Tulane Home Tulane Home

In the News

National news outlets are covering the frontline efforts of Tulanians to combat COVID-19 with research, innovation and a commitment to community. Scroll down to read more.

September 2021

Students crowd NYC high schools amid pandemic
NY Post

“I would strongly encourage them not to have children using the cafeteria. They have to take off their masks to eat and it’s crowded. They’re going to be really close to one another,” said Susan Hassig, associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

How Many People Will Be Impacted by Biden’s Vaccine Rules?
Healthline

“Having more people vaccinated will allow us to return to some form of normalcy particularly in communities where incentives have worked at one time but have now fizzled out,” says Kenneth Campbell, DBe, MPH, the program director of Tulane University’s Master of Health Administration.

August 2021

How one university has reached a more than 90% vaccination rate
University Business

“We’ve got well over 95% of our students and well over 90% of our faculty [vaccinated],” says Fitts.

Who Can Make You Get a Covid Vaccine?
New York Times

“I think probably what these companies are thinking — for those individuals — requiring them to be masked, or constantly tested, is a reasonable accommodation,” Joel Friedman, a law professor at Tulane University, said. “And that’s probably correct.”

When delta strikes: Latest coronavirus surges grow faster, hit record heights in Louisiana, Florida
Washington Post

“It’s a tenfold increase in just one month, and it’s not showing any signs of stopping,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiologist at Tulane University, noting that rising hospitalizations are now mirroring levels from March 2020, when New Orleans became one of the first metropolitan areas overwhelmed by the virus.

July 2021

What Makes the Delta Variant of Covid-19 So Dangerous for Unvaccinated People
Wall Street Journal

A model generated by Robert F. Garry, a virologist at Tulane University, depicts one of the three subunits of the spike protein.

Covid vaccine mandates are on the rise. Will that move the needle?
NBC News

While Covid-19 vaccines are still awaiting full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, which may be one reason why some people remain hesitant about receiving a shot, there's no legal basis stopping employers from mandating the vaccination, said Joel Friedman, an attorney and professor specializing in labor law at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Google and Facebook mandate vaccines for all employees returning to offices
NBC News

Employers can legally require employees to be vaccinated with two exceptions, said Tulane University employment law professor Joel Friedman.

If you don’t accept the vaccine, you are still endangering everyone else
Washington Examiner

John Barry, author of The Great Influenza, the Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History and a faculty member at the Tulane University School of Public Health, explained why in an insightful, even-handed July 26 column. The key, he explained, is in how viruses mutate.
 
Posts Baselessly Link COVID-19 Tests to Vaccine Conspiracy Theory
FactCheck.org

Lisa Morici, an associate professor at the Tulane University School of Medicine who studies vaccines, told us that all of the “authorized vaccines are given by needle injection and these rapid tests don’t involve needles.”

Opinion: What history tells us about the delta variant — and the variants that will follow
Washington Post

John M. Barry is the author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History” and Distinguished Scholar at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

NYC to mandate COVID vaccines or testing for teachers
Chalkbeat

“The data tracking and monitoring of that kind of requirement is really a labor intensive process,” said Dr. Susan E. Hassig, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Delta variant poses high risks for the unvaccinated
Washington Examiner

I haven’t seen a compelling case made for it being one versus the others,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. “I suspect it is a little bit of both.”

You got a coronavirus vaccine. But you still became infected. How did that happen?
Washington Post

These infections are likely to be contained in the nose and upper respiratory tract, without harming lungs or other vital organs deeper within the body, according to Tulane University School of Medicine professor and physician Jay K. Kolls.

Rise in COVID-19 infections threatens unvaccinated and some hospitals
Washington Examiner

Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, said she doesn’t think that the current increase in cases will be as severe as the wave the U.S. experienced last summer. But she warned that, with still just over 50% of the population not fully vaccinated, cases could increase substantially.

Unvaccinated could be breeding ground for Covid variants, US officials fear
The Guardian

“The challenge that we’re facing in the public health response … is that we’ve gotten the ‘easy’ people in terms of vaccination. The ones that were eager for it, that couldn’t wait to get it,” said Dr Susan Hassig, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

The US is boosting funding for research monkeys in the wake of COVID
Nature

At the Tulane NPRC in Covington, Louisiana, associate director Skip Bohm is aiming to add 1,000 monkeys to the 4,500 in the breeding colony that the centre currently houses. The centre has received $5 million from the NIH, says Bohm.

Can vaccinated people get long Covid? Doctors say risk is 'very, very small'
NBC News

Dr. Michele Longo, an assistant professor of neurology at Tulane University in New Orleans who works with long-haul patients, said she has not seen such patients following a breakthrough infection.
 
Covid Vaccine Makers Are ‘Tempting Targets’ for Investor Suits
Bloomberg

“There’s naturally something ironic about claiming that the true victim of spoiled vaccines are the investors, but if it works to generally make companies behave more responsibly, that’s a good thing,” Ann Lipton, a professor at Tulane Law who focuses on corporate governance, said.

Health Equity Not Adequately Addressed in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Drugs.com

Amber Hardeman, M.D., from the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and colleagues assessed how each state and Washington, D.C., planned to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine using publicly available state plans.

Five Clusters Identified in U.S with High Rate of Unvaccinated People
CNN

DR. ROBERT GARRY, VIROLOGIST WHO SIGNED PAPER ARGUING AGAINST LAB LEAK THEORY: So, we looked at the epidemiology of the early cases in Wuhan. And most of those cases were linked to a large market that we now know sold wild animals susceptible to SARS-Cov-2.
 
