For the special Let’s Talk Climate episode, “The Biden-Harris Administration’s First 100 Days: How Did they Fare on Climate, Health, and Equity?” Climate for Health Director, Rebecca Rehr, was joined by Jessica Wolff, U.S. director of climate and health at Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth, and Kineta Sealey, Policy Counsel at the Black Women’s Health Imperative.
We opened with optimism and hope, which is how both of our guests were feeling generally about the Biden-Harris Administration’s First 100 Days:
“The Biden-Harris Administration came into office with four priorities: COVID, climate, race, and the economy, and these are all essentially health issues. And we saw right away that President Biden really raised responsibility for addressing the climate crisis to the highest government offices…” – Jessica
“Black Women’s Health Imperative is a national nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to advancing health equity and social justice for Black women throughout the lifespan… so when President Biden declared that advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole government and described it as a moral imperative, it was great! And, centering equity in legislation will positively impact millions of Americans” – Kineta
Our conversation covered some of the key points in the Climate, Health, and Equity Recommendations for the Department of Health & Human Services (which YOU can sign on to support) as well as disproportionate impacts of heat and air pollution on maternal health and birth outcomes.
Jessica encouraged all health professionals working on climate and health to support the administration’s initiatives on everything from the physical infrastructure to the public health systems to respond, because “HHS has nearly 80,000 employees but fewer than a dozen have expertise in climate and health…that’s the call to action; they do need the support.”
And, Kineta encourages us all to get involved and “go out and be a leader!” Let’s join her.
Resources shared during the episode:
eA research, “Health Surpasses Jobs in Climate Action Support”