Responding to COVID-19 with Research and Analysis

Members of the Pardee RAND community are contributing to the COVID-19 response by sharing their expertise on topics that include emergency response, health care, public health, online education, economic and security implications, and more. We are also searching for solutions to coronavirus-related challenges on local, state, national, and global levels. Learn how our students, alumni, and faculty are responding to the pandemic.

Hospitals and Health Care

  • Two health care workers checking on a patient in quarantine, photo by tuachanwatthana/Getty Images

    Health Care Resource Allocation Decisionmaking During a Pandemic

    Jun 18, 2020

    Student Karishma Patel (cohort '17) and colleagues developed a Core Guidance Checklist that can help health systems and policymakers make choices about how to allocate scarce but lifesaving resources—for patients and for health care workers—during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Alum Describes Results of USC Antibody Study

    May 28, 2020

    Neeraj Sood (cohort '99) joined KTLA-TV live via Skype to talk about the results of the COVID-19 Antibody Study led by his team at the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

  • Lazy boy on couch watching TV, photo by Tracy King/Adobe Stock

    Alum Finds Pandemic May Led to Increased Childhood Obesity

    May 27, 2020

    ​The childhood obesity rate in the United States may increase by 2.4% if school closures continue into December, according to a new study by Ruopeng An (cohort '08), an assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University who studies obesity and social determinants of health.

  • People have lunch at a restaurant that reopened with plastic barriers and social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Bangkok, Thailand, May 8, 2020, photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

    Modeling the Future of COVID-19: Q&A with Pardee RAND Faculty

    May 26, 2020

    The phrase “flatten the curve” familiarized millions of Americans with epidemiological models used to estimate virus transmission, cases, and potential deaths from COVID-19. But Profs. Jeanne Ringel and Raffaele Vardavas say new models are needed as the country enters a different stage of the crisis, one in which changed behaviors must be taken into account.

  • Exhausted medical worker taking off coronavirus protective gear N95 mask, photo by eldar nurkovic/Adobe Stock

    Alum: In Many Unfortunate Ways, Coronavirus Is Like a War

    May 26, 2020

    Janice Blanchard (cohort '98), a professor and physician, writes of pandemic-induced PTSD: "Perhaps the most important commonality between COVID-19 and war is the lasting mental anguish that many of its warriors face."

  • A laboratory technician working on research for a vaccine against COVID-19 in Bern, Switzerland, April 22, 2020, photo by Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

    Profs: Blueprint Needed for a Post-Vaccine World

    May 11, 2020

    When a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, many in rich countries may be able to afford it while the poor and uninsured may not. In poor countries, most people won't be able to pay. Professors Krishna Kumar and Chris Nelson say the time to plan for equitable access, financing, intellectual property rights, and global production is now.

  • A TV reporter wearing a mask, photo by brightstars/Getty Images

    Alum: Don't Make the Pandemic Worse with Poor Data Analysis

    May 6, 2020

    The need for immediate answers in the face of severe public health and economic distress may create a temptation to relax statistical standards, write David Groves (cohort '01) and five fellow codirectors of RAND's Methods Centers. But urgency should not preclude expert analysis and honest assessments of uncertainty. Mistaken assumptions could lead to counterproductive actions.

  • COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit, photo by JazzIRT/Getty Images

    Students Offer Hospitals Critical Care Surge Capacity Strategies for Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

    May 5, 2020

    Karishma Patel (cohort '17) and Hamad Al Ibrahim ('18) worked with RAND researchers to present methods for creating critical care surge capacity in hospitals to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Wood block stacking with icon healthcare medical, Insurance for your health concept, photo by marchmeena29/Getty Images

    Student and Profs: How America Can Begin Building a System of Health

    May 4, 2020

    COVID-19 is shining a harsh spotlight on long-recognized but under-addressed gaps in the U.S. health system, write Tim McDonald (cohort '16) and Profs. Christopher Nelson and Laurie Martin. As the nation moves quickly to respond, it could begin by engaging in the work of designing, defining, and building a System of Health.

  • Laura Ng, who has lupus and had to recently call at least five pharmacies before she could find a place to fill her hydroxychloroquine prescription, in Seattle, Washington, March 31, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    The Unintended Consequences of a Proposed Cure for COVID-19

    Apr 29, 2020

    The very discussion of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as therapeutic options against COVID-19 has decreased their availability for proven treatments, exacerbated global shortages, fueled an already rampant counterfeit drug market in Africa, and worsened trade tensions. Student Sangita Baxi (cohort '17) and professors Krishna Kumar and Todd Richmond ask, What can be done to deal with the unintended consequences caused by the elevated profile of these drugs?

  • Medical mask production workers are organizing masks, photo by InkheartX/Adobe Stock

    Alum Reviews Inexpensive Options to Mitigate Pandemic Risk

    Apr 21, 2020

    A year before the COVID-19 pandemic began, David Manheim (cohort '12) examined interventions that could significantly reduce the impact of a large-scale pandemic by reducing transmission, reducing exposure, reducing impact for those infected, and increasing large scale resilience.