After the pandemic: perspectives on the future trajectory of COVID-19
Nature

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA - Robert F. Garry

Pandemic caused many boomers to retire. What that means for the economy — and everyone else
Los Angeles Times

“This is a big shock that’s irreversible for a lot of people,” said Patrick Button, an economics professor at Tulane University who has written extensively on age discrimination and the labor market.

Coronavirus almost certainly came from an animal, not a lab leak, top scientists argue
CNN

"I think you can make a pretty strong argument that it didn't leak from a lab," Robert Garry, professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane Medical School and one of the scientists who signed the paper, told CNN.

June 2021

'The effects will linger': US kids’ long-term health in jeopardy after pandemic schooling
USA Today

Although New Orleans students missed an average of five weeks of learning, children wound up two years behind peers not affected by the hurricane, said Douglas Harris, professor and chair of economics at Tulane University.

The Health 202: Don't expect another vaccine 'pause' over the myocarditis cases
Washington Post

Other scientists are not so sure. Robert F. Garry, a Tulane University virologist, called the Bloom paper “inflammatory” and said it added little information that was not already known.

A Scientist Tracked Down Chinese Coronavirus Sequences That Had Disappeared Online
Buzzfeed

“It really adds nothing to the origins debate,” Robert Garry of Tulane University in New Orleans told BuzzFeed News by email. Garry argued that the Huanan market or other markets in Wuhan could still be the source of COVID-19.

Did the Coronavirus Come From a Lab?
New York Times

Robert Garry Jr., a Tulane virologist, is similarly convinced of the virus’s natural origin. “I think people are frustrated, and a lot of people are looking for somebody to hang this on,” he told The Post.

The Unproven Lab Leak Theory Puts Pressure On China — But It May Backfire
NPR

ROBERT GARRY: Nothing's really, you know, tipped me or made me flip-flop or anything like that about it. I mean, you know, I'm more convinced than ever that, you know, this is a natural virus.

Scientists battle over the ultimate origin story: Where did the coronavirus come from?
Washington Post

Robert F. Garry Jr., a Tulane University virologist who co-authored an influential Nature Medicine paper in March 2020 saying SARS-CoV-2 was not engineered, is similarly emphatic that a natural origin outside of a lab remains most likely.

High Hopes for Johnson & Johnson’s Covid Vaccine Have Fizzled in the U.S.
New York Times

The Johnson & Johnson shot had also suffered from a “social network effect,” said Andrew C. Anderson, a professor of public health at Tulane University who researches vaccine hesitancy.

The science around the lab leak theory hasn't changed. But here's why some scientists have.
NBC News

But there are real benefits to gain-of-function research, said Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University in New Orleans.

What it means when sports stars stay coy about their COVID-19 vaccine status
USA Today

“I continue to be hopeful that celebrities will share their vaccination status and use their platform to encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Thomas LaVeist, a sociologist and the dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. “But I haven’t seen a lot of celebrities really embrace that role.”

COVAX Effort to Vaccinate the World is Faltering
Scientific American

“People lost their trust,” says Valerie Paz-Soldán, a Lima, Peru–based social scientist at Tulane University.

Nature-based or lab leak? Unraveling the debate over the origins of COVID-19
ABC News

"Most likely the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is going to be linked to this large wildlife trade," said Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University.
 
Majority of COVID Hospitalizations Occurring Among People Who Aren't Vaccinated, Doctors Say
People

"I haven't had anyone that's been fully vaccinated become critically ill," said Tulane University Medical Center's Dr. Josh Denson.
 
Why was Latin America hit so hard by covid-19?
Economist

Tulane University’s Valerie Paz-Soldán explains why Peru has been affected the worst.

Virtually all hospitalized Covid patients have one thing in common: They're unvaccinated
NBC News

"I haven't had anyone that's been fully vaccinated become critically ill," said Dr. Josh Denson, a pulmonary medicine and critical care physician at Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans.

How primates are aiding the fight against COVID-19 in Louisiana
Reuters

Primates' DNA and physiological features make them ideal models for human comparison when studying diseases, said Skip Bohm, associate director and chief veterinary medical officer at the Tulane center.

Uncovering the origins of the virus that sparked a pandemic
CNN

"That's the way it would be in a movie or some sort of a thriller or a comic book," Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University, told CNN. Garry, who studies viruses in the field and in the lab, helped write a study published in March of last year that showed the virus arose naturally. Garry and his co-authors also found no evidence that the virus was altered or manipulated.

COVID-19 takes center stage at U.S. primate center
Reuters

Primates' DNA and physiological features make them ideal models for human comparison when studying diseases, said Skip Bohm, associate director and chief veterinary medical officer at the Tulane center.

What to expect from states with low vaccination rates in a summer COVID-19 case surge
Washington Examiner

“As long as a virus has somewhere to go, it will,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. “And the South tends to be less vaccinated.”

Biden’s 70% July 4 vaccination goal still within reach, expert believes
Washington Examiner

“It’s unlikely that we are going to hit the goal by July 4,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

The lab leak hypothesis, explained
Vox

“Evidence that [the Wuhan Institute of Virology] or another Wuhan virology lab had SARS-CoV-2 or something 99% similar would be the smoking gun,” Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University and another co-author of the Nature Medicine paper, said in an email.

