Speed Reads

Trump v Science

The Trump administration has removed all sorts of data from federal websites

U.S. government scientists were worried that the Trump administration would take down federal websites with research and data on climate change, and they took steps accordingly. But it turns out federal agencies under Trump have removed or made inaccessible data on all sorts of topics, from resources on housing discrimination to reports on animal welfare abuses and workplace safety violations, The Washington Post reports. The Trump White House has also declined to publish ethics waivers granted to appointees, making it hard to know which officials have, for example, recently lobbied on issues they now oversee in government.

The Trump administration has removed thousands of massive data sets used by companies, researchers, and others — in January, there were 195,245 public data sets at www.data.gov, while there are now fewer than 156,000 data sets. Some of them were likely removed because they were outdated or consolidated with other data sets, The Washington Post says, but "the reduction was clearly a conscious decision."

Other data taken down from federal websites include regulatory enforcement actions, like fined abuses at dog and horse breeding operations and workplace injuries cited by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations had regularly publicized fines levied against companies to encourage workplace safety, but business groups opposed such "naming and shaming" disclosures.

The White House told The Washington Post it is adhering to its legal obligations. "The president has made a commitment that his administration will absolutely follow the law and disclose any information it is required to disclose," said White House spokeswoman Kelly Love. You can see a rundown of some of the ways the Trump administration is purging or hiding data in the Washington Post report below. Peter Weber