• By The Financial District


The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published an editorial written by its editors condemning the Trump administration for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic -- and calling for the current leadership in the United States to be voted out of office, Jacqueline Howard reported for CNN.

"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. The editorial, which Rubin said was drafted in August, details how the US leads the world in Covid-19 cases and deaths. So far, more than 7.5 million people in the US have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than 210,000 people have died of the disease. Trump has congratulated himself for notching the record death toll, saying the number of fatalities should have been 2 million.

"This crisis has produced a test of leadership. With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the US, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy," the editorial says. It does not endorse a candidate, but offers a scathing critique of the Trump administration's leadership during the pandemic. "Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to render judgment," the editorial says. "When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs."

NEJM began publishing in 1812. There have been only four previous editorials collectively signed by its editors in the recent past: one in 2014 about contraception; an obituary that same year for a former editor-in-chief; an editorial that year about standard-of-care research and an editorial in 2019 about abortion. The NEJM is not the only medical or scientific publication to take a political stance amid the pandemic and ahead of this November's presidential election. In September, the magazine Scientific American announced it was endorsing former vice president and Democratic candidate Joe Biden over President Trump, who it criticized for dismissing science. That announcement marked the publication's first endorsement of a presidential candidate in its 175-year history.