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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of October 4, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
October 4, 2020 to October 10, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: Genetic information could shed light on White House outbreak

CNN (Oct. 7) 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 potential benefit of using genetic sequencing to analyze the results of tests administered to the White House staff. “Those swabs that are being taken from everybody while they are being tested do carry important genetic information that can tell you about where this virus came from, which strain the virus is, if there were multiple introductions, and we can trace how it went from one person to another, all looking at this genetic bar code,” Rimoin said. “It will be able to let us construct a timeline for how this happened and who really transmitted to whom, but it will also tell us so much about what’s going wrong with their strategy.”

COVID-19: State of pandemic and the President’s illness

KPCC-FM (Oct. 7, begins at 19:30) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, for the flagship “Take Two” program about the state of the pandemic, including President Trump’s illness. “He probably had the virus for 3-4 days before he really was showing symptoms, which meant he probably had it during the debate,” Jackson said. “Once the symptoms appear, and he probably was spreading it for a day or two before he had symptoms, they can last up to 10 days and he can be infectious that whole time … this is not something to be casual about.”

COVID-19: New health equity metric

KQED-FM (Oct. 7, San Francisco NPR) interviewed 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, about the new health equity metric being implemented to target and aid LA County’s most at-risk communities, including Black, Latino, and Pacific-Islander groups. “It really is incentivizing counties to focus their resources on the sickest,” Ponce said.

COVID-19: The White House is “going in the face of what we know works in public health”

MSNBC (Oct. 6) 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 reports the Trump Administration has rebuffed offers of the CDC’s assistance in contact tracing after the White House outbreak. “The CDC is the gold standard of contact tracing (and) the fact this agency has been sidelined again is very concerning,” Rimoin said. “This is possibly the most high profile super spreader event in history, and what we are seeing here is a complete and total disregard for CDC guidelines.”

COVID-19: New health equity metric

KPCC-FM (Oct. 6) interviewed 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, about the new health equity metric being implemented to target and aid LA County’s most at-risk communities, including Black, Latino, and Pacific-Islander groups. “It really is incentivizing counties to focus their resources on the sickest,” Ponce said. The interview also appeared in LAist. (The interview starts at 25:30 on the KPCC-FM clip).

The Supreme Court and the future of the Affordable Care Act

MPR News (Oct. 6) interviewed 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, about the future of the Affordable Care Act, its advantages and drawbacks, and the debate on cost and health premiums. “When pregnancy was considered a preexisting conduction, (women) couldn’t get coverage,” Ponce said. “I hope the cost containment piece and the affordability piece is addressed.”

COVID-19: Minimizing the risks with 210,000 dead in U.S. in dangerous

Spectrum One (Oct. 5) 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, for the “Inside the Issues” program aboutthe pandemic, including President Trump’s Oct. 5 “Don’t be afraid of Covid” statement. “We’ve had almost 210,000 deaths here in the United States, and so many infections,” Rimoin said. “It’s not appropriate to be minimizing the importance of COVID-19 … from CDC guidelines and the science that’s behind it, people should be minimizing contact with others for at least 10 days after on-set of symptoms.”

COVID-19: UCLA epidemiologist explains President’s diagnosis

Spectrum One (Oct. 5) 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 President Donald Trump’s diagnosis and how to understand who is vulnerable to infection. “According to CDC guidelines, people who are COVID-19 positive need to quarantine at least for 10 days, if they have mild disease,” Rimoin said. “At this point he should not be around other people, because he’s contagious and puts other people at risk.”

COVID-19: The demand to hire and train contact tracers is rising

KTTV-TV (Oct. 5) interviewed Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology, about hiring, training, and deploying contact tracers as part of California’s response to the pandemic. “When people are contacted and told that they need to quarantine, they need to monitor themselves for symptoms,” Shafir said. “it can have a very clear impact on that individual's life, and making sure they're really receiving appropriate testing and care, and they're working really hard to prevent exposing other people unnecessarily.”

