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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."

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Joe Biden (left) and President Trump (right) are facing off in Cleveland for the first presidential debate. Photos: Alex Wong (of Biden) and David Hume Kennerly (of Trump)/Getty Images

President Trump will try to break Joe Biden's composure by going after his son Hunter and other family members in tonight's first presidential debate — a campaign source tells Axios "nothing will be off the table" — while Biden plans to stick to the economy, coronavirus and new revelations about how Trump avoided paying taxes.

Driving the news: Biden and Trump are set to debate at 9pm ET at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and it will be moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Trump and Biden clash over COVID: "It is what it is because you are who you are"

Joe Biden attacked President Trump at the presidential debate on Tuesday for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, accusing him of panicking and failing to prepare for the crisis when he was warned about it in February.

The big picture: "It is what it is because you are who you are," Biden said, alluding to an answer Trump gave in an interview with "Axios on HBO" when asked about the 150,000+ death toll from the coronavirus. Trump responded by claiming that Biden would not have shut down travel from China in the early days of the pandemic, and he defended his administration's mass production of ventilators and protective equipment.