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Here’s What Biden and Trump Actually Stand For: Part Two

Welcome back to the presidential election of 2020! As America heads closer and closer to Election Day, many voters might have difficulty discerning what the candidates actually stand for with the onslaught of media and attack ads from both sides. Here’s part two of a handy guide of what Joe Biden and President Trump actually stand for, straight from their actions and words.

Let’s start with President Trump again. (Note: The issues mentioned are primarily noting on the candidate’s responses and actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

COVID-19 Response

How has Trump handled the ongoing coronavirus pandemic? Whitehouse.gov has lauded America’s testing efforts as, as Trump said, “The best testing in the world.” Trump continues to call COVID-19 the “China virus,” and endorsed the controversial drug Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 patients, though there is little scientific evidence to show that the drug is effective. According the the official White House website, Trump’s administration has assisted states in terms of testing with the following:

  1. “The Federal Government has distributed more than 44 million swabs and 36 million tubes to all 50 States, territories, and tribes since mid-March.”
  2. “More than 2,000 community-based testing sites are either completely federally supported or enabled by the Administration’s regulatory actions.”
  3. “The Department of Health & Human Services is making a large-scale procurement of rapid point-of-care tests to be distributed to nursing homes in COVID-19 hotspots.”
  4. “The Administration is providing surge testing sites to communities that have experienced recent increases in cases and hospitalizations.”
  5. “The Administration is providing surge testing sites to communities that have experienced recent increases in cases and hospitalizations.”

Per the New York Times, Trump’s administration recently ordered hospitals to bypass sending COVID patient data to the CDC. Instead, the data was ordered to be sent to a Washington database. The president had this to say on COVID-related shutdowns in a recent White House press briefing.

The primary purpose of a shutdown was to flatten the curve, ensure sufficient hospital capacity, and develop effective treatments and therapies to reduce mortality. And we’ve done that. But it can come rearing back when you least suspect it. We did the right thing initially. We saved millions of lives, what we did. We did the right thing. But a permanent shutdown would no longer be the answer at all. A small shutdown of certain areas — but we don’t want to do that — small shutdowns can be very helpful, but not for long periods of time.

President Trump-White House press briefing
Jobs/The Economy

The unemployment rate has been a huge talking point in the political world recently due mostly in part to millions of Americans losing their jobs because of COVID-19. President Trump signed the CARES Act into law this past March to aid American workers and small businesses with financial assistance. The act included stimulus checks for most Americans that met certain tax requirements. Trump said recently that he would like to send out a second round of stimulus checks to the American people if Congress can agree on a new relief act for Americans.

“”It may go higher than that actually [the second stimulus check]…I’d like to see it be very high because I love the people. I want the people to get it.”

President Donald Trump

According to factcheck.org, there had been 6.7 million new jobs as of January 2020. A new report from factcheck.org reports that as of July, 2020, 7.8 million jobs have been lost. The unemployment rate stood at around 11.1 percent. This is factored in of course with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education

The issue of reopening schools amidst the ongoing pandemic has been another hot button topic that both Trump and Biden have addressed. Trump has strongly advocated for reopening schools.

Trump has threatened to pull federal funding from schools that don’t reopen, although he has yet to act on that statement. Per a paraphrased quote from NBCnews.com, the president stated that his belief that, “Federal funds should be diverted to parents so they can have the option to send their children to charter or private schools.”

So where does Joe Biden stand on the aforementioned issues?

Source: Business Insider
COVID-19 Response

Biden has been very critical of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Per his website joebiden.com, the presidential candidate makes it clear that he plans to address the pandemic head on from day one of his potential administration. One of the first things Biden would do if he were elected would be to fully restore the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense.

Biden’s website claims that the council was entirely disbanded under the Trump administration in 2018, although Reuters notes that, “There is disagreement over how to describe the changes at the NSC’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense in 2018. The departure of some members due to “streamlining” efforts under John Bolton is documented. The “pandemic response team” as a unit was largely disbanded.”

While Biden’s plan also has comprehensive steps for making testing more available across the country, a notable part of his COVID-19 response platform is his plan to protect front-line healthcare workers. Such measures would include:

  1. Give all frontline workers high-quality and appropriate personal protective equipment – and enough of it and appropriate training to use it – so they don’t become infected.”
  2. Direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to keep frontline workers safe by issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard that requires health care facilities to implement comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plans; increasing the number of OSHA investigators to improve oversight; and working closely with state occupational safety and health agencies and state and local governments, and the unions that represent their employees, to ensure comprehensive protections for frontline workers.”

Check out the rest of Biden’s COVID-19 response plan here.

Biden also has a separate page listing exactly how he would “beat Covid-19.” Check it out here.

Jobs/The Economy

The Biden job platform acknowledges that the U.S can’t help job growth and reduce unemployment rates without attacking/addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Once again his platform states that he will implement these measures from day one of his potential administration. Here are some of the steps Biden would take to help the economy as president.

  1. Provide state, local, and tribal governments with the aid they need so educators, firefighters and other essential workers aren’t being laid off.”
  2. Extend COVID crisis unemployment insurance to help those who are out of work.
  3. Biden will immediately put people to work by enlisting them to help fight the pandemic, including through a Public Health Jobs Corps.
  4. As President, he will pursue a dedicated agenda to close the racial wealth gap, to expand affordable housing, to invest in Black, Latino, and Native American entrepreneurs and communities, to advance policing and criminal justice reform, and to make real the promise of educational opportunity regardless of race or zip code.
  5. Building back better means an updated social contract that treats American workers and working families as essential at all times, not just times of crisis –– with higher wages, stronger benefits, and fair and safe workplaces. We’ve seen millions of American workers put their lives and health on the line to keep our country going. As Biden has said, let’s not just praise them, let’s pay them — a decent wage, at least $15 per hour, and ending the tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities, and strong benefits so they can live a middle class life and provide opportunity for their kids. This starts with passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, providing public service and federal government workers with bargaining rights, and taking other steps to make it easier for workers to organize unions and collectively bargain.”
Education

Biden’s education platform has a key supporter: Dr. Jill Biden. Joe Biden’s wife has a doctorate in education and would bring her experience to the table for an effective education plan. What would that be exactly?

  1. Biden will triple funding for Title I, the federal program funding schools with a high percentage of students from low-income families, and require districts to use these funds to offer educators competitive salaries and make other critical investments prior to directing the funds to other purposes.
  2. The Biden Administration will help school districts create opportunities for teachers to lead beyond the classroom. Teachers will be able to serve as mentors and coaches to other teachers and as leaders of professional learning communities, and will be compensated for that additional work they take on.
  3. Biden will see to it that the existing Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is fixed, simplified, and actually helps teachers.

Check out his entire education plan here.

The U.S election is 91 days away. Will you be voting?