Donald Trump seeks out, nominates and appoints the most unqualified individuals to lead our government agencies, including his latest pick of Samuel H. Clovis Jr. for Chief Scientists at the United State Department of Agriculture.
Clovis is NOT A SCIENTIST. He’s a conservative radio talk show host with absolutely no experience in either the field of science or agriculture.
What his resume does boast, however, is that he was the head of Trump’s presidential campaign in Iowa. And for his undying loyalty to the orange one throughout his run for office, Clovis was named senior White House adviser to the USDA when Trump won the election: a man who has never come close to farmers or cows. He’s probably even lactose intolerant
According to NPR, the appointment of Clovis is raising concerns in the scientific community about the politicization of science policy in the Trump administration. As well it should! They should be concerned considering the entire Trump administration is anti-science. And so is Clovis.
As a Senate candidate in 2014, Clovis told Iowa Public Radio he did not believe climate change was man made.
“I have looked at the science,” Clovis said, “and I have enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed. And a lot of what we see is junk science.”
As USDA Chief Scientist, Clovis would oversee the department’s $3 billion research budget, which funds, among other things, research to help farmers and ranchers adapt to climate change. Clovis does not believe that climate change is man made even though the data collected by government agencies such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows an overwhelming amount of evidence.
Like our so-called POTUS, Clovis is a controversial figure.
As CNN reported, he used to run a blog on which he wrote racially charged posts, once related being gay with pedophilia and questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. He also referred to progressives as “race traitors.”
“Normally, who you name to chief scientist at the USDA wouldn’t be front-page news,” says Ricardo Salvador, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, adding that Clovis is unqualified. “If he makes decisions on the basis of loyalty to a new president or political ideology, we’re afraid this is just going to be very noxious to responsible, science-based decision-making.”
Obviously, Democrats will be making it difficult to confirm Clovis.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the top Democrat on the agriculture committee, says a provision in the law specifically requires that chief scientist nominees be chosen from “among distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education or economics.”
“In my judgment, I don’t see how in the world he meets the requirements of the law,” Stabenow said. “I think this is certainly something we’re exploring.”
At least two other U.S. senators, CA’s Kamala Harris and NY’s Chuck Schumer, also oppose the Clovis nomination. As of today, his confirmation hearing before the Senate agriculture committee has not been scheduled.
When the White House holds a presser in Trump’s Cabinet room and the camera pans the people seated in those chairs, we are witnessing the #altdepartment universe of Trump: people with no experience in the field of the agency they now run (Education, Labor, Transportation); people who were suing the agency they now run (EPA); people who deny the data collection of the agency they now run (Health & Human Services), or people who actually wanted to get rid of the agency they now run (Energy). Oh, and someone who lived in a house (HUD).
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