Journal nails leadership crisis

Published 6:40 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

A historic moment occurred Oct. 8 when the world’s most prestigious medical journal, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), published a scathing editorial addressing our government’s failure in addressing the pandemic. It was historic because never before in its venerable 208-year history has the journal taken a political stance.

The editorial was appropriately titled “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” and it was a stunning — and well-deserved — rebuke of our current administration’s abject failure in leading this nation in a time of crisis. The editorial stated that “our leaders … have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy” and: “Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government, causing damage that will certainly outlast them. 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.”

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The editorial ended with the damning statement: “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. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

It is simply impossible to overstate the significance of the editorial and the fact that a nonpartisan medical group was moved to take the unprecedented step of making a political statement. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Our very lives depend on it.

Tell me, what more important role does our government have than keeping us safe? Who do you trust when your health is at risk, a politician or doctor? When is it OK for over 1,000 poor souls to die every single day, with no end in sight? How is it OK for a president to blatantly lie about the seriousness of a national emergency, to tell Americans to “not fear the virus,” to mock those who wear masks, to hold rallies in pandemic hotspots, or to distort medical facts and advice for political gain?

How is political tribalism more important than the health of family and friends, or the economic devastation that this pandemic will continue to wreak on American families? Where is the outrage?

We all deserve better. Please remember this when voting.


Keith Kremer