I’m 23 and a youth vote organizer with NextGen Maine. I’m fighting for more progressive, fact-based governance because my generation now faces not one, but two existential threats: climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. In a time when we should be listening to doctors and scientists more than ever, it often feels as though scary or inconvenient facts are swept under the rug for economic and political reasons.

The fossil fuel industry is a leading contributor to climate change, but it has successfully lobbied against regulations that would protect us from its worst effects. The threat of COVID-19 remains high, but corporations want us to prematurely lift social distancing guidelines so they can start making money again.

Many state governments have done the right thing and enforced stay-at-home orders to keep their people safe, flattening the curve and reducing the overall impact of the disease. President Trump, however, has frozen funding to the World Health Organization, suggested Americans inject bleach to fight the virus and pushed to reopen the country before providing adequate testing to make it safe. We need our government to respect science and not take unnecessary risks just so that companies can force their employees to go back to work in unsafe conditions.

It’s important that we have a government that respects science and medicine, because that’s the only way our government will be able to keep the country safe for years to come in the face of pandemics and climate change.

Keanna Daniels

Presque Isle

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