“We have failed at almost every step. We had ample warning, but when the disease first arrived, we were incapable of testing effectively and couldn’t provide even the most basic personal protective equipment to health care workers and the general public.”
Along with being the oldest continuously published medical journal, the NEJM is also regarded as one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical publications.
The editorial does not mention US President Donald Trump by name, but notes that “our leaders” in the US have “taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.”
“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,” the editorial states.
“It should be clear that we are not a political organization,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, the editor-in-chief of the NEJM, to the Times. “But pretty much every week in our editorial meeting there would be some new outrage.”
At the same time, the journal did not announce an explicit endorsement for Democratic presidential nominee and former US Vice President Joe Biden.
American popular science magazine Scientific American, which has been around for 175 years, announced on September 15 that it felt “compelled” to make its first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate, coming out in favor of Biden.
The publication also directly spoke of the US president and his approach to science.
“The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the US and its people - because he rejects evidence and science,” the magazine’s editors wrote.
“The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September,” they said. On Wednesday, the death toll was more than 211,000, according to data collected by the Times.
Trump’s opposition to science has been on full display since he was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.
"Now I'm better, and maybe I'm immune,” he said, speaking of his recent diagnosis of COVID-19 in a video published via his personal Twitter account. Upon his return to the White House, he told Americans not to let the virus “dominate” them, adding, “Don’t be afraid of it.”