As Politico reported Monday, Trump is set to appoint Teresa Manning to head the federal government’s birth control program. Manning has infamously argued that birth control does not work, and that the correlation between receiving an abortion and developing breast cancer is “undisputed.” These assertions, of course, are wildly incorrect and scientifically bogus. In fact, holding such beliefs should categorically bar someone from occupying such an important role.
This, sadly, is not a new situation in this political era. Since taking office in January, Trump has made it a point to select individuals completely ill-suited for their designated positions. Consider this non-exhaustive list: Ben Carson’ selection to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Rick Perry’s appointment as Energy Secretary, and Steve Bannon’s (now revoked) role on the National Security Council.
Unfortunately, we will likely only see more of these sycophant appointments. Trump still has hundreds of vacancies that his incompetent administration has failed to fill. In desperation, he’ll likely continue to tap cronies with no business in government.
The individual damage that Trump’s bizarre appointments can cause is immense. Consider Manning: in her new role as deputy assistant secretary for population affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services, she’ll oversee $286 million in family planning funding. Her tinfoil hat beliefs will likely impact department policy, which currently helps 4 million low-income US citizens receive affordable contraception and birth control.
With radical right-wing extremists like Manning at the helm of vital social programs, current inequities will likely worsen, further contradicting Trump’s promise to help working Americans and revealing the ideological sham of his administration.