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HomeReviewsBook Review: Thomas O. McGarity’s ‘Demolition Agenda: How Trump Tried To Dismantle American Government, And What Biden Needs To Do To Save It’

Book Review: Thomas O. McGarity’s ‘Demolition Agenda: How Trump Tried To Dismantle American Government, And What Biden Needs To Do To Save It’


Science Book Review: Thomas O. McGarity’s ‘Demolition Agenda: How Trump Tried To Dismantle American Government, And What Biden Needs To Do To Save It’ Rebecca Coffey Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I’m interested in evolution, health, the environment, and behavior. May 23, 2022, 06:00am EDT | Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin A wrecking ball getty Demolition Agenda presents chilling details of what happened to health science, environmental science, and consumer protection agencies when President Donald J. Trump put his “best people” in charge. According to author Thomas O. McGarity, the president and his agency heads made little-to-no pretense of trying to make government more efficient or (heaven forbid) protective. They wanted it smaller and less expensive to run and they wanted it to get out of the way of business, industry, and their and their friends’ pocketbooks. For example, prior to the onset of Covid-19 epidemic, Trump took the cost-cutting measure of eliminating the government’s pandemic response team. This left the country perilously short on preparedness. Then, in hopes of swiftly calming a nervous nation, he introduced the idea of an already approved malaria drug as a “game changer” for Covid. Riding a wave of media attention and hoping it would all become favorable to him, he attempted to replace carefully constructed, time-tested, Food and Drug Administration procedures for authorizing new drug indications with a cursory evaluation by a team consisting of one scientist, one hospital administrator, one doctor, and one person who had regulatory affairs expertise. Thus began the truly frightening story of Trump’s cheerleading for the unsupervised, home use of hydroxychloroquine. (It is normally administered to malaria patients in hospitals because it puts them at risk of abnormal heart rhythms.) Hydroxychloroquine was ultimately shown to be useless against Covid. Book cover, Demolition Agenda Photo credit The New Press One of Trump’s “best people” was his crony Scott Pruitt. As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, he purposefully gutted environmental protections. He also allowed promiscuous permitting of oil wells and strip mines and he prevented career scientists from disseminating information that would alert the public to the hazards of pollution and climate change. Pruitt was appointed in February of 2017. McGarity reports that, by the time he left the EPA in July of 2018, he was being hounded by more than sixteen separate federal inquiries for alleged mismanagement and corruption. Once a congressman from Montana and a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention in 2016, Trump’s “best person” Ryan Zinke was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior in March of 2017. On his first day at the agency he rode to work on a horse named Tonto. Zinke weakened protections on conservation lands and on threatened species and he instituted plans to give mining and oil companies access to protected Federal monuments. Like Pruitt, he was eventually hit with a rash of Federal inquiries and he retired under a dark cloud. MORE FOR YOU New Research Finds A Connection Between Domestic Violence And These Two Personality Disorders This Scientist Helps Andean Forests And Ecuador’s Women In STEM Exceptional Fossil Preservation Suggests That Discovering Dinosaur DNA May Not Be Impossible And so on. According to McGarity, the Trump administration’s playbook was to demolish restraints on business opportunities while downplaying the profound environmental, health, and consumer protection costs of doing so. McGarity is the William Powers Jr. and Kim L. Heilbrun Chair in Tort Law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. He is a recognized authority on regulation. Even so, his writing is never lawyerly. It’s easy to read and thoroughly engaging. That being said, McGarity is not operating with inside information. If you’re looking for gossipy scoops about what the heck happened during Trump’s tenure, you won’t find them here. (I found, for example, no strippers in these pages.) The wealth of solid information in Demolition Agenda about what happened to national agencies regulating health, science, and the environment makes it an astonishing and weighty read. It’s the sort of book that journalists, activists, and historians may want to keep on their shelves — forever. I do have one complaint, though. This book sorely needs an index, and there isn’t one. The New Press, Hardcover $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-62097-639-5. Also available as an e-book. Pub date May 2022. Follow me on Twitter . Check out my website . Rebecca Coffey Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions

From: forbes
URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccacoffey/2022/05/23/book-review-thomas-o-mcgaritys-demolition-agenda-how-trump-tried-to-dismantle-american-government-and-what-biden-needs-to-do-to-save-it/

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