WASHINGTON – In a historic move, the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial on Wednesday condemning President Donald Trump and his administration for their response to the coronavirus pandemic.
For the first time in it's 208-year history, it called for current leadership to be voted out of office.
In an editorial signed by nearly three dozen editors, the journal said the Trump administration has "taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy" regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, writing the "magnitude of this failure is astonishing."
"We rarely publish editorials signed by all the editors," said Dr. Eric Rubin, editor-in-chief of the medical journal. Rubin said the editorial was drafted in August, according to CNN.
It points to the United States leading other countries for cases and deaths. So far, according to Johns Hopkins data, more than 7.5 million people have been diagnosed and more than 211,000 people have died from COVID-19.
"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. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test," the editorial says.
"Why has the United States handled this pandemic so badly?" they ask. "We have failed at almost every step. We had ample warning, but when the disease first arrived, we were incapable of testing effectively and couldn’t provide even the most basic personal protective equipment to health care workers and the general public."
According to Rubin, the blistering editorial is one of only four in the publication’s history that has been signed by all editors. The journal did not explicitly endorse Democratic nominee Joe Biden
The journal's editors joined those at the Scientific American by breaking precedent and wading into politics. The Scientific American earlier announced its endorsement of Biden, the first time the magazine has endorsed a presidential candidate in its history.
The 175-year-old magazine's editors wrote that they felt compelled to break with tradition in 2020 because they believe Trump has mishandled the coronavirus pandemic.
The medical journal wrote that there were attempts by the Trump administration to undermine and politicize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.
"Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to render judgment. Reasonable people will certainly disagree about the many political positions taken by candidates," the editors wrote.
They continued, "But truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, 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."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New England Journal of Medicine writes historic Trump COVID-19 editorial