Is Air Pollution a Bigger Threat to Global Health than the Coronavirus?

Coiuld the Coronavirus Kill 5.5 Million People this Year?

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted March 2, 2020

Just 42 days after a company called Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), got the genetic sequence information on the coronavirus, it developed a vaccine. Since then, MRNA delivered that vaccine to the National Institutes of Health for human trials.

That’s incredibly impressive.

Now if we could only attack a much bigger problem that is arguably far deadlier than the coronavirus.

A good friend of mine, Ali Perry, recently opined on this, and she’s so on point, I had to share.

Check it out …

It's interesting to watch people freak out over the COVID-19 coronavirus. COVID-19 has an estimated fatality rate of 2%- 3% (a number that could be even lower considering mild coronavirus cases likely go uncounted). Granted, if the coronavirus does become a pandemic, it could cost the global economy $1 trillion.

That said, air pollution kills 5.5 million people a year, and this number will increase as the global temperature rises and developing countries modernize. 3.7 degrees of warming could cost the world an estimated $500 trillion in damages.

Statistics like these are why perspective is important. The media chases the coronavirus because it's a sexy story and the panic gets them clicks. Yet, the coronavirus is a small story on a larger global stage. If people reacted to climate change the same way they reacted to the coronavirus, it would be energy better spent.

So much truth!

Not to trivialize the coronavirus. This is a very real crisis situation.

But so is the rapidly deteriorating health of our planet.

The fact is, we need to treat environmental crises with the same urgency and devotion that we’re treating the coronavirus. Because while we don’t know how this is all going to pan with the coronavirus, we do know that about 5.5 million people this year are going to die as a result of air pollution.

If that’s not an urgent crisis situation, I don’t know what is.