The CDC postponed a summit, scheduled for February 2017, on climate change and its effects on public health. The event had been programmed before President Donald Trump's inauguration, but it was voluntarily delayed two days after his mandate.
The president's administration never asked explicitly for this move. However, one of the keynote speakers at the Climate and Health Summit believes that the cancelation came as a response to the president's declaration that the climate change is a hoax.
Global Warming Summit, Postponed By CDC
The conference had been planned for months, and it was created to bring stakeholders and experts together for an open discussion of the latest evidence of health risks posed by climate change. Additionally, the experts would have brought solutions to this increasingly worrying problem as well.
"We are exploring options to reschedule the meeting while considering budget priorities for fiscal year 2017, including the current continuing resolution, and potential overlap with an APHA conference on the same topic also being held later in 2017," noted CDC spokeswoman Bernadette Burden.
According to public health experts, climate change is a man-made problem that is responsible for a wide array of illnesses and diseases, among which heat stroke and disease spread by tropical insects.
"They had no idea or not whether the new administration would be supportive. They decided the better part of valor was to stop and regroup," noted Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, sponsor of the now canceled event in an interview.
While the CDC representatives were afraid that the new administration may not support their cause, the Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the chosen head of the Environmental Protection Agency and the one who had said that climate change was not real, backed away from his previous public statements. During his confirmation hearing, he accepted that global warming is an important issue and admitted that climate change is real.
Global Warming, Subject Of Concern
The U.S. Global Change Research program released a report of more than 300 pages on climate change and health assessment in 2016, under the name "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment."
The main chapters of the document treated the most important threats posed by global warming: human health, temperature-related death and illness, air quality impacts, extreme events, vector-borne diseases, water-related illness, food safety, nutrition and distribution, mental health and well-being, and populations of concern.
The premise of this report was that climate change impacts people all over the United States and, while some parts of the population are more affected than others, measures have to be taken to stop the effects of global warming as soon as possible.
"Climate change is a significant threat to the health of the American people. The impacts of human-induced climate change are increasing nationwide. [...] These climate change impacts endanger our health by affecting our food and water sources, the air we breathe, the weather we experience, and our interactions with the built and natural environments. As the climate continues to change, the risks to human health continue to grow," noted the report summary..