Federal government and businesses offer perks in boosted effort to vaccinate 70% for COVID-19
Washington Examiner

Incentives have recently been introduced, so it will take time to see measurable benefits, according to Dr. Susan Hassig, an epidemiologist at Tulane University in Louisiana, the state with the second-lowest vaccination rate after Mississippi, with only 36% of adults having received a shot.

Fauci's emails don't prove a Wuhan conspiracy, but raise further questions
NBC News

“There’s no new evidence that would really support a lab leak hypothesis,” said Robert Garry, a virus expert at Tulane University. “It’s more conjecture, suspicion and accusations.”

Covid: Former MI6 chief says any Wuhan lab leak evidence has likely been destroyed
Independent

Robert F Garry – a virologist at Tulane University who analysed the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus – has told The Independent he doubts that the pandemic could have emerged from a laboratory.
 
Column: The lab-leak origin claim for COVID-19 is in the news, but it’s still fact-free
Los Angeles Times

Co-author Robert F. Garry of Tulane Medical School told several colleagues during a recent webcast: “Our conclusion that it didn’t leak from the lab is even stronger today than it was when we wrote the paper.”

May 2021

Quick herd immunity depends on longevity of natural immunity from COVID-19
Washington Examiner

“The challenge with the natural component, in terms of protecting, is that we have a very heterogeneous response to natural infection, especially since so many people are mildly affected by the virus,” [Susan] Hassig said. “Individuals who get really sick tend to have a much more robust and complete immune response, more similar to a vaccination, than individuals who are mildly affected and have a shorter duration with the virus.”
 
Vaccinations lag in the South as health experts push states to reach 40% threshold
Washington Examiner

“The problem with delaying [the shots] is that viruses continue to mutate and create new strains, and eventually, this virus will create a strain that will be resistant to the vaccine. So the longer we delay, the more space we allow for the virus to create that strain,” according to Dr. Thomas LaVeist, dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in Louisiana.

Many Scientists Still Think The Coronavirus Came From Nature
NPR

But not much has changed for Robert Garry, a microbiologist at Tulane University who has analyzed the genome of the coronavirus. "Nothing's really tipped me or made me flip-flop or anything about it," he says. "I'm more convinced than ever that this is a natural virus."

Scientists Don’t Want to Ignore the ‘Lab Leak’ Theory, Despite No New Evidence
New York Times

Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane Medical School and a co-author of Dr. Lipkin’s letter, observed that Chinese scientists would have to have collected SARS-CoV-2 and then grown it in a colony of cells, but somehow never publish any details of it even as they published reports on other coronaviruses for years.

Scientists Who Doubt Wuhan Lab Theory Still Back Natural Occurrence After Renewed Calls to Probe COVID Origin
Newsweek

"The only change since we wrote our manuscript on the proximal origins of SARS-CoV-2 is that I now consider any of the lab leak hypotheses to be extremely unlikely," Robert Garry, a professor at Tulane University and co-author of the article, told Newsweek.

In the U.S., new cases and deaths drop to the lowest levels in nearly a year.
New York Times

“My big concern is that there is going to be a variant that’s going to outsmart the vaccine,” said Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist, an expert on health equity and dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans.

U.S. COVID Infections, Deaths Drop to Levels Not Seen Since Last Summer
HealthDay

"My big concern is that there is going to be a variant that's going to outsmart the vaccine," Dr. Thomas LaVeist, dean of Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, told the Times. "Then we'll have a new problem. We'll have to revaccinate."

The U.S. vaccination story varies widely across regions.
New York Times

The low rate in the South worries Thomas A. LaVeist, an expert on health equity and dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans. “You have the carrot and stick,” he said. “I’m beginning to think that the stick is the more likely scenario.”

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week
AP News

The amount of lipid used in the vaccine is very small, said Lisa Morici, an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tulane University School of Medicine, in an email.

CDC’s mask guidance spurs confusion and criticism, as well as celebration
Washington Post

The change was greeted with a shrug in places that already had lifted mask mandates — or never instituted them. “That horse has already left the barn,” said Susan Hassig, an infectious-disease specialist at Tulane University.
 
Magnet Videos Refuel Bogus Claim of Vaccine Microchips
FactCheck.org

Lisa Morici, an associate professor at the Tulane University School of Medicine who studies vaccines, emphasized in an email that the “ingredients in the mRNA and adenovirus vaccines are simply RNA/DNA, lipids, proteins, salts, and sugars.”

Vaccination Rates Lag In 3 Gulf States: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana
NPR

THOMAS LAVEIST: I would love to see CDC loosen its guidelines a bit more for people that have been vaccinated. So one carrot is more freedom for people that have been vaccinated.

Study links school reopening and COVID spread in Texas — before vaccines made it safer
Chalkbeat

“Vaccine changes everything,” said Susan Hassig, a Tulane University epidemiologist. “The kids are still in school and fatalities are on a downward trend,” she added, referring to Texas.

Opinion: The 1918 pandemic tells us that we can’t celebrate the end of covid yet
Washington Post

John M. Barry is the author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History” and distinguished scholar at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Fake news, conspiracy theories and a deadly global pandemic — and that was in 1918
Salon

[John] Barry is also a professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans and is a much sought out expert on influenza and how societies can better prepare to combat it.

