COVID-19: What Did the New England Medical Journal Say About Trump?

Getty Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

During the final presidential debate between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, Biden brought up that the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Eric Rubin, condemned President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.

In his editorial, Rubin also admonished Americans who refuse to follow the public health guidelines meant to limit the spread of coronavirus.

NBC News journalist Kristen Welker moderated the final debate scheduled, held October 22, 2020. Biden was expected to attack Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, which has left more than 220,000 dead, and Trump was expected to highlight his accomplishments on the pre-coronavirus economy.

Here’s What the New England Journal of Medicine Said About Trump

In an article titled, “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” Rubin said that “our leaders have largely chosen to ignore and even denigrate experts,” and excoriated Trump administration officials, calling them “opinion leaders” and “charlatans” spreading propaganda and misinformation around the virus. As a result, he encouraged people to vote Trump and members of his cabinet out.

“This crisis has produced a test of leadership. With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond,” Rubin wrote in his editorial. “Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.” Here is more from his editorial:

Although we tend to focus on technology, most of the interventions that have large effects are not complicated. The United States instituted quarantine and isolation measures late and inconsistently, often without any effort to enforce them, after the disease had spread substantially in many communities. Our rules on social distancing have in many places been lackadaisical at best, with loosening of restrictions long before adequate disease control had been achieved. And in much of the country, people simply don’t wear masks, largely because our leaders have stated outright that masks are political tools rather than effective infection control measures. The government has appropriately invested heavily in vaccine development, but its rhetoric has politicized the development process and led to growing public distrust.

Rubin went on to say that he believed neglect from the administration was the reason America has the most deaths in the world. “Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way,” he wrote, “would be suffering legal consequences.” Here is another quote from the article:

Let’s be clear about the cost of not taking even simple measures. An outbreak that has disproportionately affected communities of color has exacerbated the tensions associated with inequality. Many of our children are missing school at critical times in their social and intellectual development. The hard work of health care professionals, who have put their lives on the line, has not been used wisely. Our current leadership takes pride in the economy, but while most of the world has opened up to some extent, the United States still suffers from disease rates that have prevented many businesses from reopening, with a resultant loss of hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs. And more than 200,000 Americans have died.

Some deaths from Covid-19 were unavoidable. But, although it is impossible to project the precise number of additional American lives lost because of weak and inappropriate government policies, it is at least in the tens of thousands in a pandemic that has already killed more Americans than any conflict since World War II.

Rubin ended the editorial by saying, “Our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

Biden Has Led in Political Polls in Nearly Every Battleground State

In Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan, Biden was leading or tied with Trump and Trump was only leading in Ohio.

According to an October 9-13 Monmouth University poll conducted in Arizona, Biden was at 50% and Trump was at 44% (with a margin of error of +/-4.4). A Fox News poll conducted October 17-20 among Wisconsin’s registered voters, found that Biden was leading with 48% and Trump was at 44%, with a margin of error fo +/-3 percentage points.

A Quinnipiac University Poll conducted on October 21, 2020, in Pennsylvania found that Biden was at 51% and Trump was at 43%, with a margin of error of +/-2.8 percentage points. A SurveyUSA poll found that Biden was leading the race in Minnesota at 48% compared to Trump’s 42%, with a margin of error of +/-5 percentage points.

A Fox News poll found that between October 17-20, Michigan voters found that among registered voters, 51% of people supported Biden and 40% of people supported Trump. A New York Times/Siena College poll conducted in Iowa in October found that Biden held a 46-43% lead over Trump, with a margin of error of +/-3.9 points.

A Fox News poll conducted on October 17-20, found that in Ohio, Trump held a 3-percentage-point lead over Biden among likely voters and Trump had a 2-percentage-point lead over Biden among registered voters during that same timeframe.

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