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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of September 20, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
September 20, 2020 to September 26, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: “This virus will spread where it can … ignore political rhetoric and listen to science”

CNN (Sept. 25) 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 an increase in new infections in the United States. “We are moving in the wrong direction and at a very critical moment,” Rimoin said. “We are not different; this virus will spread where it can … my advice is to ignore political rhetoric and listen to science.”

Are people who vote healthier than those who don’t?

KPCC-FM (Sept. 24) interviewed Susan Babey, a researcher at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about a study that found Californians in good health are more likely to vote. “We think the differences in who votes can contribute to policies,” Babey said. “And if people who vote have better physical and mental health than those who don’t vote, then policies may fail to meet the health needs of Californians who are less healthy, who face barriers in access to health care, and who live in disadvantaged communities. Which could, in turn, lead to greater health inequities.”

COVID-19: The consequences for immigrants of the new public charge rule

Univision (Sept. 23, Spanish) 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 consequences of the new public charge rule, which denies legal residency in the U.S. to immigrants who receive public benefits after February 24, 2020, potentially including pandemic-related benefits.

COVID-19: U.S. hits grim milestone of 200,000 deaths, within the total of almost 1 million dead world-wide

CNN (Sept. 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, about the fact of 200,000 pandemic-related dead in the United States the same week President Trump said the virus “affects virtually nobody” under 18. “I want people to ignore that statement; that statement is patently untrue,” Rimoin said. “That’s not true. It can affect young people, it can affect old people.”

COVID-19: As the U.S. approaches a death toll of 200,000, Trump Administration’s mixed messages weakens the response

CNN (Sept. 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, about failures in the federal public health response. “COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer,” Rimoin said. “It is a huge problem when the most powerful person in America is not embracing the word of public health (experts, and) in fact is encouraging people to be close together, not wearing masks, and really promoting opportunities for this virus to spread.” 

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: How early was the pandemic in the U.S.?

General Surgery News (Sept. 26) quoted Dr. Joann Elmore, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about her Journal of Medical Internet Research study that found a 50% increase in patients with respiratory complaints at UCLA Health hospitals and clinics in December through February, compared with the same period in the previous five years. “You could say that maybe this was a bad year for influenza. But this would be really, really bad,” Elmore said. “Again, we saw numbers well above what you’d expect by chance.” Elmore’s co-authors include FSPH dean and distinguished professor of biostatistics Ron Brookmeyer and doctoral student Douglas Morrison.

COVID-19: Paid sick leave is a powerful public health tool

The Montreal Gazette (Sept. 25) published a commentary co-written by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health researchers Erin Bresnahan and Gonzalo Moreno, Canadian scholars at the Fielding School’s WORLD Policy Analysis Center, about the importance of Canada’s paid sick leave benefits in the country’s largely successful pandemic response. “COVID-19 has highlighted serious gaps in Canada’s patchwork and employer-dependent paid sick leave policies,” the authors wrote. “Paid sick leave for all workers from the first day of illness, whatever the illness, is feasible and common across our peer countries, and has the potential to save lives while reducing costs. In both pandemic and non-pandemic times, it is a wise investment in our collective health and the economy.” The op-ed ran in 15 other outlets, mostly in Canada and Europe.

COVID-19: Will hazardous air quality from wildfires fuel an increase in severe cases and deaths?

KHN (Sept. 24) interviewed Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor of health policy and management, and Michael Jerrett, professor of environmental health sciences, aboutthe new Center for Healthy Climate Solutions at the university, including research into whether hazardous air quality from wildfires will fuel an increase in severe COVID-19 cases and deaths. “There is no doubt the effects of air pollution on the lungs and other organs are substantial and contribute to people with chronic problems being more susceptible to the severe effects of COVID,” Fielding said.

COVID-19: In Los Angeles, Latinos hit hard by pandemic’s economic storm

California Healthline (Sept. 24) quoted David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact of the pandemic on Latinos in California. “In April the Latino [labor force participation] rate bounced right back up and actually has continued to increase slowly, whereas the non-Latino rate is dropping,” Hayes-Bautista said. “The reward that Latinos have for their high work ethic is a high rate of poverty.”

COVID-19: What's safe, and what might be risky, at a football game

Health (Sept. 24) 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 football season and the pandemic. “Activities that involve bringing together a large number of people, like tailgating and going to a football stadium, are always higher risk,” Rimoin said. “If you choose to go, please make sure to wear a mask and social distance at all times, even when you're in line to get in or use a restroom.”

COVID-19: Is Halloween safe this year?

AARP Health (Sept. 24) ) 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 Halloween and the pandemic. “The rules of virus transmission don't change because it's a holiday,” Rimoin said. “There is no zero-risk scenario when mixing with others outside your household in the midst of a pandemic, especially in areas where community spread is elevated.”

COVID-19: High labor force participation may explain higher case and mortality rates among Latinos

The San Fernando Valley Business Journal (Sept. 24) referenced a report co-written by David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, and Paul Hsu, assistant professor of epidemiology, that focuses on Latinos’ contribution to the U.S. economy, including labor force participation. “This high labor force participation may also explain some of the higher COVID-19 case and mortality rates among Latinos,” Hsu said. “Latinos are overrepresented in many essential industries, and they continued to work outside the home even though this increased their exposure to the virus. It is this remarkable work ethic that will be one of the drivers of the recovery.”

