Two year-end pieces from the New York Times capture the Trump administration’s awful toll on public health.
Jack Mitchell’s impressive career involved investigative reporting for CNN, many years of government service, and serving as director of health policy at the nonprofit National Center for Health Research. In addition to being a fighter for public health, he was a thoughtful and generous collaborator.
Recent pieces address EPA’s proposed rule that would devastate public health protections, the reproductive justice movement, unsafe water in rural California communities, and more.
Last year, many of us spoke out forcefully against a horrible EPA proposal that would allow the agency to ignore important studies when regulating, on the pretext of increasing transparency. Rather than using the extensive criticism to engage in a more thorough and appropriate process — or, as many of us recommended, scrap the proposal altogether — EPA has apparently made it more far-reaching and disastrous for public health.
Following a significant amendment, the Scientific Integrity Act passed the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 25-6.
Last year, the Trump administration EPA dismissed the Particulate Matter Review Panel, leaving the agency and its primary group of clean air advisors without the expertise they need to thoroughly update air pollution standards. The review panel’s scientists are so committed to their work that they’ve decided to meet and provide their crucial advice even without the federal government’s blessing.
We’ve become accustomed to having a president who lies blatantly, but leadership at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reached a new low in enabling such duplicity—and has done so in a way that endangers health and safety.
The “Scientific Integrity in Federal Agencies” hearing featured repeated reminders that scientific integrity is a bipartisan issue; that administrations from both parties have suppressed and distorted evidence; and that public health suffers when agencies disregard or sideline science.
Examples of federal agencies ignoring and suppressing science are alarmingly common these days, but Adam Federman’s investigation into the Department of the Interior’s actions regarding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is especially breathtaking.
A July 17 hearing on “Scientific Integrity in Federal Agencies” will be a great opportunity to hear more about the Scientific Integrity Act and ways to protect science from political interference.