Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, May 15, 2020
While the exact origin of COVID-19 has yet to be confirmed, it is known that the virus first emerged in Wuhan, China.
Given that self-proclaimed climate champions such as Greta Thunberg never seem to call out coal-powered China on the environment, it is no surprise to many observers that they have also given the Chinese Communist Party a pass on the virus.
So, analysts say, the usual mantra from the Left is also being applied to the coronavirus — Orange Man Bad. Or, it’s Trump’s fault.
The global warming crowd are so intent in keeping their top issue relevant in the 2020 presidential race that they are tying climate doomsday to the coronavirus outbreak, a journalist pointed out.
Climate alarmists, led by Obama-era chief of staff John Podesta, on Wednesday unveiled Climate Power 2020 by claiming President Donald Trump’s “anti-science policies” have “fueled the pandemic,” Valerie Richardson reported for The Washington Times.
Meanwhile, CNN put together a panel of “experts” for a Thursday town hall on the coronavirus. Richardson noted the panel featured CNN contributor Dr. Sanjay Gupta; Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control; Obama-era Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; and a teenage climate activist who has yet to graduate from high school. That would be Greta Thunberg.
CNN was promptly roasted on Twitter for its choice of Thunberg for the event hosted by on air personality Anderson Cooper.
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: “Greta Thunberg having a remarkable career already in that as a teenager she’s now a world renowned infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist AND a leading scientific voice when it comes to global climate policy.
Just wow so impressive.”
“What place does Greta Thunberg have in this town hall?” tweeted journalist Yashar Ali.
Replied actor Daniel Newman: “She brings in viewers.”
A week ago, former Vice President Al Gore was featured on a CNN coronavirus town hall.
Podesta, who chaired Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential bid, said: “President Trump must be held accountable for his rejection of science, facts, and reality. For both COVID-19 and the climate crisis, the anti-science policies from this administration are pushing our nation into crisis.”
Joining Podesta on the Climate Power 2020 advisory board are San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, the Democratic Party’s largest individual donor, as well as Obama-era Secretary of State John Kerry, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and science adviser John Holdren.
“Today, it fueled a pandemic,” Podesta said. “Tomorrow, we will see the consequences in a world destabilized by climate change. Climate Power 2020 will change the politics of climate — pushing all candidates to aggressively campaign on climate action and holding science-denying campaigns accountable.”
Linking climate change and COVID-19 is more than a stretch, analysts say.
JunkScience.com’s Steve Milloy, a member of the Trump Environmental Protection Agency transition team, called it “the umpteenth time the usual cast of climate leftovers have been reheated.”
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” said Climate Depot’s Marc Morano. “The climate activists led by Podesta, Kerry, Holdren and Steyer are desperate to keep ‘climate change’ alive in the presidential campaign, so they are trying to tie climate to COVID and blame both on President Trump.”
Richardson noted that climate change “has consistently ranked at or near the bottom of voters’ concerns.”
A Harris Poll survey for Inerjys Ventures released Tuesday found that 62 percent of U.S. adults surveyed said climate change wouldn’t damage the U.S. economy if left unaddressed.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken in June 2019 showed that most Americans were unwilling to install solar panels, carpool or take the bus, reduce meat-eating, pay an additional $100 in taxes, drive an electric car or spend $100 more on their annual electricity bill to fight climate change.
With the coronavirus outbreak, however, Democrats and climate activists have sought to whip up outrage by “morphing viral fears into climate fears,” said Morano, whose “Climate Hustle 2” documentary is expected to be released by early June.
“They are jealous of the swift, all-encompassing virus-induced lockdowns, and they want in on the action,” Morano said. “Podesta has suspended science and common sense in claims to hold President Trump ‘accountable’ for ‘both COVID-19 and the climate crisis.’ This is all nothing more than lowbrow election-year politicking.”
H. Sterling Burnett, senior fellow at the free market Heartland Institute, pointed out that “scientists haven’t said that climate change has caused the coronavirus.” If anything, he said, the president has been accused of relying too heavily on White House public health experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“As far as following the science, in my opinion, Trump has been too deferential to scientists during this pandemic,” said Burnett. “I mean, Fauci changes his mind every two weeks on what we should do, and policy lurches back and forth, and Democrats in their states only latch onto Fauci’s statements that support their position that we should shut down the economy forever.”
Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the pandemic-caused economic downturn may have hurt the prospects of climate policies such as the Green New Deal proposed by socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat. T
“Almost all U.S. politicians who have tried to make climate change an election issue in the past have fared miserably, losing election after election,” Peiser said. “Repeating the same mistake and trying to sell the Green New Deal to voters in an unprecedented economic crisis and expecting different results borders on political delusion, if not insanity.”