Covid’s Shockwaves Took Poverty in Latin America to a New Nadir
Bloomberg

The likelihood of a disadvantaged Latin American child graduating high school plunged an estimated 20 percentage points last year, the lowest level since the 1960s, according to Tulane University professor Nora Lustig.
 
The Hidden 1918 'Spanish Flu' Pandemic: How a Deadly Disease Altered History and the Lives of Millions
Inside Edition

"The net result of all this was a tremendous amount of fear, particularly given the fact that there was fake news back then," historical author and Tulane University scholar John Barry told Inside Edition Digital.

April 2021

New COVID-19 cases plummet at Louisiana’s nursing homes
AP News

“The fact that we’re not seeing a lot of nursing home residents infected ... is an indication of that little bubble reaching basically herd immunity,” said Tulane University infectious disease expert Susan Hassig. “Seeing that very specific environment is what we’re hoping to see at the broader community level.”

Drop in COVID among seniors boosts confidence in vaccine campaign: 'It’s absolutely working'
Washington Examiner

“The data is indicative that the high rates of vaccination among people above the age of 65 are beginning to show the benefits of vaccination,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Adjuvanting a subunit COVID-19 vaccine to induce protective immunity
Nature

Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA, USA- Nadia Golden, Pyone Aye, Kasi Russell-Lodrigue, Christopher Monjure, Jason Dufour, Skye Spencer, Lara Doyle-Meyer, Rudolph P. Bohm, Nicholas J. Maness, Chad Roy & Jay Rappaport

The Great Influenza author: 'Nobody' in public health foresaw politicization of COVID-19
Healio

The U.S. public health community was unable to foresee the rampant politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was shocked by the initial federal response, according to New York Times bestselling author John M. Barry.

Spies vs. scientists on the origin of Covid
CNN

"That's the way it would be in a movie or some sort of a thriller or a comic book," Robert Garry, of Tulane, told CNN's Maggie Fox after Redfield shared his views. Garry helped write a study published in March of last year that showed the virus arose naturally.

State record-keeping on vaccinations leads to patchwork approach
The Hill

Susan Hassig, an associate professor in the epidemiology department at Tulane University, said Louisiana worked to connect providers with its immunization registry program as COVID-19 vaccines began rolling out.

How to Talk About Next School Year Presents a Big Test for Education Leaders
Education Week

Making it clear to the public that schools will be open in the fall is the right rhetorical strategy in general, said Douglas N. Harris, a professor and chair of economics at Tulane University.

We still don’t know the origins of the coronavirus. Here are 4 scenarios.
National Geographic

Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University School of Medicine who has studied the virus’s origin based on its genome, says such an event “is not too big a stretch.”

Michigan identifies first case of new COVID-19 variant
Detroit News

Nick Maness, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, said B.1.351 and P.1 are similar in their mutations and the level of concern they raise.

March 2021

Lab leak Covid-19 theory is like something out of a comic book, virologist says
CNN

Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University and other virologists have been publishing studies for a year that demonstrate SARS-CoV-2 originated naturally in animals and is unlikely to have been engineered in a lab.

New COVID wave may not be as deadly
Washington Examiner

“It’s one of those things where the attention span, the tolerance of maintaining restrictions that are unpleasant and difficult, it’s just getting really old,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Here’s what the WHO report found on the origins of COVID-19
National Geographic

The report outlines another likely transmission scenario: that the virus leapt directly from a bat to a human. Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University School of Medicine who has studied the virus’s origin based on its genome, says such an event “is not too big a stretch.”

WHO report finds coronavirus probably emerged in bats, 'extremely unlikely' to be result of lab leak
NBC News

Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University School of Medicine who wasn't involved with the WHO investigation, said the research team was right to largely dismiss the idea that the virus leaked from a lab.

Study looks at effectiveness of telehealth therapy during pandemic
Medical Xpress

Despite logistical challenges, remote therapy improved engagement, mitigated symptoms and reduced repeated hospitalizations, according to a joint study by the Tulane University School of Medicine and the Tulane School of Social Work.

How to tell if Chicago’s school reopening is a success? Experts say it’s complicated.
Chalkbeat

Susan Hassig, an infectious disease expert at Tulane University, said the science on school reopenings is still emerging. “It’s a really complicated problem, and I don’t think we have really good metrics that can be easily adopted,” she said. “In public health and with this virus in particular, there is no 100%. Our objective is to make it as safe as possible.”

Countdown to Lockdown: A year ago today, as death toll hit 281 and Britons enjoyed one last day of freedom, a daughter took the last ever photo of her father, 60, before he died from Covid in an image that lays bare the devastating impact of pandemic
Daily Mail

Dr Joshua Denson, a pulmonary medicine and critical care physician at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans - who had treated about 15 to 20 Covid-19 patients by then - described the first phase of the disease as a 'slow burn'.

Could scientists use the bat coronavirus RaTG13 to engineer SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in a lab?
Health Feedback

Robert Garry, a professor of microbiology at the University of Tulane, concurred: “While 96% sounds close, in evolutionary terms, it is quite distant, and it would take decades of evolution for the genome of RaTG13 to resemble that of SARS-CoV-2. The difference is about 1,200 bases or 400 amino acids. Gain-of-function research cannot close that gap.”

How NBA fandom has changed due to COVID-19
Yahoo! News

“I just think about what happens when they do indoor pyrotechnics in enclosed arenas,” said Susan Hassig, an associate professor of epidemiology at Tulane University.

