Phys.org: “Climate change and COVID-19: The denial playbook is the same”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; Augusta Wilson of the Climate Science Legal Defence Fund has accused President Trump of ignoring the Covid outbreak. But Wilson has ignored a few key facts.

Climate change and COVID-19: The denial playbook is the same

by Augusta Wilson,  Earth Institute at Columbia University
JULY 31, 2020

The phrase “every disaster movie begins with a scientist being ignored” resonates more than ever as two disasters unfold: the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. One is occurring with horrifying rapidity and one more slowly; both would be far less damaging if scientific advice were heeded earlier.

In the United States, the Trump administration has responded to the COVID-19 crisis using tactics it honed in the climate arena: ignoring or burying relevant scientific information, pushing misinformation, and silencing scientists who warn us of the dangers. This pervasive “see no evil, hear no evil” approach has handicapped the U.S.’s ability to respond to both of these unfolding crises.

From the start of the pandemic, scientists who spoke out about the increasing threat from COVID-19 were ignored and pushed out. The same thing has happened to climate scientists since the early days of the Trump administration. The mentality that climate change is a taboo subject has taken root so firmly that it filtered down from top-level political officials and is now enforced by lower-level career employees in scientific agencies.

Read more: https://phys.org/news/2020-07-climate-covid-denial-playbook.html

WUWT, one of the world’s leading climate skeptic websites, was an early mover when it came to telling people about the Covid-19 outbreak. We published a story in January, China Corona Virus Horror: Hospital Corridor of the Dead and Dying. Not exactly evidence of climate skeptics ignoring the Covid-19 outbreak.

What about President Trump? President Trump closed the border to China at the start of Februaryagainst the advice of scientific experts at the WHO. President Trump took significant political heat for closing the border.

On 27th January Democrat Presumptive President Candidate Joe Biden wrote the following;

… Pandemic diseases are a prime example of why international cooperation is a requirement of leadership in 2020. Diseases do not stop at borders. They cannot be thwarted by building a wall. We cannot keep ourselves safe without helping to keep others safe as well and without enlisting the help of other nations in return. And here’s the truth — the United States must step forward to lead these efforts, because no other nation has the resources, the reach or the relationships to marshal an effective international response. …

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/01/27/coronavirus-donald-trump-made-us-less-prepared-joe-biden-column/4581710002/

On 2nd February Biden tweeted;

Biden later switched to supporting Coronavirus travel bans, and criticised Trump for not moving fast enough.

You got to go faster than slower. And we started off awfully slow.

He indicated that I complimented him on — on dealing with China. Well, you know, 45 nations had already moved to keep — block China’s personnel from being able to come to the United States before the president moved.

So, it’s just — it’s about pace. It’s about — it’s about the urgency. And I don’t think there’s been enough of it, urgency.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-20-joe-biden-secretary-mark-esper/story?id=69981088

Even Politifact didn’t wholeheartedly back Biden’s claim about the pace of President Trump’s response.

Our ruling

Biden claimed that “45 nations had already moved” to enforce travel restrictions with China “before the president moved.”

The extent of travel restrictions vary — from the suspension of visa programs to entry denial. According to one tracker of travel restrictions, Biden’s 45 figure checks out. Other research shows that the number is around 36.

Where Biden misleads is on the relative speed of the U.S. compared with others. The U.S. travel restriction came shortly after the WHO declared a public health emergency and around the same time as other nations, experts said.

Biden’s statement that Trump’s travel restriction was slower than 45 other countries is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context. We rate it Half True.

Read more: https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/13/joe-biden/joe-bidens-claim-about-donald-trumps-slow-travel-r/

Are there differences of opinion about the severity of Covid-19, and how Covid should be addressed? Absolutely. Have mistakes been made? I’m sure historians with the benefit of hindsight will come up with all sorts of theories of what could have been done differently.

My point is Augusta Wilson’s assertion that President Trump ignored the threat of Coronavirus is not supported by the evidence. In my opinion, as an attorney Wilson should have performed a little more due diligence before making such a claim.

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August 3, 2020 at 08:53AM

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