According to the media, the list of purported victims of the Trump Administration is quite long, but on Tuesday edition of New Day, CNN added a new victim to the list: bees. In continuing the long running tradition that predates Trump, New Day declared that spending cuts on bee research is part of the Republican war on science and on all things good and decent.
The entire segment was a great illustration of why cutting spending and getting the nation's finances under control is so difficult. If Trump Administration cutting money for bee research on a temporary basis produces outrage and indignation in the media, just imagine what they would do if they got serious about addressing things such as entitlements.
Co-host Alisyn Camerota began the segment by lamenting that, "Honeybees are dying off at a faster rate than seen in a decade, yet the Trump Administration is cutting funds aimed at trying to save them." Camerota then introduced CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux to warn "farmers, scientists, environmentalists, and now even beekeepers, they are ringing the alarms saying scaling back on this critical research they depend on is gonna have a significant impact on all of us, starting with the bees."
The segment then went to a clip where Malveaux explained that the Trump Administration has reversed a series of Obama-era regulations when it comes to bees, including allowing 18 states to use a certain pesticide in emergency circumstances that is known to be harmful to bee colonies. It took a while, but eventually Malveaux got to explaining the Department of Agriculture's reasoning. "The USDA said the critical data collection suspension was temporary, saying 'the decision to suspend data collection was not made lightly but was necessary given available fiscal and program resources.'"
After the clip's conclusion, Malveaux told Camerota and fellow co-host John Berman: "Scientists say the Trump Administration's turn away from the bee crisis is just part of the Administration's larger goal to cut or undermine federal research on food safety, farm productivity. and climate change."
Here is a transcript for the July 9 show:
8:51 AM ET
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Honeybees are dying off at a faster rate than seen in a decade, yet the Trump Administration is cutting funds aimed at trying to save them. CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux is live in Washington to explain. Why this so important, Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX: Well good morning Alisyn, the Administration is painting these cost cutting measures as necessary to get the government working as a lean efficient entity. But farmers, scientists, environmentalists, and now even beekeepers, they are ringing the alarms saying scaling back on this critical research they depend on is going to have a significant impact on all of us, starting with the bees.
MALVEAUX: Bee populations already on the decline now facing an added blow as the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspends collecting data for its annual honey bee colonies report, a critical tool for understanding the plummeting honeybee population.
BILL BUNDY [BEEKEEPER]: With the eventual loss of the bee population, what you would see is more desert than you would see healthy, vibrant landscapes. Their critical impact is on the food source.
MALVEAUX: It's estimated that one third of the U.S.’s food supply depends on the bee because they help pollinate many crops we eat including apples, avocados, almonds, and grapes. Bee populations have been steadily declining since 2006. Colonies facing threats from parasites, pesticides, habitat loss and climate change. In 2014 the Obama Administration launched a program to address the plummeting honeybee population. Directing federal agencies to track the problem and work on improving bee colonies as well as other critical pollinators including butterflies. The Trump Administration through the U.S. Department of Agriculture now undoing those efforts. Last year reversing an Obama-era rule, barring the use of a chemical that is known to contribute to the decline of bee colonies. The EPA has also granted emergency permission to 18 states under certain circumstances to spray an insecticide considered highly toxic to bees.
DONALD TRUMP: We will defend the environment but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs.
MALVEAUX: A survey which tracked how farmers pay for honeybees to pollinate their crops was suspended in 2018, and another survey on honey production was scaled pack. Now a third bee-related database aimed at tracking how many bees are being lost is being suspended.
BUNDY: Keeping this statistical study going is very important so we understand what's going on and you can make the resources available to try to solve the you need to have the data, you need to have a database that says in fact our bees are thriving or in fact our bees are not thriving. Just part of the Trump Administration’s rollout of its own environmental plan.
TRUMP: My administration is now revising the past administration's misguided regulations to better protect the environment and to protect our American workers.
MALVEAUX: The USDA said the critical data collection suspension was temporary, saying “The decision to suspend data collection was not made lightly but was necessary given available fiscal and program resources.”
MICHELLE OBAMA: We created the first ever White House beehive, and hopefully or bees are asleep right now.
MALVEAUX: Saving the bees has typically been a bipartisan effort. Former first lady Michelle Obama and current Second Lady Karen Pence both taking up the cause.
KAREN PENCE: One of the reasons we wanted to bring a beehive to the vice president’s residence was because we wanted to help our bee population. It was important to us to do what we could. A lot of our crops are highly dependent on bees to pollinate.
MALVEAUX: Scientists say the Trump Administration's turn away from the bee crisis is just part of the Administration's larger goal to cut or undermine federal research on food safety, farm productivity. and climate change, Alisyn, John?
CAMEROTA: Very interesting to hear from the second lady who wants to help the bee population at the same time the Administration is working on counter purposes to that. But thank you very much to showing us it the value of all this.