Allison Bracy hugs her daughter Brielle Bracy, 10,
at a protest in Riverside, California yesterday.
Image: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/Getty
How to Undo Racism’s Attack on Public Health
America, reeling from crises brought on by police
brutality and a virus that takes disproportionate aim at people
of color, must now reckon with the racism that paved the path for
impact on health “starts from
infancy”: African-American babies die at twice the rate of
white babies before their first birthday, says Lisa Cooper,
director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute.
The protests against racism are happening against the
backdrop of a pandemic and "the financial
stresses of being poor, the social stresses of being from a
marginalized group with a history of institutionalized,
sanctioned mistreatment by law enforcement," says Cooper.
Here's how the public health community can help, she says:
the links between social conditions and health clear—it's
not about individual behaviors
the tone for other sectors to follow—like health care, law
enforcement, transportation, and housing
some of the health equity and social justice aspects of
public health into the curricular mainstream—not just in
courses and concentrations
Copoer is particularly excited
about her Institute's anti-racism training for bystanders that
ensures racist and biased behavior doesn’t go unchecked.
"Our fates are intertwined … If we want to be
healthier and have more opportunities, it’s not enough to just
worry about ourselves," she says.
retractions: Top medical journals have pulled 2
widely publicized papers on potential COVID-19 treatments: the Lancet
paper had raised doubts about the safety of
chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine; the New
England Journal of Medicine paper examined blood
pressure medication as a COVID-19 treatment. STAT
will be required to include data on race,
ethnicity, and other demographic data in the results of COVID-19
tests, the Trump administration announced
Thursday after facing backlash for failing to collect such
information earlier in the pandemic. NPR
refugees with COVID-19 are fleeing quarantine in
Bangladesh, fearful of being relocated to an isolated island in
the Bay of Bengal. New
chief Robert Redfield said that police violence
protesters need to get tested for COVID-19 amid concern that
gatherings could “seeding” events, particularly those in regions
where the outbreak is not yet contained—including Minneapolis and
Washington, DC. The
Does drug touted by Trump work on COVID-19? After data debacle,
we still don't know – Reuters
One of the biggest questions around an eventual COVID-19 vaccine:
Will it be equitably deployed throughout the world?
Inspired by previous efforts around Ebola and pneumococcal
the Vaccine Alliance has launched a $2 billion funding
mechanism aimed at ensuring a COVID-19 vaccine reaches the most
The plan—which is only the first step in a larger
effort—incentivizes drug makers to ramp up production capacity by
offering volume guarantees before candidates are licensed, which
would speed up deployment when the vaccine arrives.
World leaders are getting behind the push, more aware than ever
that global vaccine collaboration will be key to ending the
And with rising vaccine skepticism, communication will be key to
convincing the public that a super-expedited approval process
didn’t skimp on safety, CNN
Top U.S. scientists left out of White House selection of COVID-19
vaccine shortlist – Science
Bill Gates’ bold plan for when a Covid-19 vaccine finally arrives
COVID-19: Three Reasons Why It Is Unlikely that We Get Vaccinated
before 2021 – IS
COVID-19 vaccine development pipeline gears up – The
In the race for a vaccine, children may be last to be vaccinated
bullets. Tear gas. Flash grenades.
by police since the 1880s, so-called “nonlethal” weapons have
been deployed by police to quell protesters this week. Their name
obscures how dangerous they can be,
Popular Science reports.
rubber bullets shot into crowds of protesters can potentially
“disable, disfigure and even kill,”
NBC reports. In Minneapolis, a photojournalist was
blinded in one eye after being hit with one.
not much is known about how police deploy rubber bullets‚ as they
are not required to document their use. There are also no
national standards for their use.
advise only aiming them at the lower body under of a “violent
individual.” But when fired at close range, they can break bones,
“explode the eyeball,” or cause traumatic brain injuries—shot
from a distance, they could easily hit the wrong target.
If I take
immune-suppressing medication, should I stop so I'll have a
better chance of avoiding COVID-19 infection?
into COVID-19 and patients who take immunosuppressing drugs is
still scarce. However, investigations
from Italy found that patients with systemic
autoimmune diseases do not seem to have an increased risk of
to say, immunosuppression impairs innate and adaptive immunity
and is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness. While this
holds true for the majority of patients, a subset of COVID-19
patients exhibit “hyper-inflammation"—an immune system
activation triggered by the virus. The impact of initiating
immunosuppression in these COVID-19 patients is being tested in
several ongoing clinical trials.
Patients should consult with their physician on the need to take
immune system-suppressing medication. Some circumstances, such as
organ transplantation, require long-term intake of
immunosuppressing drugs, and abrupt withdrawal poses a risk to
patients to have organ failure due to rejection. This, in turn,
would lead to hospitalization and the need to intensify
treatment—increasing not only the chance of becoming infected but
also the risk of a severe COVID-19 disease course.
MD, PhD, is a researcher at the Medical University
Innsbruck, specializing in glomerular diseases and autoimmunity.
Views and opinions expressed in this email do not necessarily
reflect those of the Bloomberg School. Contributors include Brian
W. Simpson, MPH, Dayna Kerecman Myers, Annalies Winny, Melissa
Hartman, Lindsay Smith Rogers, and Jackie Powder. Write us: firstname.lastname@example.org,
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