Once again, President Trump and his allies, including Rep. Bruce Poliquin, compel me to write. America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, like the attempt to gut the Affordable Care Act, imperils the nation’s health and safety.

Here in Maine, as the climate becomes warmer and wetter, there has been an increase in ticks that carry Lyme disease. Those ticks also carry pathogens with exotic names, such as babasiosis (endemic in Nantucket) and ehrlichiosis — diseases that are already increasing in frequency. Outbreaks of Zika, with its horrific array of birth defects, have occurred in Miami and Brownville, Texas. Dengue, valley fever and naegleria (brain eating amoeba) are moving northward.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s budget proposal threatens to slash funds from the Center for Disease Control and Public Health, the nation’s defense against such disasters. Add this to the millions of people who will lose their health insurance and, thus, access to care, and we have the makings of “a perfect storm.”

The Chinese, those makers of “the climate change hoax” (according to Trump), have a curse — “May you live in interesting times,” and we do.

Stephen Sokol, M.D., Lewiston


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