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Science back | The Journal of Montreal

It took a pandemic to restore science to its nobility, after too many years when junk leaders tried to flout it to better satisfy their political program.

Electing a climate-skeptic president will have cost the United States dearly, in many ways. Former President Donald Trump, it is well known and all the more so in the context of the pandemic, never had any respect for science.

Antivaccine, the deposed president has slashed research budgets, in addition to having multiplied misleading statements about science and the environment. He has denied the pandemic and has not taken the necessary steps to stem the outbreak of cases observed there.

So much damage

Imagine: someone dies from COVID-19 every 26 seconds in the United States right now. The death toll from the virus, which stands at more than 400,000, has even exceeded that recorded during World War II.

Conspiracy theories have their limit, when reality catches up with them. Then the charlatans are put back in their place in the public space and science takes back its rightful place.

But the damage nonetheless remains major, especially since these charlatan theories were defended by an American president. They are obviously not limited to the United States.

Great relief

So the sigh of relief was all the greater this week, when President Biden signed a dozen decrees relating to the fight against the pandemic. The decisions taken so far demonstrate his clear intention to restore science to its former glory.

Above all, the situation reminds other decision-makers, such as ours, of the importance of placing science at the heart of decisions, and of investing in research. The protection of democracy is no more and no less.

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