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Retired miner Eric Giedel, who suffers from black lung, visits Dr. Don Rasmussen for a cardo pluinary stress test. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Remember when coal was king and miners died slow, horrifying deaths from black lung disease? Well, guess what. Not only are taxpayers—thanks to Donald Trump and a few coal billionaires—propping up the inefficient and planet-killing coal industry with renewed vigor, it turns out black lung never went away, either.

"There's a great deal of evidence ... that definitively demonstrates that we are in the midst of an epidemic of black lung disease in central Appalachia."

The largest-ever cluster of miners affected by advanced black lung disease has been tallied in central Appalachia. Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health confirmed 416 cases of progressive massive fibrosis or complicated black lung in just three clinics in central Appalachia from 2013 to 2017. An NPR study of 17 clinics found more than 2,000 cases in a concentrated region, more than 20 times the official tally of 99 cases reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

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