Tag Archives: 2020 Election

Biden Presents Plan to Combat COVID19: ‘I trust vaccines. I trust the scientists. But I don’t trust Donald Trump and the American people can’t either’

Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic candidate for president, presents his detailed plan to combat COVID-19 and save lives, that includes nationwide protocols for testing, tracing, wearing masks and social distancing, and the logistics for vaccinating everyone, free, when a vaccine becomes available:I trust vaccines. I trust the scientists. But I don’t trust Donald Trump and the American people can’t either’© Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

It’s ridiculous, almost humorous – if not so tragic – to hear Trump complaining that Biden hasn’t been able to issue a nationwide mandate to wear masks, when he is ostensibly the president (he says so, “I’m president. Can you believe it?” and “I can do anything I want. I’m president.”) but has failed to serve in the function while abusing the power. Trump could have used his power to require Domestic Production of protective equipment like masks, gowns, gloves, and the all-important ventilators, rather than give out massive no-bid contracts to companies like Kodak that had no experience, or have his son-in-law Jared Kushner use political operatives to take calls from grifters who claimed to be able to procure PPE, while dismissing the need to set up testing or send out equipment to Blue States, because, well, they vote Democratic and have Democratic leadership. Trump (an anti-vaxxer) has contradicted his own medical advisers, politicized the once vaunted CDC, FDA, NIH, thrown out nearly $1 trillion in Operation War Speed, all the while sowing such doubt in the efficacy or safety of any vaccine that would be rushed through testing. And yet, Trump, who disbanded the Obama-era pandemic office, pulled out of the World Health Organization and international efforts to produce a vaccine, has actually blamed Biden for failing to have stockpiled testing and vaccines against a virus that didn’t exist until more than three years into his reign. The Trump Campaign is now chiding and misrepresenting and frankly lying about Biden’s proposals and position on coronavirus and vaccines.

Trump, who is now listening only to those health “experts” like radiologist Scott Atlas who confirm his own conveniences, now is embracing the “herd immunity” (he called it “herd mentality in the ABC Town Hall) approach – essentially doing nothing, telling people not to wear masks or socially distance, so that as many as possible will become infected until so many are infected or dead, the virus has no place to go. Problem with that is you would need 225 million out of the 330 million population to get the infection, out of which as many as 6 million would die. But there is actually no proof that there is immunity from COVID-19, or that immunity after infection does not last more than a few months, or whether the virus mutates (like flu viruses) so that it becomes a new disease all over again.

Actual medical experts, including CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield:  “We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” he said. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.” Dr. Redfield said as recently as this week, after Trump chided the use of masks, “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.” Trump’s reaction? He rebuked Redfield, saying he had “made a mistake,” “misunderstood the question,” and had taken back his statement.

Estimates put the number of lives that could be saved between now and December- now forecast to be as high as 215,000 MORE deaths- at 100,000 and it is likely that had a nationwide mask order been imposed, 100,000 of the 200,000 who have already died could have been saved. About 1,000 Americans are dying each day.

And let’s be clear, New York State and the surrounding states became a hotspot because Trump’s intelligence network did not want to mention that the coronavirus was coming in from Europe. While everyone watched for the spread to come from the West Coast from China, 3 million people who came from infected areas of Europe had already come through New York’s airports. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo was left to figure out on his own how to contain the virus before it completely overwhelmed the health care system. Now, Trump wants to dismiss the numbers of COVID-19 dead in Blue States – apparently, dead people in Blue States don’t matter – to make the absurd argument that the rates of death in the United States are somehow on par with the rest of the world (not).

Here are Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, after a vaccine briefing in Wilmington, Delaware, in which he outlined his own plan to get control of the coronavirus, save lives and restore the economy: testing and tracing, national protocols for mask-wearing and social distancing, an actual plan to distribute the vaccine free.

“So let me be clear, I trust vaccines. I trust the scientists. But I don’t trust Donald Trump — and the American people can’t either,” Biden said. 

“If I am elected president, I will begin implementing an effective distribution plan from the minute I take office. That is what I discussed with the experts in the briefing today.
 
“It will include: a detailed timeline for when people will get the vaccine, a clear delineation of priority populations, the specific means and mechanisms of shipping and storage at appropriate temperatures, the division of responsibility at every level of government.
 
“And I will provide the leadership necessary to carry this plan out. I will level with the American people. I will take responsibility. I will support rather than tear down the experts responsible for day-to-day execution. I will follow the science.”

 – Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

I just concluded an hour and a half long briefing with seven of our nation’s top public health experts on the state of the pandemic, the steps needed to curb the spread of the virus, and the challenge of distributing a safe and effective vaccine once we have identified one.
 
Before I turn to those issues, let me say a few words about the president’s comments last night.
 
Even after acknowledging to Bob Woodward on tape that he was fully informed on the gravity of the danger related to COVID-19. He refused to warn the American people. And again, last night, in a televised town hall, the President revealed in no uncertain terms the lack of seriousness with which he continues to take this pandemic.
 
Nearly eight months after this crisis on the doorstep of 200,000 American deaths, President Trump refused once again to take responsibility or to take action. 

By his own admission he continued to lie about COVID-19. He doubled down on his catastrophic mistakes.
 
And, perhaps worst of all — he made clear that he still doesn’t have a plan to bring us out of this crisis.
 
He even said that quote — “a lot of people think that masks are not good” — undercutting the easiest and most effective means we have for reducing the spread of this disease. [Asked “who thought that?” Trump said “waiters.”]
 
This virus is still taking nearly a thousand lives each day.
 
And forecasts show that the numbers are likely to climb this winter.
 
But, incredibly, President Trump insists that he wouldn’t have done anything differently.
 
Not one thing.
 
Last Friday, we learned that another one thousand Americans died due to this virus.
 
On the very same day, Canada reported that not one person died of COVID-19.
 
And Trump wouldn’t have done anything differently?
 
If you’re a parent in America, preparing for another day that you can’t send your child to school, if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, if your small business can’t open or you can’t go back to work because the virus is still spreading in your community, how does it make you feel to hear the President say he wouldn’t have done anything differently?
 
And if he gets four more years, why should we expect anything to change?
 
All President Trump had to offer last night was the same weak and feckless inaction — the same lies and empty promises — that we’ve seen from the very beginning.
 
He still won’t accept responsibility. He still won’t offer a plan.
 
Last night, he repeated what he has said so many times before: That even if he continues to offer only failing indifference some day, the virus will go away like a miracle.
 
It won’t go away like a miracle. The fact is, even if we get a vaccine, it will not be available to most of the population until well into next year. 
 
And we are heading into a dangerous autumn.
 
In fact, the University of Washington model — which the White House has previously touted — projects that cases and deaths are going to spike in November – and an additional 215,000 Americans will die by the end of the year. 
 
That’s more than have already died.
 
We need leadership right now to prevent that from happening. That same University of Washington model shows that if there is universal masking, we could cut those deaths by more than half. We could save more than 100,000 lives.
 
Even Donald Trump’s own director of the CDC told us that wearing a mask is the single most important step we can take to curb this virus. He said “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”


I spoke with the experts today about additional steps we can take to prevent needless deaths and suffering.
 
Uniform national guidance – and standards on social distancing – that can be applied to the particular circumstances of states and communities.
 
More effective approaches on testing and tracing.
 
If we do these things between now and January – we could save even more lives.
 
Last night, Donald Trump indicated he has no interest in doing these things. 
 
A president’s first responsibility is to protect the American people. 
 
And he won’t.
 
That is utterly disqualifying.
 
I also spoke with the experts about the paramount importance of preparing now for the swift, organized, and free distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
 
I am profoundly grateful to the scientists and researchers working tirelessly to ensure that
a safe and effective vaccine becomes a reality as soon as possible.
 
They carry the hopes of our entire nation and the entire world.
 
And when their work comes to fruition – and it will — they will no doubt save countless lives.
 
But scientific breakthroughs don’t care about calendars any more than the virus does.
 
