WH official resigns for mistreating staffers after Biden’s vow of zero tolerance falls flat

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A top Biden administration official is out following the results of an internal investigation over claims that he mistreated colleagues and staffers, an unnecessary distraction as the White House grapples with problems both domestic and foreign that threaten the Democrat Party’s one-party rule with the midterm elections rapidly approaching.

On Monday evening, Dr. Eric Lander a member of the embattled Biden’s cabinet as well as his top science adviser announced that he was resigning from his position as the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a move that likely has staffers who were subjected to a toxic work environment breathing easier.

According to a Politico report, the two-month investigation concluded that there was “credible evidence of disrespectful interactions with staff by Dr. Lander and OSTP leadership” and that Lander had spoken “harshly and disrespectfully to colleagues in front of other colleagues,”

“The investigation found credible evidence of instances of multiple women having complained to other staff about negative interactions with Dr. Lander, where he spoke to them in a demeaning or abrasive way in front of other staff,” the outlet reported, citing an audio recording of Christian Peele, who is the White House’s deputy director of management and administration for personnel.

Politico quoted one OSTP staffer as saying that Lander “has a bit of Jekyll and Hyde personality. If he’s in a meeting with external people, he’s positive and ebullient, even. It’s behind closed doors that he changes,” adding “There are a lot of brilliant people in this country. I completely reject the notion that his brilliance is so singular and critical to the nation that his behavior is excusable.”

But the investigation results didn’t prompt Biden, who had vowed that he would fire anyone who treated people with disrespect, to send Lander packing, something that reporters at Monday’s daily press briefing pressed top White House spox Jen Psaki over.

Psaki’s remarks that “senior White House officials conveyed directly to Dr. Lander that his behavior was inappropriate and the corrective actions that were needed, which were — which the White House will monitor for compliance moving forward,” suggested that Lander would remain in his position, a far cry from Biden’s pledge of zero tolerance for abusive conduct.

Hours later, Psaki issued a statement that Dr. Lander had tendered his resignation: “The President accepted Dr. Eric Lander’s resignation letter this evening with gratitude for his work at OSTP on the pandemic, the Cancer Moonshot, climate change, and other key priorities. He knows that Dr. Lander will continue to make important contributions to the scientific community in the years ahead.”

In his letter of resignation, Dr. Lander wrote “I am devastated that I caused hurt to past and present colleagues by the way in which I have spoken to them,”

He added, “But it is clear that things I said, and the way I said them, crossed the line at times into being disrespectful and demeaning, to both men and women. That was never my intention. Nonetheless, it is my fault and my responsibility. I will take this lesson forward. I believe it is not possible to continue effectively in my role, and the work of this office is far too important to be hindered.”

Interestingly, last year Politico reported that Lander had met with notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein more than once; apparently, those meetings didn’t raise red flags with the White House.

According to his White House bio: “Lander is professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School; he is currently on leave from both institutions. He has served on governing and advisory boards for various government agencies, academic institutions, and scientific societies, and has co-founded several successful biotechnology firms.”

He also “served as external co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), advising the White House for all eight years of the Obama-Biden administration.”

Lander had been scheduled to provide testimony at a House subcommittee hearing on the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) and accelerating biomedical research on Tuesday.


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