Seven Democratic members of the House Science Committee have sent a letter to President Donald Trump telling him he should not rely on fake news, debunked research and misinformation when setting science policy.
“We are concerned about the process by which you receive information,” the one-page letter begins. “According to a story reported by Politico on May 15, 2017, your Deputy National Security Advisor passed along printouts of two Time magazine cover stories — one, a previously identified and debunked Internet hoax purported to be from the 1970s warning of a coming ice age, and the other, from 2008, a special report on global warming, with the intention of undermining concern about climate change.”
The letter was signed by Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV).
“Where scientific policy is concerned, the White House should make use of the latest, most broadly-supported science. You have a tool at your disposal in this regard, should you wish the make use of it, in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) which, under your administration, has been left largely unstaffed and without a director,” the letter states.
“Until the OSTP is adequately staffed and the director position filled by a qualified, objective scientists who understand the difference between alternative news peddled by alt-right websites and legitimate well-vetted scientific facts, we fear that you will continue to be vulnerable to misinformation and fake news,” the letter adds.
The representatives criticized Trump for disseminating a range of false stories from dubious sources, including the charge that President Barack Obama wiretapped him and that millions of people voted illegally in the presidential election.
“This, by no means, is a comprehensive list of your activities peddling fake news,” the letter states.