President Trump didn't just disagree with science, many say he waged all out war against it. Now, President Biden is rectifying matters by creating a Scientific Integrity Task Force.
Policy experts say that for four years the Trump administration undermined scientific integrity across many agencies by suppressing or distorting evidence to support his political decisions. Even the head of the EPA under former Republican president George W. Bush said, "I’ve never seen such an orchestrated war on the environment or science."
Trump was particularly hostile to the idea of climate change, which he called a hoax. He did everything he could to derail the National Climate Assessment, America’s premier contribution to climate knowledge, wherein hundreds of scientists across the federal government and academia join forces to compile the best insights available on climate change. The results are released just twice a decade or so, and shape years of government decisions.
In November 2020 Trump removed Michael Kuperberg, the scientist responsible for the next edition of the report, and replaced him with a climate denier. Trump also removed the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and installed a political staff who questioned accepted facts about climate change and muzzled communications at the agency.
Matters were pretty similar regarding the coronavirus. However, when Dr. Anthony Fauci arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for his first White House press briefing under the new Biden Administration, he could see things would be different. It was the day after the Inauguration, and President Joe Biden was eager to get the country’s Covid-19 response back on track. Five minutes before he addressed the public, the new President told Fauci: "I want you to just go and tell the science."
“It was a really good feeling, because it was really showing that science is going to rule,” says Fauci, who had become renowned as a target of the ire of President Trump and his supporters, reports Time.
This month the Biden administration created a Scientific Integrity Task Force, whose job is to "review lapses of scientific integrity and ways to remedy them." And to complement that move, President Biden has reappointed Dr. Kuperberg, now with the new title of Executive Director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. There's a great deal of catching up to do, and time is of the essence.
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