POLLUTION VS. CORONAVIRUS: WHO CARES?


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While political leaders stumble around trying to figure out how to reopen the economies they shut down, they virtually ignore a health issue far more serious than coronavirus.
In last week’s Trends Journal, we noted how spiking COVID-19 casualties, as evidenced in Lombardy, Italy, where the virus first hit the West, came from highly polluted areas.
Last week, The Times reported how the Marathon Petroleum refinery, located in the city of Detroit, released toxic gas so potent that nearby residents were told to stay indoors.
In Detroit, in addition to the Marathon refinery, there is a steel mill, two power stations, and a sewage treatment plant within five miles. The ozone gases released from these facilities, which frequently exceed federal limits, lead to higher levels of lung disease and other ailments.
The county in which Detroit is located has suffered over 2,000 deaths from COVID-19. This is just one example of an environmental nightmare affecting low-income residents, mostly African-Americans and Hispanics, living in polluted cities and towns in many states.
Often noted in the Trends Journal is that people with chronic lung disease are among those most at risk of dying from COVID-19. Research conducted at Harvard confirms that minorities living in neighborhoods with toxic air and water are dying from coronavirus at higher rates than other demographics.
“Houston, We Have a Problem”
 In neighborhoods located outside of the Houston Ship Channel refineries, residents are suffering from COVID-19 at much higher rates than average. According to the American Lung Association, Houston is one of the most polluted cities in the country.
The Houston area reports more than 9,000 cases of coronavirus, with almost 67 percent of the deaths being among minorities.
The Houston irony: The large group of oil refineries surrounding the city have been generating raw materials used to create needed anti-virus medical gear, such as masks and disposable plastic gowns. In addition to the pollution spewed into the air from the refineries, some of the medical protection wear being produced is being incinerated in waste facilities also located outside Houston. This adds even more toxic pollutants spreading into nearby, low-income neighborhoods.
As one resident put it, “Hospitals need the masks, the gloves, but communities are breathing in the toxins that industry says is necessary for the safety of other people.”
Forever Chemicals
In New York State, while New York City has received much publicity as the world’s epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, little attention is being paid to a small city in upstate New York.
In the city of Cohoes, population 16,000, it was discovered that over two million pounds of toxic polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) were shipped to a nearby industrial incinerator and burned over the past year and a half.
There are major health concerns among the residents over the massive burning of what are known as “forever chemicals,” called that because the toxic danger can last for decades and have been shown to accumulate in the body.
As we have reported in the Trends Journal, water contamination from PFAS firefighting foam, which the U.S. military has been using at bases for decades, is a major health concern across the nation. And now, there are additional health concerns about its persistence in the air after being burned.
In low-income neighborhoods across the city, buildings have black soot on windows and there is a dark residue on cars.
The mayor of Cohoes, Bill Keeler, stated, “It seems to me that Cohoes is at the epicenter of a national and maybe international questions of what to do with these PFAS and forever chemicals… it’s scary to think about it.”
TRENDPOST: Absent in the mainstream media coverage, over twice as many Americans, over 200,000, have died last year of air pollution-related diseases than the 100,000 that have died to date from COVID-19.
As for the rest of the world, according to the World Health Organization, some 91 percent of the world’s population lives in places where poor air quality exceeds their guidelines. According to the United Nations, air pollution kills seven million people annually.
Yet, these facts and figures are “nonessential” in this season of COVID Hysteria and, instead, as evidenced by The New York Times, a.k.a. “the Toilet Paper of Record,” in Sunday’s “special” Memorial Day edition, they ran this entire front page of propaganda of victims who have died from the virus:
 

 TRENPOST: Absent in the NYT “death squad” sensationalism are the facts that COVID-19 is less dangerous than constantly advertised.
 Political proponents of the extended shutdowns, who continue to insist on limiting public activities, cite the danger of spread from asymptomatic carriers. As consistently reported in the Trends Journal, most people who contact COVID-19 are asymptomatic.
In fact, according to the government of Massachusetts, where some 6,375 people died of COVID-19 in a population of nearly seven million, underlying conditions were present in 98.2 percent of deaths and the average age was 82 years old.
A 13 May study published in the National Library of Medicine concluded that asymptomatic carriers, in fact, may not be contagious. Four hundred fifty-five subjects were exposed to asymptomatic carriers, which included patients, family members, and hospital staff. The median contact period was between four and five days. The results: “All CT images showed no sign of COVID-19 infection.
And, last week, the CDC estimate dramatically reduced the death rate estimate to be as low as 0.26 percent. The reason given for the continual decline in death estimates over the past few months are large scale serology tests, which consistently reveal that many more people have been infected with COVID-19 but show no signs or very weak symptoms, thereby lowering the percentage of those who are dying from it.
Again, forgotten is how fear was spread by previous estimates, such as February’s report from the Imperial College London, predicting one percent of those contracting the virus would die… used by political leaders to justify the strict lockdowns.

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