COVID-19: Rule change harms immigrants and the recovery from the pandemic

La Opinion (Sept. 23, Spanish) 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 consequences for immigrants to the United States of the new public charge rule. “Enforcing the public charge rule during the pandemic harms not only affected immigrants, but also everyone's prospects for a faster recovery from this pandemic,” Ponce said. “From a public health perspective, if any United States resident cannot get the care they need during this pandemic, then it is as if the government broke its contract to protect the health of the American people." The EFE story also ran on Yahoo News, El Diario (NY), and Noticias del Mundo, among others.

COVID-19: City Council candidate cites public health background as “no better preparation” for public service

The Los Angeles Daily News (Sept. 23) reported on the candidacy for Calabasas (CA) City Council of Susan Fredericks-Ploussard, a ’16 EMPH alumnus of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “When the pandemic hit, I believe with my master’s in public health, I could assist the city and school district management in their efforts to handle the next phases of further reopening of schools and businesses,” Fredericks-Ploussard added. “A public health education may seem like an unconventional path to the city council, but I can think of no better preparation for our road ahead.”

COVID-19: Experts warn disease may surge in fall, winter as death toll in U.S. tops 200,000

Xinhua (Sept. 23) interviewed Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished professor of epidemiology and associate dean for research, about the likelihood of a surge in the U.S. in coming months, including from students returning to school. “Large gatherings of students on campus, in classrooms and restaurants, may make schools a hotbed for outbreaks,” Zhang said. “If strong protective measures are not in place, there will be high risks of local outbreaks.”

COVID-19: Experts evaluate Biden’s plan

Nikkei (Sept. 22) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about former Vice President Joe Biden’s plans to address the pandemic, including mandatory mask wearing and increased testing. “It's the right thing to do,” Jackson said. “We need quick reporting of test results and advanced data analysis. It's highly confidential without political intervention. We have to improve the infrastructure.”

COVID-19: City Council candidate, public health professional, cites pandemic as reason for candidacy

The Ventura County Star (Sept. 22) interviewed Christina Reyes Villaseñor, a ’06 MPH alumnus of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about her run for city council in Fillmore, California. “This pandemic has put a spotlight on the disparities that have long existed in cities and communities large and small with regard to transportation, services for youth and families, including child and after-school care, and enrichment and recreation activities for young people,” Reyes Villasenor said. “We (need) an equitable Fillmore city budget that addresses the needs of the more vulnerable in our community and invests in our youth and families.”

COVID-19: UCLA needs to account for off-campus housing when implementing COVID-19 measures

The Daily Bruin (Sept. 22) interviewed Deborah Glik, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, and Dr. Peter Katona, professor of epidemiology, on the need for the university to assess student activities off campus. “There may be outbreaks, and there may be clusters, but those can be controlled; you don’t have to end all human activities forever,” Glik said.

COVID-19: A vaccine is one thing. Getting Americans to take it is another

The Los Angeles Times (Sept. 21) published a commentary co-written by Robert Kaplan, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health distinguished research professor of health policy and management, about the challenges to an effective vaccination program in the U.S. “To attain herd immunity, a very large number of people must be vaccinated. This will require a prodigious global supply chain, equitable access to the vaccine and, perhaps most daunting in the case of the United States, the willingness of people to take it,” the authors wrote. “If getting Americans to wear a mask is hard, getting them to take a COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be even harder.”

COVID-19: "The testing ability is still insufficient" 

Nikkei (Sept. 21) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about the U.S. capacity to test for coronavirus. “We need to revamp our system for collecting and analyzing test results,” Jackson said.

 

FEATURES (Other)

Biden is healthier and will live longer, study says, but both presidential candidates may be ‘super-agers’

The Los Angeles Times (Sept. 25) 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 and set for publication in October. In the article - Projected lifespan and healthspan of Joe Biden and Donald Trump before the 2020 election - the authors wrote that “Donald Trump and Joe Biden come from family histories of exceptional longevity (e.g., familial longevity). As such, there is suggestive evidence that both candidates are likely to be “super agers”—a subgroup of people that maintain their mental and physical functioning into late life and tend to live longer than the average person their age.”

