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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of October 11, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
October 11, 2020 to October 17, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: Restaurants Find Creative Winter Outdoor Dining Solutions, but Experts Cite Concerns

The NBC Nightly News (Oct. 16) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about the pandemic and restaurants’ use using tents and similar structures  to keep diners comfortable as temperatures drop. “The minute that you start putting walls up, even if they are tent walls, you are creating a much more enclosed space which will allow the virus to build up more quickly as well,” Rimoin said.

COVID-19: The Pandemic, Medicare Open Enrollment, and Supplemental Benefits

Marketplace (Oct. 15) 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 options for seniors enrolling in Medicare supplemental benefits amidst the pandemic. “Companies may have been cautious about immediately jumping into offering these expanded benefits until they had a better idea about what the cost implications might be,” Kominski said.

COVID-19: How Nations Respond to Crisis

RFI (Oct. 15, French radio) interviewed Jared Diamond, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about his latest book, Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change, which reviews how nation states have responded to crises, whether political, economic, civil, or ecological. “My book’s timing was perfect,” Diamond said. “COVID is a global crisis.” A similar item ran on Now24 (Greece).

COVID-19: Majority of U.S. states reporting resurgence of cases

Global News (Oct. 13, Canada) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about a new surge of COVID-19 cases across 37 states in the past two weeks. “If we do not work very hard to push down the number of cases to the lowest number possible, we’re going to start paying for it as it gets colder and people are indoors,” Rimoin said.

COVID-19: From Condoms to Coronavirus Masks, 'Harm Reduction' has Worked to Protect Public Health

KQED-FM (Oct. 13, NPR, San Francisco) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the strategy of “harm reduction” and its use in mitigating public health risks, including, for example, second-hand smoke. “It was when we showed that flight attendants were actually getting sick from being in a confined space with a lot of smokers, that was the beginning,” Jackson said. “But eventually, over time, it led to the ban of indoor smoking.”

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Experts Warn U.S. Already in Fall, Winter Surge as Cases Surpass 8 Million

Global Times (Oct. 17) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor of epidemiology and associate dean for research, about the current surge in the U.S., including increasing risks as the coronavirus overlaps with the flu season.

COVID-19: Airbnb Combats Surge in Party Houses After Pandemic Shuts Nightclubs

Bloomberg (Oct. 15) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about the risks of contagion and spread at “party houses.” “This is the kind of problem that has kept us from making progress,” Eisenman said. “I expect we’ll see that again on Halloween.” It also ran on Yahoo Finance, Crain’s New York Business, and Insurance Journal.

COVID-19: Elderly day Labor Workers Most Affected by Pandemic

CalMatters (Oct. 15) quoted 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, about a study that found elderly day laborers in California are most affected by pandemic, and that the federal poverty standard does not accurately measure the cost of the pandemic because it “applies to all locations, and does not take into account differences in the cost of living in different areas of the country,” Wallace said. Ninez Ponce, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, was also referenced in the story.

COVID-19: UCLA researcher’s work opens doors to understanding pandemic’s early spread

Sciencemag (Oct. 13) quoted Dr. Marc Suchard, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, about research – published in the Nature Research journal Nature Communications and by the journal Science – that suggests that in both the United States and in Europe, sustained transmission networks of SARS-CoV-2 became established only after separate introductions of the virus that went undetected. “Our research shows that when you do early intervention and detection well, it can have a massive impact, both on preventing pandemics and controlling them once they progress,” Suchard said. “While the epidemic eventually slipped through, there were early victories that show us the way forward: Comprehensive testing and case identification are powerful weapons.”

COVID-19: There are many reasons why some Black Americans are wary of participating in vaccine trials

Popular Science (Oct. 12) interviewed Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about a task force formed by the National Medical Association to review vaccine candidates. “When you put a minimal number of African Americans in, you aren’t really able to see (what) might be the case for, say, people who are on antihypertensive medication or people who have sickle cell (anemia) or any other condition that may be prevalent in the Black community,” Mays said. “The value of an African American as dispensable and damageable and okay to lose, kill, etcetera…is not something that is forgotten.”

