Trump Silences Scientists From EPA, USDA

Trump Silences Scientists From EPA, USDA January 24, 2017

Trump administration prohibits scientists from both the USDA and the EPA from sharing information with the public.

In an alarming development the Trump administration is trying to silence government scientists. Multiple reports indicate the administration has issued a gag order for both the USDA and the EPA. The order prevents scientists and other employees from sharing information with the public.

Huffington Post reports that under new guidelines issued by the administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now barred from communicating with the public. A message sent to EPA staff on Monday prohibits staff from creating press releases, blogs, messages, or any social media postings concerning their taxpayer funded work.

In addition, a widely circulated report from BuzzFeed News reveals that a gag order has also been placed on scientists and other employees working for the USDA:

The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees in its main research division from publicly sharing everything from the summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets as it starts to adjust to life under the Trump administration.

More from BuzzFeed News:

According to an email sent Monday morning and obtained by BuzzFeed News, the department told staff — including some 2,000 scientists — at the agency’s main in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to stop communicating with the public about taxpayer-funded work.

“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents,” Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, wrote in a department-wide email shared with BuzzFeed News.

“This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” she added.

And it gets worse. According to another report from Huffington Post “multiple federal agencies have told their employees to cease communications with members of Congress and the press.” In addition to the EPA and the USDA, a gag order is being placed on “sub-agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services.”

BuzzFeed News also notes that immediately following Trump’s inauguration, employees at the National Park Service were told to stop tweeting from official park accounts.

Bottom line: The Trump administration is demonstrating a blatant contempt for science, for scientists, and the public’s right to know.  The long national nightmare is only beginning.

(Image via Flickr)
Trump Silences Scientists (Image via Flickr)
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