COVID-19

CommuniVax Coalition Answers “Why Social Science”

The latest Why Social Science? post comes from a group of anthropologists on behalf of the CommuniVax Coalition, an alliance of social scientists, public health experts, and community advocates working to strengthen COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the United States, particularly in communities of color.

House Committee Holds Hearing on COVID-19 Impacts on Children, Highlights Mental Health Impacts

On September 22, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce (E&C) held a hearing to address the public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children. Witnesses included President of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Lee Savio Beers, President of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University Dr. Margaret G. Rush, Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association (a COSSA governing member) Dr. Arthur Evans, founder of VaxTeen Kelly Danielpour, and Epidemiologist Dr. Tracy Beth Hoeg. Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO), Ranking Member Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and full Committee Chair…

White House Releases Pandemic Preparedness Plan

On September 3, the Biden Administration released a Pandemic Preparedness Plan that identifies five key areas of opportunity to protect the U.S. against future biological threats: (1) “Transforming our Medical Defenses, (2) Ensuring Situational Awareness, (3) Strengthening Public Health Systems, (4) Building Core Capabilities, and (5) Managing the Mission.”  The plan includes a total of $65.3 billion in increased funding over 7-10 years, some of which has already been requested as part of the budget reconciliation package currently under consideration in Congress. The full plan is available here.

National Academies Release Report on Rental Evictions and COVID-19

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) have released a new consensus study report titled Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis, which addresses the impending expiration of the federal moratorium on rental evictions on July 21, imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report offers a set of recommendations to be taken over the next three years to address the impacts of housing instability caused by the pandemic. The report also recommends the establishment of a task force in the Executive Office of the President to prevent rental evictions and housing instability.  Some of…

Department of Education Solicits Comments on New School Pulse Survey

The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has requested emergency Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance to conduct a School Pulse Survey that will produce information on how schools, students, and educators are responding in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The survey, which COSSA and other stakeholders have advocated for, is intended to comply with President Biden’s day-one executive order on school reopening, which requires the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), NCES’s home agency, to facilitate “the collection of data necessary to fully understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and educators, including…

New National Academies Guidance Offers Resources for Serving Homeless Communities During Disasters and COVID-19

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) (see COSSA’s previous coverage) has published new guidance on Addressing Disaster Vulnerability Among Homeless Populations During COVID-19. The guidance is intended to help policymakers support homeless populations before, during, and after a disaster in the context of COVID-19. According to the guidance, “Understanding the unique challenges of disaster preparedness among homeless communities and the strain on support services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is critical for effectively planning for and carrying out emergency services and sheltering for homeless populations in the context of COVID-19 and disasters.” The…

HELP Committee Considers Higher Ed Reopening

On June 17, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) held a hearing to discuss the previous response and aid provided to institutions of higher education in light of COVID-19 and what these schools require moving forward to safely return to campus. The committee heard testimony from Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management at UCLA; Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University of Louisiana; Anthony Harris, a student at Baldwin Wallace University; and Madeline Pumariega, President of Miami Dade College. Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) both were in agreement that…

AAAS Fellows to Host Symposium on COVID-19 & Health Inequities

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellows will host a day-long symposium addressing “Health Inequities Exposed and Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic’” on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. The symposium will feature expert panels on healthcare access, health literacy, and the long-term social, behavioral, and economic impacts of COVID-19 mitigation efforts. More information about the symposium is available here.

SBE Calls for Proposals for International Collaborative Research to Aid Pandemic Recovery

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) has announced that it is participating in the Trans-Atlantic Platform Call for Proposals: Recovery, Renewal, and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World (T-AP RRR). T-AP RRR is a grant competition that will support international collaborative research projects that address gaps in our understanding of the complex and dynamic societal effects of COVID-19. Proposals are asked to address one or more of the following challenges: reducing inequalities and vulnerabilities; building a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable society; fostering democratic governance and participation; advancing responsible and inclusive digital innovation; and/or…

New SEAN Guidance Offers Strategies for Communicating About Vaccine Efficacy

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) (see COSSA’s previous coverage) has published a new guidance on Understanding and Communicating Vaccine Efficacy and Effectiveness. The guidance is intended to help public officials prepare and evaluate their communications efforts around vaccination. It is available as an interactive web tool, with highlights on Communicating Vaccine Efficacy and on Communicating About Efficacy and Effectiveness in the Context of Equity in Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution, as well as a full report on the National Academies website.

