Winding Road, Turbines. Courtesy of GE.
Paul McGee / Getty Images/Flickr RF

White House reluctant to talk about Trump’s odd wind power claims

On Tuesday night, Donald Trump delivered remarks to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and apropos of nothing, the president thought it’d be a good idea to lash out at wind power.

Referring to the hum from wind turbines, Trump claimed, with a straight face, “They say the noise causes cancer.”

Yesterday, reporters asked Mercedes Schlapp, the White House’s director of strategic communications, for some clarification.

Q: Do wind turbines cause cancer?

SCHLAPP: I don’t have an answer to that. I don’t, I, I, I don’t have an answer to that. Yeah, I really don’t have information on that.

Q: American families are concerned today that the president says wind turbines cause cancer.

SCHLAPP: I don’t have information on that.

Moments later, she walked away.

I’m sympathetic to Schlapp’s predicament. If she told the truth – which is to say, if she told reporters, “Of course wind turbines don’t cause cancer” – she’d risk being fired. If Schlapp endorsed Trump’s rhetoric, she’d look as ridiculous as he did.

Left with limited options, Schlapp had to pretend she didn’t know whether her boss’ nonsense was fact or fiction.

And to think, the White House has struggled at time to recruit top-tier staffers.

For what it’s worth, the New York Times took a closer look at the details surrounding Trump’s bizarre claim and found that there is no evidence whatsoever linking wind power and cancer. There is, however, ample evidence connecting cancer to coal power – an energy source the president and his team routinely champion.

If Schlapp wants “information on that,” she’d probably find the reporting interesting.