NOAA Chief Scientist Probing Whether ‘Political’ Statement Violated Ethics Code

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 29: The logo of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seen at the Nation Hurricane Center on August 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 29: The logo of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seen at the Nation Hurricane Center on August 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Hurricane Dorian is expected to become a Category... MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 29: The logo of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seen at the Nation Hurricane Center on August 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Hurricane Dorian is expected to become a Category 4 as it approaches Florida in the upcoming days. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 9, 2019 10:23 a.m.

Craig McLean, acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is investigating whether a statement put out by his agency backing up President Donald Trump’s deluded claims about Alabama potentially being impacted by Hurricane Dorian was an ethical breach.

According to the Washington Post, McLean called the statement, which admonished the Birmingham branch of the agency for contradicting the President’s incorrect forecast, “political.”

“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,” he added in an email obtained by the Post. “If the public cannot trust our information, or we debase our forecaster’s warnings and products, that specific danger arises.”

The unsigned NOAA statement, posted on Friday, sent more shockwaves through the now days-long story, which included the President seemingly altering a map of Hurricane Dorian with a Sharpie to undergird his incorrect conviction that Alabama was in the path of danger.

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