The letter, published Tuesday by the journal Nature Biotechnology, reveals that scientists abroad are afraid to come to the U.S. and are canceling trips.
Foreign-born scientists within the U.S. fear similar orders could be issued without warning, and some have expressed anxiety about deportation or losing family ties. Ultimately, the letter argues, the policy will harm patients and the U.S. economy.
“If this misguided policy is not reversed, America is at risk of losing its leadership position in one of its most important sectors, one that will shape the world in the twenty-first century.”
The letter, a grass-roots effort organized late last week by a half dozen chief executives, comes in stark contrast to the tone that the leaders of major pharmaceutical companies set in a meeting last week with Trump.
Pharmaceutical leaders came away from that meeting emphasizing the common ground they had with Trump on many issues. It was unclear whether the travel ban was discussed in the private portion of the meeting.
However, in the run-up, the industry's major trade group did not take a position and the companies that did respond were often supportive of employees, but neutral.
Biotech is a relatively young industry born from the emerging understanding of genetic science in the 1970s, best known for complex, expensive drugs created by living organisms.
As science has advanced, biotech has become an increasingly broad term for the research-driven, startup-heavy wing of the drug industry trying to turn cutting-edge science into new medicines.
As the research and development pipelines of traditional drug companies have dried up, biotech has become increasingly important — economically and to the development of new medicines.
For Johnson’s full story, click here.