They certainly don’t adhere to election cycles.
 
And their timing, their approval, and their distribution should never, ever be distorted by political considerations. They should be determined by science and safety alone.
 
A vaccine would offer a way back to normalcy and a path forward to better days for all of us.
 
It won’t happen overnight. It will take months to distribute it to the entire population.
 

But I’m more hopeful than ever in the power of science to get us there.
 
One thing is certain, we cannot allow politics to interfere with a vaccine in any way.
 
Americans have had to endure President Trump’s incompetence and dishonesty when it came to testing and personal protective equipment.
 
We cannot afford a repeat of those fiascos when it comes to a vaccine. The stakes are too high American families have already suffered and sacrificed far too much.
 
So let me be clear, I trust vaccines. I trust the scientists. But I don’t trust Donald Trump — and the American people can’t either.
 
Last week, Senator Harris and I laid out three questions this Administration must answer —  to assure the American people that politics will play no role whatsoever in the vaccine process.
 
If Donald Trump can give honest answers to these questions — the American people should have the confidence and transparency they need to trust a vaccine and adopt it in numbers that make a difference.
 
First, what criteria will be used to ensure that a vaccine meets the scientific standard of safety and effectiveness?
 
Second, if the Administration greenlights a vaccine — who will validate that the decision was driven by science rather than politics?
 
Third, how can we be sure that the distribution of the vaccine will take place — safely, cost-free, and without a hint of favoritism?
 
The fact of the matter is developing a vaccine is only part of the battle.
 
Distributing a vaccine to the entire population is as complex and challenging as the most sensitive military operation.
 
I’ve been calling for an effective distribution plan for months.
 
If I am elected president, I will begin implementing an effective distribution plan from the minute I take office. That is what I discussed with the experts in the briefing today.
 
It will include: a detailed timeline for when people will get the vaccine, a clear delineation of priority populations, the specific means and mechanisms of shipping and storage at appropriate temperatures, the division of responsibility at every level of government.
 
And I will provide the leadership necessary to carry this plan out. I will level with the American people. I will take responsibility. I will support rather than tear down the experts responsible for day-to-day execution. I will follow the science.
 
With satisfactory answers to the three questions I laid out — every American— including me and my family — can have confidence in a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
 
This isn’t about politics. It’s about saving lives.
 
It’s about getting back to our loved ones and our friends.
 
It’s about getting our economy back on its feet.
 
Getting back to the movie theater, to the restaurant, to the ballpark.
 
It’s about getting back to our lives — and getting America up off the mat.
 
We can, and we must, be united in that pursuit.
 
No matter when that breakthrough emerges — no matter when that hope bears fruit.
 
That’s America at our best.
 
Thank you.
 
God bless our scientists and researchers — and frontline workers.
 
And God protect our troops.
 
I’ll stop and take your questions.

Biden: ‘If you give a climate arsonist 4 more years, why be surprised if more of America is ablaze?’

Vice President Joe Biden delivers an address in Wilmington, Delaware, on Climate Change: “If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if more of America is ablaze? ..“And from the pandemic, the economic freefall, the racial unrest, and the ravages of climate change, it’s clear that we are not safe in Donald Trump’s America… Like the pandemic, dealing with climate change is a global crisis that requires American leadership. It requires a president for all Americans.” © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

While Trump continues to deny climate change as a “hoax” (one perpetrated by China to hurt US business), minimize the destruction to life and livehood of the wildfires setting the West ablaze that he blamed on California’s “failure” to adequately rake the forest floor, actively denigrate public health experts while promoting conditions for the super-spread of coronavirus, and call for Obama to be jailed for treason, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president, spoke out on the urgency to address the existential climate crisis and how he would address it.  

“The unrelenting impact of climate change affects every single one of us…It requires action, not denial. It requires leadership, not scapegoating…

 “Our response should be grounded in science. Acting together. All of us. But like with our federal response to COVID-19, the lack of a national strategy on climate change leaves us with patchwork solutions…

But if Trump gets a second term, these hellish events will become more common, more devastating, and more deadly.

“If we have four more years of Trump’s climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires? How many suburbs will have been flooded out? How many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms?
 
“If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if more of America is ablaze? ..

“And from the pandemic, the economic freefall, the racial unrest, and the ravages of climate change, it’s clear that we are not safe in Donald Trump’s America.

“Like the pandemic, dealing with climate change is a global crisis that requires American leadership.
 
“It requires a president to meet the threshold duty of the office — to care for everyone. To defend us from every attack – seen and unseen. Always and without exception. Every time.”

Here is a highlighted transcript of Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks as prepared for delivery in Delaware:

Good afternoon.
 
As a nation, we face one of the most difficult moments in our history. Four historic crises. All at the same time.
 
The worst pandemic in over 100 years, that’s killed nearly 200,000 Americans and counting.
 
The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, that’s cost tens of millions of American jobs and counting.
 
Emboldened white supremacy unseen since the 1960s and a reckoning on race long overdue.
 
And the undeniable, accelerating, and punishing reality of climate change and its impact on our planet and our people — on lives and livelihoods
— which I’d like to talk about today.
 
Jill and I continue to pray for everyone in California, Oregon, Washington, and across the West as the devastating wildfires rage on — just as we’ve held in our hearts those who’ve faced hurricanes and tropical storms on our coasts, in Florida, in North Carolina, or like in parts of New Orleans where they just issued an emergency evacuation for Hurricane Sally, that’s approaching and intensifying; Floods and droughts across the Midwest, the fury of climate change everywhere — all this year, all right now.
 
We stand with our families who have lost everything, the firefighters and first responders risking everything to save others, and the millions of Americans caught between relocating during a pandemic or staying put as ash and smoke pollute the air they breathe.
 
Think about that.
 
People are not just worried about raging fires. They are worried about breathing air. About damage to their lungs.
 
Parents, already worried about Covid-19 for their kids when they’re indoors, are now worried about asthma attacks for their kids when they’re outside.
 
Over the past two years, the total damage from wildfires has reached nearly $50 Billion in California alone.
 
This year alone, nearly 5 million acres have burned across 10 states — more acres than the entire state of Connecticut.
 
And it’s only September. California’s wildfire season typically runs through October.
 
Fires are blazing so bright and smoke reaching so far, NASA satellites can see them a million miles away in space.
 
The cost of this year’s damage will again be astronomically high.
 
But think of the view from the ground, in the smoldering ashes.
 
Loved ones lost, along with the photos and keepsakes of their memory. Spouses and kids praying each night that their firefighting husband, wife, father, and mother will come home. Entire communities destroyed.
 
We have to act as a nation. It shouldn’t be so bad that millions of Americans live in the shadow of an orange sky and are left asking if doomsday is here.
 
I know this feeling of dread and anxiety extends beyond just the fires. We’ve seen a record hurricane season costing billions of dollars. Last month, Hurricane Laura intensified at a near-record rate just before its landfall along Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
 
It’s a troubling marker not just for an increased frequency of hurricanes, but more powerful and destructive storms. They’re causing record damage after record damage to people’s homes and livelihoods.
 
And before it intensified and hit the Gulf Coast, Laura ravaged Puerto Rico — where, three years after Hurricane Maria — our fellow Americans are still recovering from its damage and devastation.
 
Think about that reality.
 
Our fellow Americans are still putting things back together from the last big storm as they face the next one.
 
We’ve also seen historic flooding in the Midwest — often compounding the damages delivered by last year’s floods that cost billions dollars in damage.
 
This past spring Midland, Michigan experienced a flood so devastating — with deadly flash flooding, overrunning dams and roadways, and the displacement of 10,000 residents — that it was considered a once-in-500-year weather event.
 
But those once-in-many-generations events? They happen every year now.
 
The past ten years were the hottest decade ever recorded
. The Arctic is literally melting. Parts are on fire.
 
What we’re seeing in America — in our communities — is connected to that.
 
With every bout with nature’s fury, caused by our own inaction on climate change, more Americans see and feel the devastation in big cities, small towns, on coastlines and farmlands.
 
