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article imagePrestigious medical journal calls on public to vote Trump out

By Karen Graham     Oct 8, 2020 in Politics
On Thursday, the New England Journal of Medicine published a blistering editorial taking President Trump and his administration to task over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, urging voters to oust Trump because of his incompetence.
In its 208 years of publication in the United States, the prestigious and respected medical journal has never gotten involved in a presidential election, until now - with its publication of an editorial titled, “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum."
"We rarely publish editorials signed by all the editors," said Dr. Eric Rubin, editor-in-chief of the medical journal and an author of the new editorial, according to CNN News. Rubin went on to say that the editorial was drafted in August and details how the United States leads the world in Covid-19 cases and deaths. So far, the U.S. leads the world with over 7, 554, 434 cases and nearly 212,000 deaths.
"This crisis has produced a test of leadership,” said the editorial, reports Market Watch. “With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.”
“The death rate in this country is more than double that of Canada, exceeds that of Japan, a country with a vulnerable and elderly population, by a factor of almost 50, and even dwarfs the rates in lower-middle-income countries, such as Vietnam, by a factor of almost 2000. Covid-19 is an overwhelming challenge, and many factors contribute to its severity. But the one we can control is how we behave. And in the United States we have consistently behaved poorly,” the editors wrote.
Unprecedented and unusual editorial
The journal has only published an editorial signed by all its editors four times in its long history, according to the Washington Post. They included an obituary for longtime editor in chief Arnold S. Relman, who died in 2014. The three others, published in 2014 and 2019, tackled contraception access, abortion policy and draft guidance from the federal government on informed consent requirements in standard-of-care research.
But the non-partisan journal has never weighed in on an election, presidential or otherwise. This time it was different. The editors argued that America's leaders had an opportunity to limit the spread of the virus, reducing the number of cases and deaths, as well as the economic turmoil that is now strangling the country.
The editorial also calls out the administration for politicizing and excluding the nation's public health agencies - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration - from crucial decision making, greatly undermining trust in them.
“Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government, causing damage that will certainly outlast them,” they wrote. “Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed 'opinion leaders’ and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies.”
Scientific American published a presidential endorsement for the first time in its 175 year history in its October issue, urging Americans to vote for former vice-president Joe Biden in next month's presidential election. “Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history,” the endorsement said. “This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly.”
More about Trump, Study New England Journal of Medicine, coronavirus pandemic, incompetent, Election
 
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