  • Alum Reports Findings of Early Tests: 4% of L.A. County Adults Have Antibody

    Apr 21, 2020

    An ongoing study led by Neeraj Sood (cohort '99) found that only 4 percent of the adult population of Los Angeles County has been infected with the novel coronavirus, "which means we are very early in the epidemic, and many more people in L.A. County could potentially be infected."

  • U.S. Army Major Shandel Panneton and 1st Lieutenant Autumn Kruse verify patient census and bed status information at the Javits New York Medical Station which supports local hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak, in New York City, April 8, 2020, photo by Spc. Nathan Hammack/U.S. Army via Reuters

    Students Help Develop Interactive Tool for Strategizing Hospital Critical Care Capacity

    Apr 17, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic is placing extraordinary strains on the U.S. medical system, especially hospitals. Hamad Al-Ibrahim (cohort '18) and Karishma Patel ('17) worked with Prof. Chris Nelson and RAND colleagues to develop an interactive tool hospitals can use to estimate their current critical care capacity and rapidly explore strategies for increasing it.

  • Multi-ethnic group of women, photo by andresr/Getty Images

    Alum: COVID-19 Offers Chance to Study the Impact of Sex and Gender

    Apr 13, 2020

    Much of current medical evidence is based largely on men, writes alum Denise Quigley (cohort '91) with RAND colleagues. The current COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique opportunity to examine the potential value of asking questions about sex and gender differences to inform ongoing policy decisions.

  • Diabetic child with glucometer learning to check blood sugar level at home, photo by JPC-PROD/Adobe Stock

    Alum: Correcting this Faulty Belief about COVID-19 Will Save Lives

    Apr 13, 2020

    "The health conditions that can complicate COVID-19 aren't unique to the elderly," writes alum Ken Thorpe (cohort '80), . "Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, lung disease, and asthma all impact younger and middle-aged people, too." Thorpe is professor of health policy at Emory University and chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

  • Woman begins drive-through coronavirus testing, photo by Robert Kneschke/Adobe Stock

    Alum Leads USC Effort to Test for Coronavirus Antibodies

    Apr 13, 2020

    Neeraj Sood (cohort '99) is leading a USC study with L.A. County to test the blood of 1,000 randomly selected individuals for COVID-19 antibodies. “The test will provide fundamental information about the deadliness of the disease, if policy measures like social distancing are working, and also how long the pandemic is likely to last,” he said.

  • Drawing fluid from bottle with needle, photo by ashtproductions/Adobe Stock

    Alum Coordinating UCLA Clinical Trials of COVID-19 Therapies

    Apr 3, 2020

    Alum Arash Naeim (cohort '99), chief medical officer for clinical research for UCLA Health, is co-chairing a clinical research task force that is coordinating tests of the anti-viral drug remdesivir and other therapies against COVID-19.

  • Hospital workers are seen near a tent erected to test for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York, March 19, 2020, photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    Students Contribute to New Tool to Help Health Officials Plan for COVID-19 Patient Surge

    Apr 3, 2020

    Hospitals are searching for ways to ramp up their surge capacity to provide critical care for the sickest COVID-19 patients. Students Karishma Patel (cohort '17) and Hamad Al-Ibrahim ('18) helped to develop a user-friendly calculator that enables decisionmakers at all levels to estimate current critical care capacity and rapidly explore strategies for increasing it.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., January 19, 2020, photo by Will Dunham/Reuters

    Prof: What If the Supreme Court Strikes Down the ACA During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

    Apr 3, 2020

    With COVID-19 spreading across the United States, the fate of the Affordable Care Act is once again up in the air, hanging on the outcome of a Supreme Court case. If the law is overturned, writes Prof. Christine Eibner, upwards of 20 million people could lose their health insurance during one of the deadliest pandemics in modern history.

  • Ambulances seen outside NYU Langone Hospital's Emergency entrance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in New York City, March 31, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Students: Promising Strategies for Creating Critical Care Capacity in U.S. Hospitals

    Apr 3, 2020

    Hospitals can prepare for a surge of patients critically ill with COVID-19, but it will require hospital leaders, practitioners, and regional officials to adopt drastic measures that challenge the standard way of providing care. Students Karishma Patel (cohort '17) and Hamad Al Ibrahim ('18) worked with RAND colleagues to develop a tool to help estimate current capacity and explore ways to increase it.

  • Close up of medical technician working on bacterial culture and drug resistance of pathogens in laboratory, photo by analysis121980/Adobe Stock

    Alum: Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs Emerge as Enemy in the COVID-19 Fight

    Apr 1, 2020

    Alum Kenneth Thorpe (cohort '80), professor of health policy at Emory University, says a subset of COVID-19 patients must fight an even more terrifying enemy. Doctors are increasingly watching in horror as drug-resistant bacteria, or "superbugs," invade patients' weakened bodies and send them into fatal septic shock.

  • A worker checks part of a delivery of hospital beds to The Mount Sinai Hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak, New York City, March 31, 2020, photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    Prof: Implement Critical Care Surge Strategies Now to Save Lives

    Apr 1, 2020

    As COVID-19 continues to spread, hospitals are bracing for a surge of patients requiring critical care. To meet the demand, Prof. Christopher Nelson says U.S. health care facilities may need to fundamentally change the way they allocate space, staff, and equipment.

