Trump NOAA nominee withdraws, citing health concerns
Barry Myers, U.S. President Donald Trump’s nomination to lead NOAA, has withdrawn from consideration for the position, according to a report by the Washington Times.
According to the Times, Myer’s is citing health concerns as the reason for the withdrawal, saying that he had recently undergone surgery for cancer and chemotherapy and would be unable to serve the NOAA administration. He was first selected for the role in 2017, but his nomination never progressed to a full vote.
Myers, who previously served as the CEO of AccuWeather from 2007 until his withdrawal from the role in January of this year, has had a nomination fraught with controversy. Earlier this year, sexual assault settlements at AccuWeather during Myers’ tenure as CEO – which totaled USD 290,000 (EUR 262,000) – surfaced after a Centre Daily Times report. Those reports led U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva to call on President Trump to pull Myers’ nomination.
The nomination represented a break from recent precedent of scientists leading the agency, according to a Washington Post story at the time. Myers role at AccuWeather – which has a history of advocating for a greater role for private forecasting companies while limiting the functions of NOAA’s National Weather Service – was also seen as problematic. His brother, Joel Myers, is the founder and current president of AccuWeather.
Since President Trump took office, NOAA has gone without a presidentially appointed administrator, which according to The Washington Post is the longest stretch in the organization’s history since it was created in 1970.
Photo courtesy of NOAA