Pete Buttigieg on Coronavirus: We’re Seeing ‘Life-and-Death Consequences’ of Ignoring Science on Climate Change

Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor and failed presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said in an interview on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in “seeing the life-and-death consequences of not listening to science.”

Buttigieg made the remarks in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) in a story billed to highlight his endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden as the Democrat 2020 presidential nominee.

NPR host Steve Inskeep pressed Mayor Pete on his campaign pledge to make the Democrat Party attractive to a younger generation given that he is endorsing Biden, who at 77 is four years older than 73-year-old Trump.

“Can younger people expect a better shake from a president who would be about 40 years older than you are?” Inskeep asked.

“Absolutely,” Buttigieg said. “Look — obviously, I’m a fan of generational change.”

“It was one of the ideas of my campaign,” Buttigieg said. “It’s also an important idea for Win the Era, which is a political effort that I’ve launched to help candidates from a new generation step forward.”

“But when it comes to the issues impacting a younger generation, those are very much on the ballot, and Joe Biden has the right answers,” Buttigieg said.

Those answers include accepting that climate change is a bigger threat than any other.

“You know, the biggest glaring issue of intergenerational justice is climate change,” Buttigieg said. “And while we may have some differences of opinion on our side of the aisle on how best to tackle it, the question in November is going to be over whether to tackle it.”

“Remember — we’ve got, in Joe Biden, a candidate with an ambitious plan to move our country to where it needs to be and the world to where it needs to be in order to deal with climate change,” Buttigieg said. “And we’ve got a president who maintains that it’s a hoax.”

“And if there’s one thing we’re seeing in the pandemic, it is the life-and-death consequences of refusing to listen to science and refusing to cooperate, coordinate — domestically and internationally — to deal with a massive challenge,” Buttigieg said. “That is true of public health and global health security.”

“It’s true of climate security,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg did not comment on the fact the Trump has a huge network of scientists, including those with the National Health Institute (NHI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who advise him and participate in presenting scientific data at the daily coronavirus press briefing at the White House.

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