COVID-19: Before letting theme parks reopen, California Gov. Newsom is looking out of state

The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 12) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to study how amusement parks in other states have fared in the pandemic before allowing those in California to re-open. “With so much COVID transmission going on, how do you know if Person A got it at Epcot (at Walt Disney World in Florida) or at some shopping center,” Brewer said. The story also ran in the Bakersfield Californian.

COVID-19: Virus can Survive on Some Surfaces for Nearly a Month in lab Conditions

The Hill (Oct. 12) interviewed Dr. Peter Katona, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about research that found the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive for nearly a month in cooler, dark conditions on some surfaces, including glass and money. “The fact that virus on stainless steel is culturable in 28 days, does that mean in 28 days it was still transmissible? That’s the key question and this study did not answer that,” Katona said. “We don’t understand that very well at all. We don’t know how important that is. We don’t know how much virus it takes to do that.”

COVID-19: Numbers are Rising Again in Some Parts of California, but it’s too Early to Call it a new Surge

The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 11, Spanish) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about whether the state faces a surge in infections. “There’s probably bound to be a few more upticks when counties reopen because of the fact that you’re now going to be in situations where there is more opportunity for exposures,” Kim-Farley said.

 

FEATURES (Other broadcast)

UCLA Researchers Find Connection Between Reproductive Rights Restrictions and Low Birth Weight Babies

KNX-AM (Oct. 14) interviewed May Sudhinaraset, associate professor of the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, about a study she led, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which found American women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are less likely to give birth to low-birth weight babies. “We looked at almost 4 million birth records through the CDC,” Sudhinaraset said. “Evidence suggest that policies may influence needed access to essential reproductive services that delays care or (does) not allow women to obtain care that they need at all.”

Fielding School Alum Challenged for Sacramento City Council Seat

KXTV-TV (Oct. 14, ABC affiliate, Sacramento) interviewed Mai Vang, a 2011 alum of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and member of the Sacramento City Unified School District’s board, now in a November runoff for a seat on the Sacramento City Council. “Now, more than ever, we need leaders who have the education and training in public health to address the challenges in the community," Vang said. "At the core of the recovery, we've got to make sure that we center resources on families and communities hardest hit."

Women in States with Fewer Reproductive Health Restrictions Have Healthier Babies, Study Finds

CNN (Oct. 13) interviewed May Sudhinaraset, associate professor of the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, about a study she led, published in the December 2020 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, that found American women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are less likely to give birth to low-birth weight babies. “We know that compared to normal weight babies, low birth weight babies are more at risk for a number of different problems, including developing infections in the first few days of their lives, to more long-term outcomes, like delayed social development or learning disabilities,” Sudhinaraset said. “Reproductive rights policies can inhibit women from achieving their full health potential, and that in turn can cause chronic stress that results in worse birth outcomes." Researchers Jessica D. Gipson, associate professor of the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, and Marta Bornstein, a doctoral student at the Fielding School, were also referenced in the coverage, which included similar stories in some 50 other outlets, including MSN, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and MyNewsLA.

When Reproductive Rights are Less Restrictive, Babies are Born Healthier

KFI-AM (Oct. 13) quoted May Sudhinaraset, associate professor of the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, about a study she led, published in the December 2020 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, that found American women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are less likely to give birth to low-birth weight babies. “Our study provides evidence that reproductive rights policies play a critical role in advancing maternal and child health equity,” Sudhinaraset said. “Addressing the adverse consequences of structural racism requires examination of the historical and present-day policies that negatively affect women of color.” Researchers Jessica D. Gipson, associate professor of the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, and Marta Bornstein, a doctoral student at the Fielding School and the UCLA California Center for Population Research, were also referenced in the coverage, which included similar stories on City News Service, Health News Digest, UPI, News Medical, MedicalXPress, Sound Health, Sciencemag, Health Medicine, NewsColony, Tunisiesoir, Bioengineer, and Sciencenews.

