One Cool Thing: New Office of Climate Change and Health Equity

Image: IAEA Imagebank via Wikimedia Commons

The COVID-19 pandemic proved that climate change and public health are deeply intertwined. Recent studies have found that wildfire smoke increases positive Coronavirus cases, and infectious disease experts say that as deforestation increases, zoonotic spillover will too. To face these threats, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the creation of a new federal office that will address climate change as a public health threat and protect the nation’s most vulnerable communities, including the elderly, communities of color, rural communities, and children.

The new Office of Climate Change and Health Equity will report to a White House Climate Task Force and “protect the health of people experiencing a disproportionate share of climate impacts and health inequities from wildfires to drought, to hurricanes to floods,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

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