These experts from the UW-Madison faculty and staff have agreed to comment on breaking news, ongoing developments and trends in their areas of expertise. If you need help arranging interviews, email University Communications.
Experts on today’s news
Vicki Bier on: How the Biden administration could shift U.S. COVID-19 strategy
Vicki Bier is a professor of industrial and systems engineering and director of the Center for Human Performance and Risk Analysis. She is available to discuss how the Biden administration is expected to approach COVID-19 policy and what's changed in our knowledge of what works and doesn't work to control the virus.
Bier says, “Many things in the U.S. are legally the province of state or county and local governments. It would be very difficult, for example, for the federal government to issue a national lockdown. The idea that a Biden administration could come in and order a national lockdown, I think, is pretty unlikely to happen."
R. Alta Charo on: COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution
As multiple pharmaceutical companies announce initial positive results from vaccine clinical trials, people all over the world are beginning to ask what comes next. Have the vaccines been tested enough? With limited quantities available, who gets first priority? What factors may complicate distribution? Once we have been vaccinated, how long will we be protected? UW-Madison experts are available to help answer these questions.
Alta Charo is a professor law and bioethics. She can discuss the law and regulation governing the development of vaccines and the process for approving them as well as the process and specific considerations that go into the distribution and allocation of the vaccines. She can also speak to liability for any adverse events associated with taking the vaccine and legalities of around mandates or employer requests for vaccination of employees.
James Conway is a pediatric infectious disease specialist and professor of pediatrics. He is the associate director of the UW’s Global Health Institute, the medical director of the UW Health Immunization Program, and director of the Office of Global Health at the School of Medicine and Public Health. He can discuss vaccine hesitancy & refusals, influenza & COVID19 vaccines, global vaccine programs, policy issues, old and new vaccines in development, and vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
Jonathan Temte is the associate dean for public health and community engagement at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He can speak to vaccine policy issues, approval, recommendations, and allocation. He can also discuss scohol and household surveillance and respiratory virus epidemiology including SARAS-CoV-2.
Margaret Kerr on: Women disproportionately affected by pandemic economy
Margaret Kerr, an assistant professor of human development and family studies, is available to discuss the impact of the pandemic on women as they struggle to manage childcare, housework, and work.
Kerr says, “Despite men being more involved in the family than ever before, women are still assuming a greater share of childcare and other family responsibilities. This was true prior to the pandemic, and these differences have only grown since COVID-19 arrived. Mothers are keeping struggling families afloat, and they are feeling the weight of it. Women are reporting higher levels of anxiety, stress, and parental burnout than men, and there’s no visible relief in sight.”
Patrick Remington on: COVID-19 surge in Wisconsin and beyond
Patrick Remington is an emeritus professor of Population Health Sciences and Director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the School of Medicine and Public Health. He is a medical doctor and a former CDC epidemiologist. He is available for interviews about the COVID-19 surge in Wisconsin and the public health response.
Remington can discuss:
-Public health and community health
-Health and risk communications
-Governmental public health
-Public health education
Franciska Coleman on: Trump campaign lawsuits
Franciska Coleman, an assitant professor of law and an expert on constitutional law, is available to discuss the status of the Trump campaign's election-related lawsuits.
Coleman says, "Peaceful transfers of power are the hallmark of a democracy. This is because democracy is defined as government by consent rather than by coercion. Thus, to the extent that the Trump lawsuits tend to negate the narrative of coercion by highlighting the options for contestation and dissent, they are good for democracy. The fear, however, is that these lawsuits are actually designed to create and then amplify narratives of coercion through fraud."
Jeffrey Pothof on: Wisconsin COVID-19 surge
Jeffrey Pothof, assistant professor of emergency medicine and a practicing emergency room doctor, is available to discuss the surge of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, and what he’s seeing at the UW Hospital in terms of shortages of available beds and critical care nurses and physicians. Pothof can share impressions of the human story unfolding and why he says Wisconsin is in new territory.