The streets of our cities have been too empty and too full.
Emptied of cars and pedestrians, the streets of the pandemic became eerie still frames of an economy on pause. And yet, as we venture back to our sidewalks and storefronts, we are reminded that our streets also are a home, an imperfect and unsustainable haven for the transient masses we call “the homeless.” Never has it been starker than in the vacuum of social distancing that they are there, the only people who remained when all others retreated to the safety of their homes.
Thus begins my latest op-ed, co-authored with Thomas Hugh Byrne from Boston University and Benjamin F. Henwood from the University of Southern California, originally published in The Hill.
Today, President Trump officially began the process to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization.
In my capacity as a public health scholar, I have joined 750 experts and leaders throughout the country in signing the following letter to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs:
A couple weeks ago, I presented a brief economic forecast to the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) organization in the Inland Empire of Southern California. If you’re interested to see what’s happening in the economy, what to expect, and what we can do about it, you can watch this 12-minute talk here:
My part of the session begins at 22:52, which is where the video above should start when you click play.
Last Sunday, I wrote an op-ed on the COVID-19 crisis for the local newspaper in my childhood hometown, the Hazleton Standard-Speaker:
I’m writing from Los Angeles, where a Navy hospital ship is docked in the port, helping to treat the overwhelming surge of coronavirus patients flooding our health care system. I never thought I’d see such a day, but it’s here. And it’s a warning that we ignore at our peril.
The crisis is real. As of today, over 15,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. That’s five times the death toll on 9/11. In the coming weeks, millions will get the virus. We will lose more Americans than we did in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam combined.
But there is good news. Here in LA, the growth rate is starting to slow. In Italy where it was the worst, it is slowing significantly. In east Asia where it all began, the peak is far behind them, and the economy is starting to bounce back. If we can slow the growth rate across the United States, we can save hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of lives.
I believe we can do it. But it’s going to require an unexpected weapon: compassion.