PRESS POINTS

Did we get it all wrong on COVID-19?

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President Donald Trump has taken a lot of flack lately about how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic to this point — and his approval numbers aren’t helping much either.

But now the president has someone new he can attack on Twitter: a Lehman College physicist named Eugene Chudnovsky.

The professor is the author of new research findings he says raises doubt about how the pandemic was initially handled. The study was not peer-reviewed, and originally appeared on the open-source MedRxiv website, according to Lehman.

“When the fraction of people tested daily is small, the effect of the testing on the number of people who contract the virus daily is small, too,” according to the study, while Chudnovsky wrote with Lehman associate professor Dmitri Garanin.

The two believe that in order to cut infections in half, as much as 10 percent of the working population — or 15 million people — would need to be tested on a daily basis.

Because such a feat would be near impossible to pull off, the two instead suggest testing a random sample of asymptomatic people regardless of their medical history in smaller geographic areas, which they believe would provide a better indication on what percentage of the local population actually carries the virus.

Chudnovsky and Garanin believe that otherwise, testing and quarantining rates simply cannot keep up with the rate of infection.

This isn’t Chudnovsky’s first foray into the pandemic. Last April he partnered with Luis Anchordoqui to be one of the first to talk about how indoor ventilation systems can spread the virus in a way where social distancing doesn’t matter.

 

Brennan promoted to reporting staff

Rose Brennan, who since the beginning of the year has been an intern and later a temporary projects reporter for The Riverdale Press, has been promoted to the permanent editorial staff.

“Sometimes when you really want to find the best addition to your team, you don’t have to look far at all,” editor Michael Hinman said. “Rose has done fantastic work for us since joining us as an intern. And I won’t lie, I’ve been a big fan of her reporting since her days at The Quad.”

He’s referring to, of course, the student newspaper of Manhattan College, The Quadrangle, which Brennan worked at for four years. She graduated summa cum laude from the school this past May.

She served as an intern to The Press this past spring, and in late May, returned to the paper after a brief hiatus as a special project reporter, spearheading the paper’s limited series salute to Hometown Heroes on the front lines of the coronavirus.

In her new position, Brennan will take over the school and transportation desk, preparing for what could be one of the most unique academic years in history on what is hoped to be the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.

Outside of the newsroom, Brennan is a voracious reader, and enjoys hunting for sea glass on the sub-par beaches of her hometown of Stratford, Connecticut.

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