Self-Care Resources
Drug Topics

Hello, I'm Gabrielle Ientile with Drug Topics®. Today I'm speaking with Patrick Bordnick, dean of the Tulane University School of Social Work. He's going to be talking about the resources that the university has been offering for healthcare professionals and anyone else who is interested in prioritizing self-care amid the pandemic.
 
Aerosol Debates Redux: Did Outdated Hospital Masking Advice Increase HCP Death Toll?
Daily Nurse

Chad Roy, a co-author who studied primates with covid, said the emitted aerosols shrink in size when the monkeys are most contagious at about Day Six of infection.

Healthcare Burnout and How Universities are Helping Equip Students
Thrive Global

Dr. Charles Figley, founder of the Traumatology Institute at Tulane University, and a professor in their School of Social Work, adds “If we academics prepare our students to deal with the healthcare system for burnout, any physical or mental condition or a combination of both, the university has a responsibility to be part of addressing and helping to treat the condition.”

Cough more hazardous to Covid-19 medical workers than intubation, research suggests
CNN

Chad Roy, a co-author who studied primates with covid, said the emitted aerosols shrink in size when the monkeys are most contagious at about Day Six of infection. Those particles are more likely to hang in the air longer and are easier to inhale deep into the lungs, said Roy, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane University School of Medicine.
 
COVID-19’s emotional impact: Medical students cope with isolation
AAMC

“More students are struggling,” says Guenevere Rae, PhD, assistant dean for basic science education at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. “They feel isolated, lonely, and more depressed.”

Opinion: Abandoning masks now is a terrible idea. The 1918 pandemic shows why.
Washington Post

John M. Barry is the author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History” and distinguished scholar at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

America’s Next COVID Obstacle: Vaccine Deserts
New York Magazine

“We’re having to find creative ways to utilize other infrastructure and communities that don’t have hospitals or pharmacies or clinics that can manage,” says Thomas LaVeist, dean of Tulane University’s School of Public Health and co-chair of Louisiana’’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.

Experts say NYC’s school closure policy is ‘very conservative’ as new research on COVID spread emerges
Chalkbeat

Susan Hassig, associate professor of epidemiology at Tulane University, said broad closures might be necessary if there is a link between multiple infected people across different classrooms. She gave the example of a football team with an infected player whose teammates cut across different classrooms and grades.

Long-haul Covid patients can experience 'waves of symptoms,' early research suggests
NBC News

Dr. Michele Longo, an assistant professor of neurology at Tulane University in New Orleans who works with long-haulers, said the neurologic symptoms listed in Lambert's survey are, indeed, "most commonly reported by patients" in her clinic.

How Chile built one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns
Vox

Chile spread its risk around, making these pre-purchase deals even before the vaccines’ efficacy and safety were confirmed. “They purchased from different mechanisms, and way ahead of time,” Arachu Castro, the Samuel Z. Stone Endowed Chair of Public Health in Latin America at Tulane University, told me.

The Covid Syndemic: The Mental Health Crisis Of Mental Health Workers
Forbes

Charles R. Figley, PhD founder of the Traumatology Institute at Tulane University, defines a phenomenon he calls "compassion fatigue" as psychologists or others taking on the suffering of patients who have experienced extreme stress or trauma. "It's like a dark cloud that hangs over your head, goes wherever you go and invades your thoughts," he says.

How the Covid-19 Anniversary Might Mess With Your Head
Elemental

To put it bluntly: “It’s just all over the place at this stage,” says Regardt Ferreira, PhD, an associate professor at the Tulane School of Social Work and director of the school’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy.

Fewer Screenings and Doctor Visits Has Led To “Shadow Health Crisis”
Cancer Health

Engy Ziedan, an assistant professor of economics at Tulane University, takes a glass half-full view of at least one aspect of Covid. The pandemic, she says, has offered the conditions to better evaluate certain aspects of American medical care.

‘At Your Age, It’s the Vaccine or the Grave’
New York Times

"The distrust among Black Americans comes from a real place and to pretend it doesn’t exist or to question whether it’s rational is a recipe for failure,” said Thomas A. LaVeist, an expert on health equity and dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. Dr. LaVeist has been advising Louisiana officials on ways to increase vaccination rates.

Cuba’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccines advance into late-stage trials
Clinical Trials Arena

“The US embargo really limits access,” said Arachu Castro, professor of public health in Latin America at Tulane University in the US in an interview with the FT. “Cuba has a lot of difficulties accessing medication and medical equipment that has any US component.”

Some Scientists Question W.H.O. Inquiry Into the Coronavirus Pandemic’s Origins
New York Times

Robert F. Garry, a virologist at Tulane University Medical Center, recently posted on the website Virological a report that is not yet peer-reviewed that described new evidence that aspects of the virus that seemed unusual at first had been found in new viruses in Japan, Thailand and Cambodia. He and his co-authors concluded, “These observations are consistent with the natural origin of SARS-CoV-2 and strongly inconsistent with a laboratory origin.”

WHO Investigators to Scrap Plans for Interim Report on Probe of Covid-19 Origins
Wall Street Journal

Robert Garry, a virologist at the Tulane University School of Medicine who was involved in that research, said he and other colleagues had initially considered the possibility of a leak or accident from a laboratory, but ultimately deemed it “nearly impossible.”

