Center for American Progress

PRESS CALL ADVISORY: Sen. Udall To Join Leading Scientists To Discuss the Nexus of Coronavirus and Nature Crises
Press Advisory

PRESS CALL ADVISORY: Sen. Udall To Join Leading Scientists To Discuss the Nexus of Coronavirus and Nature Crises

Sam Hananel (CAP) at
Ned Adriance (Udall) at
Kirsten Weymouth (National Geographic) at

Washington, D.C. — Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and world-renowned scientists Thomas Lovejoy and Enric Sala will lead a press call on Monday, April 20, at 1:30 p.m. ET to discuss the intersection between the coronavirus pandemic and the nature crisis.

The speakers will explore how the collapse of nature is increasing the risks of pandemics and other disasters across the globe. Habitat loss, overexploitation of wildlife, and climate change have contributed to the increased spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, from animals to humans. Sen. Udall will also discuss steps the United States can and should take to better protect people, the planet, and the nation’s biodiversity.

The press call will coincide with the release of a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress that argues the United States can reduce the risk of pandemics by stepping up efforts to combat wildlife and timber trafficking, slowing the destruction of nature, and setting an ambitious goal for nature conservation.

Sen. Udall has introduced the 30 by 30 Resolution to Save Nature in the U.S. Senate to set a national goal of conserving 30 percent of the United States’ land and water by 2030.

Lovejoy, who has a background in epidemiology, is one of the world’s leading conservation science and policy experts and has spent a career advising scientific institutions, nonprofit organizations, development banks, and governments on the risk of nature loss. Sala, previously a professor at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, is a National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence and currently leads National Geographic’s Pristine Seas program as well as the society’s work on the Campaign for Nature, an effort to inspire and persuade governments to accelerate nature conservation worldwide.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Ranking Member, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Co-Chair, Congressional International Conservation Caucus

Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow on Biodiversity and Environmental Science, U.N. Foundation

Enric Sala, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society

Nicole Gentile, Deputy Director of Public Lands, Center for American Progress

Monday, April 20, at 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

RSVP to Sam Hananel at

Call-in details available upon RSVP.

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.