According to Politico, an internal White House inquiry discovered that President Joe Biden’s top scientific advisor intimidated colleagues and violated workplace standards.
This is not as unexpected as some would have thought. The Biden administration has been hard on its personnel, and it has not fared well.
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According to Politico, “credible evidence” established that Eric Lander, a Cabinet member and head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), pressured his then-general counsel, Rachel Wallace.
The media outlet based its report on a January briefing on the two-month investigation’s conclusions. The briefing, which lasted around 20 minutes, was attended by a representative from the White House Counsel’s office.
According to Politico, Christian Peele, the White House’s deputy director of management and administration for people, “[the review revealed] solid evidence of disrespectful interactions with workers by Dr. Lander and OSTP leadership.”
According to the video, Peele stated that there was “credible proof” that Lander had talked “harshly and disrespectfully to coworkers in front of other colleagues.” According to Politico, fourteen current and former OSTP employees who worked under Lander described a poisonous work atmosphere.
The OSTP office employs around 140 workers. Linder, who was a major role in the administration’s COVID-19 pandemic response, apologized in an email to all OSTP personnel late Friday.
Biden has stated that any of his staff or political appointees who show disrespect to their colleagues will be dismissed “Right then and there. There are no ifs, ands, or buts.”
Although he appears to have upheld that statement to a reasonable level, the White House personnel has been drastically reduced.
According to a White House spokeswoman, a comprehensive and thorough investigation was performed, and White House leadership met with Dr. Lander to explain the severity of the incident and the President’s expectation that all staff contacts be done with respect.
Biden picked Lander, who gained to notoriety for his work mapping the human genome, to head OSTP in part to demonstrate the administration’s willingness to commit the fight against the coronavirus to scientists and medical specialists. In January 2021, Biden wrote to Lander, suggesting that he “update and rejuvenate our national scientific and technology plan to set us on a terrific trajectory for the next 75 years.”