Creating Environments for Flourishing Mental Health

The Quadcast (Oct. 13) interviewed David Eisenberg, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about his work as principal investigator of the Healthy Minds Study, a national survey study of student mental health. “There’s a huge need to do better than what we’re currently doing, and that’s clear in the data,” Eisenberg said. “We’re seeing fairly significant trends where distress is rising, mental health is declining among college students.”

 

FEATURES (other text and online)

Association of Black Women Physicians Honors UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Professor

The Los Angeles Sentinel (Oct. 16) reported that the Association of Black Women Physicians selected 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, for the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her studies on racism, social justice, and healing.

A New Comprehensive Approach to Measure Inequality in Preventable Infant Mortality

Publimetro Mexico (Oct. 16, Mexico) quoted Antonio Pedro Ramos, a researcher with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics, about his work, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, to create improved tools to identify children at the greatest risk of preventable deaths, based on surveys of more than 67 countries around the world. “Most deaths in children under the age of five do not occur among the poorest families,’ Ramos said. “Our study revealed that 65% of child deaths in Brazil and India occur outside (the) poorest families, while in Ukraine this figure is about 95%.” Ramos’ co-authors include Robert Weiss, Fielding School professor of biostatistics, and Martin J. Flores of the Department of General Internal Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Similar stories ran on Infosurhoy, Infobae, Infosalus, and Clarin.

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (Oct. 16) reported 12 items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health faculty and staff experts, FSPH efforts related to the pandemic, or other news. These included an item spotlighting Chandra Ford, Gilbert Gee, and Nina Harawa, and a second item spotlighting David Eisenman, Robert J. Kim-Farley, Roger Detels, Arturo Vargas Bustamante, Vickie Mays, Chandra Ford, Yifang Zhu, Richard J. Jackson, and Zuo-Feng Zhang, both under “Tips for Starting the Fall Semester.” Under “Preparedness and Response,” the Letter listed a piece focused on Anne Rimoin, and a second on Vickie Mays. Under “Events,” it listed an Oct. 20 seminar led by Michael Prelip, and an Oct. 21 forum led by Gerald Kominski. Under “Members in the News,” it listed a Los Angeles Times interview of Michael Jerrett and a New York Times interview of Anne Rimoin. Under “Member Research and Reports,” it listed an article in Virus Research by Christina Ramirez, and articles in Science and Nature Communications by Marc Suchard. Under “School and Program Updates,” it listed an interview with Janae Hubbard, and an article detailing honors for 42 faculty members: Onyebuchi A. ArahSudipto BanerjeeThomas R. BelinAnne L. ColemanCatherine CrespiRoger DetelsDavid EisenmanSusan EttnerChandra FordPatricia GanzGilbert GeeSander GreenlandRon D. HaysFelicia HodgeSteve HorvathMichael JerrettRobert KaplanMartin LeeGang LiJian LiMark LitwinElizabeth Rose MayedaVickie MaysAndré NelAnne PebleyNinez PonceThomas RiceAnne RimoinLinda RosenstockMarc A. SuchardMay SudhinarasetMel SuffetPaula TavrowStephanie TaylorSteven TeutschDawn UpchurchSteven P. WallaceMay WangRobert WeissKenneth WellsElizabeth (Becky) Yano, and Frederick Zimmerman.

Low Birth Weight Less Common in States With Fewer Reproductive Rights Restrictions

Healio (Oct. 15) interviewed Jessica D. Gipson, associate professor of the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, about a study she co-led,, published in the December 2020 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, that found American women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are less likely to give birth to low-birth weight babies. “Supportive reproductive rights policies protect the health of our mothers, our children and our communities,” Gipson said. “Our study builds on this body of evidence by demonstrating the important influence of reproductive rights policies on maternal and child health.”

