Derrick Z. Jackson

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Derrick Z. Jackson is a UCS Fellow in climate and energy and the Center for Science and Democracy. His UCS blog won a 2018 first prize from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He is co-author and photographer of Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock (Yale University Press, 2015). See Derrick's full bio.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who banned local jurisdictions in Texas from mandating face coverings in April, reversed himself last week amid the latest spike in COVID-19 infections to issue a statewide mask order. World Travel & Tourism Council/Wikimedia Commons

Blaming the COVID-19 Messengers: Public Health Officials Under Siege

The vilification of public health officials in the COVID-19 crisis reminds us of their vital role as the crossing guards of science. When their vigilance gives us the green light to eat, drink, and recreate, we hardly notice them waving us onto normal activities, barely knowing their names.

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World Travel & Tourism Council/Wikimedia Commons
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A Second Wave of COVID-19 Looms Large—and It’s Not Because of Protests

The potential health impacts of protests pales in comparison to the rioting of the virus and the looting of lives incited by the incompetence of the Trump administration and state decisions to prioritize reopening for business over public health. Read more >

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Photo: MIA Studio/Shutterstock

The Push to Relax COVID-19 Protections Exposes Age-Old Racial Wounds

This is what reopening looks like in the United States today. To the White House, governors, and the privileged, they are merely reopening business. To the laborers who keep those businesses open, the madness of being forced back to work when coronavirus still rages reopens the enduring wounds of structural racism. The coronavirus is proving beyond anything we’ve known in modern times how an infected wound can become a death sentence. Read more >

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Photo: pxfuel

The EPA’s Dirty Water: New Rule Discards Science, Ignores Importance of Wetlands and Tributaries

In its latest act of abdication, the Environmental Protection Agency has published its Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the Federal Register, removing protections from half of America’s wetlands and a fifth of streams and tributary headwaters. Read more >

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Daniel Acker/Reuters

The Election Travesty in Wisconsin is a Wake-up Call for the Nation

As much as the denial of science is a hallmark of the Trump administration and the Republican Party, Wisconsin Republicans took things to a new level with their cynical decision to hold in-person voting in the midst of a deadly pandemic. As my scientist wife, Dr. Michelle Holmes, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, put it, “This isn’t just denial of science. This is pure exploitation of science.”

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Daniel Acker/Reuters
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