Trump’s lie about where a hurricane was going matters — NOAA scientists pursuing

The facts are that word came from the White House thru Wilbur Ross to direct NOAA to contradict their correction of Trump’s lies about the path of Dorian. Ross then called and threatened to fire NOAA political appointees if they didn’t negate the earlier Twitter that made Trump look bad. All of those details are facts. Political pressure, corruption, and more.

But what’s frightening is that Trump’s lies could have cost lives. While he was showing Sharpie-modified maps, Dorian was going up the East Coast causing huge storm surges, high winds, and heavy rains. His statements might very well have caused those affected to act in a way contrary to the appropriate response to the storm. There are actually criminal prohibitions against what Trump did precisely because of the possible consequences.

READ: NOAA releases memo criticizing how administration handled Hurricane Dorian dust-up

(CNN)The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday released an internal email sent by the agency’s acting chief scientist announcing that he will investigate why the agency backed President Donald Trump’s false claim that Hurricane Dorian was likely to hit Alabama.

Below is the full text of that memo:
A Message from Craig McLean: Hurricane Dorian and Exceptional Service
Dear Colleagues,
The fierce storm we know as Hurricane Dorian has concluded its ferocious path through the Bahamas and along the U.S. East Coast. Many of you have contributed to the excellent science that has underpinned the forecasts and current understanding of storms such as this one, which accelerated quite rapidly in intensity. The storm also presented challenges in track which improved with enhanced observations. We know that our collective work, from the scientists in the aircraft penetrating the storm, to the scientists deploying the glider picket line, to the modelers and folks working the physics of the storms, across OAR and in our CI’S, and across all NOAA Lines, we are working the problem in order to give the NWS forecasters the best tools we possibly can to keep America and our neighbors safe. Thank you.
During the course of the storm, as I am sure you are aware, there were routine and exceptional expert forecasts, the best possible, issued by the NWS Forecasters. These are remarkable colleagues of ours, who receive our products, use them well, and provide the benefit of their own experience in announcing accurate forecasts accompanied by the distinction of all credible scientists—they sign their work. As I’m sure you also know, there was a complex issue involving the President commenting on the path of the hurricane. The NWS Forecaster(s) corrected any public misunderstanding in an expert and timely way, as they should. There followed, last Friday, an unsigned press release from “NOAA” that inappropriately and incorrectly contradicted the NWS forecaster. My understanding is that this intervention to contradict the forecaster was not based on science but on external factors including reputation and appearance, or simply put, political. Our NOAA Scientific Integrity Policy and Code of Scientific Conduct make clear that all NOAA employees shall approach all scientific activities with honesty, objectively, and completely, without allegiance to individuals, organizations, or ideology. The content of this press release is very concerning as it compromises the ability of NOAA to convey life-saving information necessary to avoid substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. If the public cannot trust our information, or we debase our forecaster’s warnings and products, that specific danger arises.
You know that the value of our science is in the complexity of our understanding, our ability to convey that understanding to a wide audience of users of this information, and to establish and sustain the public trust in the truth and legitimacy of that information. Unfortunately, the press release of last Friday violated this trust and violated NOAA’s policies of scientific integrity. In my role as Assistant Administrator for Research, and as I continue to administratively serve as Acting Chief Scientist, I am pursuing the potential violations of our NOAA Administrative Order on Scientific Integrity. Thankfully, we have such policies that are independently cited as among the best in the federal community, if not the best. Your NOAA and OAR management and leadership team believes in these policies and principles. I have a responsibility to pursue these truths. I will.
Thank you for your continued excellent work, and your trust. Carry on.
Craig McLean, NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Assistant Administrator
Assistant Administrator
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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