attacks on science


Old Laws, New Science, and Protecting Public Health: The Trump Administration’s Decision on Particulate Pollution Standards

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

In June, the public comment period closed on the EPA’s draft rule on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. Now we wait, as the agency reviews the more than 66,000 public comments submitted and Trump leadership at EPA rushes to finalize the rule by its own arbitrary deadline of the end of 2020. Here’s a rundown of the state of play, and where I and the Union of Concerned Scientists stand on the nation’s protections against one of the most common and harmful air pollutants in the US. Read more >

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What I Wish I Had Said on CNN About Trump’s “Lysol and Sunshine” Speech

, Former fellow

As an occasional contributor to broadcast news on topics such as climate change and the role of science in policy, I rarely find myself commenting on the hot-off-the-press issue of the day. Experts like me are brought on when the news cycle slows, an intelligent sideshow to add gravitas while the real pundits get frothy about the latest political snub or personality gaffe. We are the warm-up act, like an author doing a reading before a concert; we’re more like a PSA than a feature. Read more >

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Training on the use of personal protective equipment. Photo: cdc.gov

Coronavirus and the Terrifying Muzzling of Public Health Experts

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

The administration is muzzling government scientists, requiring that all statements be politically vetted through Vice President Pence, and punishing federal employees who draw attention to gross negligence. This is a highly dangerous power grab that undermines both emergency response and public faith in the reliability of information coming out of the government. And it speaks to the incompetence and incoherence of the response to this crisis so far. Read more >

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visits and serves bacon cheeseburgers for lunch to some of the Discovery Elementary School students, in Arlington, VA, during National School Lunch Week, October 15-19, 2018. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

From School Lunch to SNAP, New Attacks on Kids’ Health and Nutrition

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Life comes at you fast, and so does the Trump administration’s ongoing assault on children’s health. Over the last many months, my colleagues in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy have been hard at work rounding up stories of action or inaction, at agencies from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and beyond, that put the nation’s children in greater danger. Their report and related not-really-for-kids-storybook came out last week, and I encourage you to read them both.

But sadly, the tally is already a bit out of date. Even as our report was in press, the administration was jumping on a few more opportunities to put kids at risk.

Read more >

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Photo: samer daboul/Pexels

Blowing the Cover Off the “Cleanest Air” Sparkle of the Trump Administration

, Senior Energy analyst

The Trump administration has repeatedly claimed to want clean air—the cleanest air—but behind the administration’s rhetoric the truth of its actions still stands. It simply cannot obfuscate away the fact that this administration has aggressively, repeatedly, and profoundly attacked the public health protections that keep us safe from harmful air pollutants. Read more >

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