science first
September 15, 2020

America's oldest science magazine is still managing to make history.

In its 175 years in print, Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate. But this year, the magazine feels "compelled" to break that tradition and endorse Democratic nominee Joe Biden, because President Trump flat-out "rejects evidence and science," it said in a Tuesday editorial.

Throughout his first term, Trump has "attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies," Scientific American writes. But his "most devastating example" of rejecting science "is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic," the magazine continues. He knew about the virus's dangers back in January, but "did not develop a national strategy to provide protective equipment, coronavirus testing or clear health guidelines," per the magazine. "These lapses accelerated the spread of disease through the country — particularly in highly vulnerable communities that include people of color," leading to nearly 200,000 deaths, Scientific American continues.

"Trump's refusal to look at the evidence and act accordingly extends beyond the virus," Scientific American goes on, citing his constant attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and his false claims denying the existence of climate change. "Joe Biden, in contrast, comes prepared with plans to control COVID-19, improve health care, reduce carbon emissions and restore the role of legitimate science in policy making," the magazine spells out. And to develop all those plans, Biden "solicits expertise" from public health officials — not "physicians who believe in aliens and debunked virus therapies" like Trump, the magazine concludes. Read Scientific American's whole decision here. Kathryn Krawczyk

See More Speed Reads