Top Science journal fires off an unusual barrage against Trump for his ‘dangerous’ distortion of coronavirus facts
US President Donald Trump, pictured at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 6, 2020, has been rebuked for his messaging on the outbreak (Photo: AFP/File / JIM WATSON)

In a direct response to President Trump mixed messaging on the coronavirus outbreak, the editor-in-chief of the journal Science wrote in an op-ed this Wednesday that "distortion and denial is dangerous and almost certainly contributed to the federal government’s sluggish response."

According to H. Holden Thorp, when it comes to a potential vaccine for coronavirus, "you can’t insult science when you don’t like it and then suddenly insist on something that science can’t give on demand."

"For the past 4 years, President Trump’s budgets have made deep cuts to science, including cuts to funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the NIH," Thorp writes. "With this administration’s disregard for science of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the stalled naming of a director for the Office of Science and Technology Policy—all to support political goals—the nation has had nearly 4 years of harming and ignoring science."

Thorp also targeted Vice President Mike Pence, who was recently named by Trump to head the coronavirus response, saying that this is no time "for someone who denies evolution, climate change, and the dangers of smoking to shape the public message."

Thorp writes that a vaccine can't just magically appear out of thin air -- it "has to have a fundamental scientific basis. It has to be manufacturable. It has to be safe," adding that it could take a year or longer for one to be developed.

Read Thorp's full op-ed over at Science.