COVID-19: How did this virus make it into the White House?

Fox News (Oct. 4) 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 need to perform contact tracing on everyone who may have been exposed at White House and related events in the past week. “You need to figure out who has been in contact with anybody that has tested positive,” Rimoin said. “Once we have that information, we need to be testing everybody and testing them regularly to understand who may have been infected and who hasn’t.”

COVID-19: UCLA epidemiologist explains Trump’s diagnosis

KTLA-TV (Oct. 4) 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 health implications of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and his subsequent actions, including trip to political events last week. “The president is in an age group and has comorbidities, or underlying conditions, that actually put him in a risk category that is much higher than other groups, for either severe disease or even death,” Rimoin said. “The CDC guidelines are very clear: if somebody has been exposed to a case of COVID-19, they should quarantine for 14 days.” The interview also ran on the “Inside California Politics” program, broadcast on KTXL-TV (Sacramento), KSEE-TV (Fresno), and KRON-TV (San Francisco).

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: How to make trick-or-treating safer this year

Simplemost (Oct. 10) 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, about the risks of trick or treating. “Viruses don’t take holidays,” Rimoin said. “Until the community has low transmission rates, lots of things won’t be back to normal. The way a virus transmits doesn’t change because we’re in holiday mode.”

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. 9) 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.

COVID-19: At Disney World, ‘worst fears’ about virus have not come true

The New York Times (Oct. 9) 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 risks of infection being spread through entertainment venues, including amusement parks. “Just because we don’t have ample evidence of it happening — yet — doesn’t mean it’s not happening,” Rimoin said. “There is simply no zero-risk scenario here. When you create opportunities for large numbers of people to come together, you are providing opportunities for the virus to spread.” It also ran on ABS-CBN (Philippines).

COVID-19: NO certainty 2020 will end with fewer total U.S. deaths than 2018 and 2019

Lead Stories (Oct. 9) quoted Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, for a fact check on claims the pandemic’s contribution to overall U.S. mortality in 2020 has been overblown is misguided. “The US has averaged about 30,000 COVID deaths per month since the big jump at the beginning of April. We are now at 211,000 deaths and have 3 months left,” Jackson said. “We will almost certainly exceed 300,000 by the end of the year. There is no believable prospect for a vaccine in 2020.”

COVID-19: “Charting a pandemic-resistant path forward”

Health Affairs (Oct. 9) published a commentary co-written by Dr. Carol Mangione, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, on frailties in how the U.S. measures health and health care. “Social, demographic, and economic disparities impose unevenness in access to and use of health and preventive services,” the authors wrote. “Given that COVID-19 revealed these frailties—is there a pandemic-resistant path forward to measuring health and health care quality?”

COVID-19: Maps show how air pollution and pandemic can be a deadly mix

The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 8) interviewed Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, for the “Boiling Point” column about the links between poor air quality and risk of contracting coronavirus. “What we’re seeing in the L.A. study is definitely clear signals that people who live in more polluted neighborhoods tend to have higher death rates from COVID,” Jerrett said. “Their outcomes tend to be worse. They tend to go to the ICU more. They tend to be intubated more.” Dr. Paul Simon, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health 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 referenced.

COVID-19: Flying for Thanksgiving? How to stay safe during the pandemic

Verywell Health (Oct. 8) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about how travelers can protect themselves during the pandemic, including whether to travel at all. “There will not be one right answer for everyone, as people weigh risks and benefits differently,” Brewer said. “If there is no history of COVID-19 exposure, going into quarantine is not always necessary just because of travel … it depends on the risk for COVID-19 infection in the place the traveler is leaving from and arriving to.”

COVID-19: What do we know about superspreader events in the pandemic?

