The most important popular science magazine in the United States made an unprecedented decision in its 175 years about the next presidential election

Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the contenders for the 2020 presidential election

It is common for US newspapers to publish an editorial column in the months prior to each presidential election stating which candidate they support. But it is not usual for publications in the academic or scientific field to do so.

Scientific American, the oldest and most recognized popular science journal in the United States, you just made the decision to show your support for a candidate for the first time in its 175-year history.

Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are obliged to do so. We don’t do it lightly, ”begins the editorial published in the magazine’s October issue.

“Evidence and science show that Donald Trump has seriously harmed the US and his people – because he rejects the evidence and the science. The most devastating example is its dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which killed more than 190,000 Americans in mid-September. She has also attacked environmental protections, health care, and public researchers and scientific bodies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. Therefore We urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals that he has presented can put the country back on track towards a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future, “he says.

“The pandemic would put any nation and system in tension, but Trump’s rejection of evidence and public health measures it has been catastrophic in the US. He was warned many times in January and February about avalanche disease, but did not develop a national strategy to provide protective gear, coronavirus testing, or clear health guidelines. Testing for the virus and tracking people who may have infected is the way that countries in Europe and Asia have managed to control their outbreaks, save lives and successfully reopen businesses and schools. But in the US, Trump falsely claimed that “anyone who wants a test can get a test.” That was false in March and it remained false throughout the summer. Trump opposed the $ 25 billion for increased testing and tracing, which was contained in a pandemic relief bill through July. These lapses accelerated the spread of the disease across the country, especially in highly vulnerable communities that include people of color, where deaths have risen disproportionately. “

The cover of the October issue of Scientific American magazine

The cover of the October issue of Scientific American magazine

The editorial goes on to list a long list of mistakes that the magazine’s board believes the Trump administration made in handling the pandemic. “It wasn’t just a problem with the tests: If almost everyone in the US wore masks in public, about 66,000 lives could have been saved by early December, according to projections from the University of Washington School of Medicine. Such a strategy would harm no one. I would not close any business. It would cost next to nothing. But Trump and his vice president scoffed at local mask rules, and they made it a point not to wear masks in public appearances. “

“Trump also continues to push to remove the Environmental Protection Agency’s health standards, putting people at higher risk for heart and lung disease caused by pollution. He has replaced scientists on the agency’s advisory boards with industry representatives. In his continuing denial of reality, Trump has hampered America’s preparations for climate change., falsely claiming that it does not exist and withdrawing from international agreements to mitigate it. Climate change is already causing an increase in heat-related deaths and an increase in severe storms, wildfires and extreme floods. Instead, Joe Biden is coming prepared with plans to control COVID-19, improve health care, reduce carbon emissions and restore the role of legitimate science in policy making.. You ask for experience and you have turned that knowledge into solid policy proposals.

“Biden has an initiative on family and child care, recognizing that this is key to a sustained recovery of public health and the economy. Their plans include increasing the salaries of childcare workers and building new facilities for children because the inability to pay for quality care keeps workers out of the economy and puts enormous pressure on families ” , argues the magazine its support for the democrat candidate. “On the environment and climate change, Biden wants to spend $ 2 billion on an emission-free energy sector by 2035, build energy efficient structures and vehicles, drive solar and wind power, establish research bodies to develop safe nuclear power and carbon capture technologies, and more. The investment will produce two million jobs for U.S. workers, his campaign claims, and the climate plan will be paid for in part by removing Trump’s corporate tax cuts. Historically disadvantaged communities in the United States will receive 40 percent of these energy and infrastructure benefits. ”

The editorial ends with an exhortation to participate in the November 3 elections. “Although Trump and his allies have tried to create obstacles that prevent people from voting safely in November, whether by mail or in person, it is crucial that we overcome them and vote. It’s time to get Trump out and elect Biden, who has a history of following the data and being guided by science. “

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