We all know that Trump’s COVID-19 response has left a lot to be desired, but there is one thing he’s been really on top of during this crisis: rolling back protections for the environment.
Hope You Didn’t Like Clean Air
Since the pandemic started, Trump launched multiple attacks on environmental regulations, all the while hiding his assault behind big headlines about COVID death rates and high unemployment. The first shots were fired back in March, right after the lockdown began, when 45 began to push a massive deregulatory agenda, including efforts to loosen restrictions on things like toxic coal ash and mercury, which can cause developmental defects and cognitive delays in children, and cancer in people of all ages.
Trump’s largest and most clearly partisan effort, however, is to roll back the sweeping regulations on vehicle emissions put in place by President Obama. The Obama administration mandated that all vehicle manufacturers decrease fuel emissions by 5% per year until 2026. Trump decreased those requirements to 1.5% a year, which will be disastrous for people living in urban areas across the United States.
Since the lockdown began, the White House has been barrelling toward finalizing these changes, choosing to ignore warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the potentially dangerous consequences.
We can’t leave Earth once he’s ruined it, either, because apparently Trump plans to mine the rest of our solar system!
Trump’s Actions Don’t Just Hurt the Environment
It’s no secret that Trump is dismantling vital environmental protections to help out his corporate buddies, he’s already reversed more than 100 environmental rules since he took power. But there’s something particularly disgusting about using the current national crisis to do it. Not only is it sneaky and underhanded, but it brazenly makes the statement that he cares more about corporate interests than the well-being of US citizens.
Experts increasingly agree that high air pollution levels are a major risk factor for increased COVID-19 deaths. Now is the absolute worst time to roll back regulations that protect our air quality, particularly since poor air quality disproportionately affects people in communities of color and low-income communities, which are already experiencing higher COVID-19 death rates than rich, white communities.
The global lockdown had a positive impact on air quality, which is yet another way that the lockdown may have saved people from COVID-19. However, Trump’s mad crusade against necessary environmental policies threatens to undo that and puts us all at increased risk.
Enough Is Enough!
It’s one thing if Trump wants to risk his own life during this pandemic by taking an unproven and dangerous drug as a prophylactic for COVID-19, but it’s quite another for him to risk increasing the severity of this pandemic by prioritizing the profits of car and oil companies over the quality of the air we breathe.
Are you fed up with Trump’s poor handling of the pandemic and his brutal assault on the environment? Make a pledge to vote this November to reject Trump’s agenda of endangering our people and our planet!