Federal employees are reportedly furious after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) issued a statement Friday that supported President Donald Trump after he repeatedly has claimed that Hurricane Dorian, which decimated islands in the Bahamas earlier this week, was initially forecast to hit Alabama.
In a statement issued Friday, the federal agency said that the president was correct in stating that Alabama was at risk of bad weather as a result of Hurricane Dorian.
‘The information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama,” the statement from NOAA reads.
The agency seemingly took its support of the president a step further and disavowed a tweet sent from the Birmingham, Alabama National Weather Service (NWS) Twitter account, in which it said, in no uncertain terms, that Alabama would receive no impacts from Hurricane Dorian following the president’s initial tweet that claimed the southern state was at risk.
According to a report Saturday from Business Insider, federal workers believe that it is undermining the work of its staff and are “shocked, stunned and irate” following the agency’s defense.
Dan Sobien, President of the National Weather Service (NWS) Employees Organization, said in an interview with The Daily Beast that he had never seen an instance where the agency had contradicted its workers in such a way.
“These are the people risking their lives flying into hurricanes and putting out forecasts that save lives,” Sobien said. “Never before has their management undercut their scientifically sound reasoning and forecasts.”
In one in a series of tweets, Sobien called the statement by NOAA “disgusting.”
Let me assure you the hard working employees of the NWS had nothing to do with the utterly disgusting and disingenuous tweet sent out by NOAA management tonight #NOAA
— Dan Sobien (@pres_nwseo) September 6, 2019
David Titley, former chief operating officer at NOAA, called the statement “moral cowardice” in a tweet on Friday.
According to a report from The Washington Post, the president showed off a weather map in a conference in the Oval Office on Thursday, on which he himself reportedly used a Sharpie in order to extend the storm’s initial projected path to show it reaching Alabama. The move was just another part of the president’s days-long campaign insisting that the media and scientists were lying and that Hurricane Dorian’s initial path had it heading toward Alabama.
“I have ignored this story for the last few days… But this statement has turned what has become a routine type of political story (the President has said something misleading!) into one that’s slightly more Soviet—and much more worrying.” https://t.co/Y7uKa9TMrH
— Adrienne LaFrance (@AdrienneLaF) September 7, 2019
The president has continued to insist that he was correct in his statements on Hurricane Dorian, claiming as recently as Friday on Twitter that the storm had been forecast to reach Alabama.