Election update

With the 2020 Presidential Election coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 3, it is important to know all the necessary information before voting for the next president of the United States.

The two candidates for this presidential election are current President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee. 

Each candidate has been focusing on three main topics: COVID–19, the economy and immigration.

President Trump is using all of his resources to ensure a COVID–19 vaccine is developed by October which goes against the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control timeline of a COVID–19 vaccine being widely available until mid–2021.

“Vaccines are coming along very well,” said President Trump in a tweet. “Likewise therapeutics. Moving faster than anticipated.” 

Additionally, President Trump feels that Americans should not be forced to wear masks and that they should have a “certain freedom” to make their own decision. This contradicts the CDC guidelines that urge people to wear masks when going out in public.

“I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in [wearing masks],” said President Trump in an interview with Chris Wallace from Fox News. “And I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wore a mask everything disappears.”

On the other hand, Biden plans to combat COVID–19 by making public safety his utmost priority. 

“A decisive public health response that ensures the wide availability of free testing; the elimination of all cost barriers to preventive care and treatment for  COVID–19; the development of a vaccine; and the full deployment and operation of necessary supplies, personnel and facilities,” according to joebiden.com.

Furthermore, the pandemic has had a large impact on the country’s economy.

Since 2017, the U.S. economy has increased under Trump’s presidency. However, since the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. economic growth has been on a significant decline.

“During his first three years of office, President Trump oversaw an annual growth of 2.5%,” according to bbc.com. “But the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year has triggered the sharpest contraction since records began. In the second quarter of 2020 — accounting for April, May and June — the economy contracted by over 30%.”

President Trump is attempting to reopen more businesses during this time and has signed several bills to help the economy. 

The four bills are the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and a package nicknamed Phase 3.5. 

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act allocated $8.3 billion to help fund coronavirus efforts. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick and medical leave for COVID–19 related reasons. The CARES Act is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill that is meant to assist small businesses and families. Finally, Phase 3.5 is a COVID–19 response package that refunds programs in the CARES Act.

Due to COVID–19 cases still on the rise, Biden believes that Trump has failed to handle the situation and to get the economy back on its feet. As the pandemic worsens, small businesses and stores are unable to reopen. 

Biden has come up with an eight–part plan to help get these businesses back on track: Guarantee testing and personal protective equipment for all called back on the job, guarantee paid leave for all who get sick, ensure worker protection and accountability, build a national contact tracing workforce, protect older or disabled Americans, create “safe for shoppers” program, restart small businesses and reopen schools and child care programs.

Furthermore, immigration has been a large problem in the United States and the presidential candidates plan on handling it differently.

President Trump wants to stop illegal immigrants from entering the states, hoping to construct a wall to prevent immigrants from entering. He also wants to get rid of illegal immigrants currently living in the states by increasing ICE agents. 

In contrast, Biden disagrees with Trump’s handling of immigrants, calling it “morally bankrupt” and “racist.” 

If elected, Biden plans to continue former President Barack Obama’s comprehensive reform plan which includes a path to citizenship for undocumented residents along with stronger border enforcement. He also plans to overturn laws that separate families at the border.

“[Biden] supports comprehensive immigration reform, and has in the past backed more restrictionist policies,” stated the Council on Foreign Relations. “He emphasizes the need to address the root causes of immigration in the countries of origin.”

Although both candidates have very different views, everyone who is eligible to vote should register to vote for the future president during these unprecedented times.

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