people to spread the virus.” A version of the story also ran on Inquisitr.

COVID-19: How many Angelenos actually have the coronavirus? Health officials don’t know

The Los Angeles Times (June 5) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the scale and scope of the pandemic in southern California, including research studies led by Stanford and USC teams that presented significantly different results, and which together suggest the vast majority of Los Angeles County residents could still get sick. If you take the average of the two study results, “that still means we probably have 97% of the people still susceptible,” Kim-Farley said. The story also ran in Governing, and Kim-Farley was also referenced in Tirto.id (Indonesia).

COVID-19: Is air travel safe? Guess what airlines say

The Los Angeles Times (June 5) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about the risks of air travel. “Flying on planes is relatively safe from transmission of infectious particulate if you are not near anyone else,” Brewer said. “If they are going to pack the plane … then there is a higher risk.” The story also ran on Yahoo Finance and Stars and Stripes.

COVID-19: Experts worried about impact of test site closures during protests

The Los Angeles Times (June 4) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about the impact the closure of testing facilities due to protests will have on the overall fight against the pandemic. “There will likely be an increase in cases,” Brewer said. “But that has to be balanced against the fact that people are worried about other things too — they’re worried about democracy, and their ability to voice their opinions, and they’re worried about racial injustice.”

COVID-19:Who Is Most Likely to Die From the Coronavirus?”

The New York Times (June 4) quoted Frederick Zimmerman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, in a commentary about poverty being a leading indicator of mortality in the pandemic. “What we now know about population health is that it is determined largely by social and economic policy factors,” Zimmerman said. Because our current policy environment works best for those with social and economic power, it is no surprise that the outcomes of this process, including health outcomes, favor those with power. Those with less power, who are outside of the decision-making process, have been squeezed and their health has suffered.”

COVID-19: For many, pandemic widening current health care inequities

US News & World Report (June 4) 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, including health insurance and access to testing. “It's still hard to get a test," Hayes-Bautista says. "Now what we're seeing is Latinos entering the data systems way after they should've been tested, way after they should've gotten some primary care, and still being overexposed."

COVID-19: California hospitals suffer massive losses from fewer patients, major pandemic expenses

The Sacramento Bee (June 4) 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, about estimates California hospitals lost at least $3.2 billion a month during the first wave of the pandemic. “Every day we’re seeing people who’ve been in the hospital for weeks, in some cases, months. They are alive today because of the tremendous efforts of hospitals throughout the state,” Kominski said. “So, one of the essential components in our fight against COVID and keeping people alive, especially those who get seriously ill as a result of this disease — those institutions are simultaneously suffering, being threatened with possible closure, because of the effect on their revenue streams.”  The story also ran on MSN, the Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee, and Insurance News.

COVID-19: UCLA unveils new public database on disease

KNBC-TV (June 4) ran a City News Service story focused on a new database for tracking COVID-19 cases by race and ethnicity; the resource was created and is maintained by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, led by Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management at FSPH. “As of yesterday, we've lost at least 21,750 black lives to COVID-19 in the United States,” Ponce said. “While black people make up 13% of the U.S. population, they account for 24% of deaths where race is known.” Similar pieces ran on MyNewsLa and Telemundo.

COVID-19: How the protests have changed the pandemic

The New Yorker (June 4) interviewed Miranda Yaver, a postdoctoral scholar in health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the risks of political protest during the pandemic. “I’m scared there will be terrible COVID outbreaks because of these protests, but I’m also scared of what happens when we allow racial injustice to go unchecked,” Yaver said. “Mass gatherings like this are a nightmare from a public-health perspective … I carry real guilt about participating. But I’d feel more guilt about being a passive observer. There’s no win-win or easy answer.”

COVID-19: A spike in cases in two weeks?

China News Service (June 4) quoted Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist and associate dean for research, on when evidence may surface showing the impact of political protest in the U.S. on infection rates. “The impact of the ongoing protests on COVID-19 case counts may be revealed in about two weeks,” Zhang said. A similar story ran on Xinhua.

COVID-19: Healthiest Mexican take-out when staying home

Mel (June 4) interviewed Dana Hunnes, adjunct assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on dietary recommendations regarding the healthiest choices for Mexican takeout. “Guacamole is super healthy … avocados are full of heart-healthy fats,” Hunnes said. “(Flan?) … if you only have a few bites and share it with others, there are worse things out there.”

COVID-19: ‘Which death do they choose?’: Many Black men fear wearing a mask more than the pandemic

STAT (June 3) interviewed Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, on how African-Americans deal with the realities of racism and the pandemic. “Which death do they choose? Covid-19 or police shooting?” asked Mays, also a UCLA professor of psychology. “We have African Americans who have been dragged out of stores, who have been ordered by police and store guards to pull their masks down or take their masks off … you also see people protesting during this pandemic because people feel strongly what is happening to them is worse than the risk of death. These are horrible risk assessments no one should have to make.” The article was also referenced by Becker’s Hospital Review and Hot Air.

COVID-19: Rise in California cases raises fears over reopening and protests

The Guardian (June 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 the risks of infection at political protests. “It’s not terribly surprising, given the timing. It’s to be expected as more people are moving and interacting in the community,” Eisenman said. “The use of teargas and pepper spray is going to fuel any spreading that was going to occur anyway … It causes people to cough and sneeze – on each other, and on the police if they get rounded up and confined. Cops are putting people side by side, removing their masks, and cuffing them so they can’t cover their mouths.” The article also referenced an open letter signed by public health experts from across the University of California and calling on law enforcement to curb the use of chemical agents on crowds. Those signing include Eisenman; Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology; and Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management. The letter was also referenced by Marketwatch and in an editorial in the Los Angeles Times. A version of the Guardian story ran on Abna.24.

