Even though the editorial does not specifically target either President Trump or anyone else by their name, it raised fingers towards the administration for compromising and supposedly forcing the nation’s health agencies.
The editorial came off as a surprise as the NEJM has neither supported nor condemned a presidential candidate before. “COVID-19 is an overwhelming challenge, and many factors contribute to its severity. But the one we can control is how we behave. And in the United States we have consistently behaved poorly,” wrote the NEJM editors.
The editors went on to put the blame on the shoulders of the Federal government for not putting in place effective testing measures and providing the necessary precautionary equipment to healthcare workers. According to them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had suffered from policy failures while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been “shamefully politicized”.
The editorial also raised the point of the uneven effect of the pandemic on certain people, including communities of color, children not attending school at critical periods, discounted work of healthcare employees, the ripple of unemployment, and the more than 210,000 deaths in the U.S, calling it the proof of “the cost of not taking even simple measures.”
With the elections just around the corner, the editorial finished off by demanding the removal of the current leadership. It said, “Reasonable people will certainly disagree about the many political positions taken by candidates. 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.”