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Past Event

COVID-19 and Climate: Implications for Public Health

What can the spread of the coronavirus teach us about the spread of climate change? Both crises have global reach, invisible perpetrators, and require aggressive, early action for containment. But while an infectious disease is acute and deeply personal, the impacts of a changing climate are systemic and vague.

Scientists point out that the coronavirus family—which includes COVID-19 and SARS—originated as an animal disease that can be passed along to humans. With increased human development encroaching into wildlife areas, should communities be preparing for more pandemics? A conversation on climate factors shaping human health with Brian Allan, associate professor of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Aaron Bernstein, interim director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Barbara Gottlieb, director of environment and health at Physicians for Social Responsibility.


This program is generously supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and a collaborative of local funders and donors. We are grateful for their support and hope others will follow their example to support the Club during these uncertain times.

April 3, 2020

United States

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Brian Allan

Associate Professor, Entomology and School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Aaron Bernstein

Interim Director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, Harvard School of Public Health

Image - Barbara Gottlieb

Barbara Gottlieb

Director of Environment and Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Image - Greg Dalton

Greg Dalton

Founder and Host, Climate One