IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

March 8, 2021
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

Big News

70th running of men's Little 500, 33rd women's race scheduled for May 26

This story has been covered by: The Indianapolis Star, The Bloomington Herald-Times, Indiana Public Media, Indiana Daily Student.

CoVaxxy tool visualizes relationship between online misinformation and COVID-19 vaccine adoption

This story has been covered by: The Indianapolis Star, Public News Service, WAVE3, Becker's Hospital Review, Axios.

IU Voices in the News


How to travel safely during vacation

With Spring break coming up on March 20th folks may take a break from being cooped up in the house. An IU Bloomington professor says there are a few things you need to think about before heading to the airport. "International travel right now is still pretty limited a lot of places in the Caribbean, people can go to Mexico and a few others. But other than that international travel is a little bit out of the question right now because of the regulations that are in place right now," says Professor Evan Jordan. He says it's important to take some type of vacation this year to help with your mental health. "Because especially during the pandemic, you have high-stress high anxiety a lot of uncertainty. and we're kinda almost to the finish line in terms of the vaccine being rolled out and having a sense of normalcy return and so getting out and taking a vacation you don't even have to travel somewhere," says Professor Jordan. 

The Conversation

Support for QAnon is hard to measure -- and polls may overestimate it

Written by James Shanahan, dean of The Media School, Indiana University. It's hard to know how many people actually believe the key tenets of QAnon's claims, including that devil-worshipping, cannibalistic pedophiles are somehow running the world. Its adherents have caused violence and insurrection, as happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and had raised concerns about a second attack on March 4. Both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have released bulletins warning of the possibility of future violence from domestic terrorists, potentially including QAnon followers. If lots of people follow QAnon, is it the case that -- as one pollster put it -- a significant portion of the American electorate has gone "bonkers"? As a researcher who analyzes surveys and polls to learn about Americans' thinking and behavior, I try to remember that surveys alone can't necessarily provide the entire picture of public sentiment, especially about a potentially dangerous internal threat.


AUDIO: Vaccine disparity hits home for many foreign-born doctors

Almost 1 out of every 3 doctors in the U.S. is foreign-born. Many come from middle- and low-income countries that have little or no access to the vaccines yet. Dr. Wassim Abdallah is a resident physician of internal medicine at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He's from Lebanon, and as a frontline health care provider, he got a Pfizer vaccine back in December. WASSIM ABDALLAH: I feel lucky I was able to get the vaccine. And I'm a, you know, immigrant doctor getting the vaccine even before the president of the United States. ... Dr. Samuel Urrutia an internal medicine resident at Indiana University. His father is a general practitioner in a rural Honduran village. URRUTIA: Yeah. My dad is 57 years old. He is about to retire later this year, actually, but he's still working through the pandemic because they thought they needed him. And he has not received the vaccine. There's no plan for mass vaccination in Honduras or even for high-risk population vaccination.

U.S. News and World Report

Children's mental health crisis could be a next 'wave' in the pandemic

While the quick pivot to providing services virtually was good for many kids in need, it also exposed a major health disparity: that access to technology is not equitable across all segments of the population. That fact has exacerbated health disparities for some, noted Dr. Ukamaka Oruche, associate professor and director of global programs at the Indiana University School of Nursing. This issue extends beyond telehealth visits to school itself, she said. "We have kids who are failing school" in large part because of technological disparities. "We have kids in households where you have one iPad and you have four kids sharing it," and there may be no Wi-Fi available at home "so the parent has to drive to the school parking lot to get internet access. This is a major problem" that leads to feelings of isolation and failure for some kids, which contributes to poor health outcomes, she explained.


Update on the U.S. Capitol Building security

Experts say that conspiracy theories are not new, but they do spread faster with social media. Dr. Besti Grabe is a media professor at Indiana University and has studied the way conspiracy theories can impact political opinions. "It could literally within seconds travel through thousands, millions of accounts," Grabe said.


'We're vaccinated. Everyone wants to visit. Now what?'

The best news of the past few months is that the three approved Covid-19 vaccines -- the two-shot, mRNA-based ones from Pfizer and Moderna and the single-shot, adenovirus-vectored one from Johnson & Johnson -- have one thing in common. They're awesome. In trials, each prevented death and severe disease. But even though those are the endpoints that the vaccine makers tested, they aren't the only important things to consider. "We actually don't know whether in real life, at the population level, that efficacy translates into vaccine effectiveness," says Ana Bento, a disease ecologist at the Indiana University School of Public Health. "While it might protect you against disease, it might not protect you against infection. It's too soon to actually know that."

The Indianapolis Star

Leaky roofs, crumbling walls: Indianapolis property tax increase to fix facility issues

(Indianapolis) is working around current state law limitations by immediately shifting tax burden, noted Justin Ross, a professor specializing in public finance at Indiana University. State law limits how much a city's property tax rate can increase each year. By substituting one expiring debt with a new one, the city maintains its overall property tax burden from one year to the next. "If they were to let the pension funds expire and then wait a year or two before trying to set up a capital fund, it would be harder for them to do," Ross said. 

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