Efforts to cover up mistake on Dorian cause for a storm

If the president visits Alabama and starts tossing out rolls of paper towels this week, all is lost.
Last week, we endured probably the most inane and petty scandal in Washington, D.C., in a long time.
More than a week ago when Hurricane Dorian was looming large, President Trump tweeted that Alabama “would be hit harder than anticipated.”
Minutes later, the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Ala., tweeted that Alabama would not see any impacts from Dorian.
There’s no need to determine who was right. Alabama was untouched by Dorian. Yet, we put our money on meteorologists for weather forecasts before any politician, including Trump.
Still, the president persisted in his claim, going so far as to display a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) map that appeared altered, putting Alabama in the area potentially affected by Dorian.
That’s ridiculous when all that was needed was an, “I made a mistake.” What happened next though takes this scandal to an extraordinary level that defies science, among other things.
Apparently, the nation’s Secretary of Commerce threatened to fire top officials at NOAA after they refused to rebut the Birmigham NWS office’s contradiction of Trump.
Following initial objections, NOAA did issue an unsigned statement that disavowed the Birmingham weather office’s position that Dorian posed no risks. That statement called the Birmingham office’s tweet “inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”
As one would imagine that reversal caused a backlash within NOAA and NWS, now prompting investigations on a couple of fronts. The NWS is a part of NOAA, which is a division of Commerce, in case you’re wondering about the Department of Commerce’s role.
For the moment, we’ll overlook the danger such actions by some in NOAA and apparently top Trump administration officials pose to public health and safety.
And space does not allow us to take up other actions by this administration that undermine scientific findings, especially climate change.
We’ll also overlook the incursions of this administration into the Civil Service side of the government’s fence, which is traditionally off limits to politics.
However, we cannot see fit to ignore this orchestrated cover up of an embarrassing mistake by the president.
For the record, we make mistakes too. Many that are embarrassing and cause us no end of public humiliation.
Which come to think of it, everyone makes, but whose mistakes are not in print, or on the scale of the president’s.
What’s disturbing and maddening here though is the attempt to cover it up rather than correct one and move on.
Of course, forecasters make mistakes too, but they don’t politicize the weather.

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