With Hurricane Dorian spiraling towards the coast, President Trump is defending a NOAA map that appeared to be modified with a black Sharpie. The map showed a questionable projection of the storm hitting Alabama.
The President tweeted the following Monday: “The Fake News Media was fixated on the fact that I properly said, at the beginnings of Hurricane Dorian that in addition to Florida & other states, Alabama may also be grazed or hit.” He added, “This nonsense has never happened to another President.”
After being mocked by major news outlets and social media, the President originally claimed that he was provided with outdated forecasts. Some of the earliest models for the hurricanes path included a possibility that Alabama could be affected by the storm. However, by the time Trump tweeted there were already more accurate forecasts that showed Alabama was no longer in danger said a top NOAA official.
According to Craig McLean, NOAA’s acting chief scientist Trump’s claims were “political” and a “danger to public health and safety.” According to the Washington Post Mclean is “pursuing the potential violations of our NOAA Administrative Order on Scientific Integrity”. The Associated Press reported the head of the National Weather Service defended forecasters who challenged the President’s claim that Dorian threatened Alabama. Trump’s Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross allegedly threatened top employees at the NOAA after the agency contradicted the president in a tweet. NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs told the staff that they would be fired if they contradicted Trump’s Alabama remarks. The National Weather Service almost immediately debunked the president’s claim, but he repeated the assertion that the map was not doctored twice more that day.
President Trump’s tweets come as Hurricane Dorian advanced to the coast of the Carolinas, making landfall in North Carolina overnight as the Bahamas continued recovery efforts. At least 30 have been confirmed dead in the Bahamas so far, and at least four have been killed in the Southeastern coast.
I used sources from Politico, CBS News, Newsweek, and the President’s Twitter account. The Politico article “Trump drags his Alabama hurricane claims into the 6thday.” This article by Caitlin Oprysko is certainly is written with a neutral perspective in mind. It uses several quotes from the President and other agencies. The article from CBS News “NOAA chief scientist reportedly investigation agency’s backing of Trump’s claims about hurricane.” It focuses on the exchange between the President and NOAA chief scientist Craig McLean. It contains great information about the potential ramifications of violating the NOAA Administrative Order on Scientific Integrity. The final article from Newsweek “Trump Commerce Chief Wilbur Ross Threatened NOAA to Agree with President’s Alabama Hurricane Tweet.” This article main focus is Trump’s Secretary of Commerce threatening NOAA scientists to agree with Trump’s Alabama Hurricane blunder.
Oprysko, Caitlin. “Trump Drags His Alabama Hurricane Claims into 6th Day.” POLITICO, 6 Sept. 2019, www.politico.com/story/2019/09/06/trump-hurricane-dorian-tweets-1483586.
CBS News. “NOAA Chief Scientist Reportedly Investigating Agency’s Backing of Trump’s Claims about Hurricane.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 9 Sept. 2019, www.cbsnews.com/news/noaa-hurricane-dorian-statements-president-donald-trump-claims-being-investigated-by-chief-scientist/.
Fearnow, Benjamin. “Commerce Chief Wilbur Ross Threatened to Fire NOAA Employees for Disagreeing with Trump Alabama Tweet, Report Says.” Newsweek, Newsweek, 9 Sept. 2019, www.newsweek.com/commerce-secretary-wilbur-ross-threatened-noaa-employees-hurricane-dorian-alabama-trump-1458391.
Trump, Donald J. “In Addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, Will Most Likely Be Hit (Much) Harder than Anticipated. Looking like One of the Largest Hurricanes Ever. Already Category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!” Twitter, Twitter, 1 Sept. 2019, twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1168174613827899393.
Baker, Peter, et al. “Trump Pressed Top Aide to Have Weather Service ‘Clarify’ Forecast That Contradicted Trump.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Sept. 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/us/politics/trump-alabama-noaa.html.