Published October 7, 2020

With the pandemic far from over, President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test has brought an even greater intensity to public conversations—and personal health concerns—across the nation. Meanwhile, many other topics continue to roil the media landscape. Count on Rutgers experts to appear in the news every day, offering helpful perspective on healthcare, politics, and countless other hot-button issues.

COVID-19 tests are vital tools in helping prevent the spread of the virus. But Lewis Nelson, chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, tells USA Today that a negative result is true only in the moment the test is taken. In the time it takes to receive results, the person could have been exposed. “It’s a total slice in time that in that moment, you’re negative,” Nelson says. “The moment your test comes back negative, you are no longer negative.”

USA Today | White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19

Can employers require workers to take a COVID-19 vaccine? The short answer may be yes, according to a Market Watch story quoting Rutgers Law School professor Sahar Aziz. “Legally, it will be difficult for you to refuse to take it, and still be able to go to work to that particular job,” says Aziz. But some scenarios could be more complicated, depending on what level of development and approval a vaccine is in. Acknowledging that “this is new terrain,” Aziz suspects judges may be sympathetic to employees who argue, “This is not safe,” supported by adequate medical evidence.

Market Watch | Can your employer require you to take a COVID-19 vaccine?

The Record quotes Elizabeth Matto, director of the Center for Youth Political Participation at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics, in a story on how New Jersey will prevent voter fraud during mail-in voting. “A number of states with different ideologies use vote-by-mail extensively or exclusively. For years, the military serving overseas and Americans living abroad have relied on it,” Matto says. | These 7 backstops are designed to prevent NJ voter fraud during mail in voting

The Guardian quotes William Rodgers, chief economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, as it examines the drop in U.S. unemployment to 7.9 percent in September. The figure obscures the existence of “a two-reality economy,” says Rodgers. “Going into this recession, inequality was, by many measures, at all-time highs. One group has fared OK economically and has worked from home while another has suffered economically, and in terms of health, to a far higher degree.”

The Guardian | US unemployment rate falls to 7.9% in last look at jobs market before elections

Disability Scoop highlights a recent study by the Rutgers University Program for Disability Research, quoting coauthors Lisa Schur of the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and Douglas Kruse of the School of Management and Labor Relations. “[P]eople with disabilities constitute a sizeable share of the electorate, so their votes could influence or even determine election outcomes,” says the report. “How many will actually vote depends on the dynamics of the 2020 campaign, get-out-the-vote efforts, the salience of issues, and the extent of voting barriers facing people with disabilities.”

Disability Scoop | Eligible Voters With Disabilities Increase By Nearly 20%

In an op-ed in The Star-Ledger, Erica Goldblatt Hyatt, a professor at Rutgers’ School of Social Work and an expert on pregnancy loss and grieving, lauds model Chrissy Teigen’s decision to share the pain of her miscarriage. “Across the internet,” Hyatt writes, “Teigen was shamed by commenters for exposing a loss that should be ‘private.’ But my clients and I applauded her.” | Chrissy Teigen’s pain reminds us that ours is silenced, too

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