White House Science Advisor Eric Lander has not been content with peddling the usual COVID fear narrative. He has already moved way past that to peddling anxiety-inducing future pacing regarding some unknown pandemic about to befall humanity. It would seem that his hyperbole is not limited to health predictions but invades his management style.
In a scathing piece on Monday, the Washington Free Beacon dropped a report that claimed that Lander’s actions as head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy “left numerous female staffers in tears, traumatized, and feeling vulnerable and isolated.” Usually, being a bad boss would not be enough grounds to lose a DC appointment. Being a jerk to your subordinates is a feature in the swamp, not a bug.
At his inauguration, the President created a red line for such behavior when he said that he would fire people on the spot for disrespectful behavior. Far from acting ‘on the spot’ as Biden claimed, the White House initiated an investigation two months ago. It seemed that Lander would survive as he is a close friend of the Biden’s, and he must have dirt on somebody because even a meeting with Jeffrey Epstein was not enough to torpedo his confirmation.
Unfortunately for Lander, the current environment is an unforgiving one. Biden’s popularity is at an all-time low. The President is also gearing up for a confirmation fight for his first chance to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. Throw in that Kamala Harris’ office is losing staffers like a gambler loses cash, and you have an Administration that does not have the political capital to handle another distraction from the narrative the Administration is trying to put forward (although the messaging is somewhat of a mystery whenever Biden talks).
All of this was too much to overcome, and Lander resigned on Tuesday. He can now continue to opine incorrectly on pandemics as a private citizen from the comfort of his own home.