All-day Saturday, I was discouraged because the Republican Party got its right-wing judge candidate, Brett Kavanaugh, appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
It looked like the Republicans would get their way, but when allegations of sexual assault were made, then Kavanaugh acted angrily and made inappropriate partisan remarks in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, it seemed that at least some of the Republicans would come to their senses.
Kavanaugh angrily scoffed at the idea that more people will die because he’s on the Supreme Court. But the conservative new appointee opposes government regulations, and that’s what protects consumers from harmful chemicals in their food and in the environment.
President Trump’s environmental agenda could lead to 80,000 additional deaths per decade, according to a JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, article.
Examples of deregulation under Trump include: repeal of the Clean Power Plan, rollback of standards for autos, repeal of water pollution standards, scale back of lead-risk reduction program, delay or reductions of chemical bans, and weakening of rules on coal ash waste.
“A central feature of [Trump’s] agenda is environmental damage: making the air dirtier and exposing people to more toxic chemicals,” said two Harvard researchers David Cutler, a public-health economist, and Francesca Dominici, a biostatistician, in the article. “The beneficiaries, in contrast, will be a relatively few well-connected companies.”
This is just one estimate of the excess deaths under Trump and Kavanaugh. More deaths also could be caused by stopping the public reporting of hospital infections, making harmful cuts to the Affordable Care Act, cutting Medicare and Medicaid, and more.
Since Kavanaugh is a right-wing conservative, he’ll support industry instead of the public health of consumers when environmental and chemicals regulations come before the Supreme Court. His record shows he ruled again and again for corporations and against the public interest as a federal judge.
It’s upsetting that Trump supporters have “drunk the Kool-Aide” and believe that government regulations are bad and need to be cut. Government regulations protect consumers from toxic chemicals and pollutants in our air and water.
Rather than cutting back on regulations, they need to be stronger. For example, pesticide regulations are weak and don’t adequately protect consumers. The Obama administration had begun a review of pesticides, but, of course, under Trump, federal agencies have halted that review.
My father, a farmer, died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is linked to pesticide exposure. It was agonizing to watch him get frailer and die. It can happen to you or your relatives and friends. It’s not a pretty way to die.
Tap into your consumer power and make a difference for your health and the health of your family. Join a consumer or environmental group and contribute to local, state, and national officials who support the interest of consumers.