CRISPR rivals put patents aside to help in fight against Covid-19
STAT News

Walter Isaacson is a journalist, professor of history at Tulane University, and author. This article is adapted from his forthcoming book, “The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race” (Simon & Schuster, March 9, 2021).

New Orleans Catholics urged by archdiocese to avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine
NBC News

Dr. David Doukas, chair of humanities and ethics at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, downplayed the archdiocese directive, saying most Catholics will realize there's rarely a choice of picking one vaccine over another — and that they should take what's available.

February 2021

Growing evidence that coronavirus vaccines stop transmission promises return to normal
Washington Examiner

“I think there will be spectrums of normal,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Optimism about return to normal grows following vaccine news
Washington Examiner

“I think there will be spectrums of normal,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Fed and Treasury chart path back to “full employment”
Marketplace

And it’ll be hardest for low-wage workers of color to get back to pre-pandemic employment levels, said economist Gary Hoover at Tulane University.

Massive Google-funded COVID database will track variants and immunity
Nature

“This is really good, and needs to be done,” says Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. “Nothing like this exists because it’s so hard to do.”

How to Reopen Schools
New York Times

Still, Douglas Harris, the Tulane economist who runs the research group, told me, “All the studies are suggesting we can do this, if we put our minds to it.” He added: “We can’t do school the old way, but we can do better than this.”

Future Vaccines Depend on Test Subjects in Short Supply: Monkeys
New York Times

Skip Bohm, the associate director and chief veterinary medical officer at the Tulane National Primate Research Center outside New Orleans, said the discussion for a strategic monkey reserve started about 10 years ago among the directors of the national primate research centers.

Coronavirus Mutations: A Visual Guide to New, More-Infectious Variants
Wall Street Journal

A model generated by Robert F. Garry, a virologist at Tulane University, depicts one of the three subunits of the spike protein.

Johns Hopkins doctor says US will have herd immunity by April because more than half have already been infected
Washington Examiner

“Part of the reason it looks like we’ve dropped so much is that we were so high in early January,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. “We’re lower, but we’re not low.”
 
Storing the Pfizer vaccine could get a lot simpler in coming weeks
Popular Science

Susan Hassig, an epidemiologist at Tulane University who served on a state task force that developed Louisiana’s distribution plan, says that even that change could help vaccines reach underserved populations. “It means that a Pfizer vaccine could be distributed in CVS and Walgreens, as opposed to just healthcare settings,” she says. “You can maintain freezers at a drive-up site. That’s doable.”

Japan Facing Dry Ice Shortage as Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Begins
Vision Times

“Vaccine-makers also coat the mRNA in lipid nanoparticles. These tiny bubbles of fat help carry the mRNA to our cells and offer a degree of protection against enzymes that could destroy the fragile genetic material.” While the nanoparticle lipids alone aren’t enough to prevent enzymes from breaking down the mRNA, Morici says the mRNA-destroying enzymes “don’t work at really, really cold temperatures.” - Lisa Morici, PhD, Associate Professor at the microbiology and immunology department at Tulane University School of Medicine

COVID-19 cases plunging too quickly to be credited to vaccine rollout
Washington Examiner

“All of the age groups are going down kind of the same way when you look at the state data,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

How to celebrate Mardi Gras at home this year, according to New Orleans locals
Washington Post

Susan Hassig, an epidemiologist at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, says locals saw this coming months ago. Hassig predicted a normal Mardi Gras would be impossible after the city’s summer’s surge.

New CDC guidance: Vaccinate teachers, but don’t wait to open schools
Chalkbeat

Those are very conservative thresholds, noted Susan Hassig, an epidemiologist at Tulane University — too conservative, in her view. “I started hopping all over the map ... I couldn’t find any place that was under 100 [cases per 100,000], except in the middle of nowhere,” she said. “I didn’t see a good justification for those categories.”

When Can I Be a House Guest Again?
New York Times

John M. Barry, an adjunct professor at Tulane University and the author of “Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History,” is skeptical that this pandemic will have a lasting effect on our behaviors if cases continue to fall and the worst is behind us by the end of the year. In that scenario, our living room cocktail parties of 2022 won’t look much different than the ones of 2019. “People have short memories,” he said. “Habits die hard.’”

Can Louisiana’s COVID surge trace back to one Mardi Gras reveler?
Popular Science

Robert Garry, a virologist who studies emerging diseases at Tulane University, remembers waiting for his daughters to roll past in a parade, and as he watched the crowd gather, thinking, “yeah, [COVID] could be at an event like that.”

How Do People Catch Covid-19? Here’s What Experts Say
Washington Post

The degree of someone’s SARS-CoV-2 infection, body mass, and age can influence their propensity to spread the virus in respiratory particles, researchers at Harvard University and Tulane University School of Medicine found. Speaking loudly is also associated with increased particle emissions.
 
Vaccinated people don't need quarantine; US death rate down; Fauci predicts plenty of vaccine available by spring: Latest COVID-19 updates
USA Today

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute, Tulane University, LSU Health Shreveport and several other institutions said in a pre-publication report that 2020 Mardi Gras was responsible for tens of thousands of coronavirus cases after a single person likely brought it to New Orleans.

Missed Doctor Visits Have Created Covid’s Shadow Health Crisis
Bloomberg

The past year has at least provided conditions for an experiment into the cost-effectiveness of American medical care, which has never returned outcomes on par with the outsize spending, says Engy Ziedan, an assistant professor of economics at Tulane University.
 
