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Opinion: Why President Trump should not be re-elected

With the 2020 election approaching us, this is one of the most important elections in our lifetime. Through this piece, I hope to explain why Donald J. Trump- current president- should not be re-elected.

Let’s start with COVID-19. Cornell University and their team of researchers analyzed 38 million articles regarding the global media around the pandemic. What they found is that President Trump made up “nearly 38% of the overall misinformation” about the pandemic, making him the largest driver of false information when it comes to the virus. One example is that on Oct. 15 at a town hall meeting on NBC News, Trump claimed that 85% of people who wear masks contract the virus. However, the CDC, in that particular study, does not even mention a percentage of those infected.

President Trump at a COVID-19 briefing held on March 18, 2020

I would like to give a timeline of the president’s mistakes regarding the pandemic since he was sworn in. On Jan. 22 of this year, when asked if he was worried about COVID-19 by a reporter in an interview on CNBC, Trump said, “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. . . . It’s going to be just fine.”

Around two weeks later, in a recorded conversation between Trump and Bob Woodward, Trump is recorded saying, “… you just breathe in the air and that is how it is passed… it’s also more deadly than your, you know, your strenuous flus. This is deadly stuff.”

On Feb. 26, just a month after that tape was recorded, President Trump told the United States in a COVID-19 briefing, “It’s a little like the regular flu, that we have flu shots for.”

On March 19, Trump, in another recorded conversation with Woodward, says, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.

Trump has come out and said that the reason he downplayed the disease was to not create panic. However, President Trump made the fatal mistake of downplaying COVID-19 too much.

In an interview with Johnathan Swan that aired on Aug. 31, Trump makes the claim that he believes the virus is under control, to which Swan challenged him by saying there are 1,000 deaths a day, to which Trump responds, “it is what it is.” These people were mothers, fathers, grandparents, doctors, nurses; they were people. “It is what it is” is what our president has to say regarding them.

Personally speaking, at my place of work, I had a buddy who I would always chat with. We would always joke around and talk about our days together. He would always ask me if I had change on me, so he could buy a Coke from the vending machine. I would tell him I could just run to the kitchen and grab him a free one, but being the stubborn man he was, he would only want to buy one. I talked with him one day about how he was feeling, and just hanging out for a bit. Three days later, I was told by my coworker that he had died due to COVID-19. He was around 60 years old when he passed. Whenever I go to work, I think of him and Coca-Cola.

“It is what it is” is what Trump has to say regarding him. These people were supposed to have more time left. They were supposed to keep living, and my buddy was supposed to drink one last Coke. Trump lied to us, several times, he misinformed us, and he insulted those who have died.

While one can understand the aspect of not wanting to create panic, we need a leader who will not deceive us into thinking this is like the flu, a disease we have under control. We need a leader who sets an example—as a good leader does. Trump held rallies during the pandemic—even after he tested positive, would be seen in gatherings without a mask—even after he tested positive, and he is supposed to be the one we follow.

Biden will fix our PPE problems, provide clear and accurate information, add resources for schools and workplaces, and implement mask mandates nationwide—something Trump never did and even made fun of while over 200,000 Americans died. Had he set a good example, our circumstances could be much different than they are now, as seen in other countries, and my buddy and I could be sipping a Coke right now. 

Our environment is at a steady decline. When discussing the fires happening in California, Trump told California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, that, “I don’t think science knows, actually.” That was our president saying that the science behind climate change is invalid. Trump has given $28 million to three coal companies during the pandemic. These companies—that harm our environment—were given this money under the Paycheck Protection Program, a program designed to help small businesses during COVID-19. Trump, wrong enough, took this money and gave it to organizations that harm our environment astronomically.

Photo obtained from Grist

The Trump administration also made rollbacks to the Clean Water rule, where he repealed 2015 protections. Simply put, he has made it easier for wastewater treatment plants to contaminate clean waterways.

We need a president who will actually protect our earth and fight to save it. Biden has said that on day one of being president, he will be signing executive orders to put us on a path to clean energy. 

Moving on, I will now discuss human rights and Donald Trump’s views. When talking about the Orlando nightclub shooting at one of his rallies, Trump says, “as your president, I will do everything in my power, to protect our LGBTQ citizens…”

Since then, the LGBTQ+ community has endured hate after hate, not only from Trump supporters, but also from the president himself.

Participants are seen in the 48th Annual Heritage of Pride March in New York, NY, USA on June 25, 2017. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones)

During Obama’s presidency, Obama implemented section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex,” according to the Commonwealth Fund.

