The White House is engaged in a war on science and STEM is losing. On Friday, it was reported that the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) closed the door to their office for the final time.
An employee from the Division sent out one final tweet while on the job: “Science division out. Mic drop.”
We already know definitively that the Trump administration hates science. From an all-out assault on the EPA to smaller battles with NASA, the National Parks system, and others, Trump and his cronies have denied climate change, fought for an increase in failing industrial-based jobs, and taken on various technology companies who have provided billions of dollars in tax payments to federal, state, and local governments.
The final three employees of the OSTP were holdovers from the Obama administration which featured nine full-time staffers before Donald Trump became the 45th POTUS. Those employees helped form a brain trust of workers focused on issues such as STEM education, biotechnology, and crisis response.
CBS News that the employees were removed from their posts and no plans to replace them have been announced.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. Government is overstaffed and must be pruned while his opponents have stated repeatedly that choosing departments to close at random does nothing to serve the greater good.
A White House official tells CBS News that “Under the previous administration, OSTP had grown exponentially over what it had been before.” The source said that previous administrations had staffed the OSTP with around “50 to 60 or so policy experts.”
At the height of the Obama administration more than 100 employees graced the halls of the White House as members of the OSTP. The division still exists outside of the White House although only about 35 people are still employed within the Division.
A departing OSTP staffer told CBS, that President Obama had “strong belief in science, the growing intersection of science and technology in a range of policy issues, and as showcased in the OSTP exit memo, in a sweeping range of [science and technology] accomplishments by the Obama science team.”
An official for the White House made an odd statement, stating that the work of the OSTP will go on in some capacity, just not with Trump’s support and not departmentally. Ummm. Ok.
Trump has made it clear he would rather allow agencies to languish than fill open positions. The State Department is left with hundreds of unfilled positions and the EPA is avoiding staffing and must eliminate 1,200 jobs. The EPA recently cut its board from 68 members to just 11.
In the meantime, Trump spoke last week and made it very clear that he doesn’t really understand what Space is, although he thinks it’s “infinite” or something like that.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.