It is happening everywhere. It is happening now. It affects us all.
 
Nearly two hundred cities are experiencing the longest stretches of deadly heat waves in fifty years. It requires them to help their poor and elderly residents adapt to extreme heat to simply stay alive, especially in homes without air conditioning.
 
Our family farmers in the Midwest are facing historic droughts.
 

These follow record floods and hurricane-speed windstorms all this year. 
 
It’s ravaged millions of acres of corn, soybeans, and other crops. Their very livelihood which sustained their families and our economy for generations is now in jeopardy. 
 
How will they pay their bills this year? What will be left to pass on to their kids?
 
And none of this happens in a vacuum.
 
A recent study showed air pollution is linked with an increased risk of death from COVID-19.
 
Our economy can’t recover if we don’t build back with more resiliency to withstand extreme weather — extreme weather that will only come with more frequency.
 
The unrelenting impact of climate change affects every single one of us. But too often the brunt falls disproportionately on communities of color, exacerbating the need for environmental justice.
 
These are the interlocking crises of our time.
 
It requires action, not denial.
 
It requires leadership, not scapegoating.
 
It requires a president to meet the threshold duty of the office — to care for everyone. To defend us from every attack – seen and unseen. Always and without exception. Every time.
 
Because here’s the deal.
 
Hurricanes don’t swerve to avoid “blue states.” Wildfires don’t skip towns that voted a certain way.
 
The impacts of climate change don’t pick and choose. That’s because it’s not a partisan phenomenon.
 
It’s science.
 
And our response should be the same. Grounded in science. Acting together. All of us.
 
But like with our federal response to COVID-19, the lack of a national strategy on climate change leaves us with patchwork solutions.
 
I’m speaking from Delaware, the lowest-lying state in the nation, where just last week the state’s Attorney General sued 31 big fossil fuel companies alleging that they knowingly wreaked damage on the climate. 
 
Damage that is plain to everyone but the president.
 
As he flies to California today, we know he has no interest in meeting this moment.
 
We know he won’t listen to the experts or treat this disaster with the urgency it demands,
as any president should do during a national emergency.
 
He’s already said he wanted to withhold aid to California — to punish the people of California — because they didn’t vote for him.
 
This is yet another crisis he won’t take responsibility for.
 
The West is literally on fire and he blames the people whose homes and communities are burning.
 
He says, “You gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests.”
 
This is the same president who threw paper towels to the people of Puerto Rico instead of truly helping them recover and rebuild.
 
We know his disdain for his own military leaders and our veterans.
 
Just last year, the Defense Department reported that climate change is a direct threat to more than two-thirds of our military’s operationally critical installations. And this could well be a conservative estimate.
 
Donald Trump’s climate denial may not have caused the record fires, record floods, and record hurricanes.
 
But if he gets a second term, these hellish events will become more common, more devastating, and more deadly.
 
Meanwhile, Donald Trump warns that integration is threatening our suburbs. That’s ridiculous. 
 
But you know what’s actually threatening our suburbs?
 
Wildfires are burning the suburbs in the West. Floods are wiping out suburban neighborhoods in the Midwest. And hurricanes are imperiling suburban life along our coasts. 
 
If we have four more years of Trump’s climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires? How many suburbs will have been flooded out? How many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms?
 
If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if more of America is ablaze? 
 
If you give a climate denier four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is under water?
 
We need a president who respects science, who understands that the damage from climate change is already here, and, unless we take urgent action, will soon be more catastrophic.
 
A president who recognizes, understands, and cares that Americans are dying.
 
Which makes President Trump’s climate denialism — his disdain of science and facts — all the more unconscionable.
 
Once again, he fails the most basic duty to this nation.
 
He fails to protect us.
 
And from the pandemic, the economic freefall, the racial unrest, and the ravages of climate change, it’s clear that we are not safe in Donald Trump’s America.
 
What he doesn’t get is that even in crisis, there is nothing beyond our capacity as a country.
 
And while so many of you are hurting right now, I want you to know that if you give me the honor of serving as your President, we can, and we will, meet this moment with urgency and purpose.
 
We can and we will solve the climate crisis, and build back better than we were before.
 
When Donald Trump thinks about climate change he thinks: “hoax.”
 
I think: “jobs.”
 
Good-paying, union jobs that put Americans to work building a stronger, more climate resilient nation.
 
A nation with modernized water, transportation and energy infrastructure to withstand the impacts of extreme weather and a changing climate.
 
When Donald Trump thinks about renewable energy, he sees windmills somehow causing cancer.
 
I see American manufacturing — and American workers — racing to lead the global market. I also see farmers making American agriculture first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, and gaining new sources of income in the process.
 
When Donald Trump thinks about LED bulbs, he says he doesn’t like them because: “the light’s no good. I always look orange.”
 
I see the small businesses and master electricians designing and installing award-winning energy conservation measures.
 
This will reduce the electricity consumption and save businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in energy costs.
 
While he turns us against our allies, I will bring us back into the Paris Agreement. I will put us back in the business of leading the world on climate change. And I will challenge everyone to up the ante on their climate commitments.
 
Where he reverses the Obama-Biden fuel-efficiency standards, he picks Big Oil companies over the American workers.
 
I will not only bring the standards back, I will set new, ambitious ones — that our workers are ready to meet.
 
And I also see American workers building and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the country and American consumers switching to electric vehicles through rebates and incentives.
 
Not only that, the United States owns and maintains an enormous fleet of vehicles — and we’re going to harness the purchasing power of our federal government to make sure we are buying electric vehicles that are made and sourced by union workers right here in the United States of America.
 
All together, this will mean one million new jobs in the American auto industry.
 
And we’ll do another big thing: put us on a path of achieving a carbon-pollution free electricity sector by 2035 that no future president can turn back.
 
Transforming the American electricity sector to produce power without carbon pollution will be the greatest spur to job creation and economic competitiveness in the 21st Century. Not to mention the positive benefits to our health and our environment.
 
We need to get to work right away.
 
We’ll need scientists at national labs and land-grant universities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to improve and innovate the technologies needed to generate, store, and transmit this clean electricity.
 
We’ll need engineers to design them and workers to manufacture them. We’ll need iron workers and welders to install them.
 
And we’ll become the world’s largest exporter of these technologies, creating even more jobs.
 
We know how to do this.
 
The Obama-Biden Administration rescued the auto industry and helped them retool.
 
We made solar energy cost-competitive with traditional energy, and weatherized more than a million homes.
 
We will do it again — bigger and faster and better than before.
 
We’ll also build 1.5 million new energy-efficient homes and public housing units that will benefit our communities three-times over — by alleviating the affordable housing crisis, by increasing energy efficiency, and by reducing the racial wealth gap linked to home ownership.
 
There are thousands of oil and natural gas wells that the oil and gas companies have just abandoned, many of which are leaking toxins.
 
We can create 250,000 jobs plugging those wells right away — good union jobs for energy workers. This will help sustain communities and protect the environment as well.
 
We’ll also create new markets for our family farmers and ranchers.
 
We’ll launch a new, modern day Civilian Climate Corps to heal our public lands and make us less vulnerable to wildfires and floods.
 
I believe that every American has a fundamental right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. But I know that we haven’t fulfilled that right. 
 
That’s true of the millions of families struggling with the smoke created by these devastating wildfires right now. 
 
But it’s also been true for a generation or more in places — like Cancer Alley in Louisiana or along the Route 9 corridor right here in Delaware. 
 
Fulfilling this basic obligation to all Americans —  especially Black, Brown, and Native American communities, who too often don’t have clean air and clean water — is not going to be easy.
 
But it is necessary. And I am committed to doing it. 
 
These aren’t pie-in-the-sky dreams. These are concrete, actionable policies that create jobs,  mitigate climate change, and put our nation on the road to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.
 
Some say that we can’t afford to fix this.
 
But here’s the thing. 
 
