by Steve Milloy, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing on RealClear Energy
Congress held a hearing last week on “the relationship between disproportionate exposures to environmental pollution and disproportionate effects of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” The spotlighted news hook for the hearing was a recent study published by Harvard researchers claiming that PM2.5 air pollution (soot/dust in the air) increases the risk of death from COVID-19.
Subcommittee Chair Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) converted the study’s claim into an environmental justice issue under the further assertion that “EPA has a documented body of evidence that non-white people are at higher risk [of death] from PM2.5 because of higher exposures.” Pallone went on to blame PM2.5 with a higher rate of asthma emergency department visits among high poverty neighborhoods in New York City.
What a load of nonsense.
First, the Harvard study does not and cannot possibly connect PM2.5 exposures with increased risk from COVID-19 deaths because PM2.5 does not increase the risk of death or asthma in the first place. Anyone who has ever actually studied PM2.5 and is honest about what they have learned knows this.