COVID-19 and the Coronavirus Pandemic

UCS experts are closely tracking the ongoing outbreak and monitoring attempts by the Trump administration to sideline scientists and public health experts. Photo from the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of Laboratories.


How Will People Cope With Extreme Heat and Rising COVID-19 Risks This Week?

, senior climate scientist

As we speed toward a future where heat waves like this become the norm, we must do better. Read more >

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Woman standing outdoors in protective mask, with newspaper headlines about COVID-19 surrounding her

Don’t Be Deceived: How to Spot and Stop COVID-19 Disinformation

, Lead science and policy analyst

Today, UCS launched a new online resource with tips on how to spot and stop the spread of disinformation around COVID-19. Disinformation (intentionally false or misleading information) is especially dangerous when it happens during a public health crisis. Its spread can undermine the recommendations of public health officials, for example, making people less likely to take science-based precautions that protect their health and diminishing their trust in expert guidance. Read more >

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Heatwaves and COVID Mean Higher Home Electricity Bills; What Do We Do About That?

, Senior Energy Analyst

When the COVID-19 outbreak began to spread, states across the country began to institute stay-at-home orders in an effort to help contain the virus and “flatten the curve.” At the same time, advocates in the utility world began to call for moratoriums to electric and gas shut-offs, so that a lack of financial resources would not threaten a family’s ability could shelter in place safely, especially as the economic crisis deepens. Now, utilities want to start collecting on unpaid bills and many state policymakers are thinking of capitulating to utility demands by lifting previously imposed bans on utility shut-offs.

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Photo: Alexandra Koch/Pixabay

As Schools Plead for COVID-19 Safety Information, White House Politicizes CDC Guidance

, Lead science and policy analyst

In the latest example of how the Trump administration is monumentally botching the response to a public health emergency, the president called the CDC’s guidance for safely reopening schools too“ tough” and “expensive” and even threatened to cut funding from schools that were planning virtual instruction. In response, CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield suggested that the guidance was indeed “guidance, not requirements” and that it shouldn’t be used to justify keeping schools closed. By restricting what CDC scientists can recommend on how to open schools safely, the Trump administration is heightening the risk to children, their families, and their teachers of contracting a potentially deadly disease. Read more >

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U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Matkin

Heat Wave and COVID-19 Clash: Tens of Millions of People at Risk in States Seeing COVID Spikes

, Climate Vulnerability Social Scientist

A major, long-lasting heat wave is spreading through the country over the next week. Many of these states are also in the throes of a dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases. Read more >

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