Medical Journal Freakout

The Lancet, founded in 1823, is one of the world’s leading medical journals. Like pretty much all institutions, it has been taken over by the Left, and in recent years has not hesitated to opine on politics as well as medicine. Still, the journal’s editorial titled President Trump is pretty jarring. It begins by quoting from a speech by one David Stuckler at the European Public Health Conference in Vienna, held just after the election:

[Stuckler] offered three scenarios. First, celebrity politics, ineffective governance, and little policy change. Second, insider corruption and a lost decade of economic growth.

That would be an apt description of the Obama years.

And third? He gave few specifics, but showed, instead, a picture of Mussolini.

Painfully, pathetically stupid.

The winners in Trump’s America were likely to be the defence industry, oil and energy, private prisons, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Spoken like a commie left over from the 1960s. More:

Martin McKee added a dark twist to Stuckler’s analysis. A prerequisite for public health was peace. If Trump rejects Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, will he really sacrifice European peace (and public health) to meet his pledge to deliver an “America first” foreign policy?

You can’t win with the Lancet. If the U.S. acts overseas, it will attribute all casualties to us, as it did in relation to the Iraq war. But if we don’t stop Russia from invading the Baltics, those casualties are our fault, too.

The Lancet says that “[w]e know enough to make some reasonable predictions about the likely impact of a Trump Presidency for health,” then immediately contradicts itself: “we must admit that we now have no idea what he has in mind for health care.” Which would seem to negate the point of the editorial. But they are confident that President-elect Trump isn’t crazy about abortion, which the Lancet deems a public health issue. Ironically, they aren’t talking about the babies.

The foolishness continues:

President Trump’s broader manifesto will also affect health. He is pro-gun.

The homicide rate declined dramatically for two decades under a liberalized regime of gun ownership, then spiked under the anti-gun Obama administration due, apparently, to its anti-police, anti-incarceration policies. For a journal supposedly devoted to medicine, the Lancet has surprisingly little regard for empirical evidence.

His opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement…

See previous comment.

…and the disdain he has shown towards Muslims and Latinos, bodes ill for programmes to improve the welfare of these large and often vulnerable communities. Indeed, his belligerence towards minorities is already promoting a culture of violence on America’s streets.

A culture of violence in which all of the violence is perpetrated by anti-Trump forces, and only Trump voters are being attacked. But that, too, evidently is Trump’s fault.

Trump has promised to deport millions of “illegal” immigrants (including Syrian refugees) and place tough new restrictions on immigration.

I love the “illegal” scare quotes. Yes, Lancet, the United States does still have immigration laws, whether you like them or not.

It goes on and on. The Lancet has opinions on global warming, as well as immigration, gun control, abortion, and all the rest. What is striking about the Lancet’s screed is how dumb it is. It could have been written as a parody by just about any conservative college student. Institutions like the Lancet gain prestige from their presumed specialized expertise, and they squander that prestige when they trade on it to advance partisan political views, all the more so when those views are childishly ignorant. But we are seeing a lot of that these days.

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