GUT FIRST, SCIENCE SECOND

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President Trump has launched a barrage of rulings that favor the profitability of corporations at the expense of children and the environment. He is poisoning our air and water, resulting in collateral damage not only to children and the environment but to senior citizens and other vulnerable populations. However, with all the noise and other controversies, many of the facts have been drowned out and obscured.

Trump’s strong inclination is to “go with his gut” rather than listen to scientists and experts. Making decisions from his gut might sometimes work in real estate (though various Trump enterprises have gone bankrupt a half-dozen times), but if his gut leads him to ignore scientific reality in making public health decisions, tens of thousands of people could die unnecessarily, hundreds of thousands more could fall seriously ill, and millions could lose their jobs.

This is as true with the climate crisis as it is with the pandemic. And unfortunately, this same modus operandi is at the core of his environmental policy. If we don’t recognize the flaws in his approach, the damage this pandemic has caused to our health and our economy could easily be dwarfed by future environmental catastrophes.

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