Published July 23, 2020
New Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway arrives at a unique time in the university’s history, as America reckons with racial inequality and the continued turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic. Given his background, Holloway is uniquely suited for the job. Meanwhile, Rutgers experts have been offering key guidance to local officials, communities, and media outlets about moving forward through the COVID crisis safely. Here’s your weekly guide to Rutgers experts in the news.
Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway pens on op-ed for Foreign Affairs calling on American colleges and universities to reassert their core educational values, especially in a climate of precarious global leadership. “Now and in the future, universities must continue to pursue knowledge wherever it is to be found—in the laboratory, the seminar room, the studio, or the concert hall,” says Holloway. “They must dedicate themselves to an intellectual, social, and cultural agenda that crosses international borders. And they must redouble their efforts to produce good citizens who do their earnest best to fight inequality.”
Foreign Affairs | Universities Must Reassert Their Values
Are scientists closer to producing a viable coronavirus vaccine than previously thought? Rutgers School of Public Health professor Vincent Silenzio, an expert in urban and global public health, cautiously discusses some recent advances with NJTV News. “One of the dangers is that you could be making antibodies to the infection, but then they disappear quickly,” says Silenzio. Regarding vaccine tests at the University of Oxford and at pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Silenzio says that “in both cases, they were able to not only make the antibodies, but they have evidence in the Oxford case of a sustained response…and that’s pretty encouraging.”
According to a new Rutgers report, the fears of new Coronavirus flare-ups are dampening New Jersey’s economic outlook for the rest of the year. The report, “Coronavirus Economic Rebound: Bucking New Headwinds,” shows that New Jersey followed April’s devastating job losses with record job gains in May and June. By the end of June, New Jersey had gained 130,900 jobs, one-quarter of the total lost before the coronavirus shutdown—about 536,400 fewer jobs in New Jersey and 13.4 million nationwide. “Virus containment is the crucial factor that will sustain the pace of economic recovery,” said James W. Hughes, University Professor and dean emeritus of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, who coauthored the report. “The nationwide surge in new coronavirus cases that started in mid-June has cast doubt on the sustainability of this job-growth momentum and has added new volatility to the economic outlook. Expectations of a return to ‘normality’ have been dashed.” Private sector firms in New Jersey are already hunkering down for a long, slow recovery, raising the possibility of more job losses during the second half of 2020.
With millions of Americans currently unemployed and the country facing a bleak economic outlook, asking for a higher salary or more benefits isn’t easy. Add to that a strange new work environment of virtual-only meetings, and the request might seem impossible. Rewire talks with Rutgers Business School professor Terri Kurtzberg about how to negotiate through a digital interface, or perhaps use a trusted alternative technology: the telephone.
A new research study found that people have been drinking more than they did before COVID-19 hit. The study, which was conducted by nonprofit research institute RTI International, surveyed more than 1,000 people across the U.S. to see how their alcohol consumption changed from February to April. Nearly 35 percent of people surveyed said they drank at excessive levels in April, compared to 29 percent in February. That wasn’t all: 27 percent reported binge drinking in April, compared to 22 percent in February. Dr. Petros Levounis, chair of the department of psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and chief of service at University Hospital expressed surprise at the study’s findings that people with alcohol use disorders didn’t start drinking more. “In other stressful situations – after the Oklahoma City Bombing and 9/11 – we saw an increase in alcohol use and drugs, but only among people who were already using or who were in recovery.”