Medical journal urges Trump’s removal on virus campaign update

Bloomberg | Updated on October 08, 2020

This is the first time in the prestigious publication’s 208-year history that it has denounced a political candidate

The New England Journal of Medicine says President Donald Trump’s administration should be voted out of office. In a jab at Kamala Harris, Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign said it had set aside a ticket for dead rapper Tupac Shakur at the debate on Wednesday. And Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is resuming negative advertising now that Trump is out of the hospital.

There are 27 days until the election and 68 days until the Electoral College meets.

The New England Journal of Medicine is calling for Trump’s administration to be voted out of office for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the first time in the prestigious publication’s 208-year history that it has denounced a political candidate.

In an editorial titled ‘Dying in a Leadership Vacuum’, the journal’s editors say US leaders have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy. While it doesn’t explicitly endorse Biden, the editorial clearly ascribes blame to the Trump administration and calls for a change of government.

Also read:Trump fails to win sympathy boost as Biden’s poll lead widens

“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,” the editors wrote. “We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

The editorial itemises failures that it says are of astonishing magnitude, comparing the US response to those of countries that implemented early testing and were able to contain the virus.

“Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government, causing damage that will certainly outlast them,” the editorial says. “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.”

Pence’s campaign said it has put aside a ticket to Wednesday night’s debate for Tupac Shakur, a jab at Harris’ comment that the performer who died more than two decades ago was her favourite living rapper.

Jason Miller, a campaign senior adviser, confirmed that a seat will be available for the dead rapper when Pence and Harris meet in Salt Lake City for their first and only debate starting at 9 p.m.

Also read: Trump returns from hospital; White House to limit access

Harris drew mockery last month by answering Tupac when asked to name the best rapper alive at a virtual NAACP conference. When told of her mistake, Harris said: “Not alive, I know. I keep doing that.”

Biden’s campaign is preparing to restart television and digital negative advertising now that Trump is recovering from his bout with the coronavirus, a person familiar with the campaign’s plans said on Wednesday.

On Friday, the day Trump was hospitalised, the Biden campaign asked TV stations to stop airing negative ads out of respect for the president’s health issues. Biden said on Twitter, “This cannot be a partisan moment. It must be an American moment. We have to come together as a nation.”

But Trump returned to the White House on Monday and has been regularly attacking Democrats on Twitter even as he’s largely stayed out of the public eye.

“Our campaign has always been about making the positive case for Joe Biden, but there’s a stark contrast between Vice President Biden and Donald Trump and their visions for our country,” said Mike Gwin, a spokesman for the Biden campaign.

The Trump campaign complained on Monday that the Democrat’s campaign was still running negative ads over the weekend. Some stations can be slow to pull ads, especially over weekends. And the Biden campaign continued with what they call contrast ads, which describe differences in policy approaches without attacks.

According to data from Advertising Analytics, the Biden campaign ran ads drawing contrasts between him and the president 7,125 times while negative ads ran 324 times on Thursday, before the president tweeted that he had the coronavirus. By Sunday, those numbers had fallen to 908 and 17, respectively, while positive ads touting Biden climbed from 2,106 spots on Thursday to 5,053 Sunday.

Published on October 08, 2020

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