Trump Bans EPA, USDA from Sharing News
This week, officials at the Environmental Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture notified staff members that they may no longer discuss agency research or restrictions with anyone outside of the organization—including the media. While it's unclear if these restrictions will be temporary or long term, the policies establish the new administration’s control over communication with the public and media outlets.
Scientists and other staff members that work for the EPA and USDA are prohibited from issuing external press releases, public statements, news feeds, social media content like blog posts, and other forms of communication about taxpayer-funded projects until further notice. Additionally, incoming media requests to the agencies will be screened carefully and require approval.
These actions are not unprecedented and are similar to policies enacted by the administration of President George W. Bush, as well as those of former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper. On January 23rd, the Trump administration also announced a temporary freeze on federal contracts and grants at the Environmental Protection Agency.
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