Epic Fail: Chuck Todd Tries to Bait Anthony Fauci on Climate Change

On the most recent Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd tried to goad Dr. Anthony Fauci into making a connection between climate change and pandemics. Fortunately, Fauci didn’t make a fool of himself by taking the bait. Climate change is not responsible for pandemics. If anything, evidence suggests a modest warming is more likely to reduce the incidences and spread of infectious diseases than it is to increase them.

In a story titled “Chuck Todd floats idea that more pandemics ‘inevitable’ due to climate change,” the Washington Examiner quoted Todd saying, “When you think about sadly having to prepare for this again, and I know there’s a lot of folks who think that, due to climate change and due to the globalization in general, it is inevitable that we’ll deal with more and more viruses like this. The biggest lesson you are going to take away to prepare for the next one.”

Fauci declined to respond to Todd’s climate change baiting, instead advocating governments invest more in science and that scientists be more transparent and open to sharing their research as globalization makes the spread of pandemics easier.

Fauci was right to avoid agreeing with Todd that climate change will result in pandemics arising more often, because history and data show any such connection is false. As discussed in previous Climate Realism posts, here, here, and here, for example, if anything, climate change is likely to result in fewer illnesses and deaths from disease, not more.

Scientists know warm weather inhibits the spread of influenza. Transmissible diseases like the flu and the coronavirus, are far more prevalent during the late-fall, winter, and early spring, when the weather is cold and damp, rather than in the summer months when it is warm and dry. Everyone knows the “flu season” runs from fall through early spring. Also colds, while not unheard of, are less common in the summer as well.

Throughout history, pandemics from the yellow fever to the pneumonic plague have been far more prevalent during colder periods of history, like the little ice age, than during warmer periods like the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods.

Voluminous research demonstrates a modestly warmer world would result in fewer deaths from disease rather than more. In an article published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2004, W. R. Keatinge and G. C. Donaldson noted, “Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics, and almost all of them are due to common illnesses that are increased by cold.”

More recently in a study published in the Lancet in 2015, researchers examined health data from 384 locations in 13 countries, accounting for more than 74 million deaths, and found cold weather, directly or indirectly, killed 20 times more people than warm or hot weather.

At one time Meet the Press was a respected news program. Since Chuck Todd took over as host, it’s become just another mainstream media apologist for – and advocate of – the left-wing progressive political agenda. When offered the chance, Anthony Fauci refused to link climate change to the rise and spread of pandemics. Meet the Press should have followed his example, because no such connection exists. Instead of telling the truth, Todd chose to try to stoke climate alarm. Shame on him!

H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute's Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland's Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.

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