  • Medical transcriptionist preparing patient discharge, photo by auremar phovoir/Adobe Stock

    Hospitals, Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Financial Fallout: Alum Quoted

    Mar 27, 2020

    Alum Jeff Luck (cohort '91), an associate professor of health management at Oregon State University, says providers might press the federal government to increase reimbursements “to ease the pain" if treating Medicare patients for COVID-19 becomes a big financial burden.

  • Coronavirus shown against world map and trend lines, illustration by chakisatelier/Adobe Stock

    Alum: Is Covid-19 as Deadly as They Say?

    Mar 26, 2020

    Alum Neeraj Sood (cohort '99) contributed to a Wall Street Journal commentary that examines epidemiological data from a number of groups and argues that "projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high."

  • Checking a young boy's temperature, photo by Rido/Adobe Stock

    Alum, in WSJ: It’s Dangerous to Test Only the Sick

    Mar 16, 2020

    In the Wall Street Journal, Neeraj Sood (cohort '99) writes: "President Trump says 1.4 million tests for the novel coronavirus will become available this week. That’s welcome news. But officials are about to make a mistake. The president said testing will be limited to people who believe they may be infected."

Workers and the Economy

  • Lisa Rowland, owner of Dog's Best Friend, trims the coat of a poodle as dog grooming services gradually reopen during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Pasadena, California, May 21, 2020, photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

    Student Examines How Small Businesses Are Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic

    May 22, 2020

    Small-business owners are facing many challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Diana Gehlhaus (cohort '15) helped research what kinds of policies might help them and what will they need to thrive once the immediate public health crisis has passed.

  • Crowds gather at Buffalo Bayou Park as social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19 are relaxed in Houston, Texas, May 4, 2020, photo by Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters

    Profs: Relaxing COVID-19 Restrictions Presents Stark Health and Economic Choices

    May 18, 2020

    RAND's new publicly available COVID-19 interventions impact tool uses epidemiological and economic models and continually refreshed data to estimate what could happen as restrictions are eased. Professors Ringel, Vardavas, and Strong say the tool—which they developed with the help of five Pardee RAND students—cannot make the choices confronting state leaders less painful, but it can provide clear evidence-based estimates of the health and economic trade-offs.

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Hialeah, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Prof Asks, Is the Unemployment Rate Now Higher Than It Was in the Great Depression?

    May 7, 2020

    The extent of COVID-19's effect on the labor market will be catastrophic for many workers and businesses, writes Prof. Kathryn Edwards. Matching the unemployment rate peak set by the Great Depression is a possibility, but reaching this unfortunate milestone is not necessary to establish the historic nature of the downturn we are living through today.

  • A woman waits in front of a closed and shuttered storefront amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Lynn, Massachusetts, May 4, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    The Health and Economic Tradeoffs of Reopening America: Q&A with Prof and RAND Experts

    May 4, 2020

    Local and state officials are thinking through whether, when, and how to lift social-distancing restrictions. We asked three RAND researchers—including Prof. Aaron Strong—about the complex problem of reopening.

  • State Policy Evaluation Tool

    Students Help Develop Tool for Policymakers to Manage COVID-19 Responses

    May 4, 2020

    State and local officials implemented a range of interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing and school closures. Pedro Lima, Lawrence Baker, Keren Zhu, Michelle Priest, and Lynn Hu helped to develop a web-based tool to help leaders weigh both the public health and economic consequences of different approaches to lifting some of these measures.

  • Commercial trucks cross over the Ambassador Bridge at the international border crossing during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Detroit, Michigan, March 18, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Profs Examine Supply Chain Disruptions Due to COVID-19 and Social Distancing

    Apr 28, 2020

    The physical distancing policies put into effect in the United States to reduce the growth of COVID-19 entail significant epidemiological and economic risks and uncertainties. Professors Aaron Strong and Jonathan Welburn have estimated the economy-wide impacts of a set of these policies to provide a sense of their likely economic toll.

  • People shop while wearing mask and protective gloves, photo by Kadmy/Adobe Stock

    Alum Proposes Next Steps on the Return to Normalcy

    Apr 27, 2020

    "It is natural to start thinking about what it might take to return to normalcy," writes Loren Yager (cohort '87). "Unfortunately, these decisions are vastly more complex than the stay at home orders because there is no 'one size fits all' strategy."

  • Residents carry boxes of free groceries distributed at a pop-up food pantry by the Massachusetts Army National Guard in Chelsea, Massachusetts, April 24, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Prof Examines Second Wave of COVID Consequences

    Apr 24, 2020

    Economists closely watch measures of consumer confidence because they are highly predictive economic indicators. Prof. Kathryn Edwards says new consumer data reveals likely long-term and prolonged economic fallout.

  • Will the Pandemic Cause a Recession?

    Prof: Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Cause a Recession?

    Apr 22, 2020

    Prof. Kathryn Edwards addresses the concern that the social and health actions being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic may cause a recession.

  • Alum Discusses Importance of Business Innovation in Pandemic Response

    Apr 20, 2020

    "We always have a full pipeline of projects that we're working on for innovation," said alum Jamie Gayton, (cohort '06) executive vice president of PenFed Credit Union, about his organization's response to COVID-19. "Innovation is the lifeblood of a credit union, it's what keeps us going into the future."

