Heat now causes more deaths than hurricanes, tornadoes or floods in most years, creating a new public health threat. An investigation reveals why the CDC’s prevention efforts have faltered. Scientists link the warming planet to a rise in dangerous heat in the US, as well as the spread of infectious diseases and other health conditions. Federal research predicts heatstroke and similar illnesses will claim tens of thousands of American lives each year by the end of the century. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is charged with helping cities and states adapt to threats like extreme heat. Its climate program, created more than 10 years ago, is the federal government’s only sustained effort to bolster state and local health departments’ fight against global warming. But the program has been hampered by a decade of underfunding, limited expertise and political resistance, Columbia Journalism Investigations and the Center for Public Integrity found.
By Dean Russell, Elisabeth Gawthrop, Veronica Penney, Ali Raj and Bridget Hickey, Columbia Journalism Investigations. The Guardian. June 16, 2020.