Former Vice President Al Gore says the coronavirus pandemic is another example of politicians ignoring scientific warnings.
"The scientists have warned us about the coronavirus and they've warned us about the climate crisis, and we've seen the dangers of waiting too late to heed the warnings of the doctors and scientists on this virus," Gore told "Real Time with Bill Maher."
"We should not wait any longer to heed their warnings about what we're doing to radically destabilize the earth's climate. And perhaps that connection is obvious, but some things you think are obvious take some time to become [obvious] to elected government officials."
The coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 1.7 million people worldwide and killed more than 100,000. More than 500,000 people have been infected in the U.S., and nearly 19,000 have died.
The virus' original host was almost certainly a bat, scientists have said, but the problem is not the animals.
"Pandemics as a whole are increasing in frequency," said Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist who is president of EcoHealth Alliance, a public health organization that studies emerging diseases. "It's not a random act of God. It’s caused by what we do to the environment. We need to start connecting that chain and say we need to do these things in a less risky way."
Gore, whose 2006 film, "An Inconvenient Truth" introduced climate change science and solutions to millions, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
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