• Fighting Misinformation and the Pandemic with Ashish Jha

    Air Dates: October 19-25, 2020

    Whatever the final count of fatalities is in the United States from the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost is already far too high.  Dr. Ashish Jha reminds us that there are still simple things that Americans can do to stay safe, to stay healthy, and to help fight the pandemic.

    Jha is a practicing physician and is the Dean of the Brown School of Public Health and professor of Health Services, Policy, and Practice after serving as the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute and teaching at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.  He has been recognized as a global expert on pandemic preparedness and response in addition to health policy research and practice.  He has led groundbreaking research around Ebola and is now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, leading national and international analysis of key issues and advising state and federal policy makers. Jha has published more than two hundred original research publications in prestigious journals including the BMJ and New England Journal of Medicine and is a frequent contributor to a range of public media. He has conducted extensive research on improving the quality of health care and the reduction of its costs, focusing on the impact of public health policy both nationally and globally.

    On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Jha addresses the segment of the population who are not following basic public health measures.  He says he feels sympathy, knowing many Americans are experiencing “pandemic fatigue” and are dealing with a “a deluge of misinformation.”  He says, “you can understand why some people might think, well maybe it’s not so bad, maybe it is overstated, and that makes it harder for people to constantly be wearing the mask, to constantly be doing social distancing.”  He adds, “from a policy point of view, we’ve got to counter that misinformation, and we need our leaders to counter that misinformation.”

    “Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 3:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

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