The autocratic purge of civilian science advisers from the US federal government has now gone into overdrive as the Trump regime is cutting federal agency advisory boards by at least one-third and probably by a lot more.
President Trump is directing all agencies to cut their advisory boards by “at least” one third.
The executive order issued Friday evening directs all federal agencies to “evaluate the need” for each of their current advisory committees.
The order gives agencies until Sept. 30 to terminate, at a minimum, one-third of their committees.
Committees that qualify for the chopping block include those that have completed their objective, had their work taken up by other panels or where the subject matter has “become obsolete.”
Another defining factor listed includes whether the agency itself has determined that the cost of operating the agency is “excessive in relation to the benefits to the Federal Government.”
Critics say the order is another administration attack on experts who provide scientific advice.
“For the past two years they have been shrinking and restricting the role of federal science advisory committees,” Gretchen Goldman, the research director with the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union for Concerned Scientists, said in a statement. “Now they’re removing the possibility of even making decisions based on robust science advice. It's no longer death by a thousand cuts. It's taking a knife to the jugular.”
There are an average of 1,000 advisory committees with more than 60,000 members, according to data from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), that cover a range of topics including disposal of high-level nuclear waste, the depletion of atmospheric ozone, addressing AIDS and improving schools.
They are often filled by people considered to be at the top of their fields who can provide important technical advice, and GSA said the boards and committees “have played an important role in shaping programs and policies of the federal government from the earliest days of the Republic.”
Friday’s order is the most dramatic step in the Trump administration’s escalating pushback to the advisory committees.
Getting rid of at least 20,000 experts in various fields is a guaranteed path towards a government that doesn't work, which is exactly what Trump wants in order to claim then that only he, Dear Leader, is qualified to run all aspects of the country. Besides, Republicans don't want experts, they want lackeys.