The Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 is a dramatic example of the dangers of political interference with the work of government scientists. Its handling of this growing public health crisis violates key scientific integrity principles, such as suppressing research and preventing scientists from accurately communicating their research in a timely way. As a result, science is undermined and our health is at risk.
Congress passed NEPA to ensure that agencies fully and transparently consider the best available science on the environmental impacts of a proposed action, and use that information to make informed decisions. This process has worked well and provided key environmental safeguards for 50 years.
One thousand days into the Trump administration, the federal government has attacked science 249 times—or roughly once every four days. The administration’s assault on science includes attempting to cast doubt on climate change, limiting and eliminating access to scientific information, and preventing federal scientists from publicly communicating their research.