Look around at the crushing consequences of the extreme weather events I’ve been describing. We’ve already been paying for it. So we have a choice. 
 
We can invest in our infrastructure to make it stronger and more resilient, while at the same time tackling the root causes of climate change. 
 
Or, we can continue down the path of Donald Trump’s indifference, costing tens of billions of dollars to rebuild, and where the human costs — the lives and livelihoods and homes and communities destroyed — are immeasurable. 
 
We have a choice.
 
We can commit to doing this together because we know that climate change is the existential challenge that will define our future as a country, for our children, grandchildren, and great-children.
 
Or, there’s Donald Trump’s way — to ignore the facts, to deny reality that amounts to full surrender and a failure to lead.
 
It’s backward-looking politics that will harm the environment, make communities less healthy, and hold back economic progress while other countries race ahead. 
 
And it’s a mindset that doesn’t have any faith in the capacity of the American people to compete, to innovate, and to win.
 
Like the pandemic, dealing with climate change is a global crisis that requires American leadership.
 
It requires a president for all Americans.
 
So as the fires rage out West on this day, our prayers remain with everyone under the ash.
 
I know it’s hard to see the sun rise and believe today will be better than yesterday when America faces this historic inflection point.
 
A time of real peril, but also a time of extraordinary possibilities.
 
I want you to know that we can do this.
 
We will do this.
 
We are America.
 
We see the light through the dark smoke.
 
We never give up.
 
Always.
 
Without exception.

Every time.
 
May God bless our firefighters and first responders.
 
May God protect our troops.

NYS Takes Dramatic Steps to Expand Absentee and Early Voting; Launches Public Awareness Campaign

Voting will have a very different look in 2020. New York State is taking dramatic steps to expand absentee and early voting to address concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. “To say this election is the most critical in recent history is understating its importance. We want to make sure every vote in New York is counted and every voice is heard,” Governor Cuomo said. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Voters Can Learn More About Absentee Voting And Early Voting In New York By Visiting ny.gov/earlyvote

New York State had  long been criticized for having some of the most restrictive rules for voting, resulting in some of the lowest turnout rates in the country. But that has changed with a series of reforms aimed at making it easier to vote, including making absentee voting (vote-by-mail) an option available to all, new early voting, to meet the coronavirus crisis so that casting a vote does not have to be a life-and-death choice between exercising a citizen’s most cherished right, and their health.

In addition, Cuomo issued executive orders allowing registered voters to drop off their completed absentee ballot at a Board of Elections office, early voting location or Election Day voting location without requiring them to wait in line with in-person voters. Boards of elections are required to develop and submit a plan to the State Board of Elections by September 21 and make it publicly available.

Meanwhile, the state is launching a public awareness campaign to ensure New Yorkers know all the ways they can vote in November’s election, including voting early, voting absentee, or voting in person on Election Day. 

“Because of COVID, this year New Yorkers have several options when it comes to casting their ballot. You can vote early, vote absentee, or vote in person on Election Day, and I am issuing an executive order to ensure boards of elections have plans in place to safely receive the anticipated additional volume of absentee ballots through in person return,” Governor Cuomo said.”To say this election is the most critical in recent history is understating its importance. We want to make sure every vote in New York is counted and every voice is heard.”

Absentee ballots can be dropped to county boards of elections offices as soon as voters receive their ballot; any early voting location between October 24th and November 1st; and at polling locations on Election Day. By dropping off an absentee ballot at a county board of elections office, early voting site or polling location, New Yorkers can avoid Post Office delays and the need for a stamp.

Most New Yorkers can now request an absentee ballot for the first time under a new law the Governor signed expanding eligibility to all voters who have concerns regarding COVID-19. They should check the “temporary illness” box on their absentee ballot application. To learn more about absentee voting and early voting in New York, visit ny.gov/earlyvote.

The state has launched an absentee ballot portal where voters can directly request an absentee ballot for the upcoming November 3rd election.

Given an expected unprecedented increase in the use of absentee ballots and concerns about the reliability of the United States Postal Service, today’s executive order ensures an expedited, dedicated line for returning absentee ballots in-person, or a contactless drop box in every county.

The state made several sweeping election reform steps in advance of the November 3rd election. 

On August 20, Governor Cuomo signed into law a three-part election reform package to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and be counted in November, including: allowing absentee ballot applications to be submitted to a board of elections immediately; expanding the necessary protections to allow a voter to get an absentee ballot due to risk or fear of illness including COVID-19 and; ensuring all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by a board of elections without a postmark on the day after the election will be counted. Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by November 10. 

On August 24, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order to further bolster and support New Yorker’s right to vote by requiring county boards of elections to take the following actions:

  1. Send a mailing outlining all deadlines for voters by Tuesday, September 8.
  2. Send staffing plans and needs to the New York State Board of Elections by September 20 so BOE can assist in ensuring adequate coverage.
  3. Adopt a uniform clarified envelope for absentee ballots and require counties to use it.
  4. Count votes faster: require all objections to be made by the county board in real time, make sure that boards are ready to count votes and reconcile affidavit and absentee ballots by 48 hours after elections. 
  5. Provide an option for New Yorkers to vote absentee in village, town and special district elections.

“All board of elections make sure they have everything in place, the staff in place, to count the ballots as soon as possible,” Cuomo said. “And the board of elections have to report staffing plans and any needs for additional staff. If they don’t have the staff. Tell us tell us before. So you can get the staff because you have to be able to count the ballots. You have to be able to tabulate the vote. We want it done and we want it done right, but we want it done timely. We don’t want to hear after-the-fact excuses for why you couldn’t do it. Tell us how you’re going to do it before-the-fact, and your staffing plan from the board of elections that will actually do that.

“This election is going to be one of the most critical in modern history. It will be controversial. You already hear the statements questioning the vote, and the accuracy of the vote, and mail-in ballots. We want to make sure that every vote is counted; every voice is heard and that it’s fair and right and accurate.”

“The federal administration has ordered an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service and with COVID-19 threatening our ability to have safe, in-person voting, these measures are critical to ensuring a successful and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation’s history,” Governor Cuomo said. “These actions will further break down barriers to democracy and will make it easier for all New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote this November.” 

New Laws Will Make It Easier for New Yorkers to Vote and Be Counted in November

S.8015-D/A.10833 Authorizes Voters to Request an Absentee Ballot Due to Risk of Illness, Including COVID

S.8783A/A.10807 Authorizes Voters to Request Absentee Ballots Starting Today

S.8799A/A.10808-A Allows Ballots to Be Postmarked On the Day of the Election, November 3

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Voting access is one of the core foundations of our democracy. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that no New Yorkers feel pressured to put their health and well-being at risk to exercise their Constitutional right to vote. I thank the bill sponsors for advancing this legislation, and my Senate Democratic Majority colleagues for their ongoing

commitment to empower New York voters and Governor Cuomo for signing these bills.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “The Assembly Majority knows that democracy is best served when it is easier, not harder for Americans to vote. But the administration in Washington is once again proving that they do not value these critical democratic institutions, going as far as attacking the U.S. Postal Service to limit access to voting by mail. Here in New York, we will not stand for that. Earlier this year, we passed legislation to expand voters access to mail in voting, and we will continue to fight to make it easier and safer for New Yorkers to exercise their constitutional right to vote, and protect the integrity of our elections.”

Relating to Absentee Ballot Requests Due to Risk of Illness (S.8015-D/A.10833)

This legislation gives voters the right to request an absentee ballot due to risk of illness to themselves or others.

Senator Alessandra Biaggi said, “COVID has upended every aspect of our lives — but we cannot allow it to undermine our democracy and New Yorkers’ sacred right to vote. I introduced S8015D to ensure that no New Yorker will have to choose between their health and fulfilling their civic responsibility. Unfortunately, during the June election too many New Yorkers had to make that very choice because they did not receive their ballots on time. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing my bill to provide every New Yorker with the assurance that they can vote via absentee ballot come November and to give the Board of Elections the time they need to prepare. I also want to extend my gratitude to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my colleagues in the Legislature for their partnership and commitment to protecting our democracy.”

Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz said, “Today is a great day for our democracy in New York State. As we continue to work on ways to increase voter efficacy in the absentee ballot process, I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law so that New Yorkers do not have to choose between risking public health and fulfilling our civic duty to vote. I am proud that New York State can stand in contrast to our White House administration by taking steps to make it easier and safer to vote, instead of casting political dispersions that erode our core democratic institutions.”

Relating to Absentee Ballot Requests (S.8783A/A.10807)

This legislation authorizes voters to request absentee ballots immediately, 30 days before Election Day, adding almost 7 weeks to the amount of time a voter has to vote by absentee ballot. This legislation eliminates an outdated statutory provision that prevents voters from requesting absentee ballots until 30 days before Election Day. The legislation gives voters reassurance that they will receive and can cast their vote in a timely manner.

Senator Zellnor Myrie said, “With an increasing number of voters planning to vote by absentee ballot this year, it is important to give local boards of election sufficient time to process applications and send out ballots, and maximize the time voters have to complete and return them. This legislation is part of our continued effort to expand access to voting, during the pandemic and beyond. Voters should have full confidence that, whether they use a mailbox or a ballot box, they can exercise their rights safely, securely and without obstacles.”

Assemblymember Al Taylor said, “The COVID-19 health crisis has transformed life as we know it, including how we vote. This year we saw a tenfold increase in absentee ballot requests, with more people than ever choosing to vote by mail to protect the health of their families and community. With this new reality, we must ensure voters can exercise their rights in future elections both safely and efficiently, and that includes receiving absentee ballots in a timely fashion. I am honored to continue the fight to expand and protect voting rights in New York alongside my colleagues as we build upon the progress that’s already been made while helping our neighbors stay safe.  Thank you Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law.”

Relating to Ballots Postmarked on Day of Election (S.8799A/A.10808-A)

This legislation allows ballots to be postmarked on the day of the election, November 3. The legislation also amends election law to allow the Board of Elections to count all absentee ballots that have a time stamp showing it was delivered to the Board of Elections the day after the election but does not have a dated postmark. The Board of Elections shall deem those ballots mailed in a timely fashion.

Senator Michael Gianaris said, “It’s critical we learn the lessons of the primary election and ensure every valid vote counts in November. The bill being signed today will help insulate voters from problems caused by difficulties with the US Postal Service. I’m grateful the Governor is enacting it.”

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte said, “The legislation the governor is signing today will ensure that New Yorkers’ right to participate in the electoral process is protected. We saw unprecedented absentee voter turnout during the primary, but because of financial challenges at the United States Postal Service, many ballots did not receive timely postmarks. We must rise to the occasion and make sure that voters across the state can safely and effectively cast their votes. This legislation will help to address problems with the Post Office, by ensuring that absentee ballots that do not receive a postmark are considered timely if they are received by the Board of Elections the day after an election. This protects the integrity of votes and enfranchises the voter. I thank Gov. Cuomo for signing this bill and my colleagues in the Legislature for supporting New Yorkers by ensuring that their constitutional right to vote is protected.”

On Labor Day, Biden Presents Plan to ‘Build Back Better’ for American Workers

On Labor Day, Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for President, issued his plan to “Build Back Better” for American workers, drawing a contrast to the actual record of Donald Trump and contradicting Trump’s claim of a rebounding economy. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

On Labor Day, Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for President, issued his plan to “Build Back Better” for American workers, drawing a contrast to the actual record of Donald Trump and contradicting Trump’s claim of a rebounding economy. Biden points to fewer than half of the 29 million jobs lost to the coronavirus pandemic have been restored (though Trump likes to boast about 1 million jobs added a month as a record and proof of a robust, rebounding economy), with 11.5 million still unemployed and facing the possibility their jobs will not come back. Manufacturing jobs, which Trump touts, is down 720,000 from when Trump took office. “President Trump may well be the only president in modern history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he took office. Trump thinks if the stock market is up, his rich friends and donors are doing well and corporation see their valuations rising, then everyone must be doing well… Joe knows we need to get serious about defeating the pandemic, dig out from the worst jobs crisis in nearly a century, and rebuild the middle class so everyone comes along.” Biden’s plan is to invest in infrastructure, clean energy, caregiving and education, and will support – not break up – unions, collective bargaining, higher wages and worker safety. Here is a fact sheet from the Biden campaign – Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com


Joe Biden’s Plan to “Build Back Better” for American Workers

After six months in the pandemic, we are less than halfway back to where we were — with 11.5 Million Americans not yet getting their jobs back. We’re still down 720,000 manufacturing jobs. President Trump may well be the only president in modern history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he took office.
 
Trump thinks if the stock market is up, his rich friends and donors are doing well, and corporations see their valuations rising — then everyone must be doing well. But Joe knows from growing up in neighborhoods in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Claymont, Delaware that the measure of our economic success is the quality of life of the American people. Today, too many working families are worried about paying their bills and putting food on the table.
 
Joe knows we need to get serious about defeating the pandemic, dig out from the worst jobs crisis in nearly a century, and rebuild the middle class so everyone comes along. He has a plan to Build Back Better by summoning a new wave of worker power and building an economy that serves the dignity of the hard-working people who make it run. He will put millions of Americans to work in good-paying jobs with a choice to join a union to meet four national challenges: building a stronger industrial and innovation base so the future is made in America, building sustainable infrastructure and a clean energy future, building a stronger caring economy, and advancing racial equity across the board.
 
Build worker power, raise wages, and secure stronger benefits. We’ve seen millions of American workers put their lives and health on the line to keep our country going. Joe will treat 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, so they can live a middle class life and provide opportunity for their kids. And, he will strengthen unions and worker power.

Encourage, not only defend, union organizing and collective bargaining. Joe knows the only way to take on abuses of power by corporations and Wall Street, and to restore America’s middle class, is with worker power. Joe will send economic recovery legislation to Congress that will make it easier for workers to organize a union and bargain collectively with their employers by including the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, card check, union and bargaining rights for public service workers, and a broad definition of “employee” and tough enforcement to end the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. Joe will also hold company executives personally liable when they interfere with organizing efforts.

Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and end the tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities.

Ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care, by providing a public option and lowering costs for care and for prescription drugs.

Provide universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act as the next step in efforts to ensure women are paid equally for equal work, and take other steps to address discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Ensure workers are safe from COVID-19 and other workplace hazards by setting and enforcing robust safety standards. No one should get sick, injured, or die because they went to work.

Ensure the future is “Made in America” by all of America’s workers. Joe will create millions of jobs mobilizing the talent, grit, and innovation of the American people and the full power of the federal government to bolster American industrial strength and ensure the future is “Made in All of America.”

Buy American. Joe will strengthen and enforce “Buy American” so that the massive amount of taxpayer money the federal government spends every year on everything from defense equipment to steel to auto fleets is used to help American manufacturers and their workers. And he’ll invest $400 billion more in buying American made goods to build a clean energy future.

Innovate in America. Joe will make a new $300 billion investment in research and development (R&D) and breakthrough technologies – from electric vehicle technology to lightweight materials to 5G – to unleash high-quality job creation in manufacturing and technology.

Pursue a Pro-American worker tax and trade strategy to fix the harmful policies of the Trump Administration and give our manufacturers and workers the fair shot they need.

Bring back critical supply chains to America so we aren’t dependent on China or any other country for the production of critical goods in a crisis.

Build a modern, sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future. Joe will make a $2 trillion accelerated investment setting us on an irreversible course to meet the ambitious climate progress that science demands, putting millions of people to work in good paying jobs:

Rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure – from roads and bridges to green spaces and water systems to electricity grids and universal broadband – to lay a foundation for sustainable growth, withstand the impacts of climate change, and provide access to clean air and water.

Position the American auto industry to win the 21st century, mobilizing American workers to manufacture clean vehicles and their input materials and parts. 

