One of World's Oldest Medical Journals Blasts Trump Admin's 'Disastrous' and Complacent COVID Response

One of the world's oldest and most well-known peer-reviewed medical journals published an editorial Friday blasting the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling the response complacent and "disastrous."

While The Lancet's editorial mentions neither President Donald Trump nor his Democratic competitor Joe Biden by name, it takes care to stress the stakes of the November 3 election, particularly when it comes to the pandemic and health care.

"With so much loss and still more at stake, the 2020 presidential election is the opportune moment for the American electorate to embrace change for the better, to reject the stagnancy of complacency, to exchange a view bereft of intention with a vision of progress, and to rejoin the global community in the pursuit of a more equitable and sustainable future," the editorial reads.

The Lancet also takes aim at the Trump administration as a whole, declining to place blame solely on the president. Under the banner of "making America great again," the White House has "pursued regressive nationalist policies," rolled back protections for both people and the environment and withdrawn from international agreements and organizations, like the World Health Organization, the editorial says.

"Led by a relentless agenda of deregulation and dysregulation, America has retreated from its once prominent position of leadership and abandoned its beneficence," the editorial adds. "With the election, Americans have the power to address these issues, both at home and around the world, by eschewing the falsehood of nostalgia.

The Lancet compared the 2020 election to the one exactly 100 years ago, after Americans endured the back-to-back tragedies of World War I and the influenza pandemic, during which approximately 675,000 Americans lost their lives.

This year, more than 228,000 Americans have died as a result of the novel coronavirus. Twenty-three million Americans have filed for unemployment and an estimated 14 million Americans and their dependents have lost employer-sponsored health coverage, according to The Lancet.

The medical journal cited this "fraying social safety net," a continued loss of trust in the public sector, the federal government's perceived weakened responsibility and the political interference with public health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for labeling the Trump administration's response to the pandemic as "disastrous."

"To restore confidence in the federal government, the first priority will be simply to provide accountability to the American people. The US federal government must take ownership and responsibility for its domestic failures and limitations," the editorial states.

Newsweek contacted the White House for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

The Trump administration on Thursday touted its response to the pandemic, highlighting a speedy economic recovery. A Commerce Department report found that the gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 33.1 percent in the third quarter of 2020—the fastest pace of annualized growth in U.S. history recorded after the worst drop on record, according to Politico.

Trump "took targeted action to help American workers and families after the Coronavirus hit," a White House press release stated.

Donald Trump 10/30
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press outside of the White House on October 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. One of the world’s oldest and most well-known peer-reviewed medical journals published an editorial that same day, blasting the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling the response complacent and “disastrous.” Sarah Silbiger/Getty

The editorial comes with just four days remaining until the November 3 election. The U.S. broke its own daily COVID-19 case records once again on October 29, one day before the editorial was published. The U.S. reported 88,521 new cases, its highest amount yet for one day.

The milestone concludes what has been the country's worst week yet in terms of the virus. There has been an average of 77,865 coronavirus cases per day over the past week, an increase of 42 percent from the average two weeks earlier, according to The New York Times. More than 500,000 new cases were reported across the U.S. in the past week, the Times found.