Republican presidential contender and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy triggered an MSNBC host during an interview on Wednesday regarding “climate change.”

Host Andrea Mitchell questioned Ramaswamy about his labeling of climate change a “hoax” and attempted to refute him by citing a finding from a politicized United Nations panel.

“Let’s talk about the hurricane that’s approaching” Florida’s Gulf coast, Mitchell began. “You have called climate change and that agenda a hoax. You said more people are dying from bad climate change policies than of actual climate change. But according to a U.N. agency, extreme weather events compounded by climate change caused the death of 2 million people between 1970 and 2021.

“Can you offer a shred of evidence that more than 2 million people died from converting to clean energy?” she asked.

“I can offer clear evidence that the number of climate-disaster-related deaths is down by 98 percent over the last century. The number of people who died of hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, and other weather-related events in 1920, for every 100 that died then, two die today. The reason why is more plentiful, abundant access to fossil fuels and technology powered by fossil fuels,” Ramaswamy began.

“It is a hard fact — none of these things are disputed — eight times as many people die of cold temperatures than of warm ones. The right answer to all temperature-related deaths is more plentiful, abundant access to fossil fuels,” he continued.

“The earth is covered by more green surface area today than it was half a century or a century ago because carbon dioxide is plant food. And carbon dioxide, as a percentage of the atmosphere, is still at a relative low throughout human history. Those are hard facts. I think we have to acknowledge those when having this debate,” he said.

“There’s a hard fact of the hurricane that’s now approaching Florida, the mayor of St. Petersburg, a three-generation resident, says he has never seen anything like this, the ocean warming. Let me move on to some –” Mitchell said before Ramaswamy cut her off.

“May I respectfully offer a response to that? And I mean this with due respect,” he said. “If someone on the other side were an uneducated person from Arkansas, who didn’t go to college, and offered one weather event and one anecdote to support a theory of global climate change, you would laugh them off the stage as a rube for saying they don’t follow data The same shoe has to fit the other foot. Follow the actual data.”

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“I’m not talking about one person’s opinion. We talk to professors and academics,” she responded.

“You literally just quoted one person’s opinion. That’s what you just quoted, and I think that’s driving this false narrative as opposed to the facts I’m citing,” Ramaswamy fired back.

Another 2024 GOP candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, paused his campaign earlier this week to deal with the impacts of Hurricane Idalia on the state.

The governor told reporters that “you do what you need to do” in situations like this and cited his prior work in dealing with Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida last September while he was running for governor of the state. He did not specify how long he would pause his presidential campaign.

During a press conference Tuesday in Tallahassee, a reporter asked DeSantis how long he’s “planning on staying in Florida and off of the campaign trail” ahead of the hurricane’s expected landfall on Wednesday.

DeSantis responded, “Well, this is no different. You remember Ian, we were in the midst of a governor campaign.”

“I had all kinds of stuff scheduled, not just in Florida, around the country. You know, we were doing different things and, you know, you do what you need to do. I mean, and so that’s what we’re doing,” he continued. “It’s going to be no different than what we did during Hurricane Ian.”

“I’m hoping this storm is not as catastrophic as Hurricane Ian was, but we’re going to do what we need to do because it’s just something that’s important. But it’s no different than what we’ve done in past iterations of all this stuff,” he added.

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