AGNR Educates and Reverses Misperceptions About COVID-19 Origins, Transmission, and Food Safety

Five members of campus and Extension faculty fielded questions from Maryland residents, helping to assuage fears and concerns

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May 20, 2020 Graham Binder

During a time of confusion and uncertainty about the origins, impacts, and future of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) pooled its collective faculty expertise across animal to human disease transmission and prevention, food safety, food production, and marketing and supply chain management to address dozens of questions and concerns from a large group of Maryland state residents. As the Cornerstone College of the University of Maryland (UMD) and principal steward of its land-grant mission, AGNR is working to prioritize the safety and well-being of the community during this pandemic, while conveying properly-researched information to make sure everyone is well informed.  

Earlier this May, close to 150 participants joined a virtual panel discussion featuring AGNR faculty, including Jianghong Meng, Ginger Myers, Jenny Rhodes, Nathaniel Tablante, and Rohan Tikekar. Questions and topics touched on a wide range of issues related to COVID-19's origins, defining zoonotic diseases and their global connectivity, how the agricultural industry is handling the pandemic, how its affecting our food supply, biosecurity best practices and how to "flatten the curve", and much more. To conclude, each of the panelists offered their professional viewpoint on the best path forward, and their thoughts on how we get back to normal. 

A recording of the AGNR faculty issue forum is available in its entirety on AGNR's YouTube Channel. We encourage you to watch and share with any family, friends, or colleagues who may have questions about the aforementioned issues tied to COVID-19.