In April of this year the Trump Administration announced that it would be rolling back important regulations protected by section 1557, specifically the ones that protect transgender people from discrimination in health care and insurance coverage, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. On July 26 of 2017, Trump announced via Twitter that he would be adding a reversal to a policy that allowed transgender people to serve openly in the military. He is denying people who reside in his country to fight for it, just because of what they identify as, a clear act of discrimination.

According to the Denver Post, there was a baker named Jack Phillips who refused to bake a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012. Despite violating the Colorado Discrimination Act, the Trump administration sided with the baker.

On June 12, 2020—the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49, including queer and transgender people—in an official United States Department of Health and Human Services press release, the Trump administration finalized their rollback on Obama’s section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Under this new rollback, members of the LGBTQ+ community could be denied care by health care providers, if that is how the provider sees them.

He said he would protect us. Yet, he has done nothing but hurt our community during his presidency. If Trump were to be re-elected, the LGBTQ+ community will see our rights be taken away even more.

Trump recently nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a woman with very religious beliefs. In 2015, Barrett signed the Letter to Synod Fathers from Catholic Women, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman. She has also taken five paid speaking gigs as part of the Alliance Defending Freedom group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as an anti-LGBTQ+ group. This is who Trump wants to replace the dearly missed Ruth Bater Ginsberg, a woman who fought her entire career for basic human rights.

With Trump nominating another conservative with anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs, the Supreme Court will look more conservative, possibly allowing for the overturn of marriage equality.

When he said he would protect us, some believed him and others had doubt. It is clear now more than ever that LGBTQ+ rights are at stake.

On June 3, Trump, in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court, proposed a new rule that any tax-payer funded organizations should be allowed to deny work to LGBTQ+ members. This would include adoption agencies. Trump submitted this. He wants this. So, if I wanted to adopt a child when I’m older, one of the only options I will have, I could get denied just because of who I love. Yet, he is our “protector.” 

Another heavy topic is race relations. Trump has said during his campaign that he would build a wall and that Mexico would pay for it. When asked by CNN reporter Jim Sciutto about taxpayers paying for the wall, Mercedes Schlapp, the White House strategic communications director, said “yes.” According to ABC News, the wall is all United States citizen payer money, and future generations will inherit the debt as well; another promise not kept.

Trump has claimed that he is the “least racist person there is.” However, if that is true, he would have condemned white supremacy at the presidential debate, rather than saying to “stand back and stand by.” He would do something about children being ripped from their parents by ICE and being put into unimaginable and awful living circumstances.

Migrants are gathered inside the fence of a makeshift detention center in El Paso, Texas on Wed. March 27, 2019. Border Patrol in El Paso is saying that they are overwhelmed with unprecedented number of migrants at over 12,000 currently in custody. Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is calling the situation at the El Paso border a “crisis” and asking for Congressional assistance. (Photo by Sergio Flores for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

In September of this year, a nurse, who worked at an ICE detention facility, as well as four lawyers representing their clients, have claimed that women in these detention centers are being routinely sent to a gynecologist who performs unnecessary procedures such as hysterectomies, according to NBC News. In a filing from the American Civil liberties Union filed this past week, lawyers are unable to find the parents of 545 migrant children that were separated by Trump’s administration.

Mike Pence, at the vice presidential debate, said that he and Trump do not believe in systemic racism. I want to remind you of the wrongful death of Breonna Taylor. She was a Black woman who was murdered by the police. None of the officers were found guilty in her murder case. This is the way our system works. This is what Trump and Pence have denied exists. But the proof is all there. We are living in a country whose system is built against minorities.

Photo obtained from the Associated Press

Biden wants to expand federal funding for mental and substance abuse services and research and he wants to use the power of the U.S. Department of Justice to address systemic misconduct in police departments, while Trump bids to have discrimination training removed. 

Movin on to our economy, a topic that Trump’s supporters and himself have said is booming. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that Trump’s 2017 tax cuts will add around 1 to 2 trillion dollars to the federal debt.

In 2018, 60 of the nation’s biggest corporations paid no federal income taxes. According to CBS, they should have paid a total of around $16 billion, but instead only paid around $4 billion.

The U.S. unemployment rate has spiked for all racial groups during the pandemic, but especially for Black Americans, according to Business Insider.

As you can see, President Trump has proved time and time again that he is unable to run this country. We are not the land of the free under his administration, and we will continue to not be if he gets re-elected. It is vital that he is removed from office.