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Top medical journal calls for U.S. leaders to be voted out over "astonishing" COVID failures

Editors of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday published a scathing rebuke of the Trump administration over its "astonishing" failure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, writing that "this election gives us the power to render judgment" of current U.S. leadership.

Why it matters: The world's top medical journal has never before condemned or supported a political candidate, according to the New York Times, making Wednesday's editorial a first in the publication's 208-year history.


What they're saying: Without specifically naming President Trump, the editorial said U.S. leaders took "a crisis and turned it into a tragedy."

  • "COVID-19 has created a crisis throughout the world. This crisis has produced a test of leadership. With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. ... The magnitude of this failure is astonishing," reads the editorial, which according to the Times was signed by 34 editors who are U.S. citizens.
  • "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."
  • "Let’s be clear about the cost of not taking even simple measures. An outbreak that has disproportionately affected communities of color has exacerbated the tensions associated with inequality."
"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."

Worth noting: Last month, Scientific American for the first time in its 175-history endorsed a candidate. "We urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment," the editors at Scientific American wrote.

House antitrust chair talks USA vs. Google

The Justice Department filed a 63-page antitrust lawsuit against Google related to the tech giant's search and advertising business. This comes just weeks after the House subcommittee on antitrust issued its own scathing report on Google and other Big Tech companies, arguing they've become digital monopolies.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the subcommittee on antitrust, about Google, the DOJ's lawsuit and Congress' next move.

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Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

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Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

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Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

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Poll: 92% of battleground state voters are "extremely motivated to vote"

91% of likely voters nationally say they are "extremely motivated to vote," including 92% in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a Change Research/CNBC Poll.

Why it matters: The 2020 election could see record-breaking levels of voter turnout. Voters last week cast ballots at five times the rate they did at this point in the 2016 election, per the U.S. Elections Project. Over 39 million ballots have been cast in early voting states as of Wednesday.

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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead guilty to 3 criminal charges

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges Wednesday as part of a more than $8 billion settlement with the Justice Department, AP reports.

Why it matters: "The settlement is the highest-profile display yet of the federal government seeking to hold a major drugmaker responsible for an opioid addiction and overdose crisis linked to more than 470,000 deaths in the country since 2000," AP notes.

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