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Doctoring Weather Maps, Another New Low From Donald Trump

September 5, 2019

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Being a weather geek, and one who wanted for many years to be a meteorologist means the following story caught my attention.  Caring about facts, and also not wishing to see cynicism projected from every aspect of Donald Trump’s White House, means the following story just makes me sad.

It is most appropriate that prominent meteorologists gave no leeway to Trump for giving out incorrect information on the path of Hurricane Dorian.  Even after being taken to the verbal woodshed by many professionals Trump actually–and without any hint of embarrassment–doubled down on his assertion that the storm was at one point headed for Alabama.   In fact, Dorian was never headed to Alabama.  (Does anyone–or anything–go there on purpose?)

Trump claimed those meteorologists who pointed out his lunacy about doctoring a National Hurricane Center map with a Sharpie was meant to “demean” him.”  No, Mr. Trump.  They did not demean you.  You did that to yourself.

In this time when so many under-educated people follow Trump’s every verbal absurdity and think it to be true–and many of them live in the South in trailer parks–the best way Trump could be of assistance would be to convey accurate information.  Those most susceptible to foul weather should have the best information possible.

There is no way to not feel national shame when we witnessed the following events play out this past weekend.

When the hurricane’s path was projected Sunday to go up the East Coast, avoiding Alabama, Trump tweeted: “In addition to Florida — South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”

About 20 minutes later, the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama, tweeted: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian” because the storm “will remain too far east.”

If only the story had ended there.  If only.

But then Trump displayed a doctored map in the Oval Office that showed Alabama to be within Dorian’s path. The map Trump displayed was the same as a model produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week–well before its path along the East Coast had materialized– showing the hurricane’s projected path cutting through central Florida.  But there was one key difference:.  Where the original projection ended, a smaller, black circle that appeared to be hand-drawn with a Sharpie included Alabama in the model.

Asked later that day about the discrepancy with the original map, Trump said: “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Well, Mr. Trimp, the rest of the nation knows.

This is one more glaring example of Trump not being able to admit he was wrong.  It shows that he will go to absurd lengths to lie and convince his base that he is right–even when he is WRONG.  It also shows that he is not capable of acting presidential even when the lives of Americans are in the potential path of a powerful hurricane.

And so it goes.

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