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Strong Words

In a sharply worded editorial, Holden Thorp, the editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals, asks US President Donald Trump to treat science with respect.

The editorial, the Washington Post notes, is "an unusually strong rebuke from the typically apolitical scientific community."

In it, Thorp notes that the Trump Administration has repeatedly sought to slash science and research budgets and that the President has expressed skepticism of vaccines in the past. He further writes that the administration has also sought to limit what public health officials say and has distorted what they have said. For instance, he writes that the administration has repeatedly said that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the US has been contained, when there is evidence it is spreading.

Now, when told that developing a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 would take more than a year, President Trump asked pharmaceutical executives to speed that process up when that is not possible.

"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 writes.

"If you want something, start treating science and its principles with respect," he adds.