Nature Outlines Trump Administration’s Interference In Government Scientists’ Response To COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Executive Order That Could Facilitate Their Firing

Nature: Four ways Trump has meddled in pandemic science — and why it matters
“As the United States votes today on who will be its next president, Donald Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic looms large. One issue that resonates with the research community is the extent to which the current president and his administration have meddled with science and scientific advice during the pandemic — often with disastrous results. Last month, a coronavirus-crisis sub-committee within the U.S. House of Representatives released a report documenting 47 instances in which government scientists had been sidelined or their recommendations altered. And the report notes that the frequency of meddling has been increasing in the lead-up to the U.S. election…” (Viglione, 11/3).

Nature: Trump’s latest order spreads fear among government scientists
“An executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump has sown confusion and fear among government scientists in the country. Announced by the White House on 21 October, the order creates a job category for government workers — such as scientists — that makes it easier to fire people shifted into these positions. Researchers fear that this is yet another attack in a four-year war on science waged by the Trump administration. … According to the order, workers to be tapped for the new category are those in ‘confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating’ roles. This could include scientists who help to craft policies on issues such as environmental regulation. It is not yet clear which workers would be placed in this category, but agency leaders have been given 90 days to create a preliminary list of positions that might be affected — due just one day before Trump would be inaugurated, if he was re-elected during the current U.S. presidential race. If Trump loses to former vice president Joe Biden, Biden could quickly overturn the order…” (Subbaraman, 11/2).

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