‘Dangerously incompetent’: medical journal condemns Trump’s handling of pandemic
Photo: Alex Brandon / AP
One of the world's most prestigious medical journals has criticized the Trump administration's "dangerously incompetent" handling of the pandemic and called for it to be voted out as US coronavirus cases continue to rise.
In an unprecedented step in its more than two centuries long history, the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial saying the current leadership had "ruthlessly squandered lives" and "largely claimed immunity for their actions."
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The article, published Wednesday under the headline "Dying in a Leadership Vacuum," said that protection against the virus in the US has been politicized and says, "The truth is neither liberal nor conservative." It did not endorse a specific candidate in the presidential election less than a month away, but said America should not "favor" its current leaders by allowing them to stay in power.
“This choice gives us the power to make a judgment. Sensible people will certainly not agree on the many political positions of the candidates. But the truth is neither liberal nor conservative, ”the editors wrote.
“When it comes to responding to the greatest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have shown that they are dangerously incompetent. We shouldn't favor them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs. "
The Journal interferes alongside Scientific American, which backed Democrat Joe Biden for the White House in September. This marked the first time in the magazine's 175-year history that it endorsed a presidential candidate.
It so happens that cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in most parts of the US as leaders struggle to get the virus under control.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the US has an average of more than 44,000 new infections per day - the first time this has happened since August, reports CNN. The only two states that saw a decrease in new cases compared to the previous week were Alabama and Hawaii.
A total of 32,000 U.S. patients are currently hospitalized with the virus, the Covid Tracking Project reported, with the highest rates in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. Montana and South Dakota hit record numbers of cases on Wednesday.
To date, there have been more than 7.5 million coronavirus cases and over 211,000 deaths in the United States.
Meanwhile, the crisis continues to engulf the White House. On Wednesday night, ABC News reported that the coronavirus outbreak had infected "34 White House staff and other contacts" in recent days, according to a leaked government protocol - suggesting the virus may have spread to more people in the White House than known so far.
Following the President's coronavirus diagnosis last week, the Presidential Debate Commission announced that the second round of next week's presidential debate will be virtual with Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
This came just hours after Republican Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Kamala Harris, the Vice President's rivals, debated on a stage 13 feet apart and sat behind plexiglass screens. Mike Pence has tested negative for the virus consistently since White House officials and senior officials announced they tested positive in the past few days as the coronavirus swept 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the Pentagon.
"To protect the health and safety of all, the second presidential debate will take the form of a city meeting with candidates attending from various remote locations," said a statement.
But Trump quickly refused to participate in an online debate, telling Fox Business, "I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate, that's not what the debate is about."
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