Eric Rubin, the editor-in-chief of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, drew national attention when he expressed deep disappointment in President Donald Trump’s administration as well as in everyday Americans who refuse to follow the public health guidelines mean to limit the spread of coronavirus.
In an article titled, “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” Rubin said that “our leaders have largely chosen to ignore and even denigrate experts,” Rubin said. “Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed “opinion leaders” and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies.”
Rubin also acknowledged the shortcomings of average Americans, writing, “(What) we can control is how we behave. And in the United States, we have consistently behaved poorly.” Along with being a leading authority on tuberculosis, Rubin still works in research and as a teacher.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rubin Has Been a New Englander Since Childhood
In June 2019, I posted here about the Editor-in-Chief of @NEJM: “You know those rare times when the smartest person in the room is also the nicest and the funniest? That’s Eric Rubin. Plus, an ID doc, so there’s that.” Let’s add to his credentials this:https://t.co/qvFQfMyAkF
— Paul Sax (@PaulSaxMD) October 7, 2020
According to an article in the National Journal of Medicine introducing Rubin, he grew up in Brockton, an area less than an hour away from the city’s famed “Southie” region.
As Rubin told Harvard University, “Brockton was a working-class city when I was there, a really great place to grow up,” he said. Being a member of the only public high school meant that “everyone knew everyone,” and the people were genuine and down-to-earth. “I still play cards with people that I went to kindergarten with,” he said.
Rubin’s father was a salesman who never attended college, but wanted to ensure that his son did, Harvard reported. Rubin described him in the journal as “one of the funniest people” he ever knew.
Rubin, according to the journal, became “the acme of achievement.” He originally had an eye towards Princeton, but, after his father gave him five Harvard sweatshirts, Rubin ended up attending Harvard, graduating and going on to the Tufts University School of Medicine.
“He would be thrilled,” Rubin said of his father. “Both my parents were proud of their children. They were pure in their support and love for us.”
2. Rubin Is One of the World’s Leading Tuberculosis Experts
My first magazine piece for @HarvardChanSPH is a profile of the brilliant (and hilariously self-deprecating) Eric Rubin, who’s devoted his life to understanding how and why #tuberculosis thrives. https://t.co/1S3ZM4Mlyc #MDRTB #TB
— chris sweeney (@cbsweeney) January 7, 2019
According to a Harvard piece on Rubin, when he was asked by immunologist Barry Bloom what he would do as an assistant professor, Rubin was sure he’d blown it by responding he’d like to