The political heads of the scientific agency of the United States Government – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – violated the entity’s integrity to agree with President Donald Trump.
An external investigation, compiled by The Washington Post, reached this conclusion on a statement that NOAA published contradicting its meteorologists and giving reason to Trump on the path that Hurricane Dorian was going to take when arriving in the United States last September .
Trump had displayed a manipulated map from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Dorian’s trajectory to defend his theory that the storm came to threaten the state of Alabama, something the president had insisted on.
NOAA’s branch of the National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham, Alabama quickly contradicted Trump, stating that state “will NOT suffer any Dorian-related impact.”
“(Dorian’s) system is too far east” and its pace “will not be felt in Alabama,” stressed the NWS.
However, days later, NOAA released a statement defending that Dorian had indeed threatened the state of Alabama, leading to the external investigation commissioned by the National Academy of Public Administration, an organization dedicated to promoting good practice in government.
This investigation has concluded that both acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs and then-director of communications and chief of staff Julie Kay Roberts violated the entity’s scientific integrity, in which political interference is prohibited.
The investigation, however, does not propose sanctions for these officials.
The powerful category 5 hurricane – the maximum – Dorian, which reached winds of up to 295 kilometers per hour, devastated the Bahamas before its arrival in the United States, causing the death of more than 70 people and the disappearance of about 300 in the archipelago.