Biden’s Goal to Open Most Schools in 100 Days Is Not a Long Shot
Bloomberg

Douglas Harris, the director of the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice at Tulane University, warns of learning loss, mental illness, child abuse, and malnutrition resulting from keeping schools closed. “Aside from their parents, there’s nothing children depend on more than their schools,” Harris says. Where it’s safe to do so, he adds, “it’s important to give students the option of in-person instruction as soon as possible.”

Experts Raise Alarm Over Racial Disparity In Vaccine Distribution
CNN

THOMAS LAVEIST, DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND TROPICAL MEDICINE, TULANE UNIVERSITY: Well, I think there are three levels of problems here. One is that there is a vaccine hesitation issue, which we are talking about today. But another issue is that there just isn't enough vaccine yet.
 
Equity ‘should be a requirement, our tax dollars paid for what's in the vial’: Dr. Debra Furr-Holden
MSNBC

Epidemiologist Dr. Debra Furr-Holden and Dean of the Tulane University School of Public Health, Dr. Thomas Laveist, join Stephanie Ruhle to explain why equal access needs to play a more serious role in the vaccine distribution process.

60 Black Health Experts Urge Black Americans to Get Vaccinated
New York Times

By Thomas A. LaVeist and Georges C. Benjamin

Biden at odds with CDC director over teachers after promising to follow science
Washington Examiner

"The risk for teachers is low, but the caveat is that schools need to pay reasonable attention to mitigation measures,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Across The South, COVID-19 Vaccine Sites Missing From Black And Hispanic Neighborhoods
NPR

Thomas LaVeist, a dean and health care equity researcher at Tulane University in New Orleans, says medical deserts go back into the early evolution of health care. "But I do think that the South is perhaps more of a problem than some other parts of the country," says LaVeist, who is also co-chair of the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
 
As COVID-19 vaccinations pick up, contact tracing plays valuable role in the South
Tennessean

Case investigation gives health workers a better understanding of how to track new variants and how they enter communities, said Dr. Lina Moses, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Enter: The Debunkers
OZY

Tulane University associate professor Geoff Dancy has gathered that the best way to deal with the fire hose of factoids that often accompany burgeoning conspiracy theories is not head-on. [...] The best way, as Dancy lays it out on the podcast On Good Authority, is to chip away at the beliefs they do hold. One strategy? Have them walk you through their theory while politely asking for the evidence.

Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Take Aim at Dangerous New Strains
Wall Street Journal

It also shouldn’t be difficult to tweak vaccines from J&J, AstraZeneca and Novavax because of the new technologies used to make those shots, though the process could take slightly longer, said Robert Garry, professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane Medical School.

The CDC released two new studies of COVID school safety. Here’s what they find.
Chalkbeat

Susan Hassig, a Tulane University epidemiologist, also thinks the evidence leans in favor of the idea that schools can open safely with appropriate safety measures. Her concern is that the conclusion has been oversimplified into the idea that the virus can’t spread in schools.

Race and ethnicity data missing for nearly half of coronavirus vaccine recipients, federal study finds
Washington Post

Thomas A. LaVeist, dean of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, called the vaccination data collection “a bit of a muddled mess.”

January 2021

AP Analysis: Racial disparity seen in US vaccination drive
AP News

To address mistrust, Thomas LaVeist, dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans, is recruiting notable Black Americans to help promote vaccination. The campaign, called “The Skin You’re In,” has produced a video of New Orleans hip-hop artist Big Freedia playfully demonstrating how to wear a mask.
 
'If not now, when?’ CPS leader says data show Chicago schools can reopen safely. Can they?
Chicago Tribune

In January, the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice published a report by Tulane University researchers who found no evidence that reopening schools increased COVID-19-related hospitalizations in counties that had low hospitalization rates before schools reopened.
 
Waco-area pastors, doctors fielding COVID-19 vaccination concerns, with focus on communities of color
Waco Tribune-Herald

Dr. Thomas LaVeist, dean of the school of public health at Tulane University, said when researchers leave out crucial context, efforts to explain the virus’ path can quickly turn into blame, a pattern he said has emerged yet again with COVID-19.

How COVID-19 hollowed out a generation of young Black men
MLK50

“The way that people deal with stress is by strategies that make us feel better,” such as comfort eating, said Thomas LaVeist, dean of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Opinion: The coronavirus is mutating. Will our vaccines keep up?
Washington Post

John M. Barry is the author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History”, and Distinguished Scholar at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Elective, but not optional: Orthopedic patients eagerly await surgeries delayed by Covid-19
STAT News

As the pandemic overwhelmed hospitals from March through May, shortages of PPE to protect health care workers and ICU equipment to help patients breathe were matched by the thinning ranks of health care workers who weren’t sickened by the virus, said Felix Savoie, chair of orthopedic surgery at Tulane University.

6 Ways to Combat Pandemic Compassion Fatigue
Healthline

“Pandemics cause compassion fatigue because the price is so high with getting sick and the fear it generates,” explains Charles Figley, founder and leading researcher at the Traumatology Institute at Tulane.

School’s Out in Most of Latin America. Gangs Are Thrilled.
Americas Quarterly

A recent study by academics including Nora Lustig of Tulane University estimated that the percentage of Latin American students who complete high school may fall from 61% to 46% because of the pandemic. The high school completion rate could decrease by as much as 20 percentage points among students whose parents have lower education levels, the study found.