  • Seniors wearing face masks, walking in the airport, photo by Fabio/Adobe Stock

    Alum Examines Restarting International Travel in Time of COVID-19

    Apr 17, 2020

    As many governments start to lift their domestic pandemic mitigation measures, greater attention will turn to restrictions on international travel. Jakub Hlavka (cohort '14) asks, How quickly should we want and expect those restrictions to be lifted?

  • Naomi Hassebroek holds her son Felix while working with her husband Doug Hassebroek at their home, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brooklyn, New York, March 19, 2020, photo by Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

    Prof: Can We Emerge from COVID-19 with a Healthier Work Culture?

    Apr 16, 2020

    American families want greater choices in determining how their work and their families fit together. Post-pandemic, can we create a system that fits workers? If so, Prof. Heather Williams says we have the opportunity to emerge from this crisis with both healthier employees and better performing organizations.

  • Laid-off white-collar employee taking his office supplies with him, photo by Ty/Adobe Stock

    WSJ Quotes Alum on White-Collar Unemployment

    Apr 14, 2020

    Julia Pollak (cohort '12), a labor economist for ZipRecruiter, explains why few are safe from the second round of coronavirus layoffs: “Any company that had been planning to open a second location, that hired an architect, an office designer, and contractor—they’re not opening that location this year and those people now won’t have jobs."

  • Selection of medical recreational cannabis at a legal retail store, photo by Kyle Taisacan/Adobe Stock

    Student: Pandemic Will Add to Struggles of Smaller Cannabis Businesses

    Apr 13, 2020

    NBC quoted Steven Davenport (cohort '15) about the lack of federal relief for cannabis store owners: "Small businesses who can't afford to endure longer periods of low prices or disruptions in revenues will probably look to be acquired in order to preserve their financial health."

  • Temporary closed signage is seen at a store in Manhattan following the outbreak of COVID-19, in New York City, March 15, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Profs on the Danger of Converting a Health Crisis into a Financial Crisis

    Apr 13, 2020

    The impulse to do something to help businesses right now is well-intended, but lending to companies that were highly leveraged pre-crisis is a risky bet, write professors Krishna Kumar, Shanthi Nataraj, and Jonathan Welburn. Assistance could be best directed toward sound enterprises that are likely to survive and contribute to boosting the economy in the coming years.

  • Kathryn Edwards

    Prof Discusses on the Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Apr 7, 2020

    Prof. Kathryn Edwards says unemployment insurance is one tool that could help, but it needs to be "reformed on the fly" to respond to today's economic climate.

  • People wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of COVID-19 at an Arkansas Workforce Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas, April 6, 2020, photo by Nick Oxford/Reuters

    Prof: Millions Need Unemployment Benefits. Unfortunately, the Delivery System Is Broken

    Apr 6, 2020

    More than 10 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in March as businesses closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The stimulus package passed in March enacted welcome measures to tide people over, but Prof. Kathryn Edwards says these temporary fixes don't address the structural problems that will continue to plague unemployment benefit programs after the infusion of cash runs out.

  • Coronavirus and financial stock market crisis, illustration by denisismagilov/Adobe Stock

    Alum Estimates Economic Benefits of California's Stay-at-Home Policy

    Apr 1, 2020

    Joe Nation (cohort '85), a professor of the practice of public policy at Stanford University, calculated the net cost of the state's stay-at-home order. "National and state leaders who claim to be putting the economy first are in fact putting it last. Saving lives also saves the economy," he found.

  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer meet with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to wrap up work on coronavirus economic aid legislation, Washington, D.C., March 20, 2020, photo by Mary F. Calvert/Reuters

    The Economic Wallop of COVID-19: Q&A with Faculty Experts

    Mar 26, 2020

    As Washington continues to weigh economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are insights from Pardee RAND professors Jennifer Kavanagh, Debra Knopman, Krishna Kumar, and Howard Shatz on how aid money might be best allocated, how this crisis compares to the 2008 recession, what business communities can do right now, and more.

  • A man wears a mask while walking past the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, March 17, 2020, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    The Social Distancing Economy: Q&A with Pardee RAND Faculty and RAND Experts

    Mar 18, 2020

    Congress and the White House are weighing economic policies to help people acutely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are insights from Pardee RAND professors Kathryn Edwards, Debra Knopman, Krishna Kumar, Benjamin Miller, Howard Shatz, and Jonathan Welburn on what might be effective in terms of fiscal policy, stimulus spending, and emergency relief to affected workers.

Vulnerable Populations

  • Teacher wearing a face mask works with students with disabilities in classroom, photo by Wavebreakmedia/Getty Images

    The American Rescue Plan Is a Chance to Support Students with Disabilities. Here Are Some Investments Worth Considering

    May 5, 2021

    National surveys of K–12 teachers provide insight into challenges for effectively educating students with disabilities during the pandemic and beyond. Understanding these challenges can help identify important funding options to address gaps.

  • A teacher and student wearing face masks talk to each other using sign language, photo by Wavebreakmedia/Getty Images

    How Are Teachers Educating Students with Disabilities During the Pandemic?