Benefits of Dark Chocolate and the Best way to eat it

The Insider (Oct. 15) interviewed Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about why eating dark chocolate may be healthy. “It may simply be that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory parts, as well as the blood-thinning and blood-vessel relaxing properties of these chemicals, are what's responsible for lowering blood pressure,” Hunnes said. “The more cacao, the more healthy nutrients, the less sugar, and the less other potentially negative ingredients.” It also ran on MSN.

The U.S. Elections: The Polls are Stabilizing

The Economic Times (Oct. 15, India) published a commentary by Sudipto Banerjee, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics, on the U.S. presidential election. “Polling is a challenging exercise and several factors that contribute to polling errors are not easily controlled,” Banerjee wrote. “The analysis of such data is not as simple as looking at the proportion of sampled voters favoring one candidate over the other. Statistical models for analyzing polling data are designed to account for these extraneous factors and quantify uncertainty in the polls.” A related piece by Banerjee ran Sept. 24.

The True Story of the ‘Trial of the Chicago 7’

Smithsonian (Oct. 15) referenced John Froines, professor emeritus (Environmental Sciences) with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in a story about the upcoming Netflix production “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” set for release Friday. The film, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, will include actor Daniel Flaherty as Froines, who was acquitted by the jury in 1968 on all counts.

“A New Approach Identifies Children Under the age of Five Most Likely to die”

Scientific American (Oct. 14, Arabic) quoted Antonio Pedro Ramos, a researcher with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics, about his work, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, to create improved tools to identify children at the greatest risk of preventable deaths, based on surveys of more than 67 countries around the world. “Most deaths in children under the age of five do not occur among the poorest families,’ Ramos said. “Our study revealed that 65% of child deaths in Brazil and India occur outside (the) poorest families, while in Ukraine this figure is about 95%.” Ramos’ co-authors include Robert Weiss, Fielding School professor of biostatistics, and Martin J. Flores of the Department of General Internal Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Similar stories ran in News Medical, Science Daily, Medical X Press, and Al Khaleej Today (UAE).

Fewer Tiny Newborns in States With More Reproductive Rights: Study

US News & World Report (Oct. 14) quoted May Sudhinaraset, associate professor of the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Community Health Sciences, about a study she led, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which found American women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are less likely to give birth to low-birth weight babies. “Our study provides evidence that reproductive rights policies play a critical role in advancing maternal and child health equity," Sudhinaraset said. “Important policy levers can and should be implemented to improve women's reproductive health overall, including increasing abortion access and mandatory sex education in schools.” Similar stories ran on HealthDay and Science Daily.

Biden is Healthier, Study says, but Both Presidential Candidates may be ‘Super-agers’

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Oct. 14) referenced Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences, in an article about a study he co-authored for the Journal on Active Aging, set for publication in October, about the health of both U.S. 2020 presidential candidates.

Panel to Discuss Sexual Violence in Sports, College

The Daily Bruin (Oct. 13) interviewed Jennifer Wagman, UCLA Fielding School assistant professor of community health sciences, about an Oct. 14 UC Speaks Up event focusing on sexual violence awareness and prevention among college communities. “There’s no one-off fix to something like this,” Wagman said. “It’s something that needs to be addressed as a society and handled over time, because I think change only happens one step at a time.” Kamila Tan, (Fielding School MPH, ‘20), who will moderate the discussion, was also quoted. A similar item ran on Science News.

Veggie Straws are Less Healthy Than you Think

MEL (Oct. 11) interviewed Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about whether veggie straws are actually healthy. “Veggie straws aren’t just dehydrated vegetables,” Hunnes said. “They’re basically white flour or another white starch that may have some small amount of dehydrated vegetables in them to provide flavor or more likely color.”

Latino Seniors in California do not Make Enough to Live on

Telemundo (Oct. 11, Spanish) 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, about the latest Elder Index data, what it means for older adult Latinos, their financial security and well-being. Wallace commented on low income levels and other factors that contribute to less financial security for this population, including working after retirement to make ends meet.