One of the world’s oldest and best-known medical journals on Friday slammed President Donald Trump’s “inconsistent and incoherent national response” to the novel coronavirus pandemic and accused the administration of relegating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a “nominal” role.
The unsigned editorial from the Lancet concluded that Trump should be replaced. “Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics,” said the journal, which was founded in Britain in 1823.
The strongly worded critique highlights mounting frustration with the administration’s response among some of the world’s top medical researchers. Medical journals sometimes run signed editorials that take political stances, but rarely do publications with the Lancet’s influence use the full weight of their editorial boards to call for a president to be voted out of office.
“It’s not common for a journal to do that — but the scientific community is getting increasingly concerned with the dangerous politicization of science during this pandemic crisis,” said Benjamin Corb, public affairs director for the nonprofit American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “We watch as political leaders tout unproven medics advice, and public health and science experts are vilified as partisans — all while people continue to get sick and die.”
The Lancet published the editorial as the death toll in the United States surpassed 85,000 and many states moved to reopen businesses and ease coronavirus restrictions that experts say are necessary to contain the virus.
The journal said that while infection and death rates have declined in hard-hit states such as New York and New Jersey after two months of virus restrictions, new outbreaks in Minnesota and Iowa have raised questions about the efficacy of the Trump administration’s response.