The Associated Press (Oct. 7) 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, about “superspreader” events, where a gathering – like the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event linked to the current outbreak among White House staff - is linked to a large number of cases. “Contact tracing is the way you get to the bottom of a superspreader event … that’s how you break chains of transmission,” Rimoin said. “It’s an opportunity to learn about superspreader events that could save thousands of lives, if not millions of lives, in the long run.” It ran in more than 140 other outlets, including Yahoo News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

COVID-19: Why Kamala Harris is still showing up tonight

The Atlantic (Oct. 7) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about President Trump’s illness and the scheduled Oct. 15 presidential debate, which may take place as a remote “virtual” event. “If he is asymptomatic, and if he is (feeling) better, he is probably unlikely to be infectious, but there is no 100 percent way to prove that,” Brewer said. “There are very few guarantees in life. The question is: Why not do it remote?” The story also ran on MSN.

COVID-19: Toilet etiquette to reduce spread

US News & World Report (Oct. 7) interviewed Dr. Brennan Spiegel, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of Health Policy and Management, about making masks, hand hygiene, toilet lids and paper towels part of prevention. “If infectious virus can come out of the stool, how can that spread to another person?” Spiegel said. “One worry is fecal-oral, where, let's say, a restaurant worker didn't clean his or her hands and passes it into the food.”

COVID-19: “Biden says cancel next debate if Trump remains sick”

The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 6) 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 trustworthiness of medical information released by a White House that has refused to do full contact tracing to contain its outbreak of a disease that has killed 210,000 Americans. “This is about understanding possibly one of the largest super-spreading events — and certainly the most high-profile one — in history,” Rimoin said. “This is a scandal of epic proportions.”

COVID-19: Super spreaders - what the CDC wants you to know

The Healthy (Oct. 6) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about the likelihood the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event linked to the current outbreak among White House staff was a “superspreader” events, linked to a large number of cases. “Any event or incidence where more people got infected than you would expect in usual circumstances,” Eisenman said. “We need to take care, especially as we go into the winter to be in well-ventilated spaces and as much as possible outdoors.” It also ran on MSN.

COVID-19: “Looms over Trump’s first day back at work”

Politico (Oct. 6) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about whether President Trump - and any other asymptomatic yet contagious staffers - are potentially putting aides at risk. “It's analogous to what healthcare workers were experiencing back in the spring,” Eisenman said. “They were walking into a room with inadequate PPE and have to think about how they’re bringing it home to others.”

COVID-19: Car service drivers face a bleak choice

The Verge (Oct. 5) interviewed Yifang Zhu, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences and associate dean for academic programs, about the risks the pandemic and wildfire smoke place on car service drivers. “When people are in close proximity in a confined space, such as two people inside a vehicle, it does increase the risk of COVID,” Zhu said.

COVID-19: “The primary focus for any patient (should) be recovering”

The Daily Beast (Oct. 4) quoted Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the president’s decision to leave the hospital Oct. 4 for a drive past supporters. “In general, if someone is ill enough (with the coronavirus) that they need to be in the hospital for observation, it’s probably not wise to send them out on (non-essential care) trips,” Brewer said. “The primary focus for any patient who’s sick enough to be in the hospital from COVID-19 should be recovering.” The story also ran on Yahoo News.

 

FEATURES (Other)

Chancellor Block, vice chancellors discuss campus policing

The Daily Bruin (Oct. 10) referenced the appointment of Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, to a new position to advise Chancellor Gene Block on issues affecting the Black community.

Effects of poverty on childhood development seen in children as young as five

News Medical (Oct. 9) quoted Dr. Neal Halfon, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about a study, published in Health Affairs, he co-led that found that health inequities can be measured in children as young as five years old. “Our findings underscore the pronounced racialized disparities for young children,” said Halfon, director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. “Many other studies have highlighted patterns of income and racial inequality in health and educational outcomes. What this study shows is that these patterns of inequality are clearly evident and measurable before kids start school.” Similar pieces ran on KNBC-TV (Los Angeles), Sciencemag, Science Daily, Science News, MedicalXpress, Health News Digest, and Sound Health and Lasting Wealth.

