Beyer Wants Commerce Secretary to Quit Over ‘Alabama Hurricane Threat’

Following reports that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross threatened to fire top NOAA employees for contradicting President Trump’s claim that the Hurricane Dorian would “most likely” hit Alabama, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) says it is Ross who should quit or be fired.

“Wilbur Ross must resign,” Beyer said in a statement. “His direct attacks on the scientists and federal employees, whom he threatened to fire for doing their jobs by accurately reporting the weather, are an embarrassing new low for a member of this Cabinet which has been historically venal and incompetent. As Commerce Secretary he has been one of the longest and most visible symbols of rampant corruption in the Trump Administration. He lied in order to manipulate the Census for political gain. He has been held in criminal contempt of Congress.”

After Trump had said that the storm might hit Alabama, the National Weather Service office in Birmingham contradicted Trump and said the state was not at risk. That led to a highly unusual, unsigned statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the weather service’s parent agency.

“The Birmingham National Weather Service’s Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time,” NOAA said in the statement.

Beyer said the statement “a new low” and added, “Wilbur Ross does not deserve the trust of the American people or a place in the Cabinet and he should be dismissed immediately.”

Rep. Beyer is a Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and its Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. He is co-Chair of the Congressional Safe Climate Caucus and co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s Climate Change Task Force.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.