Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) declared the “climate crisis” the “greatest challenge facing humanity” on Thursday, as millions of Americans — and billions of people across the globe — attempt to rebuild and economically recover from the ravages of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
“The climate crisis is the greatest challenge facing humanity, and the Trump administration is doing all it can to cause as much damage as possible,” Sanders said on Thursday, appealing to a New York Times piece tallying the Trump administration’s rollbacks of environmental rules.
“We need a Green New Deal,” the former presidential hopeful added:
The climate crisis is the greatest challenge facing humanity, and the Trump administration is doing all it can to cause as much damage as possible. We need a Green New Deal. https://t.co/2itGZjJtQS
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 7, 2020
Several social media users balked at the Vermont senator’s suggestion.
“Have you met #COVID19 or better yet the Wuhan Chinese virus???” one asked.
“Dude we need to make sure people don’t die of corona right now! Climate can wait,” another remarked.
“Is this a joke???????” one asked.
This is hardly the first time progressives have tried to shift the focus during the pandemic and economic crisis to their climate change agenda. In March, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) offered the Democrats’ version of a coronavirus relief bill. It included Green New Deal initiatives, such as “increased fuel emission standards for airlines receiving funds and carbon offsets” and the “expansion of wind and solar tax credits,” as detailed by Breitbart News.
Green New Deal advocate and Sanders supporter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Thursday lamented the scheduled JetBlue flyover in New York to salute healthcare workers, citing air pollution and its effects on vulnerable communities.
“Nothing like a corporate PR campaign that burns jet fuel at low altitudes over vulnerable communities dying from a respiratory virus that compounds on our preexisting and disproportionate exposure to air pollution to show healthcare workers we care,” she wrote:
Nothing like a corporate PR campaign that burns jet fuel at low altitudes over vulnerable communities dying from a respiratory virus that compounds on our preexisting and disproportionate exposure to air pollution to show healthcare workers we care https://t.co/xyCr3tojgn
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 7, 2020
The New York lawmaker came under fire last month after praising the historic drop in oil prices, using it as a pitch for the investment of green infrastructure to “save our planet.”
“You absolutely love to see it,” she said in a now-deleted tweet. “This along with record low interest rates means it’s the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet.”
The progressive calls to take aggressive climate action come as Americans slowly move to recover from the weeks-long economic standstill spurred by the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown orders.
The unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent last month. The U.S. lost 20.5 million jobs in April alone, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.