Prestigious medical journal calls for vote of US leaders over Covid-19 failure

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“We rarely publish editorials signed by all editors,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, editor of the medical journal and author of the new editorial.

The editorial, which Rubin said was written in August, details how the United States leads the world in Covid-19 cases and deaths. So far, more than 7.5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and more than 200,000 people have died from the disease.

“This crisis has produced a test of leadership. In the absence of good options for tackling a new pathogen, countries have been forced to make difficult choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders failed this test. They suffered a crisis. and made it a tragedy, ”the editorial says.

He does not endorse a candidate, but offers a scathing critique of the leadership of the Trump administration during the pandemic.

“Anyone recklessly wasting lives and money in this way would face legal consequences. Our leaders have widely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to judge, ”says the editorial. “When it comes to responding to the greatest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have shown themselves to be dangerously incompetent. We must not encourage them and allow the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs. ” The New England Journal of Medicine began publishing in 1812. There have only been four previous editorials collectively signed by its editors in the recent past: one in 2014 on contraception; an obituary in the same year for a former editor-in-chief; an editorial that year on standards of care research and an editorial in 2019 on abortion.

“The reason we never published an editorial on the elections is that we are not a political newspaper and I don’t think we want to be a political newspaper – but the problem here is with facts, not with opinion. There were a lot of mistakes that were not only stupid but reckless and I think we want people to realize that there are truths here, not just opinions, ”said Rubin.

“For example, masks work. Social distancing works. Quarantine and isolation are working. These are not opinions. Deciding not to use them may be a political decision, but trying to suggest that they are not real is imaginary and dangerous, ”he said. . “We don’t have the right leaders for this epidemic. I think we need better leadership. ”

The New England Journal of Medicine isn’t the only medical or scientific publication to take a political stance amid the pandemic and ahead of the November presidential election.

In September, Scientific American magazine announced that it was backing former Vice President and Democratic candidate Joe Biden over President Trump, whom he criticized for rejecting science. This announcement marked the first approval by the publication of a presidential candidate in its 175-year history.

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