Okay, I’m going to try to avoid highlighting all the missteps and stupid things the Tr*mp administration is doing, for if I did that I’d post nothing else. Let me just call to your notice four bad things that his administration just did:
1.) Trump signed an executive order yesterday barring any NGO (“non-governmental organization) that gets US funding from providing abortions or evening mentioning them as a possibility. As the Guardian noted,
The rule will put thousands of international healthcare workers in the difficult position of deciding whether to continue to offer family planning care that includes abortion at the expense of a critical funding stream. Many international health advocates insist that their efforts are not comprehensive without abortion services. Unsafe abortions are a major cause of maternal mortality and kill tens of thousands of women every year.
The US is the single largest donor to global health efforts, providing nearly $3bn toward health efforts through the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) alone. The state department and groups like the Peace Corps offer additional funding. A spokeswoman for International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said the group will not abide by the gag rule and stands to lose up to $100m it currently receives from the US. None of that money is used for abortion services.
Public health advocates across the globe warned that a change in funding would have grave consequences.
“It would be devastating,” said Amu Singh Sijapati, president of the Family Planning Association of Nepal, a member of IPPF. Her association has used the funds to train healthcare workers and open clinics in remote parts of the country that offer long-acting, reversible contraceptives to disadvantaged women.
The loss of funds would limit the reach of her organization, she said. “Funding cuts would mean we can’t support … the government of Nepal’s effort on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Additionally we would not be able to run community clinics or mobile health days or train healthcare workers. The impact also means we would lose essential medical staff like nurses, doctors and health experts.”
Here’s a photo of Tr*mp signing the executive order. The number of people equals the number of Y chromosomes. In a Guardian commentary on the photo, an enraged Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett says this:
The stupidity of the blinkered, religiously motivated agenda on display here is that no matter what legislation these men implement, they will never succeed in banning abortion, per se, only safe, legal abortion. Marie Stopes estimates that, as a result of the reimposition of the global gag order, the loss of their services alone could result in 6.5m unintended pregnancies during Trump’s first term, 2.1m unsafe abortions, and 21,700 maternal deaths. In passing this law, these patriarchs have fathered millions of unwanted children, helping to create lives that could very well turn out to be painful and potentially motherless.
2.) Today Tr*mp on signed another executive action to facilitate construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. After the Obama administration blocked construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline last year because it endangered waters on Native American lands, Trump simply overturned that. So much for considering the wishes of those whom we displaced. (The Keystone XL pipeline was blocked in November of 2015 by the Obama Administration, which claimed it didn’t serve the needs of Americans.) It’s clear the that the Tr*mp administration will simply run roughshod over environmental concerns.
3.) The US Environmental Protection Agency has been not only given a gag order (no press releases, no social media, no blog posts, and no new content on any website), but also ordered to freeze all of its grants, including ongoing ones. As the Daily Kos reports, (partly quoting a PuffHo piece):
EPA staff has been instructed to freeze all its grants ― an extensive program that includes funding for research, redevelopment of former industrial sites, air quality monitoring and education, among other things ― and told not to discuss this order with anyone outside the agency, according to a Hill source with knowledge of the situation.
These grants power everything from sampling pollution around Superfund sites to community recycling programs and environmental education programs used in schools. The grant lockdown follows reports that Trump intends to cut $815 million from the EPA’s budget, destroying not only the ability to fund research, but to enforce existing standards.
Requests for comment from the EPA drew no response. Of course.
4.) Tr*mp and his minions blocked any release of information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As BuzzFeed reported,
The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees in its main research division from publicly sharing everything from the summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets as it starts to adjust to life under the Trump administration, BuzzFeed News has learned.
According to an email sent Monday morning and obtained by BuzzFeed News, the department told staff — including some 2,000 scientists — at the agency’s main in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to stop communicating with the public about taxpayer-funded work.
“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents,” Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, wrote in a department-wide email shared with BuzzFeed News.
“This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” she added.
Can governmental denialism of anthropogenic global warming be far behind?
h/t: Gregory J.