    Apr 8, 2021

    Students Katie Feistel and Heather Gomez-Bendana examined how remote and hybrid learning can present particular challenges to students with disabilities (SWD) and their teachers. Nearly two in five teachers said that their schools offered alternative instructional arrangements for SWD during the pandemic, but this was less common in majority non-White and high-poverty schools.

  • People are seen at a 24-hour COVID-19 vaccination center at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn, New York, January 11, 2021, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Vaccine Hesitancy Is High Among Black Americans, Including Health Care Workers

    Mar 1, 2021

    Lower vaccination rates among Black Americans would further widen COVID-19 inequities in diagnosis, hospitalization, and mortality. But research by Priya Gandhi (cohort '20) and colleagues finds that concerns about vaccine safety, mistrust of the government's transparency around COVID-19, and beliefs about racism in health care are contributing to mistrust of the vaccine.

  • Harvard University campus after it shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 25, 2020, photo by Keiko Hiromi/Reuters

    College in America Could Be Changed Forever

    Jul 7, 2020

    COVID-19 is threatening to upend the models that both public and private higher education depend on in the United States, write Professors Charles Goldman and Rita Karam. As universities consider whether to postpone in-person classes until next year, many parents and students may be questioning the value of a traditional higher education.

  • Oakes McClenahan, 7, watches his teacher's recorded lesson on a computer at home, Seattle, Washington, March 27, 2020, photo by Jason Redmond/Reuters

    How Are Educators Teaching and Leading Through the Pandemic?

    Jun 22, 2020

    U.S. teachers and principals shifted quickly to support students with distance learning during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis. Unfortunately, according to research by student Melissa Diliberti (cohort '19) and colleagues, the pandemic is likely to make existing inequalities worse.

  • Profile of Black Emergency Doctors Features Alum

    Jun 8, 2020

    Janice Blanchard (cohort '98) was one of three DC-area black emergency physicians featured by local NPR station WAMU. "I think as a black doctor, it’s my responsibility to do everything in my power to make sure that a black patient is getting fair treatment," she said.

  • People stand in line at Harlem's Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in New York City, May 9, 2020, photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    How Are Americans Paying Their Bills During the Pandemic?

    Jun 3, 2020

    About one-third of U.S. households have experienced a decline in income as a result of COVID-19. Professors Katherine Carman and Shanthi Nataraj find that roughly 30 percent of these households—especially low-income, black, or Hispanic households—are having difficulties paying their bills.

  • A man carries food donated by Alianza Ecuatoriana International at a food pantry in Queens, New York, May 16, 2020, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Alum and Prof: Emergency COVID-19 Aid Helps College Students with Food and Housing

    May 26, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the pool of cash-strapped college students, but many were already struggling. Alum Lindsay Daugherty (cohort '05) and Prof. Drew Anderson say the crisis could draw attention to food and housing insecurity among college students, and give college leaders a chance to consider how to address these needs more systematically over the long-term.

  • A rideshare driver wears gloves and a mask while driving following the outbreak of COVID-19, in New York City, March 15, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Prof Explores Use of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

    May 5, 2020

    More widespread availability of rideshare for non emergency medical transport may save lives, reserve emergency resources for those who need them and provide safe pathways to primary care for the chronically ill, writes Prof. Christopher Whaley. It could also save livelihoods, providing employment in a time of economic hardship.

  • A volunteer with Highpoint Charitable Services loads groceries into the car of a family in need at a food bank in LaGrange, Kentucky, April 13, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Profs: How to Feed the Needy and Protect Workers on the Front Lines

    Apr 30, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in modern times and access to food could be critical to getting through it. Professors Andrea Richardson and Tamara Dubowitz say local leaders and policymakers could find themselves having to devote new resources to make sure all citizens have access to food and to protect those on the front lines.

  • Brunette woman wearing a face mask looking through the window with her reflection on the glass, photo by Pajaros Volando/Adobe Stock

    Alum Comments on the High Rate of Latinos with COVID-19

    Apr 27, 2020

    "We know this happens. We've seen this before,” said Leo Morales (cohort '95) about the fact that Latino patients are testing positive for COVID-19 at twice the rate of white patients. Morales, co-director of the Latino Center for Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine, was interviewed by his local NPR station about why this might be the case.

  • Housekeeper washing the dishes wearing a mask, photo by FG Trade/Getty Images

    Profs: Government Should Do More to Protect Household Employers and Workers

    Apr 23, 2020

    As the federal government extends aid to people put out of work by the COVID-19 pandemic, professors Shanthi Nataraj and Krishna Kumar write, it could do more to help one group of employers and the vital American workers they employ: hundreds of thousands of nannies, housekeepers, and others employed in private homes.

  • A woman prays alone in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Palm Sunday amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Worcester, Massachusetts, April 5, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Profs: The Important Role of Faith-Based Organizations in the Context of COVID-19

    Apr 16, 2020

    Maintaining social and spiritual connections in the midst of COVID-19 are not the only challenges facing communities of faith. Prof. Kathryn Pitkin Derose and Pardee RAND Practitioner in Residence Michael Mata say congregations play critical roles in providing social services within communities.

