Global burden of disease

In an essay in the London Review of Books, David Wallace-Wells contrasted the 5.5 million annual global deaths from COVID [1] with the 7 million deaths attributed to air pollution (AP) projected by the World Health Organization [2]; he bemoaned the lack of attention being given to the latter. [1] He noted that other AP mortality estimates run as high as 8.7 million and 10 million if indoor air pollution were included. This is getting downright scary.
The World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a dose-response function for PM2.5 that lumps outdoor ambient air quality, second-hand (passive) smoking, and indoor household air pollution. It has been used in 80 published studies of the “Global Burden of Health” (GBD). Here I take a closer look and incorporate some additional risk estimates.
The global mortality rate from air pollution is estimated to be 8.8 million people per year. That's 18% higher than the 7.2 million lost annually from tobacco. Do you believe it? There is room for doubt. Let's take a look.
We now have another global study from The Lancet showing the effect of diet on global health. Spoiler Alert: Salt is still bad, but diets high in red meat have the least effect. But the real purpose of the study is to set the table, as it were, for a change in policy. If the cost of drugs is too high, not to worry. Food is the new medicine.