One of the biggest issues that COVID has brought is the debate on vaccine mandates and hesitancy. People have various opinions about vaccines, some are for and others are against them due to different factors. Today, I have a deep conversation about this topic with Michael Cousineau Ph.D. He will be talking about his outlook on the current status of American healthcare and politics. He also shares his thoughts about health care literacy and health-science education in the US. Pay close attention since Dr. Michael discloses future challenges that public health will face in the US.

Michael R. Cousineau is currently a Clinical Professor Emeritus in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Family Medicine at USC. He has a joint appointment in the Sol Price School of Public Policy. He teaches in both the Masters in Public Health program and the Professionalism and the Practice of Medicine. He attended U.C. Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in genetics and has a master’s and a doctorate from the UCLA School of Public Health. His work focuses on health policy and health services and evaluation research, access to care for the low-income uninsured, governance and operation of safety-net providers including public hospitals, community-based clinics, and health centers; and health needs of vulnerable populations including homeless people.
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Key Highlights:

[00:45 -11:28] – Opening Segment
The current status of American healthcare and politics
Dr. Michael’s outlook on health care literacy and health and science education in the US
Why core facts that used to be uncontroversial are now tools in a political culture

[11:29 – 22:32] – Complex Social Educational Theories to Understand Health Behavior
The reason why public health individuals are going from heroes to villains
Facebook is destroying democracy and public health
The issue of vaccine mandates and hesitancy

[22:33- 35:33] – COVID and The Abortion Debate
Dr. Michael’s thoughts about people that avoid vaccines
The role of states in healthcare
Why the right doesn’t see vaccine mandates as a pro-life mandates

[35:34 – 46:03] – The Issues of Culture, Trust, And The Breakdown in Civic Engagement
Future challenges that public health will face in the US
What we think as a society might mean about how we approach other health problems
Being in a place where the common good is decimated

[46:04 – 58:06] – Incorporate More Public Health Functions Into Medical Education
Why public health should enter into the new political sphere
How we can focus on communal solutions as opposed to an individual focus
The components of the modern armamentarium of the modern public health soldier
Dr. Michael’s outlook on what historians will write about America’s unique response to the COVID pandemic

[58:07 – 59:40] – Closing Segment

If you want to learn more about Michael Cousineau and what he does, follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Resources Mentioned:

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community – Robert Putnam
Liberal Hypocrisy is Fueling American Inequality

Tweetable Quotes:

Michael Cousineau- “The larger political culture has allowed us to align ourselves with a certain tribal mentality, which tends to really drive decisions beyond what a more reasonable, even scientific base person would embrace.”

Michael Cousineau – “We don’t really see health as a public good. We see it as a commodity. And until we really see that I think that keeps us as a society from adopting good policies and practices that can promote the health broadly.”

Michael Cousineau – “Public health needs to be much more prominent in how we educate all health professionals.

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