  • Red coronavirus cell locked in metal cage, illustration by grandeduc/Adobe Stock

    Alum Offers Recommendations for Rapid Release and Reentry During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Apr 15, 2020

    Alum Angela Hawken (cohort '98), program director at the Litmus program at the NYU Marron Institute, has conducted research on early release from prison since 2016. Since early March 2020, Litmus has been working with justice agencies nationwide to learn how jails, prisons, and community corrections are responding to COVID-19.

  • Project Shares COVID-19 Resources for LAUSD Families

    Apr 14, 2020

    The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) faces numerous challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pardee RAND is partnering with the district and Pepperdine University to share information about a wide variety of community resources available to parents and students.

  • Bus driver wears a face mask to protect himself from the coronavirus epidemic, photo by Uliana Nadorozhna/Adobe Stock

    Alum on Why Twice as Many Black D.C. Residents Have COVID-19 as Their White Peers

    Apr 9, 2020

    Alum Janice Blanchard (cohort '98), an associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University Hospital who studies racial disparities in U.S. healthcare: “Social distancing is very hard to do … when you have to get on a bus every day to go to work.”

  • Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda checks in to a council meeting by phone due to the council's temporary work from home policy during the COVID-19 outbreak in Seattle, Washington, March 23, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Prof on Parenting Through the Pandemic: Who's Working, Who's Caring for the Kids, and What Policies Might Help

    Apr 8, 2020

    To help inform policy decisions that could help working parents affected by COVID-19, Prof. Kathryn Edwards examined the U.S. Department of Labor's Current Population Survey and recent coronavirus relief acts. Our review shows us what aid working parents might expect and what kinds of aid policymakers might consider going forward.

  • Kevin Keeley, who has been experiencing homelessness for eight months and may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, stands outside a quarantine tent in Boston, Massachusetts, April 2, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Prof Examines Emergency Homeless Services During the COVID-19 Crisis

    Apr 7, 2020

    The recently passed $2 trillion stimulus package includes a suite of measures designed to support households that are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. But Prof. Sarah Hunter says policymakers may want to consider what protections the package offers to a particularly high-risk group: people experiencing homelessness.

  • Adult son comforting his father who is not feeling well, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Prof: The Public Charge Rule's Likely Hazard to Our Nation's Health During COVID-19

    Apr 6, 2020

    The Public Charge rule makes immigrants who receive Medicaid and other publicly-funded benefits potentially ineligible for green cards, and, in some cases, subjects them to deportation. Prof. Kathryn Derose says fear and reluctance to seek assistance among immigrants is likely to worsen during the COVID-19 epidemic.

  • Agricultural workers clean carrot crops of weeds amid an outbreak of COVID-19 at a farm near Arvin, California, April 3, 2020, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Dean: Farmworkers Are Forgotten on the Frontlines of the Food Supply Chain

    Apr 3, 2020

    The working and living conditions of farmworkers make practicing social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine impossible, writes Dean Susan Marquis. In the food supply, farmworkers are the first responders who keep the supply chains going. FEMA, the CDC, and state governments should include farmworkers and agricultural communities in their emergency response plans.

  • Children pick up lunch at the Olympic Hills Elementary School, after schools were closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, in Seattle, Washington, March 17, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Profs Examine Food Access Challenges and Solutions Brought on by COVID-19

    Mar 31, 2020

    For the 14.3 million American households already experiencing food insecurity, COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions have created new layers of hardship, write professors Tamara Dubowitz and Andrea Richardson. Tremendous efforts are already underway to make sure the food insecure aren't forgotten in the midst of so much other disruption. But the weeks to come will surely demand more creative solutions from the public and private sectors, particularly for the most vulnerable in our communities.

National Security and International Affairs

  • Passersby walk past a countdown clock showing the adjusted days and time until the start of the postponed Tokyo Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, April 1, 2020, photo by Issei Kato/Reuters

    Prof: Jumpstarting the U.S.-Japan-Korea Trilateral Amid COVID-19

    May 6, 2020

    Since roughly 2012, South Korea–Japan ties have frayed over tensions between the two countries. Prof. Scott Harold asks, could the United States use its relationships with Japan and South Korea to encourage trilateral medical cooperation during the pandemic, ensure that the Tokyo Olympic Games are held, and in so doing help support healing in the relationship between Seoul and Tokyo?

  • Circuit board blue background, photo by Sergey Nivens/Adobe Stock

    Alum Urges Congress to Include IT Modernization Funding in Future Rescue Bills

    Apr 17, 2020

    "The COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant strain on many of the federal, state, and local government resources across the United States that people depend on every day," said alum Gordon Bitko (cohort '02), senior vice president of policy, public sector at the Information Technology Industry Council. ITI was one of five tech trade groups that signed an open letter to Congress.

  • Gloved hands holding a globe wrapped in plastic, photo by nito/Adobe Stock

    Alum Asks, Can Globalization Survive the Current Health Pandemic?

    Apr 17, 2020

    Jeremy Ghez (cohort '06) identifies four principles of globalization and says a reversal of any of them "would be a game-changer that would challenge some of the foundations of globalization as we know it today."

  • Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

    Prof Examines Who Has Jurisdiction Over a Pandemic, the U.S. Government or States?