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (Oct. 9) reported two items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts, FSPH efforts related to the pandemic, or other news. Under “Preparedness and Response,” these included a feature on Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, and her work related to the current pandemic. Under “Members in the News,” the Letter listed an interview by Spectrum One of Dr. Jonathan Fielding, distinguished professor of health policy and management, about climate change andthe new Center for Healthy Climate Solutions at the university.

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health to host conference on addressing health care inequities

Science News (Oct. 9) quoted 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, for an advance about the Oct. 14 E.R. Brown Symposium themed Healing a Fractured Society: Health Care as a Right. “Our aim is to not only magnify the many issues that the pandemic has raised during an unprecedented time of civil unrest, but propose action to resolve these systemic issues by looking closely at root causes,” Ponce said. “We hope attendees gain a strong sense of empowerment to tackle and eliminate health inequities which are interwoven with so many other social aspects of our everyday lives.”

Yogurt consumption and colorectal cancer incidence and mortality

Physician’s Weekly (Oct. 8) reported on a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition co-written by Karin Michels, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, on the relation between regular yogurt consumption and the incidence of and mortality from colorectal cancer. “No statistically significant inverse trend was observed between yogurt consumption and the colorectal cancer mortality,” the authors wrote. “In these large cohorts, the frequency of yogurt consumption was associated with a reduced risk of proximal colon cancer with a long latency period. No significant inverse trend was observed for colorectal cancer mortality.” Michels’ co-authors included UCLA Fielding School of Public Health scholar Rita Vaidya.

UCLA FSPH alum’s candidacy for Culver City School Board

The Culver City Patch (Oct. 8) interviewed Paula Amezola de Herrera, an alum (MPH, ’02) of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about her campaign for a seat on the Culver City Unified School Board of Education. “Fighting for equity in the schools is one of my top priorities. CCUSD is one of the most diverse school districts in the country,” Amezola de Herrera said. “While it does an excellent job of educating certain groups of students, other groups are left behind. According to the California Dashboard, the students with the greatest challenges in our district are our youth that live in foster homes, children with disabilities, English learners, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and children without stable housing.”

“Mothers like my mother are now protected by the Affordable Care Act”

Viet Bao (Oct. 7, Vietnamese) published a commentary by Linh Chuong, a doctoral student at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the importance of political engagement among the Vietnamese-American community. “Mothers like my mother are now protected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but these and many more are at stake, especially for migrant women,” Chuong wrote. “My Vietnamese immigrant mother understood why I got involved in politics like that, but she just needed to look in the mirror. This November I will vote for mothers like my mother.”

“There's just one problem with Biden's plan for reducing maternal deaths”

Romper (Oct. 6) interviewed Nadereh Pourat, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, and Rebekah Israel Cross, a health policy research scholar at the Fielding School’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health, about proposals to address the maternal mortality rate crisis in the United States, which is acute among Black mothers. “An initiative without teeth doesn’t work as well as it should,” Pourat said. “If you identify that there’s institutional racism, then you need to have a mechanism for checking to see whether providers have actually changed their behavior.”

Los Angeles’ leaders must confront environmental inequities affecting communities of color

The Daily Bruin (Oct. 6) interviewed Dr. Beate Ritz, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and of environmental health sciences, for a commentary about how air and noise pollution from traffic and Los Angeles International Airport impact the city’s low-income communities. “When you are actually mapping out the most affected inner-city areas, we know that the (nitric oxide) and (nitrogen dioxide) levels from traffic are the highest for low-income communities,” Ritz said.

Do multivitamins really help?

The Oklahoman (Oct. 6) quoted William McCarthy, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, about Americans’ use of multivitamins. “Like most insurance, taking a multivitamin will be a waste of money for most people, but the minority will benefit greatly,” McCarthy said. “Most people get the vitamins and nutrients they need through their diet. Multivitamins are gilding the lily.”