Conversation with Dr. Robert Redfield, MD

I see CDC Director, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, MD all the time on the news and appearing before Congress. The interview below is a live stream from July 14, 2020. Seeing Dr. Redfield in a loosened up environment in conversation with a colleague revealed a lot more of him. I learned about his background, his experience, and who he is as a man. It solidified my respect. In his interview, Dr.

Dr. Fauci at Georgetown

Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared in a live virtual event for Georgetown University on July 14th, 2020. I would like to post expert opinion on a regular basis as a public service for access to authority and an antidote for misinformation. The talk was co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative, the Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy (GU Politics), the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and the Kalmanovitz Initiative on Labor and the Working Poor.

Some news is good news

I surveyed friends on Facebook a while back asking what they hoped the results would be if they got a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. They gave a range of answers. Some hoped for positive results, others negative. This question has scaled up. Seroprevalence is 6-24 times higher than indicated by reported cases. Seroprevalence of Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in 10 Sites in the United States, March 23-May 12, 2020 I see some news outlets reporting this in dire tones.

What do you mean communication is the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge in the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic appears to be communication. Health policy has been inconsistent, suppressed or ignored, governors have rescinded mandates about masks, and health departments have faced resistance to policy, with individual health officials even suffering harrassment and death threats. We observe that public health messages meet resistance and are ineffective when issued as mandates. Health agencies and departments are limited in their legal authority and their power to enforce policy.

Yes, master?

I’m sitting in class at my old high school from decades ago. Sweating. It’s the final exam. I didn’t read anything from the textbook all semester. I thumb through it now. Chemistry. The tests are being passed out this very minute. I’m going to flunk. It gets worse. My high school diploma is invalid. After flunking this test, I’ll have to repeat my senior year. I’ll be the oldest graduating senior in history.

Volunteering for recovery

Do you need tech assistance during the recovery? Data reporting, spreadsheet untangling, database backing up? If you need help treading these choppy waters, get in touch and maybe I can help. I would particularly welcome hearing from you if you are: A public health non-profit, In New York City, or In Troy, Ohio. (My hometown.) View my skills on my LinkedIn profile Email:

Tidymodels site launch

Max Kuhn, author of the caret package (Classification And REgression Training), the indispensible and universally acclaimed R toolbox for machine learning, announced yesterday (April 21, 2020) the launch of The site is a central location for learning and using the tidymodels framework, a collection of packages for modeling and machine learning based on Tidyverse principles. I’m headed over there now for the Getting Started articles. It’s time to ramp up my machine learning skills on the new framework.

How many have it?

In the early days of the pandemic, and even now in mid-April 2020, we heard many estimates of the risk of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Some think maybe it’s like the flu. Others assert, this coronavirus is no flu. When we say coronavirus is or is not like influenza, what comparison are we making? One comparison could involve the incidence of death from each disease. The question could be, how do the numbers of people who perish this week from each disease, COVID-19 vs.

Fiasco or mobilization?

Dr. John Ioannidis Dr. John Ioannidis is well known as the author of the manifesto of reproducibility in research, Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. He published that in 2005. I learned of it much later when I attended an inspiring seminar by Edward Tufte. Fast forward to now, and I’m on fire to apply data science to public health. When I turn my sights on Ioannidis again, I realize he is a professor of epidemiology and statistics.