    Apr 15, 2020

    Prof. Phillip Carter and fellow RAND experts discuss the recent buildup of tensions between the federal government and state and local authorities. When it comes to planning for and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, who's in charge?

  • An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington D.C., June 15, 2005, photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

    Alum, Profs Examine Defense Budget Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Apr 7, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a dramatic toll on the U.S. economy. This could have significant medium-term implications for the U.S. defense budget, write alum Ted Harshberger (cohort '86) and professors Krishna Kumar and Howard Shatz. The U.S. Department of Defense will need to find efficiencies that are of at least the same magnitude as the recent sequestration.

  • A sign hangs on a door stating that it does not need to be cleaned, in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2020, photo by Alexander Drago/Reuters

    Prof: During Coronavirus Pandemic, Can Congress Members Do Their Jobs by Teleworking?

    Apr 6, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic presents a new challenge to how Congress conducts business, writes Prof. Quentin Hodgson. How can the United States leverage existing technologies so lawmakers can continue to work safely and securely?

  • Man at home working on a computer, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Prof: After the Crisis, Should the Federal Workforce Stay Remote?

    Apr 3, 2020

    As physical distancing becomes the new norm, so too does telework. But Prof. Kathryn Edwards and RAND colleagues ask, should federal agencies maintain their remote operations for the long haul? As those involved with national security agencies, operations, and workforce issues know, this is not a decision to make lightly.

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observes the firing of suspected missiles in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 22, 2020, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Alum and Student: North Korea Is Denying COVID-19

    Apr 2, 2020

    According to North Korean authorities, North Korea has not yet suffered any cases of COVID-19. Alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75) and student Diana Myers ('19) say that is very surprising, given that North Korea is a neighbor and extensive trading partner of China, where the disease initially flourished. There are signs that the absence of COVID-19 cases in North Korea is yet another North Korean deception.

  • An empty market after a curfew was imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, March 18, 2020

    Prof Considers Economic Consequences of COVID-19 in the Middle East, Implications for U.S. National Security

    Apr 1, 2020

    The global COVID-19 pandemic will have a dramatic impact on economies across the globe, but the Middle East may be particularly affected given the simultaneous fall in oil prices, writes Prof. Howard Shatz. The economic consequences of this pandemic are also likely to affect U.S. interests in the region.

  • The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort passes the Statue of Liberty as it enters New York Harbor during the COVID-19 outbreak, March 30, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Prof: After COVID-19, America Needs to Reengage with the World, Not Retreat

    Apr 1, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic should lead to a further strengthening of the national and international response capacity, writes Prof. Krishna Kumar. The alternative of erecting barriers and closing America off to the world would leave it more vulnerable to the next big shock.

  • An employee checks the temperature of a man at the entrance of a supermarket, as the spread of COVID-19 continues, Milan, Italy March 23, 2020, photo by Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

    Alum Shares Lessons from Italy’s Response to Coronavirus

    Mar 30, 2020

    Alum Michele Zanini (cohort '96) coauthored a Harvard Business Review article "to help U.S. and European policymakers at all levels learn from Italy’s mistakes so they can recognize and address the unprecedented challenges presented by the rapidly expanding crisis."

  • A Palestinian worker sanitizes the hands of a customer at a supermarket in Gaza City, March 8, 2020. Picture taken March 8, 2020, photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters

    Alum Discusses Gaza's Coronavirus Challenges

    Mar 26, 2020

    In a podcast interview, Shira Efron (cohort '11) explains, "What we take for granted in the developed world you just can't do in Gaza. Gaza does not have enough water — it's not just that the water is not clean, which we know it's not — but it doesn't have enough water not only for drinking and cooking, but also hygiene and sanitation."

  • A staff member cleans and disinfects a display window to protect guests from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan, March 17, 2020. Photo by Ann Wang/Reuters

    In JAMA, Alum Explores Taiwan's Response to COVID-19

    Mar 16, 2020

    Jason Wang (cohort '01) was the lead author of "Response to COVID-19 in Taiwan: Big Data Analytics, New Technology, and Proactive Testing," a viewpoint coauthored with Prof. Robert Brook and published in JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association.


  • Student puts together molecular model during online school. lesson, photo by lithiumphoto/Adobe Stock

    Urban and Rural Districts Show Strong Divide During the Pandemic

    May 11, 2021

    As of February 2021, only 17 percent of urban school districts—compared with 42 percent of rural districts—were offering fully in-person instruction. Students Melissa Kay Diliberti and Lisa Berdie worked with colleagues to consider the implications of this disparity.

  • A student using her laptop at home, photo by damircudic/Getty Images

    Despite Its Challenges, Remote Learning Is Here to Stay

    Dec 15, 2020

    School district leaders are concerned about students' unequal opportunities to learn during the pandemic, students' social and emotional learning needs, and insufficient funding to cover staff, according to Melissa Diliberti (cohort '19) and her coauthors. Still, about two in ten leaders still anticipate that a fully remote learning option will become a permanent public school offering.

