Trump’s reckless shutdown of the federal government delayed work on the software malfunction believed to play a role in the crash of a Boeing 737 Max jet.
On Sunday, 157 passengers were killed after Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The disaster has been traced to a flawed automated anti-stalling system that also played a role in the crash of another Boeing 737 Max jet in the ocean near Indonesia on Oct. 29.
Before the latest crash, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was aware of problems with the system and was reportedly working with Boeing to remedy the issue. But because of Trump’s decision to shut down the federal government to try to make Congress fund his racist border wall, work was completely stopped on the solution for five weeks.
This is exactly the kind of safety hazard that a union representing 60,000 airline pilots warned Trump about during the shutdown.
What’s more, Trump’s FAA has no permanent director and has been sluggish in its response to the crash. Trump only announced that the 737 Max would be grounded on Wednesday — days after most other governments around the world, including the European Union, had already done so.
While the rest of the world was responding to the safety hazard, Trump was on the phone listening to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s assurances that he was confident in the safety of the troubled jets.
Boeing also donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee, and Muilenburg visited Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Even while announcing the grounding of the Boeing planes, Trump still plugged Boeing as an “incredible company.”
The FAA said in a statement that it delayed grounding the planes because “this investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions.”
But the Canadian government received information about the Boeing plane at the same time as the United States did, and Canada called for a grounding many hours before the U.S. acted. Many flights using the possibly hazardous jets would have been allowed to take off during that time.
America was behind the rest of the world when the safety of air travel passengers was on the line.
Thanks to Trump’s management failures with the FAA and his pointless, ego-driven shutdown, the people responsible for keeping travelers safe haven’t been able to fully do their jobs when it mattered most.
Published with permission of The American Independent.