Health

COVID-19 Beliefs Influenced by Politicians, Not Scientists, Researchers Suggest

As COVID-19 upended societal norms when it swept through the United States in 2020, a second pandemic — or “infodemic” — was also on the rise. An analysis of Twitter users by researchers at UC Davis and the University of Texas, Austin, suggests that Republican-identifying people who believe their local government has positive intentions are vulnerable to believing politically fueled COVID-19 misinformation. The study did not find the same trend among Democrat-identifying Twitter users.

Four Faculty Receive Grants for International Projects

UC Davis Global Affairs awarded grants to four College of Letters and Science faculty for international projects focused on renewable energy, biodesign, tuberculosis and democracy.

Jesús M. Velázquez, assistant professor of chemistry, and colleagues at UC Davis and in Mexico received a $7,500 award from a Global Affairs grant program aimed at achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

How Has DACA Improved Birth Outcomes Among Mexican Immigrant Mothers?

Undocumented pregnant immigrant mothers and their newborn children often experience health difficulties because of the looming threat and fear of deportation. UC Davis sociologists looked at DACA’s positive impact on birth outcomes among a portion of Mexican-immigrant women in the United States. “We found that DACA was associated with improvements in the rates of low birth weight and very low birth weight, birth weight in grams, and gestational age among infants born to Mexican-immigrant mothers," they write in a new policy brief released by the UC Davis Center for Poverty and Inequality Research.

Communication Faculty Honored as Young Public Health Innovator

The American Public Health Association recently presented Jingwen Zhang, a UC Davis assistant professor of communication, with its 2021 Ayman El-Mohandes Young Professional Public Health Innovation Award. One of the association’s top awards, it recognizes a public health professional, age 40 or younger, who is using an innovative solution to address a complex public health issue.