News that the Trump administration was discontinuing Michelle Obama's "Let Girls Learn" program elicited immediate denouncements from the Left.
CNN reported on Monday that acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley sent an email to staffers this week notifying them of the decision. But actual details of the report should dampen some of the panic surrounding that announcement.
According to CNN, "aspects of the initiative's programming will continue." Crowley's email reportedly only said that the agency is no longer using the "'Let Girls Learn' brand or [maintaining] a stand-alone program."
By Monday evening, a White House spokeswoman clarified to CNN that "there have been no changes to the program."
Furthermore, without knowing the details of which aspects of the program are impacted by Crowley's announcement, it's difficult to assess any damage. Tellingly, Michelle Obama's former chief of staff Tina Tchen's comment to CNN focused on the loss of the branding.
"We felt it was important to have a branded campaign that drew attention to those issues, and we found that when we did it, we had extraordinary support," she said. "I think it's unfortunate to not continue with the branded campaign."
For its part, the Peace Corps insisted it will "[continue] to prioritize girls' education and empowerment programming …"
"Girls' education and empowerment has been a hallmark of our work over the past 56 years and we look forward to continuing those efforts with our interagency partners," a spokesman told CNN. "We remain dedicated to the passionate work of our volunteers and staff to empower and educate girls in their communities."
The Obama White House had raised nearly $5 million in private funding for the program, bringing total funding to $1 billion; as of now, it's unclear how that money will be dealt with if at all. For all we know, it could be allocated to the same programs it was initially intended to support, just without the Obama-era branding.
It's also unclear who made the decision to ax the program or if it's actually being cut at all, per the White House's comment.
On top of all this, there is a reasonable question to be raised over whether it is the proper role of the federal government to administer such an initiative anyway. Those who claim funding cuts initiated by Trump sympathizers show his administration is not sincere about empowering women should consider that government programs are not always the most effective way of achieving women's empowerment.
Based on the reports we have to go off, there's no reason to panic either way.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.