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Election Day in the United States is a little more than a month away, and scientists are watching the presidential race closely. President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, actions to downplay climate change and perpetuation of misinformation have horrified many scientists. “We face a national crisis unlike any we have witnessed,” says a statement of concern about the state of democracy in the country, posted online 18 September by US scientists and signed by more than 3,600 supporters in response to Trump’s leadership. On 2 October, Trump’s announcement that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and subsequent hospitalization, was worldwide news. Three days later, he tweeted that he was doing well and would soon leave the hospital, telling the public "Don't be afraid of Covid."