Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks about climate change and wildfires affecting western states, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. | Patrick Semansky/ AP Photo
Scientific American backed Democrat Joe Biden for president on Tuesday, the magazine’s first-ever White House endorsement in its 175-year history.
The magazine’s editors wrote that they felt “compelled” to back Biden in his effort to unseat President Donald Trump. Scientific American cited Trump’s handling of Covid-19 and his skepticism of expert opinion and mainstream science on issues like climate change as the impetus for its decision.
“The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science,” editors wrote for its October issue.
“Joe Biden, in contrast, comes prepared with plans to control COVID-19, improve health care, reduce carbon emissions and restore the role of legitimate science in policy making. He solicits expertise and has turned that knowledge into solid policy proposals.”
The editorial focuses much of its attention on the pandemic response and Trump’s repeated attempts to minimize the severity of the situation, which has killed nearly 200,000 Americans to date.
“At every stage, Trump has rejected the unmistakable lesson that controlling the disease, not downplaying it, is the path to economic reopening and recovery,” editors wrote.
The magazine’s announcement comes a day after Biden and Trump shadowboxed from opposite ends of the country amid the ongoing wildfires that are raging along the West Coast. Trump traveled to California Monday to assess the situation and notably dismissed the state’s top natural resources official who raised the effect rising temperatures are having in exacerbating wildfires, with the president saying “it’ll start getting cooler, just watch.”
The official, Wade Crowfoot, responded by saying “I don’t think the science agrees with you,” to which Trump asserted the science was unsettled.
Biden on Monday called the president a “climate arsonist” for not confronting the need for dramatic action to address climate change.
“Donald Trump’s climate denial may not have caused these fires and record floods and record hurricanes, but if he gets a second term these hellish events will continue to become more common, more devastating and more deadly,” Biden said on Monday.
Scientific American praised Biden’s environmental and health care platform, and while its unclear how much of it could make it through Congress if he were elected, “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.”