Generating clean, American-made electricity, creating jobs for every kind of worker from scientists to construction workers to electricity generation workers to welders to engineers.

Retrofitting buildings, weatherizing homes, and building affordable housing.

Create jobs in climate-smart agriculture, resilience, and conservation, including by mobilizing the next generation of conservation and resilience workers through a Civilian Climate Corps and creating jobs to clean up local economies from the impacts of resource extraction.

Mobilize American talent and heart to create a 21st century caregiving and education workforce. The pandemic has laid bare just how hard it is for people in this country to find access to quality caregiving they need for themselves, or to juggle the responsibilities of working and also caring for family members. Joe will make substantial investments in the infrastructure of care in our country. He’ll:

Create millions of caregiving jobs by making preschool universal and high quality child care affordable and accessible for working families, and making it easier for aging relatives and loved ones with disabilities to have quality, affordable home- or community-based care

Treat caregivers and early childhood educators with respect and dignity, and give them the pay and benefits they deserve, training and career ladders to higher-paying jobs, the choice to join a union and bargain collectively, and other fundamental work-related rights and protections.

Free up millions of unpaid caregivers to pursue paid careers if they so choose.

Advance racial equity across the American economy.  Joe will ensure Black and Brown small business owners, families, and workers are finally and fully cut in on the deal. His plan for achieving racial equity across the American economy covers everything from infrastructure to housing to education, and targets the racial wealth, jobs, and income gaps. 

Read Joe’s full plan to Build Back Better at joebiden.com/build-back-better
 

How Trump Has Failed American Workers

As workers struggle against a deadly pandemic, painful recession, and deep racial disparities — all worsened by Trump’s mismanagement and neglect — they also face an additional burden: a union-busting president. When he isn’t calling to boycott Goodyear and its thousands of union workers for petty personal reasons, President Trump is actively fighting against working people. Among many other things, Trump has:

Mismanaged the pandemic, triggering an almost unprecedented economic crisis. Unemployment has doubled since February and more than half of families have lost employment income.

Promised to veto the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO Act) – legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize and collectively bargain – and stripped federal workers of their right to unionize.

Provided big tax cuts to corporations, without making them bring jobs home – and raised taxes for union members, by ending deductions for union dues.

Threatened to veto a $15 minimum wage, and has questioned whether there even needs to be a federal minimum wage.

Abandoned the Obama-Biden overtime expansion, costing over 8 million workers over $3.4 billion in lost wages already.

Let federal contractors double offshoring in his first 18 months in office.

Started a trade war with China that pushed manufacturing into recession – and then wasted his so-called “phase one” deal lobbying for big banks, instead of fighting for American jobs.

Broke his promise to invest in rebuilding infrastructure. Donald Trump promised a big infrastructure bill when he ran in 2016 and every year since. Every few weeks when he needs a distraction from the latest charge of corruption in his staff — or the conviction of high ranking members of his administration and political apparatus — the White House announces it’s “Infrastructure Week.” But he’s never delivered or even really tried.

Proposed steep cuts for job training and employment programs, including those that support U.S. manufacturing and workers dislocated by outsourcing. Trump also tried to undermine union registered apprenticeships.

Rolled back safety protections at workplaces, including by trying to weaken several occupational and safety regulations established during the Obama-Biden Administration, reducing Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) investigators to a historic low, and failing to put in place OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards to keep workers safe from COVID-19.

Weakened enforcement of American labor laws and made it easier for employers to misclassify workers by sabotaging the enforcement agencies and slashing their investigator corps.

Revoked requirements that employers follow labor and employment laws to benefit from federal contracts.

Appointed National Labor Relations Board members with long histories of anti-union activities.

Kamala Harris: ‘Donald Trump has failed at the most basic and important job of a President: he failed to protect the American people’

Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic candidate for Vice President, delivered a speech in Washington DC drawing the contrast between Trump’s failure and what Joe Biden brings to the office of President. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Just before Donald Trump gives his Republican National Convention speech from the White House, in violation of “norms” and law that prohibits using government facilities for politics, when it is widely anticipated that Trump will smear Joe Biden with lies, Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic candidate for Vice President, delivered a speech in Washington DC drawing the contrast between Trump’s failure and what Joe Biden brings to the office of President. Here is a highlighted transcript:

On this eve of the 57th March on Washington, I will speak about the recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The wildfires raging across the California coast to the Rocky Mountains. The storm which is working its way through Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. 

And most of all—about who we are as a country.

We are a nation that, at its best, loves, protects, and helps our fellow Americans

Today, we see pain, hurt, and destruction in the ashes of wildfires and the damage of Hurricane Laura. 

We encourage everyone to continue following guidance from your local authorities to stay safe.

And Joe and I pledge to be there for those whose lives have been turned upside down. 

Those who will need help from neighbors, strangers, and our government to make it through, to build back, to restore your lives and your communities. 

We also see pain, hurt, and destruction in the aftermath of yet another Black man shot by police. 

Jacob Blake, shot 7 times in the back in broad daylight in front of his 3 young sons. 7 times… in the back… in broad daylight… in front of his 3 sons.

As Vice President Biden put it, the shots fired at Mr. Blake pierced the soul of our nation.  

It’s sickening to watch. It’s all too familiar. And it must end.

Thankfully, he is alive today. But he is fighting for his life and shouldn’t have to be.

My heart goes out to the Blake family, as they endure an ordeal that is tragically common in our country. 

Joe and I spoke with them yesterday. They are an amazing group of people with extraordinary courage. 

Even in their pain and grief, even as they seek justice for their son—they spoke about the need to end the violence and heal our nation.

I’ve had conversations like this with far too many mothers and fathers—but you will see and hear no one with more courage, more character, and more moral clarity.

People are rightfully angry and exhausted. And after the murders of Breonna, George, Ahmaud, and so many others, it’s no wonder people are taking to the streets. And I support them. 
 
We must always defend peaceful protest—and peaceful protestors. 
 
We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence, including, the shooter who was arrested for murder.
 
And make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice. 
 
Here’s my promise to those mothers and fathers, and all who stand with them: 

In a Biden-Harris Administration, you will have a seat at the table—in the Halls of Congress, and in the White House. 

We all grew up reciting the pledge of allegiance, but now, we must give real meaning to its words.

One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 

Justice. Let’s talk about that. Because the reality is that the life of a Black person in America has never been treated as fully human—and we have yet to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law.

We will only achieve that when we finally come together to pass meaningful police reform and broader criminal justice reform, and acknowledge, yes acknowledge, and address systemic racism.

We will only come closer to achieving that when we finally come together. 

We have come a long way in our country towards building a more perfect Union, and the time is now—right now—to take the next step forward.

And even as we experience this reckoning with racial injustice, we must also confront another crisis: 

The pandemic that has torn apart so many lives.

The numbers that define this crisis are staggering. 

We cannot look the other way or allow ourselves to become numb to them.

Nearly 6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

180,000 lives lost.

More than 50 million claims for unemployment this year alone.

We need to see—and we need to hear—what’s happening in our country.

The quiet desperation that has taken over so many lives in America.

The family packing into their car at 5 in the morning—hoping the local food bank still has something left when they get to the front of the line. 

The 50-year old store manager who’s been laid off—and knows he can’t pay the rent on the 1st of the month.

The mothers and fathers stretched to the breaking point—working from home while helping their kids with online classes—just trying to hold it all together. 

The small business owners—economic engines of our communities—who are shutting their doors every day. 

The nurse getting ready for her afternoon shift—who has seen so much suffering and death in recent months—and wonders how much more she can bear to witness.

The family grieving the loss of their grandmother who has been in a nursing home—who they couldn’t even visit over the last three months of her life.

The alarming and disproportionate rate at which Black, Latino, and Indigenous families are contracting and dying of COVID-19.

That is the reality of America right now. A reality completely absent from this week’s Republican National Convention. 

Because unlike the Democratic convention, which was clear-eyed about the challenges we are facing and how we will tackle them…

The Republican convention is designed for one purpose—to soothe Donald Trump’s ego.  To make him feel good.
 
