Dr. Marci Nielsen: “With COVID, Public Health Is in Front of Us”

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Dr. Marci Nielsen, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at Resolve to Save Lives, joins J. Stephen Morrison for episode 144. For an 18 month period beginning in the fall of 2020, Dr. Nielsen served as Chief Advisor for COVID-19 Coordination for Kansas Governor, Laura Kelly, where she led outreach efforts across the state to advance dialogue, access to data, and transparency. Regular public fora on schools – when to close or open, promotion of tests, vaccinations, masks – were a key tool to counter rising political tensions and disinformation. Over her career, the public health sector has “never been political” to this extent, fostering a significant “lack of understanding.” “Great hope” lies in strengthening communications, the determined commitment of public health and elected officials, and youth.