New England Medical Journal breaks political silence to call out Trump administration

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Yasmeen Collins | The Ticker

Arianne Gonzalez

The New England Medical Journal recently published an editorial that condemned the current U.S. administration for its failure to effectively handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Considering the publication’s 208-year history of being nonpartisan, this editorial expressing a political stance with the signatures of all 34 of its editors, being one of four editorials ever written by the journal, should be taken seriously.

The NEMJ’s editorial, titled “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” calls out the insufficiency of the current administration, stating outright in the beginning that “they have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.”

The editorial refers to the enormous death toll, rate of cases and poor measures the government has taken in comparison to other countries. The United States has currently reported more than 7.8 million cases and has a death toll of over 214,000, which far exceeds the rates seen in countries such as Canada, Japan and Vietnam.

Despite the United States having significant biomedical and manufacturing capacities and containing key institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, the NEMJ stated that the country has “failed at every step” at controlling the virus.

“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,” the editorial stated.

The government has failed at implementing consistent quarantine and isolation measures, imposed lax social-distancing rules and loosened restrictions when disease control has yet to be achieved, according to the editorial.

Despite receiving ample warning when the disease first arrived, the government failed to effectively test for the virus and could not provide basic personal protective equipment to health care workers and the public.

“The reason we’ve never published an editorial about elections is we’re not a political journal and I don’t think that we want to be a political journal — but the issue here is around fact, not around opinion,” Editor-in-Chief Dr. Eric Rubin told CNN. “There have been many mistakes that were not only foolish but reckless and I think we want people to realize that there are truths here, not just opinions.”

The NEMJ is not the only one breaking its political silence, as the Scientific American broke its 175-year nonpartisanship to endorse Joe Biden for president.

“The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people — because he rejects evidence and science,” the article wrote.

The fact that not just one, but two significant scientific journals have broken their silence to take a political stand against the current administration should not be taken lightly.

The NEMJ and SA editorials plainly show that the current administration has failed to protect the health and well-being of the American people.

In a day and age where science is constantly denigrated and politicized, it is imperative to listen to scientific experts especially when they risk their nonpartisanship to call out ineffective leadership that has cost the health and safety of the nation.

No matter what political leanings one may have, the evidence is there and science does not lie.