But here’s the thing, he’s the President of the United States. And it’s not Supposed to be about him.

It’s supposed to be about the health, and the safety, and the well-being of the American people. 

And on that measure, Donald Trump has failed.

You see, at its most basic level, Donald Trump doesn’t understand the presidency.

He thinks it’s all about him. Well, it’s not. It’s about you. It’s about all of us. The People.

As a lawyer and advocate, when I would rise to speak in a courtroom, I’d say the following words:

Kamala Harris for the people.

And that is why I stand here today—to speak for the people.

Because we know the truth.

Donald Trump has failed at the most basic and important job of a President of the United States.
 
He failed to protect the American people. Plain and simple.

Trump showed what we, in the legal profession, would call a reckless disregard for the well-being of the American people. 

A reckless disregard for the danger a pandemic would pose to American lives. For the devastation it would do to our economy. For the damage it would do to communities of color who have been subjected to structural racism for generations. 

For the chaos that would upend our daily lives… make it impossible for many of our kids to go to school… make it impossible to live normally and with certainty.

He never appreciated that a President swears an oath before God and country to protect America against threats  seen and unseen.

It’s his duty. It’s his obligation to protect us. 

And yet, he has failed. Miserably.

Here’s the thing,  Donald Trump’s incompetence is nothing new. 

That has always been on full display. But in January of this year, it became deadly.

That’s when the threat of a virus that would endanger the world first emerged.

Trump dismissed the threat. Joe Biden, sounded the alarm.
 
It would be the beginning of a pattern that persists to this day.

Trump telling us not to worry, that the virus will, quote, “disappear,” that a quote, “miracle” is coming.
 
Joe Biden, saying we need a plan, a national strategy, a President who is willing to lead, willing to be a role model for our nation. For our children.

Trump still doesn’t have a plan.

Joe Biden, released his first plan in March. 

Here’s what you have to understand about the nature of a pandemic.

It’s relentless. You can’t stop it with a tweet. You can’t create a distraction and hope it’ll go away. It doesn’t go away. By its nature, a pandemic is unforgiving.

If you get it wrong at the beginning, the consequences are catastrophic. It’s very hard to catch up. You don’t get a second chance at getting it right.

Well, President Trump got it wrong in the beginning.

And then, he got it wrong again… and again.

And the consequences have been catastrophic.
 
And here’s why Trump has been so unwilling and unable to deal with this crisis:
 
First, he was fixated on the stock market over fixing the problem. 

He tweeted about it consistently during this period. 

He was convinced that if his administration focused on this virus, it would hurt the market and hurt his chances of being reelected.

That mattered more to him than saving American lives.

Second, right at the moment that we needed Donald Trump to be tough on the Chinese government, he caved. 

On January 24th, he praised the transparency of the Chinese government. 

He said, quote, “China has been working hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well.” 

But they weren’t being transparent. They blocked public health inspectors from the CDC, from getting the access and information they needed to protect American lives. 

Donald Trump stood idly by. And folks, it was a deadly decision. 

Instead of rising to meet the most difficult moment of his presidency, Donald Trump froze. He was scared. He was petty and vindictive.

On a call with governors across the country on March 16th, he told them it wasn’t his job to get personal protective equipment to frontline workers. 

He said, quote: “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment, try getting it yourselves.” Unquote. 

On that day…we had about 5,000 cases as a nation. 

Today… we have nearly 6 million. 

Even now—some eight months into this crisis—Donald Trump still won’t take responsibility. He still won’t act.

The tragedy in all of this is… it didn’t have to be this bad.
 
Just look around. It’s not like this in the rest of the world.

All we needed was a competent president—one who was willing to listen, willing to lead, take responsibility, have a plan, do their job.

Joe Biden will be that president.

He’s got a national strategy.

He’s more than ready to lead.

Every month since March as this pandemic has unfolded, Joe Biden has updated the steps he would take to save American lives. And he’s done it based on what every scientist, every expert, every economist, said we should be doing. 

As President, Joe Biden will put a plan into effect on day one.

Develop and deploy rapid tests with immediate results.

Make sure testing, treatments, and ultimately, a vaccine reach all Americans, including communities of color, who have historically been left behind.

Manufacture the medical supplies and protective equipment we need.

And make them right here—in America, so we’re never again at the mercy of China and other foreign countries to protect our own people.

Joe and I will make sure our schools have all the resources they need—to be open, safe, and effective.

Put politics aside—and not silence the experts—so the public gets the information they need and deserve.

And put in place a nationwide mask Mandate—in Joe’s words, it’s not a burden  to protect each other.

Because he knows we’re all in this together.

Donald Trump says there’s nothing he could have done to prevent all this death.

Here’s the truth: 

Barack Obama and Joe Biden had a program called PREDICT that tracked emerging diseases in places like China. I’m going to repeat that. The program tracked emerging diseases in places like China. Trump cut it. 

They dedicated a team on the National Security Council to global health security and biodefense. Donald Trump eliminated it. 

They implemented standards for nursing homes to improve infection control. Trump is erasing them. 

Before the virus hit, Trump made our country vulnerable. After it was struck, he failed to do what was necessary. 

As it continues, he’s making it worse every day.

Just this week, the Social Security Administration said a cut to Social Security like the one Trump is proposing would end disability benefits within one year and end All benefits within 3 years. 

Let me be as clear as possible, if Donald Trump’s extreme proposal goes into effect, the checks that America’s seniors rely on to pay your bills,  to buy your medicine—to live—will stop coming. 

The very people who have suffered so greatly in this crisis. 

It’s unthinkable.

And in the middle of a health crisis made worse by his own actions, Donald Trump is in court right now trying to throw out the entire Affordable Care Act, including the protections it provides for people with pre-existing conditions.

That means, if you are fortunate enough to survive COVID-19, insurers could deny you coverage for treating any long-term effects.

Now President Trump, won’t tell you any of this at the Republican convention tonight. 

And we all know he’s not changing. 

The president he has been—is the president he will be. 

But we have a chance to right these wrongs and put America on a better path forward.

One where the leaders we elect listen to the experts and follow the best medical guidance to keep us and our families healthy and safe.

One where we take meaningful action against systems and traditions of oppression.

One where we stop fanning the flames of hate and division, and treat one another with the respect and dignity that each one of us deserves. 

As Joe Biden said in his acceptance speech, we have a choice between the light and the dark. 

I believe America will choose the light.

Thank you.

Biden Reacts to Pence ‘Donald Trump’s America’ RNC speech: ‘Did Mike Pence forget Donald Trump is president?’

Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for President, following Vice President Mike Pence’s speech to the Republican National Convention extolling “Donald Trump’s America,” stated, “Did Mike Pence forget Donald Trump is president? Is Donald Trump even aware he’s president? These are not images from some imagined “Joe Biden’s America” in the future. These are images from Donald Trump’s America today. The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why.” © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for President, following Vice President Mike Pence’s speech to the Republican National Convention extolling “Donald Trump’s America,” offered this statement:

Last night, Vice President Mike Pence stood before America and with a straight face said, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
 
His proof?
 
The violence you’re seeing in Donald Trump’s America.
 
Did Mike Pence forget Donald Trump is president? Is Donald Trump even aware he’s president? These are not images from some imagined “Joe Biden’s America” in the future. These are images from Donald Trump’s America today. The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why.
 
Donald Trump refuses to even acknowledge there is a racial justice problem in America. To solve this problem, first we have to honestly admit the problem. But he won’t do it. Instead of looking to calm the waters, he adds fuel to every fire. Violence isn’t a problem in his eyes – it’s a political strategy. And the more of it, the better for him.

One of his top White House advisors said it flat out earlier today. “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.” The better it is.
 
I have made it clear. There is no place for violence, looting, or burning. None. Zero.
 
All it does it hurt the communities reeling from injustice – and it destroys the businesses that serve them – many of them run by people of color who for the first time in their lives have begun to build wealth for their family.
 
