White House leaves climate change out of its plan to combat biological threats

The White House released its National Biodefense Strategy, which outlines serious biological threats to the American people, such as drug-resistant superbugsfood-borne illnesses, lab accidents, bio-warfare, and the spread of infectious diseases. But the administration fails to mention how climate change—arguably the greatest threat facing the globe—not only affects but can exacerbate some of these risky scenarios. In particular, scientists have repeatedly warned that warmer temperatures can increase the habitat ranges and lengthen the seasons for disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks—potentially increasing rates of infection in humans. In a statement, President Trump correctly acknowledges that biological threats have “great potential to disrupt the economy, exact a toll on human life, and tear at the very fabric of society.” It's time he start acknowledging how our carbon emissions are putting us into even greater danger.


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