COVID-19: California braces for second wave, even as first wave is far from over

The Los Angeles Times (June 3) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the likelihood of a second wave of infection later this year. “We are still in the first wave,” Kim-Farley said. “We’ve flattened the curve. However, flattening the curve is a two-edged sword: You have avoided overloading one’s healthcare system, which is really the primary public health goal. But at the same time, it means that you now have lengthened the curve out for a longer period of time.”

COVID-19: Protests in virus hot spots ignite fears of contagion

The Associated Press (June 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 potential impact of political protests on the pandemic. “I’m actually more worried about how, if those spikes occur, how that information will be weaponized against the notion of protests,” Eisenman said. The story ran in multiple outlets, including CBS News, KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), WNBC-TV (New York), WRC-TV (Washington, DC), WMAQ-TV (Chicago), KTUU-TV (Alaska), WFMJ-TV (Ohio), the San Francisco Chronicle, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune,  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Houston Chronicle, as well as the Brisbane Times (Australia) and Times of Israel, among many others.

COVID-19: Tear gas use likely to spread infection

The San Jose Mercury News (June 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 pandemic-related health impacts of the use of tear gas. “During this time when we’re protesting police brutality, the use of tear gas is causing more harm in the way of spreading COVID,” Eisenman said. “There is some culpability on the police for using this method, which increases the sneezing and increases the coughing and therefore increases the spread.” The story also ran on MSN News, in the Fresno Bee, and San Luis Obispo Tribune, among others.

COVID-19: “We need to be doing everything we can to protect those protesters”

CNBC (June 2) 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 risks of infection at political protests. “Now is the time when we need to be having testing more than ever, given the likelihood of spread,” Eisenman said. “We need to be doing everything we can to protect those protesters and to protect the communities they go back into, the families they go back to every night.”

COVID-19: Pandemic has decreased air pollution, but cars are not the whole pollution picture

Environmental Protection (June 2) 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. “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,” Zhu said.

COVID-19: Police tactics at protests may lead to more COVID-19 cases

LAist (June 1) 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 pandemic-related health impacts of the use of tear gas. “There is some culpability on the police for using this method, which increases the sneezing and increases the coughing and therefore increases the spread," Eisenman said. “People who've been arrested are being maintained for a prolonged period of time in large groups, [in] confined spaces. So that's also a risk for spreading COVID.” A separate interview on the same topic aired on KPCC-FM.

COVID-19: Safer at home orders may raise exposure to indoor air pollution

Scientific American (June 1) interviewed 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 pandemic-related restrictions on the health of those staying indoors. “People think the outdoor air in cities is not that great,” Zhu said. “But usually the indoor air is worse.” 

COVID-19: Group calls for police to stand down in the name of racial equity

MyNewsLA (June 1) reported on a news conference about the pandemic and public unrest called by board members and affiliates of the UCLA Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and its COVID-19 Task Force on Racism & Equity. “The police need to stand down,” said Dr. Camara Jones, who serves on the Center’s Executive Board. “Police are provoking people as we are trying to gather with our righteous anger and our grief. Our right to dissent, our right to speak and to mobilize should not be provoked by an increasing police presence and National Guard to protect property over lives.”

COVID-19: $1 million donation to Rapid Response Initiative

The Chronicle of Philanthropy (June 1) reported on a $1 million donation from the Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation to back the UCLA Covid-19 Rapid Response Initiative, a research effort led by Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology. A similar item ran in Philanthropy News Digest.

COVID-19: Not advisable to open religious places now, says noted epidemiologist

The Times of India (June 1) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health alumnus Giridhara R. Babu (MPH, 2008; PhD, 2012), a professor of epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India, on the advisability of re-opening religious facilities during the current state of the pandemic. “First of all, religious institutions are not the most vital factor for survival, though for a lot of people, mental health is affected because of the sudden lockdown and lack of normal ways of functioning,” Babu said. “Most of the religions have provision to worship from their houses. It is risky to open religious institution because most of them are closed spaces, density is highest inside most places, and the vulnerable, like the elderly, visit the most.” The story was also run by India Today, the Deccan Herald, and Outlook India.

COVID-19: What is happening in the developing world?

The Hill (May 31) published a commentary by Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor-in-residence of health policy and management, on how the pandemic may play out in countries without substantial public health infrastructure, including in Africa and South Asia. “History teaches us that low resource countries are unlikely to be first in line to receive the vaccine,” Fielding wrote. “This can only deepen the health and economic divisions that represent social injustice.”

COVID-19: Nearly half of California counties approved for reopening failed to meet at least one standard

The Palm Springs Desert Sun (May 31) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about findings that of the 49 counties that received state approval for reopening, 49% failed to meet at least one of the reopening criteria mandated by the state. "Nobody really knows for sure what the right way forward is," Brewer said. “This whole public health response, which should’ve been in place from the very beginning of the outbreak, still needs to be built out at the county and state level.” The story also ran in the Stockton Record.

COVID-19: UCLA launches website in more than 40 languages

EdScoop (May 31) quoted May Wang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, in a report about the launch of the TranslateCovid.org website, which provides pandemic-related information in more than more than 40 languages. “We know from past experiences that in a situation like a pandemic, groups that do not have access to mainstream media are often overlooked,” Wang said.

 

FEATURES (Other)

Does an omelet a day keep the doctor away?

Mel (May 31) interviewed Dana Hunnes, adjunct assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on dietary recommendations regarding eggs. “I wouldn’t recommend eating more than one whole egg per day,” Hunnes said. “If you want to eat eggs, I’d definitely limit it to one whole egg per day and not more than that. Sub in scrambled tofu!”