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

The ASPPH Friday Letter (Sept. 25) reported 15 items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts, FSPH efforts related to the pandemic, or other news. These included a message from FSPH dean and distinguished professor of biostatistics Ron Brookmeyer and an interview with professor Deborah Glik, of the department of Community Health Sciences, and Dr. Neal Baer, a former FSPH Community Health Sciences faculty member. The Letter also listed a commentary by Dr. Jonathan Fielding, distinguished professor of health policy and management, Dr. Steven M. Teutsch, professor of health policy and management, and Ms. Ellie Faustino, research associate, that ran in all 11 Southern California Newspaper Group papers. The Friday Letter also listed the Sept. 29 joint seminar by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and UCLA, with the involvement of Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, distinguished professor of epidemiology; Dr. Timothy Brewer, professor of epidemiology; Dr. Zunyou Wu, adjunct professor of epidemiology, Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences, and Brookmeyer, among others. The Sept. 29 APRU event and the Oct. 9 Paul Torrens Health Forum, led by professor of health policy and management Gerald Kominski, were both listed under “Events.” The Letter also included interviews of Michael Jerrett, professor of environmental health sciences, in the Wall Street Journal, and of Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, on CNN. Under “Member Research and Reports,” the Letter listed a study by Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management, and researchers Susan Babey and Joelle Wolstein, as well as a study by by David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, and Paul Hsu, assistant professor of epidemiology. Under “School and Program Updates,” the Letter included Dean Brookmeyer’s introduction to “Moment of Reckoning,” the latest edition of the UCLA Public Health magazine. Under “Faculty and Staff Honors,” the Letter listed the Faculty Honors & Service piece in UCLA Public Health, which recognized professors Onyebuchi A. Arah, Sudipto Banerjee, Thomas R. Belin, Anne L. Coleman, Catherine Crespi, Roger Detels, David Eisenman, Susan Ettner, Chandra Ford, Patricia Ganz, Gilbert Gee, Sander Greenland, Ron D. Hays, Felicia Hodge, Steve Horvath, Michael Jerrett, Robert Kaplan, Martin Lee, Gang Li, Jian Li, Mark Litwin, Elizabeth Rose Mayeda, Vickie Mays, André Nel, Anne Pebley, Ninez Ponce, Thomas Rice, Anne Rimoin, Linda Rosenstock, Marc A. Suchard, May Sudhinaraset, Mel Suffet, Paula Tavrow, Stephanie Taylor, Steven Teutsch, Dawn Upchurch, Steven P. Wallace, May Wang, Robert Weiss, Kenneth Wells, Elizabeth (Becky) Yano, and Frederick Zimmerman for various honors. In addition, a commentary in the American Journal of Public Health by Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, was listed. Under “Student and Alumni Achievement,” the public service in the U.S. of FSPH alums Jamie Cassutt-Sanchez, Cricel Molina de Mesa, and Mai Vang was recognized, as was that in Singapore of alum Angela Chow.

As fires and floods wreak havoc on health, new climate center seeks solutions

California Healthline(Sept. 23)interviewed Dr. Jonathan Fielding, UCLA FSPH distinguished professor of health policy and management, and Michael Jerrett, professor of environmental health sciences, aboutthe new Center for Healthy Climate Solutions at the university. “A lot of the predictions of what could happen with climate change have been wrong. But the predictions have been wrong in that they haven’t been catastrophic enough,” Fielding said. The piece included a lengthy Q&A with both, and also ran on LAist, NewsBreak, E News Planet, the Daily Echoed, and in the California Healthline Daily Edition e-newsletter.

The luxury air business is booming — as many Californians struggle to breathe

The Los Angeles Times (Sept. 23) interviewed Michael Jerrett, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, about the public health implications of air quality based on neighborhood locations and the built environment. “We see quite a consistent pattern that Black and Latinx people are exposed to higher levels of air pollution, particularly localized pollution,” Jerrett said. It also ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer, San Diego Union-Tribune, Bakersfield Californian, and Solano County (CA) Daily Republic, among others.

Ebola survivors face health issues long after recovery

Healio (Sept. 23) 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 Ebola outbreaks in Central Africa. “It’s very likely that the burden of these long-term health effects would impact overall quality of life,” Rimoin said.

We need immediate action against climate change to survive

Well+Good (Sept. 23) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, for a story about the threats to human health from climate change, including the spread of vector-borne illness because disease-carrying insects like ticks and mosquitoes thrive in warmer climates. “The northern border for the ticks that carry Lyme disease used to be southern Vermont,” Brewer said. “Because of global warming and climate change, you can now find those ticks all the way into Canada.”

This incredibly common fiber mistake

Well+Good (Sept. 23) interviewed Dana Hunnes, assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about making sure extra fiber intake is balanced by extra water to prevent discomfort. “The general recommendation is roughly 1 ounce of water per kilogram of body weight,” Hunnes said. “For example, a 140 pound woman would need 64 ounces of water per day.”

Five reasons why we need to talk about losing a baby during pregnancy

AsiaOne (Sept. 21) quoted Dr. Jorn Olsen, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about mental health and miscarriages. “(Mothers) face the greatest risk during the first year after the child dies but remained significantly elevated five years or more after the death,” Olsen said. “We also found a dose-effect – mothers who lose more than one child, have a greater risk.”

Los Angeles suffered deadly heat, yet chairs sat empty at its cooling centers

The Los Angeles Times (Sept. 19) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about the utility of cooling centers set up by the City of Los Angeles as a response to the extreme heat in the region over Labor Day weekend. “Cooling centers are relatively underutilized across the U.S.,” Eisenman said. “If it’s a library, people will go to a library and use that. If it’s a senior center they’ve gone to, they’ll be happy to go on an extreme heat day; (otherwise) you’re not necessarily going to take the leap.”