Latin America’s Schools Are Flunking Covid
Bloomberg

Without a course correction, Tulane University economist Nora Lustig warns, the lopsided damage to learning will reverse decades of progress and leave lasting social scars.

CHART: COVID-19 pandemic has strained hospitals far beyond normal flu
Washington Examiner

“Flu is not transmissible until people become symptomatic,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Fighting Misinformation: How Doctors Respond to Vaccine Hesitancy
Courthouse News Service

Elvis was a “useful messenger,” said Charles Stoecker, associate professor at Tulane University’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

My Unlikely Pandemic Dream Partner
New York Times

Merissa Nathan Gerson is the author of “Forget Prayers, Bring Cake,” forthcoming from Mandala Publishing in July 2021. She lives in New Orleans.

Biden promises guidance, vaccines to get schools open, though familiar challenges loom
Chalkbeat

Susan Hassig, a Tulane University epidemiologist who has studied school reopening, says the CDC should be clearer about what mitigation measures are necessary. “I would like to see them be more explicitly directive and say, ‘You shouldn’t open schools unless you can do this,’” she said.

New Orleans’ historic architecture is uniquely suited to pandemic living
National Geographic

“Early Louisiana home designs aimed to maximize ventilation mostly for the purposes of everyday comfort, especially in summer,” says geographer and author Richard Campanella, associate dean for research at the Tulane School of Architecture.

It’s back to school — again — for many of Minnesota’s youngest students
MPR News

A study out of Tulane University found hospitalizations did not go up when schools welcomed students back in person — as long as hospitalization rates were already relatively low.

High Demand For COVID-19 Vaccine Strains Health Departments In South
NPR

The state-by-state approach breeds confusion and mistrust, says Thomas LaVeist, dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans. He says it's not surprising that states are overwhelmed with such an enormous mission.
 
Walter Isaacson on how to navigate current political situation
CNBC

Walter Isaacson, history professor at Tulane University, says what we’re seeing in politics is unprecedented. He also talks about how mRNA vaccines are a breakthrough for the future of medicine.

Can ‘Covid Counseling’ Save Your Relationship?
Glamour

“It took you how long to get into the issue with your marriage? It's not going to take two hours to get out of it,” says Candice Beasley, doctor of social work, a clinical assistant professor at Tulane University, and practicing couples counselor.

Report: COVID-19 in communities of color could cost Texas $2.7 billion in excess medical spending
Houston Chronicle

“It’s not consistent with the values of society,” said Thomas LaVeist, the dean of Tulane University’s School of Public Health and a co-author of the report.
 
COVID cases among teachers appear to be rising. What does that mean?
Chalkbeat

“One possibility is that, as more elementary schools reopened, more elementary teachers got sick as a result. Another possibility is that as more elementary schools reopened, elementary teachers were especially likely to get tested at the first sign they were feeling sick,” said Douglas Harris, a Tulane University researcher who recently published a national study on schools and COVID spread.

Number of Districts Safe for In-Person Learning Shrinking, New Study Suggests
The 74 Million

“As of mid-December … 58 percent of counties were below that threshold, so in the safe zone,” Douglas Harris, a professor at Tulane University who co-authored the study, told The 74.
 
Newell: Biden admin to shake up US vaccination strategy - will it work?
Radio.com

Newell invited Dr. Thomas A LaVeist onto the program Monday to discuss. Dr. LaVeist is the Dean of Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

US faces spread of UK coronavirus strain, raising stakes for vaccine distribution
Washington Examiner

“I think if it were a bigger driver of the current surge in various parts of the country, we would have found more cases,” said Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Tulane University designated to distribute COVID-19 vaccine
AP News

“As the largest private employer in New Orleans, allowing us to participate in the distribution of the vaccine helps to make the entire community safer,” Tulane President Michael Fitts said.

The question we want to ask is not whether we open schools but when
Yahoo! Finance

Engy Ziedan, Tulane professor and healthcare economist joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel to discuss the report on the effects of school reopenings on COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Where Is It Safe To Reopen Schools? New Research Offers Answers
NPR

Their findings tell two different stories, says Engy Ziedan, a Tulane economist on the team. First, for communities where hospitalization rates were already relatively low, "when [schools] opened in-person or hybrid mode, we did not see increases in hospitalizations post-re-opening."
 
As COVID-19 vaccines roll out, medical students help with inoculations
AAMC

At Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, volunteer coordinator Christina Thomas had dozens of students eager to work on the rollout’s first shifts. “It’s been so hard as we’ve watched the front-line workers taking the brunt of the pandemic. We’ve wanted to help, but we don’t have enough clinical experience,” says the second-year student.
 
Coronavirus, vaccine, revenue remain college football concerns as rocky season comes to end
USA Today

“We have at least as difficult a six months ahead as what we just experienced,” Tulane athletics director Troy Dannen said.

As Virus Surges, New Studies Suggest Warning for School Reopening
The Intercept

One of the studies, published Monday by two economists and one epidemiologist at Tulane University, looked at the effects of school reopening on Covid-19 hospitalization rates.

Do schools spread COVID? It may depend on how bad things already are around them
Chalkbeat

“It appears that, when hospitalizations rates are low, it is safe to reopen schools in person,” said Douglas Harris, a professor at Tulane University who co-authored one of the studies, which examined national data.

 

View In the News: 2020