Donald Trump’s unhealthy relationship with science has long posed a serious danger to the nation he is charged with protecting. By neglecting, abusing, belittling and maligning science and encouraging his base to do the same, Trump has been putting Americans at grave risk. Trump did not create this new coronavirus, but his deceit, recklessness, and gross incompetence make him and his sycophantic administration responsible for the public health and economic horror show that is starting to play out.
Thanks to Trump’s lies, coverup, and bumbling, this narcissistic ignoramus must now “resort” to relying on science to save America as he also attempts to salvage what is left of his dying presidency. While scientists race to address this scary disease with professionalism and selflessness even in the face of Trump’s war on science, the editor-in-chief of Science magazine has published a much-needed editorial lambasting Trump for his failed leadership and unforgivable hypocrisy.
H. Holden Thorp warned that you “can’t insult science when you don’t like it and then suddenly insist on something that science can’t give on demand.” Thorp recounted how Trump has made deep cuts to the budgets for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. He also called out the Trump administration’s “disregard for science” when it comes to believing the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among other examples, simply to further his own political agenda. As a result, the Trump presidency has been dedicated to “harming and ignoring science.”
As for a COVID-19 vaccine, Thorp states what should be obvious to all especially the President of the United States, which is that a vaccine must have a scientific basis, be manufacturable, and, of course, be safe. Thorp also reminds us that just a few years ago, Trump spoke out loudly against vaccines and even tried to launch an anti-vaccine task force—yet “now he suddenly loves vaccines.”
Thorp accurately blames Trumps’ “distortion and denial” for “almost certainly” contributing to the government’s slow response to combatting the coronavirus. He noted that it is now clear that Trump’s words not only matter but are “clearly a matter of life and death.” Thorp ends his piece by telling Trump that if he wants something, he should “start treating science and its principles with respect.” That ship has sailed. The only antidote to America’s woes is to replace this man-child and his medieval governing methods with real leadership that embraces the truth and invests in science every single day. The sooner this can happen, the better.