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Internists Say Climate Change Legislation Appropriately Recognizes Toll on Human Health

Statement attributable to:
George M. Abraham, MD, FACP, FIDSA
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, D.C. May 17, 2021 –The American College of Physicians (ACP) believes that The Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act is an important step forward in recognizing and beginning to mitigate the devastating effect that climate change is having on the health of our patients. Acknowledging the negative consequences for public health and the disproportionate impact that climate change has on people in the United States and other countries who are economically disadvantaged, belong to communities of color, or have other social and health vulnerabilities is an important step in combatting this issue. Importantly, this legislation would also require the federal government to develop strategies in the U.S. and internationally to help prepare for and respond to the impact of climate change on public health.

As a physician, I already face these problems with my own patients. A longer and warmer growing season means more severe and longer periods of dealing with allergens for my patients with pollen allergies. Increasing and warmer heat waves mean more patients with problems due to heat exhaustion or dehydration.  These types of issues are why ACP recognized the threat that climate change presents to the health of our patients in our policy on Climate and Health.

ACP is glad to see that Senator Markey and Representative Cartwright continue to recognize the urgency of the issue and we applaud their efforts on this legislation. We call on other members of Congress to also recognize that by supporting this legislation.

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org