COVID-19, Donald Trump, and Climate Change
The Trump administration must be held accountable for ignoring experts, denying science, and failing to keep our families safe.
100,000+ Americans have lost their lives.
40 million have lost their jobs.
12+ times Trump was briefed on the threat before taking it seriously.
The toll of COVID-19 is devastating. And President Trump continues to put our families at risk by ignoring our nation’s best public health experts and denying the reality of this pandemic.
He’s suggested that Americans drink disinfectant to treat the coronavirus. He’s called the disease a “hoax.” Days after his own advisers sounded the alarm that COVID-19 could kill upwards of 1 million Americans, Trump said publicly that it would disappear – “like a miracle.”
If this all seems familiar, that’s because it is. Ignoring experts, denying science, and pretending to know better are all part of Trump’s playbook for climate change – the other public health threat that is fatally disrupting American lives and livelihoods.
And communities already suffering from toxic pollution face even greater risks from Trump’s science denial, COVID-19 and climate change. Decades of environmental injustices have exposed African American and Latino communities to higher levels of pollution, which studies have shown are clearly linked to higher death rates from COVID-19.
The Trump administration’s disregard for science and refusal to listen to public health experts is costing American lives, and this White House must be held accountable. It’s true on COVID-19, and it’s true on climate change.
Part 1: Ignoring Experts
In January, Trump’s leading health experts, including his Secretary of Health and Human Services, warned the president about the dangers of COVID-19. One month later, Trump’s economists and scientists repeatedly warned him that the coming pandemic could kill upwards of 1 million Americans. But Trump ignored each and every alarm. And in public, he downplayed the threat — over and over again.
Part 2: Corruption puts lives at risk
As Trump continued to ignore expert warnings about the risk of coronavirus, he moved to the next page of his crisis management playbook: Promoting solutions that line the pockets of corporate CEOS, drug makers, and even his own cabinet members.
He doesn’t work for us. And his naked disregard for our families is endangering millions of American lives.
100,000+ Americans and counting lost their lives to COVID-19 — more than the American death toll from the entire Vietnam War
Trump continues to replace independent government watchdogs who have raised concerns about the federal coronavirus response
Why has President Trump failed to protect us from climate change? For the same reason he’s failed to protect us from COVID-19: He ignores his own experts and denies science.
To Trump, climate change is a “hoax.” Just like COVID-19.
And just like Trump closed the White House pandemic response office ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, his administration has been rolling back nearly 100 environmental protections in the midst of the climate crisis — even as experts warn of the massive health, economic, and safety impacts that climate change is having.
Part 1: Ignoring experts
After decades of improvement, studies show that U.S. air quality is slipping.
Poor air quality has been linked to worse COVID-19 outcomes.
Part 2: Corruption puts lives at risk
Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the president has found time to carry out fossil fuel CEOs’ “wish list,” rolling back crucial protections that have kept carbon out of the atmosphere and made our air easier to breathe.
And given the number of former fossil fuel lobbyists in his administration, it’s hardly a surprise.
Trump’s corruption puts communities of color at even greater risks as decades of environmental injustices have exposed Black and Latino communities to higher levels of pollution.
You know who’s most affected by that? It’s lower income, people of color. My community. Those are the folks that are more likely to be living in highly polluted areas.”
—Alexa A., Nevada
Data from the CDC shows that African American and Latino patients who contract COVID-19 are dying at alarmingly higher rates than white patients. These devastating trends are true with the climate crisis too. Communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change and Trump’s anti-science agenda, and due to the already increased levels of air pollution, these communities are suffering the worst impacts of COVID-19.
President Trump’s administration and Cabinet are “dominated by lobbyists,” including oil, coal, and gas executives
Dec. 21, 2019: Trump administration has been rolling back nearly 100 environmental rules and regulations
President Trump’s failed leadership and his playbook for responding to crises puts our lives at risk. He denies science, dismisses experts, and puts profits for himself and corporate CEOs ahead of the safety and wellbeing of the American people.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 death toll will continue to rise – and the climate crisis will flood our shores, make our air more toxic, and touch our lives in ways we could not have imagined.
If we don’t take action now, the consequences will only become more devastating.
Unless we make 2020 the year we change course. Unless we come together to act.
Climate Power 2020 is for every American who is ready to take action. Because we know that Trump’s failure to keep us safe from the climate crisis will persuade Americans to hold him accountable – and motivating candidates in 2020 to campaign aggressively on climate change.
Here’s what you can do today to make a difference.
- First, you can help fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying home.
- Then, help us spread the truth about Trump’s failure to handle our most urgent threats: