Why does COVID-19 matter in the 2020 election?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the worst global health crisis in over a century. The U.S accounts for 23% of all COVID-19 cases and 21% of all deaths in the world while making up only 4% of the global population. In the upcoming election, it will be vital to compare and evaluate Trump’s record with Biden’s proposals for how to combat COVID-19. It can be hard to keep a good record on where each candidate stands, so The Legend has compiled a simple breakdown of each candidate below. Information was taken from joebiden.com, whitehouse.gov, and The Kaiser Family Foundation.
Page with Biden’s face:
“Joe Biden has been laser-focused on the threat that COVID-19 has posed to our nation and the decisive public health and economic steps necessary to get the virus under control, deliver immediate relief to working families, and reopen our schools and businesses safely.” -joebiden.org
Biden’s plan if elected:
Improve testing and tracing
-Double the number of drive-through testing sites
-Invest in next-generation testing to scale testing capacity by orders of magnitude
-Create a pandemic testing board to produce and distribute tests
-Establish public health corps to mobilize 100,000 Americans to perform tracing test and protect at-risk populations
Put Federal government in charge of producing personal protective equipment (instead of states)
-ramp up production of PPE using the Defense Production Act
-ensure we can source future necessary supplies internally and are not dependent on other countries
Provide national guidance for safe social behavior and resources for businesses, schools, and families amidst an economic crisis
-provide a renewable fund for state and local governments
-call on Congress to pass an emergency package to give schools more resources to adapt to COVID-19
-restart package for businesses to help them finance opening safely.
Ensure equitable and effective distribution of vaccines and treatments
-Invest $25 billion into vaccine manufacturing and distributing, so that it is free for Americans
-Remove politics from safety and efficacy tests on vaccines
-Ensure every American receives access and care with regard to COVID-19
Protect all Americans at high risk
-create a COVID-19 Ethical and Racial Disparities Task Force, then transition this into a permanent infectious disease racial disparities task force
Rebuild and expand defenses to predict, prevent, and mitigate pandemic threats
-restore the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense
-restore relationship with World Health Organization
-re-launch U.S agency for international development’s pathogen tracking program, PREDICT
-expand the number of CDC deployed disease detectives
Implement nationwide mask mandates
Page with Trump’s Face
“My administration will stop at nothing to save lives and shield the vulnerable.” -whitehouse.gov
Trump’s Claimed Achievements While in Office:
Took early action to cut off travel from China.
-False: 38 countries had enacted travel bans prior to or simultaneously with the U.S.
Confronted China as the origin of the virus.
-False: The U.S failed to gain support for an immediate investigation into Coronavirus origins and for bringing Taiwan on as an observer
In February 14th State of the Union address, Trump pledged to “take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from the virus.”
-True: This is a statement that Trump made on February 14th.
More than 65 million tests have been conducted
-True: As of August 27, 2020, there have been 76 million COVID-19 tests reported in the U.S.
Urged private companies to produce and supply PPE.
-True: After much reluctance and pressure from Democratic lawmakers, Trump invoked the Defence Production Act.
Administration expanded telehealth opportunities to protect seniors.
-True: The Trump administration has now proposed to permanently expand telehealth benefits, specifically to rural areas.
-Vaccine trials have progressed under Trump’s leadership.
-False: Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of Operation Warp Speed (a vaccine manufacturer) threatened to quit because the Trump administration is pressuring the production of a possibly unsafe vaccine to aid their political agenda. Additionally, Pfizer has refused funding as not to be pressured by the Trump administration.
Negotiated and launched paycheck protection program to help save 51 million American jobs.
-True: The PPP ran out of funds in less than two weeks, but has been replenished since. However, as of June 27, 2020, there have only been 4.8 million loans made.
Took executive action to give tax relief and unemployment benefits to workers, help prevent families lose their homes due to foreclosure and eviction, and provided student debt relief
-True: Trump did extend a payment pause for student loan borrowers, but this does not provide any relief for borrowers of private student loans.
Helped states around the country move towards reopening.
-False: Trump prematurely urged many states to reopen, which caused an outburst of cases, and put a strain on public health systems. Federal help was very slow to arrive.
Surged test sites, deployed medical personnel, and advised on mitigation strategies for hotspots.
-True: Trump did set up many “surge” coronavirus test sites around the nation.