Aleszu Bajak, USA TODAY

Aleszu Bajak


Cambridge, MA, United States

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Past articles by Aleszu:

Women face gender bias even when running against another woman, report shows

In an election between two female candidates, gender biases are still prevalent, a new report shows. → Read More

People hospitalized with COVID-19 now have one overwhelming thing in common. They're not vaccinated.

Falling rates of COVID-19 across the U.S. mask the harsh reality that the overwhelming majority of those sick and hospitalized today are unvaccinated. → Read More

Michigan bet big on mass vaccine events for COVID-19. It didn’t work out as hoped.

Michigan focused COVID-19 vaccines on public health sites, not hospitals or doctors' offices. It lagged other states in vaccinating whites and Blacks. → Read More

The words Americans used after Chauvin verdict reveal our political divide

USA TODAY analyzed the volume and tone of talk by Congress, social media, news outlets and readers as the man who killed George Floyd was convicted. → Read More

Asian Americans report biggest increase in serious incidents of online hate and harassment during COVID-19 pandemic

Some 17% of Asian Americans reported sexual harassment, stalking, physical threats and doxing, up from 11% last year, a new survey from ADL found. → Read More

Hospitals report the worst of the pandemic's third wave is over

Data released this week by HHS shows just how much the nation's hospitals have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic's third wave. → Read More

Could we save lives by assigning each American a place in line for vaccines?

Imagine a formula that could score each American’s unique risk of dying of COVID. People’s odds would determine their place in line for a vaccine. → Read More

A national system to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines has largely failed as states rely on their own systems

Operation Warp Speed tried to help states set priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution with Tiberius. Few states use it as designed. → Read More

The number of hospitals reporting full ICUs has fallen by nearly 50% since early January

Search the most recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data for occupancy rates in hospitals and their intensive care units. → Read More

'Just not equal at all:' Vaccine rollout in Chicago a microcosm of racial disparities nationwide

People of color have suffered most from COVID-19. Now that a vaccine is here, they are far less likely to have received a first dose - for many of the same reasons. → Read More

How much rent relief will I get? You're more likely to get help if you're white and live in rural America.

Millions of renters desperately need help. Federal assistance is on its way - but it won't benefit all Americans equally. → Read More

How Trump’s words before the Capitol riot were amplified and echoed

Text analysis shows calls for civil war intensified on the right-leaning social media app Parler as Trump urged his followers to march on the Capitol. → Read More

Banned from Facebook and Twitter, pro-Trump extremists hatch Inauguration Day violence in dark reaches of the web

Trump supporters, QAnon conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and armed agitators have found new staging grounds on Gab, Telegram and Signal. → Read More

These states are the most behind in giving COVID-19 vaccines. Is yours on the list?

About 15.4 million doses have shipped to US states, the CDC data said Tuesday. Only about 4.5 million people have received their first dose. → Read More

Polls show increasing trust in COVID-19 vaccine after months of decline

Though COVID-19 vaccine acceptance has decreased since March, recent surveys show a reversal of the trend. → Read More

'We're not winning this battle': Relentless COVID-19 surge fills 1 in 8 hospital ICU units

The federal government this week released a database showing a one-week average number of COVID-19 patients in nearly 5,000 hospitals nationwide. → Read More

'We are talking about people’s lives,' dire warnings of public health crisis as COVID vaccine misinformation rages

Viral hoaxes on social media are feeding off the unknowns of the virus and the vaccines to undercut public trust in the coming wave of immunizations. → Read More

What vaccination rates in rural America tell us about the advent of COVID-19 vaccines

A USA TODAY analysis found hundreds of rural counties with only limited immunization against seasonal flu. → Read More

How to Build a GIF of Satellite Imagery in R

Sometimes, the best way to tell a story is to take a bird's eye view. Here's how Storybench editor Aleszu Bajak did this by recreating a GIF of Chennai’s disappearing Lake Puzhal reservoir. Check out his process and code, which could be used for countless other animations — to show, say, dam collapses, deforestation, forest fires, and more. → Read More

The developing world is awash in pesticides. Does it have to be?

Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides threaten the environment and human health in many parts of the world. But research is pointing to a better approach. → Read More