210 Items

North Carolina' s cell phone app contact tracing SlowCOVIDNC is shown on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Policy Brief

Technical Difficulties of Contact Tracing

| February 2021

A digital contact tool must sufficiently minimize false positives and false negatives to ensure it does more good than harm. This is especially true as the number of U.S. states deploying digital contact tracing apps grows. In July, Google announced that 20 states and territories were “exploring” apps based on the Apple | Google ENS, which would represent approximately 45 percent of the U.S. population. New York and New Jersey’s recent app rollouts bring the total of state public health authorities currently using the Apple | Google ENS to eleven. In order to understand if the Apple | Google ENS is up for the challenge, we must understand the accuracy of the underlying Bluetooth technology. Long story short, Bluetooth technology simply cannot provide location information that is granular or consistent enough for digital contact tracing apps to reliably function.

Navajo miners work at the Kerr McGee uranium mine at Cove, Arizona

AP Photo, file

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Radiation Illnesses and COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation

| Feb. 03, 2021

Jayita Sarkar and Caitlin Meyer write that COVID-19 is killing Native Americans at nearly three times the rate of whites, and on the Navajo Nation itself, about 30,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and roughly 1,000 have died. But among the Navajo (or Diné), the coronavirus is also spreading through a population that decades of unsafe uranium mining and contaminated groundwater has left sick and vulnerable.

Audio - The Atlantic

How Badly Is Vaccination Going?

| Jan. 08, 2021

We were supposed to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of the year. We've fallen well short of that. Should we be worried? The hosts are joined by Juliette Kayyem, a former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security who ran intergovernmental efforts like the one behind the vaccine rollout. She explains what's going on, what the problems have been, and why we shouldn't be too concerned (yet).