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Sharpiegate: OIG Report Slams Commerce, NOAA & White House for Hurricane Dorian Actions

16 Jul 2020, 22:18 UTC
Sharpiegate: OIG Report Slams Commerce, NOAA & White House for Hurricane Dorian Actions
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President Donald Trump redraws Hurricane Dorian’s path after the fact.

by Douglas MessierManaging Editor

A government review of the Sharpiegate scandal has concluded that Commerce Department officials erred last year when they forced NOAA to issue a statement last year criticizing the National Weather Service (NWS) and backing President Donald Trump’s erroneous forecast regarding Hurricane Dorian impact’s on Alabama.

NOAA officials were in fear of being fired when they issued the statement on Sept. 6, 2019 under pressure from the White House and their bosses in the Commerce Department, the report said.

Five days earlier, the NWS office in Birmingham, Ala., had infuriated Trump by contradicting his earlier tweet that Alabama “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by the Category 5 hurricane.

The report, issued last week by the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), concluded the following:

I. The Department led a flawed process that discounted NOAA participation.II. The Department required NOAA to issue a Statement that did not further NOAA’s or NWS’s interests.III. The Department failed to account for the public safety intent of the NWS Birmingham tweet and the distinction between physical science and social science messaging.IV. One NOAA employee deleted relevant text ...

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