'Scientific American' Gives First Presidential Endorsement in 175 Years — to Joe Biden

The magazine's editors felt "compelled" to endorse Biden because of what they called President Donald Trump's scientific and climate change denials

Joe Biden
Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Scientific American has stayed out of presidential races for the entirety of its 175-year history, but "this year" the magazine's editors say they "are compelled to" endorse Joe Biden in large part because of the government's handling of the novel coronavirus.

"We do not do this lightly," the editors wrote in their first-ever endorsement, included in the October issue.

"The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science," they wrote, explaining they believe the "most devastating example" has been Trump's "dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

"He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges," the editors continued. "That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment."

Earlier this month, journalist Bob Woodward released audio showing Trump, 74, chose to downplay the the dangers of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 because he didn't want to cause "panic" — though he publicly insisted it was no more dangerous than the flu, which was a lie.

Since January, more than 195,000 people in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus, according to a New York Times tracker.

The president also openly disputed California officials and scientists this week while traveling to the state, following a summer in which millions of acres of land have been burned by wildfires — covering the West Coast skies in an apocalyptic glow for days, while smoke from the fires has drifted all the way to the East Coast.

"It'll start getting cooler. You just watch,” Trump told Wade Crowfoot, the California secretary for natural resources, during a public roundtable meeting.

President Donald Trump participates in a briefing on wildfires with Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom
President Donald Trump (second from left) speaks during a wildfire briefing at Sacramento McClellan Airport on Monday. Andrew Harnik/AP/Shutterstock

"I wish science agreed with you," Crowfoot told the president.

Trump, who has a history of questioning the scientific consensus on climate change, responded: "I don't think science knows, actually.”

The editors of Scientific American, the oldest monthly magazine in the U.S., says it at least knows Biden, 77, "can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future."

The magazine's endorsement laid out a number of Biden policies that it believes would be a move forward for science in the country, starting with Biden's belief in climate change.

The magazine's editors also cited the Democratic presidential nominee's plans to create jobs for hundreds of thousands of people who became unemployed in recent months through a Public Health Job Corps in which workers would "serve as contact tracers and in other health jobs" related to the country's COVID-19 response, as well as other preventative health measures related to the pandemic and climate change.

"It is not certain how many of these and his other ambitions Biden will be able to accomplish," the editors wrote, "But he is acutely aware that we must heed the abundant research showing ways to recover from our present crises and successfully cope with future challenges."

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