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Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Scientific American backed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on Tuesday — marking the first time the publication has made a presidential endorsement in its 175-year history.

The big picture: The magazine's editors excoriated President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic in an op-ed — arguing that he "rejects evidence and science," contributing to the country's death toll of nearly 200,000.

  • The editors wrote that Trump has weakened environmental protections and health care policy, along with attacking researchers and the nation's public science agencies.
  • The piece contrasts that with Biden's plan to spend $2 trillion on an emissions-free power sector by 2035 and his commitment to developing alternative energy sources.

What they're saying: "The pandemic would strain any nation and system, but Trump's rejection of evidence and public health measures have been catastrophic in the U.S," the editors wrote.

  • "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," they added.

Scientific American's bottom line: "Although Trump and his allies have tried to create obstacles that prevent people from casting ballots safely in November, either by mail or in person, it is crucial that we surmount them and vote."

  • "It's time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science."

Go deeper

Biden taps Brenda Mallory to lead Council on Environmental Quality

Photo: Stephanie Gross for Southern Environmental Law Center

President-elect Joe Biden has selected veteran environmental lawyer Brenda Mallory to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), his transition team announced Thursday.

Why it matters: If confirmed, Mallory would have Biden’s ear as an environmental policy adviser and oversee policy coordination across the federal government. She would also be the first African American to serve in the position.

House passes government funding, debt ceiling bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The House passed a bill on Tuesday to fund the government through early December, along with a measure to raise the debt ceiling through December 2022.

Why it matters: The stopgap measure, which needs to be passed to avoid a government shutdown when funding expires on Sept. 30, faces a difficult journey in the Senate where at least ten Republicans would need to vote in favor.

The Democrats' debt dilemma

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats find themselves in a political and potentially catastrophic economic quagmire as Republicans stand firm on denying them any help in raising the federal debt ceiling.

Why it matters: The Democrats are technically right — the debt comes, in part, from past spending by President Trump and his predecessors, not only President Biden's new big-ticket programs. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is saddling them with the public relations challenge of making that distinction during next year's crucial midterms.