The New England Journal of Medicine and Scientific American are widely considered to be the preeminent medical research and popular science journals in the world. Since their respective foundings in 1812 and 1845, their editorial staffs have had the opportunity to weigh in on at least 43 American Presidential elections. That they both refrained from doing so until this year is testimony to the traditional separation between science and politics, and the recognition that their subscriber bases are ideologically diverse enough that publicly supporting a major party candidate could lead to many cancelled subscriptions. Nonetheless, both journals recently decided that if there was ever a year to endorse a Presidential candidate, it was 2020.
Here's an excerpt from Scientific American's full-throated endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden:The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why 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 he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.
Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government, causing damage that will certainly outlast them. Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed “opinion leaders” and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies. ... 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. 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.