Together with the Coronavirus pandemic, the 59th US presidential election has lately been one of the most argued topics in the news. The election saw current President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden compete for the presidential chair.
With 66.9 percent of voter turnout, the 2020 presidential elections have resulted in the highest voter turnout rate in the country after the 1900 election, which had recorded 73.7 percent attendance. The ballots closed on the 3rd November, and after four days of contested results, on 7th November Joe Biden was declared the next President of the United States.
After Biden flipped Michigan, Wisconsin and long Republican stronghold Arizona, President Trump called for a recount, and as expected, he has not accepted the failure. Supporting this is President Trump’s current attempt to get in the way of Biden’s transition on critical transfer of power activities, including matters concerning the constant rising of Covid-19 cases in the United States.
Consequently, the question that arises here is whether Trump will refuse to leave the White House on 20th January 2021, when, as written in the Constitution, Biden’s term will be inaugurated.
Until that date, President Trump will lead the country and be able to implement policies and measures, crucial in order to address the current Covid-19 crisis.
During his presidential campaign, President-Elect Joe Biden has highly criticised Trump’s agenda, particularly in relation to environmental protection and public health. On the other hand, Biden’s Build Back Better plan is concerned with improving the profound public health and economic crisis, while also investing in sustainability.
Biden will invest in the creation of green jobs, spurred by innovation-led labs and universities, which will redefine new products to be manufactured by American workers. In this way, the ecological development will be combined with the establishment of new jobs and the employment of a large number of Americans – from high-level graduates to the lower work strata.
$2 trillion accelerated investment will be made, to be deployed over his first term to meet ambitious climate progresses. His objective is to develop a stronger middle class of Americans and secure them stronger benefits and higher wages. His policies will also ensure that the new jobs are increasingly taken by underrepresented social classes, such as women and people of colour.
As far as Covid-19 is concerned, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will ensure that public health decisions are informed by public health professionals and that complete transparency and trust to the government is restored. They have built a seven-point plan to beat Covid-19 and overcome the consequent economic crisis:
- Guarantee access to regular and reliable free testing to all Americans, as to repair Trump’s unsuccessful policies.
- Focus on locally producing protective equipment (PPE) to exceed the demand and not be dependent on other countries in a crisis.
- Provide clear, consistent and evidence-based national guidance to reassure Americans and resources for schools, businesses and families in need of economic support.
- Allow effective and equitable distribution of treatments and vaccines as soon as they will be available.
- Protect the most vulnerable individuals and communities. Perhaps Harris’ proposal of establishing a COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force will provide recommendations on disparities in the public health and economic response.
- Rebuild and expand the defences to predict and prevent pandemic threats, particularly coming from foreign countries. Hence, the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefence, which was established during the Obama-Biden Administration and dismantled during Trump’s, will be restored. Also, the US will re-join the WHO, which is core in coordinating a global response on a pandemic.
- Implement mask mandates, necessary to protect the population and prevent the spread of the virus.
Based on Biden’s health, environmental and economic plans, it can be understood that his policies seek further inclusivity, transparency and long-term measures.
Nevertheless, despite his victory being largely attributed to a large number of votes from communities of colour, Biden’s plan has received criticism of its failure to address specific issues concerning non-white individuals. As a matter of fact, his imminent policies do not include police reforms and inmate enfranchisement which particularly regard Black, but also Latino, communities.