Senate Health Committee Holds Hearing on COVID-19 Response and Addressing Health Disparities

On March 25, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing on health equity and health disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee members heard testimony from Vice President for Health Equity at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Dr. Consuelo H. Wilkins, Executive Vice President of the Seattle Indian Health Board Abigail Echo-Hawk, Managing Director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress Taryn Mackenzie Williams, and President and CEO of Atrium Health Gene A. Woods. Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC), and Committee members all expressed…

PAA to Host Briefing on Demographic Insights into COVID-19

The Population Association of America will host a virtual congressional briefing, “Living, Working, Dying: Demographic Insights into COVID-19” on Friday, April 23, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET. The event will feature presentations by prominent population scientists who will present findings on the disparate impacts of COVID, especially as they relate to mortality, education, food insecurity, and family dynamics, and what additional research and data are needed to understand and address its far-reaching effects. The briefing will feature Dr. Noreen Goldman of Princeton University. Dr. Caitlyn Collins of Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Marc Garcia of the University of Nebraska,…

Biden Signs American Rescue Plan, with Funding for NSF, IES, Universities

On March 11, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319). As previously reported, the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill includes $600 million in funding to support research related to the pandemic at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and $100 million to support research related to K-12 learning loss at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The bill also includes $39.9 billion in funding to support colleges and universities. Now that this major piece of legislation has been enacted, lawmakers’ attention will turn to appropriations for the coming fiscal year. In addition, discussions will…

NASEM Releases Report Documenting COVID-19’s Impact on Women in STEM, Compiles New COVID Resource

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has released a new consensus study that details how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected women in STEM fields. The report, Impact of COVID-19 on the Careers of Women in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “identifies, names, and documents how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the careers of women in academic STEMM during the initial 9-month period since March 2020 and considers how these disruptions—both positive and negative—might shape future progress for women.” NASEM has also compiled its most important reports, findings, and activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic released over the past…

House Passes Funding for NSF, Higher Ed, and IES in $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill

The House of Representatives passed a massive relief bill on February 27 that aims to bring financial support to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319, committee report) includes direct payments to individuals, expansion of unemployment assistance, and an increase to the national minimum wage, among many other provisions. It also includes several notable provisions of interest to the science community, including $39.9 billion in funding for colleges and universities, with half to be used for student aid, as laid out in the CARES Act (see COSSA’s previous coverage). The bill also…

February Headlines to Feature Deep Dive on Pandemic Relief for Researchers

COSSA members are invited to register for the monthly Headlines webchat on Thursday, March 11 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. The COSSA team will break down the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month, followed by a deep dive discussion on current legislative proposals to provide relief to scholars whose research has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here.

March Headlines to Feature Deep Dive on Pandemic Relief for Researchers

COSSA members are invited to register for the monthly Headlines webchat on Thursday, March 11 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. The COSSA team will break down the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month, followed by a deep dive discussion on current legislative proposals to provide relief to scholars whose research has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here.

House Science Committee Holds Hearing on COVID-19 Impacts and the Recovery of the U.S. Research Enterprise

On February 25, the House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology (SST) held a hearing on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on U.S. research and potential solutions to provide relief and recovery to the research enterprise. The hearing featured testimony from CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Dr. Sudip Parikh, Vice President for Research at Washington State University Dr. Christopher Keane, Executive Vice President of the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas Quaadman, and Executive Director of the American Educational Research Association and member of COSSA’s Board of Directors Dr. Felice…

House Science Committee Holds Hearing On COVID-19 Vaccines and Encouraging Uptake

On February 19, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology held a hearing on “The Science of COVID-19 Vaccines and Encouraging Vaccine Uptake.” The Committee heard testimony from Professor in Vaccinology and Director at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, Director and Health Authority at the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Philip Huang, Deputy Commissioner at the Oklahoma State Department of Health Keith Reed, and the Scientific Director at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics and Associate Professor of Nursing and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania…

SEAN Releases New Expert Consultation on COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) (see COSSA’s previous coverage) has published a new rapid expert consultation, Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence. The guidance compiles research-backed strategies for effectively reaching vulnerable communities and skeptical populations to provide trustworthy information about the COVID-19 vaccine. The consultation is available as an interactive web tool, with highlights on Strategies for Public Engagement to Combat Mistrust and Build COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence and Communication Strategies for Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance.  The report is also available as a full report on the National Academies website.

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