Reading the Priority item in Thursday night’s Today@Brown, students reported that the University’s COVID dashboard is now just a weekly-updated link to an Ashish Jha Twitter thread.
“We used to include all sorts of information in the COVID dashboard updates,” Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey explained, copying and pasting links to Dean Jha’s most viral Twitter threads to include in future emails. “We soon realized that nothing did the job like a classic Ashish thread, complete with random spaces between sentences and cautiously optimistic conclusions.”
“For a while we were compiling our own data on cases at Brown, making graphs and tables with the relevant figures from our robust testing program,” Carey continued, explaining that the team curating the dashboard decided not to bother anymore after reading a single thread in which Jha debunks common myths about the vaccine, ending with a simple yet definitive “Fin.” “But this is so much better. We decided to forget the numbers and graphs and instead look to our best source of pandemic news — Ashish! More specifically, his Twitter account.”
“No mumbo-jumbo about the testing program and positive community cases could beat this: our Dean of Public Health, beloved by CNN and The New York Times for his no-nonsense takes on the pandemic, quote tweeting headlines about booster shots on his personal Twitter account with upwards of 250,000 followers. It’s a no-brainer.”
At press time, instead of declaring campus activity levels, Christina Paxson was periodically texting Jha to ask if she could let everyone out of their dorms yet.