Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren released a plan on Monday to deal with infectious disease outbreaks at home and abroad in part by fighting climate change.
Warren’s new plan came in response to the Chinese coronavirus, which has infected approximately 5,000 people, killing 100 and leaving nearly 1,000 in critical condition. The situation in China is so serious that China’s communist has quarantined over 50 million people in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.
Warren’s plan described the current situation by stating:
Experts believe the world is due for another bout of pandemic influenza. The latest threat comes from coronavirus, a respiratory condition in the same family of viruses as SARS that is spreading throughout China and just last week reached the United States. With well over 2,000 people infected and a rising death toll, China has restricted the movement of 56 million people. The world is watching closely to determine if this will be designated as our next global Public Health Emergency.
Talking about combating infectious disease outbreaks, Warren attacked President Donald Trump for leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, despite the fact that the U.S. is leading the world in CO2 emissions reductions.
On the global stage, his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement demonstrates reckless denial about the role of climate change in fueling epidemics. His foreign policy has damaged long-standing alliances with partners like the U.K. and France, who are critical partners in responding to global health crises.
One of the solutions that Warren proposed for fighting the spread of infectious disease outbreaks was fighting “climate change,” rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and recognizing the “interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.”
Fight climate change. A changing climate means infectious diseases will spread to new places, and it’s already happening. In 2016, the Zika virus threatened more of the U.S. because changing climates mean the mosquitos that carry it now thrive further and further north. And Lyme disease is expected to increase by 20% in the next decade due to climate change. West Nile is projected to more than double by 2050 due to warming, costing upwards of $1 billion annually. Our health depends on fighting climate change. And I have a lot of plans for that.
Recommit to the Paris Agreement and invest in the Green Climate Fund. On Day One of my administration, I’ll commit the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement, including meeting Obama era commitments to the Green Climate Fund — a critical funding stream to prevent the spread of climate fueled pandemics — and backfilling the contribution that the Trump administration neglected to deliver.
Recognize interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. When it comes to pandemics, we must think about how animal, human, and environmental factors interact. Last year the Trump administration shut down the Predict program to test animals for dangerous pathogens that could cross over to humans. As President, I would restore this essential work. And I will support new scientific research to help understand and predict the impact of warmer temperatures on disease emergence and transmission.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 28, 2020