Americans should oust President Trump from the White House and elect a leader who will support – rather than undermine – public health experts who are battling the COVID-19 pandemic, British medical journal The Lancet says in a newly published editorial.
The unsigned editorial sharply criticizes the Trump administration, saying it has marginalized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a degree that is dangerous for both the U.S. and the world. “Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics,” the medical journal says.
“The Administration is obsessed with magic bullets — vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear,” the journal states. “But only a steadfast reliance on basic public health principles, like test, trace, and isolate, will see the emergency brought to an end, and this requires an effective national public health agency.”
Seeking to lay a pile of critical failings at Trump’s feet, the editorial says a federal agency that was once “the gold standard for global disease detection and control” has devolved into an “ineffective and nominal adviser” on the U.S. response to a disease that poses a public health threat of historic proportions.
The Trump administration has “chipped away at the CDC’s capacity to combat infectious diseases” in a number of ways, The Lancet says, citing the reduction of CDC staff in China and the withdrawal of the last American CDC expert from the Chinese CDC campus last July – moves that left an “intelligence vacuum” when the novel coronavirus was detected in Hubei province in late 2019.
The Lancet is a weekly journal that has become one of the world’s leading medical periodicals since its founding in 1823.