‘Fire Wilbur Ross’: Internet explodes on news Commerce Secretary threatened to fire NOAA officials over Alabama tweet
Wilbur Ross stands after being sworn in as Secretary of Commerce in Washington, DC, U.S. February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The outrage is palpable as Americans are learning Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire top National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials after the agency's Birmingham office posted this tweet effectively countering President Donald Trump's lie that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian:


On Friday, "Ross phoned Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where the secretary was traveling for meetings and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency’s perceived contradiction of the president," The New York Times reports.

"Dr. Jacobs objected to the demand and was told that the political staff at NOAA would be fired if the situation was not fixed, according to the three individuals, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the episode. Unlike career government employees, political staff are appointed by the administration. They usually include a handful of top officials, such as Dr. Jacobs, and their aides."

Many across the nation were outraged when the NOAA issued a rare – and unsigned – statement apparently rejecting the Birmingham NOAA tweet and insisting – despite zero evidence – that the President was correct and Alabama was in the projected line of Hurricane Dorian's wrath. Alabama was never impacted.

Related: #SharpieGate: Social Media Explodes With Hilarious Drawings Mocking Trump’s Fake Hurricane Dorian Weather Map

Ross, who as Commerce Secretary oversees the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He is also responsible for a tremendous amount of factual data and reports, as economist and professor Justin Wolfers, who is calling for Ross' firing, notes:

On social media many others also called for Ross to be fired – or should resign – over the politicization of the NOAA and the threat: