As a member of a coalition of thousands of doctors, nurses, and medical and nursing students representing all 50 states who have signed this “open letter to US patients,” I can unequivocally state that your health is on the ballot in this election. A vote for leaders who will act on climate change is a vote for everyone’s health.
Every year we see longer allergy, asthma, mosquito, and tick seasons, as well as tragic events that have struck the West Coast and Gulf states. Our Ohio region has seen a measured increase in air pollution-related to high temperatures that have impacted asthma and other chronic respiratory illnesses, especially in children and older adults. Columbus is an urban heat island, which means heat gets easily trapped in the city. During the pandemic, the city suffered through a historic heatwave, which impacts cardiac and overall health.
While I am skilled at treating diseases, prevention is the best medicine. Health experts agree that it is imperative to transition to clean forms of energy and reduce emissions substantially in the next decade. The enormity of health benefits that will result from making this transition will improve health equity, and Ohio deserves leaders who recognize this fact.
For the sake of your health and the health of all you love, vote for legislators who take the climate crisis seriously. A vote for the climate is a vote for health.
Marium Husain, MD, MPHThe Ohio State University James Comprehensive Cancer Center, Hematology/Oncology Fellow
Riverside Methodist Hospital, Internal Medicine