  • Teachers work outside their school building for safety reasons as they prepare for the delayed start of the school year due to COVID-19, in Brooklyn, New York City, September 14, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    This School Year Could Be Another Casualty of the Pandemic

    Nov 16, 2020

    Most U.S. schools are providing either fully remote or hybrid instruction as the pandemic continues to limit students' learning. Melissa Diliberti (cohort '19) finds that students are less prepared for grade-level work and those from vulnerable populations are most at risk of falling behind. Some 80 percent of teachers report burnout.

  • A teacher showing a globe to her online elementary students, photo by ake1150sb/Getty Images

    Schools Weren't Prepared for a Crisis Like COVID-19

    Sep 29, 2020

    Before COVID-19, less than half of U.S. public schools had a written plan for dealing with a pandemic and only 38 states had publicly available school health emergency plans, according to research by Melissa Diliberti (cohort '19) and RAND colleagues. How did schools' preparation affect their transitions to remote learning and principals' confidence in student achievement?

  • Oakes McClenahan, 7, watches his teacher's recorded lesson on a computer at home, Seattle, Washington, March 27, 2020, photo by Jason Redmond/Reuters

    How Are Educators Teaching and Leading Through the Pandemic?

    Jun 22, 2020

    U.S. teachers and principals shifted quickly to support students with distance learning during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis. Unfortunately, according to research by student Melissa Diliberti (cohort '19) and colleagues, the pandemic is likely to make existing inequalities worse.

  • A man carries food donated by Alianza Ecuatoriana International at a food pantry in Queens, New York, May 16, 2020, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Alum and Prof: Emergency COVID-19 Aid Helps College Students with Food and Housing

    May 26, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the pool of cash-strapped college students, but many were already struggling. Alum Lindsay Daugherty (cohort '05) and Prof. Drew Anderson say the crisis could draw attention to food and housing insecurity among college students, and give college leaders a chance to consider how to address these needs more systematically over the long-term.

  • Teacher at home during pandemic isolation teaching students, photo bysvetikd/Getty Images

    COVID-19 and the State of K–12 Schools

    May 26, 2020

    How have teachers and school leaders navigated the challenging circumstances introduced by COVID-19? Survey data analyzed by student Melissa Diliberti (cohort '19) and RAND colleagues help gauge how the pandemic has affected schooling and how districts are planning for the next school year.

  • A girl doing schoolwork on a laptop computer, photo by ijeab/Getty Images

    Prof: For Instruction, Online Doesn't Have to Mean Impersonal

    Apr 2, 2020

    Children's needs extend beyond the purely academic, write Prof. Elizabeth Steiner and RAND colleagues. It is important that their social and emotional well-being is supported as instruction moves online during the COVID-19 pandemic. A whole-child view of what students need could benefit them now more than ever.

  • University of California, Berkeley Professors Lisa Wymore and Greg Niemeyer look at the Zoom screen showing students in their online Collaborative Innovation course in Berkeley, California, U.S., March 12, 2020, photo by Nathan Frandino/Reuters

    Coronavirus Forces Colleges Online. Profs Ask: Will Learning Ever Be the Same?

    Mar 16, 2020

    Colleges and universities have turned to online courses to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But distance learning may also hold promise as a long-term strategy to help make higher education more accessible and affordable, write Professors Charles Goldman and Rita Karam.

Well-Being and Happiness

  • Volunteer delivers groceries, photo by SkyLine/Adobe Stock

    Alum: The Government Can't Make You Happy

    May 1, 2020

    While arguing that "government is best at lowering the sources of unhappiness," Arthur Brooks (cohort '96) said in an interview that COVID-19 has created "an opportunity for personal spiritual transcendence and a laboratory for good ideas and public policy," in the near future.

  • Student Illustrates a COVID-19 "Survival Guide" Video

    Apr 17, 2020

    As is true of all of our students, Gaby Alvarado (cohort '19) is more than a policy analyst. Inspired by her cat, she decided to learn a new skill and illustrate seven simple rules to help her friends get through the pandemic.

  • A woman prays alone in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Palm Sunday amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Worcester, Massachusetts, April 5, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Profs: The Important Role of Faith-Based Organizations in the Context of COVID-19

    Apr 16, 2020

    Maintaining social and spiritual connections in the midst of COVID-19 are not the only challenges facing communities of faith. Prof. Kathryn Pitkin Derose and Pardee RAND Practitioner in Residence Michael Mata say congregations play critical roles in providing social services within communities.

  • Man stands inside of old dark tunnel, photo by evannovostro/Adobe Stock

    Alum: A Few Hints of Light at the End of the Tunnel

    Mar 27, 2020

    Alum Loren Yager (cohort '87) writes, "There is no question that this is a world-changing event and that all the social distancing and other preparatory measures need to be taken as quickly and seriously as possible. But at the same time, we also need to see that there are some faint reasons for hope as we try to come to grips with the need to hunker down for months in our homes."

  • Millennial couple video chatting, photo by Rocketclips/Adobe Stock

    Alum: Social Distancing Could Ultimately Teach Us How to Be Less Lonely

    Mar 23, 2020

    Alum Arthur Brooks (cohort '96) writes, "While public health officials are no doubt correct that social distancing is necessary, as a social scientist I would add that it is a necessary evil. Enormous amounts of scholarship have shown that social connectedness is central to well-being and good mental health."