Published September 16, 2020
Questions springing from the coronavirus are finding their way into other urgent conversations in our society, from domestic violence to the ethics of drug development. Stir in other issues like opioid use and a contentious political season, and sorting through the media landscape becomes increasingly daunting. Fortunately, Rutgers experts appear in the news every day, providing much-needed perspective on healthcare, business, politics, and other areas. Below are examples from the past few days:
COVID-19 has left many victims of domestic violence facing difficulties finding safe housing, transportation, and childcare once they leave shelters, says Amanda M. Stylianou SSW’08, GSNB’16, a director at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. “Finding creative ways to support survivors in accessing financial assistance and/or safe housing are critical opportunities for communities,” she tells Patch.
Earlier this month, the nation’s nine largest drug manufacturers pledged that any COVID-19 vaccine they produce would be developed and tested with “high ethical standards and sound scientific principles.” Michael Gusmano, a professor at Rutgers School of Public Health, tells NJBIZ that the pledge demonstrates that the industry “recognizes the impact of public trust and that a premature release of a COVID-19 vaccine will undermine public health and leave many people unwilling to accept a vaccine that has not completed appropriate testing in Phase 3 clinical trials.”
NJ.com reports on a new phone app, developed by Rutgers students, that helps users call out poor performance in COVID-19 safety. Nihar Raval, Sujit Molleti, and Natalia Sokolnicki worked together to create Bubbl, which has tools for assessing the use of masks and social distancing in businesses, or a lack thereof. Users can indicate how well a retail store or office enforces safety rules and leave comments about their experiences. Raval says he was inspired to develop the app after visiting a grocery store where “the management seemed to have a blatant disregard for safety.”
KYW 1060 reports that Rutgers researchers have found a link between hearing loss and substantial opioid use. “If a doctor or health care provider is evaluating a patient with new onset of hearing loss, asking about whether opioids are in the medication regimen is important,” says Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Center, which is run by Rutgers. “A patient who has started on prescription opioids should at least be informed of this potential risk.” Calello adds that these problems may be temporary or last a lifetime.
Jaideep Vaidya, a professor at Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick, tells USA Today that cyberattackers are increasingly disrupting online learning. “If you have a public meeting where a password and link can be shared, that can cause problems,” says Vaidya, who also directs the Rutgers Institute for Data Science, Learning, and Analytics. “People can log in from different accounts. They can share it with friends who are not even in school.”
Third-party contenders hurt Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, says Rutgers political science professor Ross Baker, but this time around, neither of the two major candidates face that kind of challenge. An article in U.S. News & World Report looks at what changed during the past four years and features quotes from Baker and Eagleton Institute of Politics director John Farmer Jr. “Both parties are unified behind their candidates in ways they were not” when Clinton ran against Donald Trump, says Farmer.
U.S. News & World Report | Spoiler Alert: Third Party Contenders Not a Factor in 2020