White House officials have transferred Trump-appointed scientist Betsy Weatherhead from her position overseeing the US government’s report on the effects of climate change, a senior administration official told CNN.
The move is part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to clean house of President Donald Trump’s political appointees in scientific roles. The EPA recently wiped out the entire Scientific Advisory Board put in place by Trump administration.
Weatherhead is considered a mainstream scientist and believes that climate change was a real and serious issue.
She is an atmospheric scientist who had been detailed to the White House Office of Science Technology Policy from the US Geological Survey under the previous administration and will now return to the USGS, the official said.
The Washington Post first reported the reassignment.
The move comes as the White House is set to host a climate summit on Thursday and Friday and release 2030 emissions goals for the United States.
Weatherhead was appointed to her role at the National Climate Assessment by Kelvin Droegemeier, who served as the director of OSTP under Trump.
Droegemeier, an expert on extreme weather, was seen by those concerned with Trump’s dismissal of climate change as someone who took the threat of climate change seriously within the Trump administration.
While Droegemeier had tapped Weatherhead, who views climate change as a legitimate threat, to lead the National Climate Assessment, other officials brought onto the study during the Trump administration held the different views.
In January, CNN reported that Trump appointees David Legates and Ryan Maue – both senior officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who had been with OSTP since November – would be investigated by the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General for posting papers denying climate change.
CNN’s Rachel Janfaza contributed to this report.