Political leaders’ views on COVID-19 risk are highly infectious in a polarized nation – we see the same with climate change

Research and a recent campaign rally show how political leaders' rhetoric can shape risk perceptions among their loyal followers.

Wanyun Shao, Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Alabama • conversation
Oct. 13, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  climate-change  covid-19  coronavirus  social-science  pandemic  donald-trump  social-distancing  communication  denial  face-mask  political-leadership  conservative

Political leaders' attitudes toward COVID-19 risk are highly infectious in a polarized nation – just like climate change denial

Research and a recent campaign rally show how political leaders' rhetoric can shape risk perceptions among their loyal followers.

Wanyun Shao, Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Alabama • conversation
Oct. 13, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  climate-change  covid-19  coronavirus  social-science  pandemic  donald-trump  social-distancing  communication  denial  face-mask  political-leadership  conservative

Being outdoors doesn’t mean you're safe from COVID-19 – a White House event showed what not to do

The wind will disperse some virus-carrying respiratory droplets, but not everything. Masks can make the difference.

Thomas A. Russo, Professor and Chief, Infectious Disease, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York • conversation
Oct. 8, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: health covid-19 coronavirus risk pandemic donald-trump contagion aerosols white-house chris-christie infectious-dose trump-covid

VIP patients can be a headache for their doctors

When a celebrity, politician or other influential person checks in, a health care team can feel pressured to give in to a VIP's wishes.

Nancy Nielsen, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York • conversation
Oct. 7, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus donald-trump physicians medical-care patients celebrities medical-ethics president-donald-j-trump

Older people like President Trump are at more risk from COVID-19 because of how the immune system ages

Older coronavirus patients face grimmer outlooks. A virologist explains the aging-related changes in how immune systems work that are to blame.

Brian Geiss, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology, Colorado State University • conversation
Oct. 2, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus immune-system t-cells immunology aging donald-trump sars-cov-2 immunity adaptive-immune-response innate-immune-response immune-response white-blood-cells t-cell immune-function coronavirus-pandemic diagnostic-test

Faked videos shore up false beliefs about Biden's mental health

It's easy to edit video of public figures to make them appear asleep, confused, drunk or cognitively impaired when they are not. The technique is being used to undermine Joe Biden's campaign.

Dustin Carnahan, Assistant Professor of Communication, Michigan State University • conversation
Sept. 16, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: artificial-intelligence deep-learning fake-news donald-trump video disinformation joe-biden democracy elections trump-2020

Climate change and forest management have both fueled today's epic Western wildfires

Debating whether climate change or forest management has caused the devastating wildfires in California, Washington and Oregon is a false choice.

Steven C. Beda, Assistant Professor of History, University of Oregon • conversation
Sept. 16, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: climate-change donald-trump wildfire forests california us-history wildfire-fighting oregon logging forest-management washington-state us-west endangered-species-act timber-industry us-forest-service

Test positivity rate: How this one figure explains that the US isn't doing enough testing yet

Test positivity rates measure the success of a testing program. Even though the US performs a huge number of tests, high test positivity rates across the country show that that it still isn't enough.

Ronald D. Fricker, Jr., Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration, Virginia Tech • conversation
July 30, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: health covid-19 coronavirus pandemic donald-trump sars-cov-2 outbreak testing epidemics coronavirus-testing asymptomatic

A restart of nuclear testing offers little scientific value to the US and would benefit other countries

Seventy-five years after the first nuclear detonation and nearly 30 years since testing was banned, the US is considering resuming live nuclear testing.

Miles A. Pomper, Senior Fellow, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury • conversation
July 14, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: donald-trump radiation nuclear-tests nuclear-weapons plutonium comprehensive-test-ban-treaty

When Trump pushed hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, hundreds of thousands of prescriptions followed despite little evidence that it worked

When news reports tout a drug, people get interested, even if the benefits are unproven. Patient hopes, requests and demands can easily turn into real prescriptions in their doctor's office.

Richard L. Kravitz, Professor of Health Policy and Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis • conversation
July 9, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: drugs covid-19 coronavirus donald-trump hydroxychloroquine prescribing chloroquine medication prescription-drugs medications fox-news new-york-times doctor-prescribing off-label-prescribing

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