Trump's Freeze On EPA Grants Leaves Scientists Wondering What It Means

Residents of Flint, Michigan, are still dependent on bottled water because of their lead crisis, yet the agency responsible for prevention and clean-up has been thrown into chaos. Linda Parton/Shutterstock

Similarly, many graduate students and researchers are trying to find out if their payments, which include health insurance, have been cut off. Attempts to call the White House for clarification have been unsuccessful. This isn't surprising. Hundreds of administration staff need to be replaced at every presidential changeover, and more than 90 percent are currently unfilled, with Trump yet to send nominees' names to the Senate for confirmation.

Contrary to reports that the White House switchboard has shut down, it appears to still be operating, but the volume of calls has been so great, most are not getting through. For those that do, there may be no one working in the White House who can answer their questions.

The confusion is not restricted to scientists. State governments depend on the work of the EPA, and some have been trying to find out what it means for them, so far without success. 

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This post from Jacquelyn Gill has been shared more than 4,000 times as scientists seek information about what is happening to their grants.

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