Supporting a #HealthyRecovery

by Ira Dreyfuss, Public Affairs Advisor,
Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health

May 26, 2020

We can achieve a healthy recovery from the coronavirus pandemic if we handle the response right, by building in lasting improvements that make our country and the whole planet healthier. Rational, science-based strategies can show us the way. Leaders of the world’s most powerful economies can help us make it happen.

With this in mind, more than 40 million health professionals, individually or through organizations of which they are members, are standing together to call on G20 leaders to work toward a pandemic recovery that leaves world health better. Health professionals are doing this because the strategy for a healthy recovery is a crucial issue that is tied directly to the state of the climate, so it must be a top priority of leaders of the world’s most powerful nations.

You can help, through giving your support to a letter to G20 leaders by the Global Health and Climate Alliance, comprised of professional organizations and non-governmental organizations concerned with health, as well as environment alliances from around the world.

The letter notes that the SARS CoV-2 virus attacked a world in which the health of millions already had been weakened by factors such as polluted air. We know the sad list of health conditions that become more likely because of polluted air exposing people to particulates and ozone; the conditions include cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung problems, and lung cancer. We know which economic engines lower the quality of the air we are breathing: fossil fuel-based energy generation, transportation, and agricultural practices.

The letter calls on the G20 leaders, as they plan and execute recovery from COVID-19, to address these underlying health and economic conditions by making a health-focused economy part of the strategy for a healthy recovery. It calls for shifting energy incentives toward clean fuels in societies that look after “the most vulnerable among us.” To help make this happen, the letter asks the leaders to directly involve their top health and science officers in the development of economic stimulus packages.

We can – we should – lend our voices to this effort. We can be signatories to the letter. We can write op-eds, send social media messages, and contact our state congressional delegations to press for action in support of these goals. We recognize the centrality of these interrelated issues – COVID and the climate crisis. It is up to each of us to act.


The Consortium signed this letter to the political leaders of G20 countries to support the need for a #HealthyRecovery.