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Al Gore Revives Climate and Health Summit Canceled by CDC

The meeting is moving forward without the U.S. government

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    In this file photo, former Vice President Al Gore discusses "Confronting The Climate Crisis: Critical Roles For The US And China" at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre on April 7, 2016 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    A conference on climate change and health is back on but apparently minus the U.S. government.

    Several organizers including former Vice President Al Gore have resurrected the meeting set for next month in Atlanta.

    The government's top public health agency had planned the conference with the American Public Health Association (APHA), then canceled it in December without explanation.

    The APHA says Gore, one of two keynote speakers, stepped in to help keep the meeting alive, NBC News reported.

    "I was minding my own business and he picked up the phone and called me," APHA executive director Dr. Georges Benjamin told NBC News.

    The decision to hold the meeting was hatched by Benjamin's group, Gore, the University of Washington and the Harvard Global Health Institute.

    Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

    The one-day meeting is moving from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Carter Center. 

    "It's going to be on climate and health, and in many ways it's going to be a very different meeting," Benjamin said.

    Benjamin said he doesn't know if government officials will attend; many had been scheduled to speak at the conference .

    An after-hours message to the CDC was not immediately returned.

    A recent report by the U.S. government said global warming is a national public health problem. It said climate change is increasing the risk of respiratory problems and spread of disease from insects.

    "Some of these health impacts are already underway in the United States," the report said.

    In 2015, an international global health commission organized by the British medical journal Lancet said that hundreds of thousands of lives a year are at stake as global warming "threatens to undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health."