The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is coming under fire for going against its own science and backing President Trump’s erroneous claims that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama.
On Friday, NOAA issued a statement disavowing a tweet made last weekend by the Birmingham National Weather Service which accurately pushed back on Trump’s initial tweets on Hurricane Dorian and Alabama to assure worried residents that the state would feel no impacts from the storm.
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) September 1, 2019
The Washington Post reported that NOAA staff were warned against contradicting the president’s false claims in an agency-wide directive sent that week following his initial tweets.
The President has continued to double down on his false forecast throughout the week, including introducing a map seemingly modified with Sharpie at a press conference last week.
A major role of the National Weather Service is to give “forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property,” and when the NOAA leadership team pushes the political agenda of the President, the lives of American citizens can be put in danger.
But this move to get the NOAA to cover for his errors and uphold his lies sets a precedent that makes many people uncomfortable.
Appalling political manipulation of @NOAA’s @NWS information. Shame on the White House and shame on whoever at NOAA was involved. NOAA Leadership Trades Scientific Integrity for Political Appeasement https://t.co/PvYmGyJBPq
— Jane Lubchenco (@JaneLubchenco) September 7, 2019
This turn of events becomes especially disturbing when learning that the NOAA officials were allegedly threatened to hold up the President’s incorrect statements.
This is the stuff of dictatorships. @SecretaryRoss reportedly threatened to fire top @NOAA officials if they didn’t prioritize Trump’s lie about Alabama over their own weather forecast. Forget what the public actually needs to know. My quick item on this. https://t.co/8oZDHAoZDo
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) September 9, 2019