Field Notes, Update

Protests, Beyoncé, and Twitter

The info hub for the hub of global health

The revolution will not be televised

We can’t have health equity without racial equity. Here are just a few examples of how WGHA members are stepping up to support the movement for racial justice.

  • University of Washington (UW) infectious disease experts released an open letter advocating for protests despite COVID-19, with signatures from over 1k medical professionals.
  • Employees at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason took a knee with Virginia Mason health care workers to participate in #WhiteCoatsforBlackLives.
  • Swedish Health Services staff hit the streets to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
  • The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shared a statement with its plans to illuminate the public health impacts of systemic racism.
  • And today at 1:00 pm, many will join the #BlackLivesMatter Statewide Silent March and General Strike.

If you’re looking for more ways to effect change, check out this comprehensive list of resources from an unlikely source. You can also #BuyBlack by using this directory to spend intentionally and support Black-owned businesses in your area.

We can see her halo

Beyoncé and her mom, Tina Knowles Lawson, are making free COVID-19 tests and care packages available to residents right here in South King County this weekend. It’s all part of Beyoncé’s BeyGood campaign and Knowles Lawson’s #IDIDMYPART initiative to combat racial disparities in health care. Queen B can run the world anytime.

School supplies

Ugandan boys are helping girls with supplies for school—but not the kind you’re thinking of. Through World Vision, these boys are making reusable pads so their classmates don’t have to miss school each month during their menstrual cycles. A small project, but a big step toward gender equity. Period.

Going viral

As a Fred Hutch scientist, Trevor Bedford is not your usual social media influencer. His science-based tweets are now followed by almost 250,000 people looking for credible information about the Coronavirus pandemic. We don’t expect to see Twitter fact-checking these posts anytime soon.

Practice what you teach

Safely delivering babies during a pandemic isn’t easy. PRONTO International created SimPacks™ to simulate scenarios for caring for COVID-19 obstetric patients and their babies. These kits give facilitators the tools and training they need to teach updated precautions to keep health workers, moms, and babies safe.


What problem do you want to solve? WRF would like to help you get there.

Washington Research Foundation (WRF) is looking for 10 creative postdocs to solve critical problems. It’s offering up to three years of funding so you can work on your own project addressing a pressing challenge in the life sciences at one of our state’s top institutions.

Current WRF Postdoctoral Fellows’ projects include vaccine development for coronavirus, identifying connections between bacteria and cancers, and improving our food supplies. How will you make a difference?

Apply by June 30 to be part of the answer.


Bad news, good news

Bad news: COVID-19 has reached the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh—the largest refugee camp in the world.

Good news: Medical Teams International opened a 50-bed isolation and treatment center. In a place more crowded than Manhattan, isolation is essential to slow the spread of the virus.


Vaccines save lives, which is why the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation increased its pledge to Gavi to $5.7 billion to develop and deploy vaccines around the world.

And, at the Global Vaccine Summit 2020, Bill Gates debunked the bizarre rumors about his motivations for funding a COVID-19 vaccine (hint—he’s not implanting microchips) while noting that misinformation about vaccines could actually delay progress.


Many health experts are speaking out against President Trump’s recent announcement to cut funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), calling it dangerous and short-sighted. Meanwhile, WHO released a video to show their side of the story. No matter what, it’s going to take a global effort to stop the global pandemic, so let’s hope for a make-up soon.

Around town

“None of us alone can save the nation or the world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so.”

Dr. Cornel West

Do you have a tip for Field Notes? Send it to Jayanna Thompson, jayanna.thompson@wghalliance.org

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