But while I have condemned all forms of violence – police violence, lawless violence and violence perpetrated by extreme, right-wing militia groups – like the groups the 17-year-old just arrested in Illinois for murdering two people in Wisconsin is reputed to have been aligned with. Trump doesn’t speak out against these extreme right-wing groups. Instead – as he did about Charlottesville – he embraces them.
 
If you’re worried about the violence you’re witnessing, you better be worried about the armed militias – often aligned with white supremacists and white nationalists and Neo-Nazis and the KKK – who are often the source of the biggest trouble.
 
I am sure Donald Trump will stand before America and say the same things his vice president said last night. And when he does, remember: every example of violence he decries has happened on his watch. Under his leadership. During his presidency.
 
And of course, as has been true all week, I’m sure there will barely be a mention of what more than 300 million Americans fear the most right now – contracting COVID-19. 180,000 Americans have lost their lives under this president to this virus. 

And there will almost certainly be no mention of the catastrophic impact his failure to deal with the virus has had on this nation’s economy – the millions of people who have lost their jobs, their health care, their homes, their small businesses. 

So when Donald Trump says tonight you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America, look around and ask yourself: How safe do you feel in Donald Trump’s America?

On Women’s Equality Day, Biden Draws Contrast to Trump Failure: ‘Now, it is up to us to carry forward the banner of equality’

Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic candidate for president, with running mate Senator Kamala Harris. On Women’s Equality Day, Biden is drawing strong contrast with Trump on policies he would propose to benefit women, including equal pay and health care (c) Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In stark contrast to the hate-filled propaganda fest of the Republican National Convention, Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, has continued to address the important issues and unprecedented crises the nation is facing, some age-old, and others more immediate. Women’s Rights and the inequity in pay has lifelong and generational implications for women and families. On Women’s Equality Day, Biden, who sponsored the Violence Against Women Act and named Kamala Harris, his vice president, issued this statement and fact sheet drawing the contrast between Trump’s failures on women’s issues and how Biden would work for American women:

Today, on Women’s Equality Day, Jill and I join with all Americans in celebrating the long line of women who have reached out through history as fearless, ambitious trailblazers to deliver a better future for America’s daughters. From the suffragists, to the labor organizers, to the women who continue to lead the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment, and from the glass-ceiling breakers to the women in every workplace who have to fight twice as hard just to prove their basic dignity every single day, American women have pushed this country forward, one step at a time.
 
There can be no half measures when it comes to equality. That’s why we must keep working.100 years ago today, the final paperwork was signed, officially proclaiming the ratification of the 19th Amendment to our Constitution–and of the right of women to vote in the United States of America. It was a culmination of decades of struggle to achieve a Constitutional amendment on women’s suffrage, and a true milestone for our nation. But it was also only the beginning of a long, still unfinished march toward full equality for all women, especially for women of color who were still not guaranteed their right to vote until the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and even longer for Latinas and Native American women.
 
Now, it is up to us to carry forward the banner of equality for the next generation–to build on the legacy of Shirley Chisholm and Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton to elect Kamala Harris as our next Vice President; to fully deliver on the promise of equal pay for equal work; to ensure women’s access to health care, eliminate health disparities, and protect women’s ability to make their own health care choices; and to end the scourge of violence against women.
 
It starts by voting this November. It starts by exercising that sacred American right, which so many have marched and suffered to secure.
 
We can do this. We can finally live up to our highest ideals–that all men, and women, are created equal. We can ensure that little girls and boys alike, of every race and background, know that in America, there is no limit on how high their dreams and their talents can carry them.

FACT SHEET:
Trump Has Failed American Women

President Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic has wiped out years of jobs gains for women, launching us into a she-cession with millions of women unemployed and worried about whether they will be able to feed their families and return to work. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women of color and young women, with 1 in 7 Black women and Latina women and 1 in 5 young women unemployed and many women forced to work fewer hours than they need or would like. Even before the pandemic, President Trump has relentlessly worked against women’s interests. He has:
 
Persistently tried to rip away health care benefits and protections for millions of women. In the middle of a pandemic, Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare, which would allow insurers to deny women coverage because of pregnancy or pre-existing conditions like cancer or diabetes, choose not to cover maternity care, stop young adults under 26 from staying on their parents’ plan, charge co-pays for recommended preventive services including contraception and mammograms, and charge women higher premiums just for being women — a practice which cost women $1 billion more than men annually. And, he has prevented organizations like Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X federal family planning funds.
 
Rolled back protections from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Trump revoked the Obama-Biden Administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, which required that federal contractors comply with labor, wage and hour, family and medical leave, safety and health, civil rights, and other laws. He said women would make the same as men if they “do as good a job,” defended employers who pay mothers less than men and called pregnancy an “inconvenience” for employers, and has taken steps backwards on closing the gender pay gap. The Obama-Biden Administration required medium and large employers to collect and disclose compensation information by race, gender, and ethnicity to the federal government so it had better insight into pay disparities and could better target enforcement. The Trump Administration only continued to collect this data at the order of a federal court, and has announced its intent to stop collecting pay data for future years.
 
Made college campuses less safe for women by shaming and silencing survivors of sexual assault. The Trump Administration’s Education Department — led by Betsy Devos — has rolled back Obama-Biden policies and given colleges a green light to ignore sexual violence and strip survivors of their civil rights under Title IX. Trump and DeVos have let colleges off the hook for protecting students by permitting them to choose to investigate only more extreme acts of violence and harassment and requiring them to investigate in a way that dissuades survivors from coming forward.
 
Disbanded the White House Council on Women and Girls. The Obama-Biden Administration created the White House Council on Women and Girls to make sure the federal government was doing its best to tackle issues like equal pay, paid family leave, and poverty in an effective manner. The Trump Administration then disbanded it and put nothing in its place.
 

Highlights: How Joe Will Work For American Women 

Women, and particularly women of color, have never had a fair shot to get ahead in this country. When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris build our country back better after this economic crisis — a crisis worsened by President Trump’s failure to get the virus under control — they will ensure we get closer to full inclusion of and equality for women. Highlights of Joe’s plans include:
 
Ensure women’s issues remain at the forefront of policy efforts. Biden will create a White House Council on Gender Equality, chaired by a senior member of the White House tasked solely with guiding and coordinating government policy that impacts women and girls, such as economic policy, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy.
 
Improve women’s economic security. Joe will create millions of good paying jobs, pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and take other steps to achieve equal pay, take on workplace discrimination and harassment, and support women entrepreneurs.
 
Expand women’s access to health care. Joe stood with President Obama to pass Obamacare, which gave millions of women access to better, more affordable health care. Joe will protect and build on Obamacare to expand access and lower costs, including by offering all women the choice of a new public option. He’ll reduce the unacceptably high maternal mortality rate, which disproportionately affects Black and Native women, and he’ll ensure all women have access to the full scope of health care — including reproductive health care.
 
Help women navigate work and families. Joe has taken care of aging parents, and he’s been a single parent — he knows how hard it is to raise a family. As President, he will provide universal access to high quality preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds and ensure no low-income or middle class family with children under age 5 has to pay more than 7% of their income for child care. He will also enact legislation to provide 12 weeks paid family and medical leave, and require employers to provide up to seven days of paid sick, family, and safe leave.
 
Expand access to higher education and relieve student debt. Women, and primarily Black women, hold two-thirds of the nation’s student debt. Joe will provide access to community college without debt, make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families earning under $125,000, invest over $70 billion in HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions, and double Pell. He’ll also strengthen Public Service Loan Forgiveness and forgive undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from public colleges for people earning up to $125,000.
 
End violence against women. A driving force in Joe’s career has been fighting back against abuses of power. It motivated him to author the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Joe will keep getting things done for survivors of gender-based violence, starting by reauthorizing VAWA, keeping guns out of the hands of abusers, and expanding the safety net for survivors.
 
Dismantle systemic racism affecting women of color. Joe will be unflinching in confronting systemic racism, including by investing in trauma-informed prevention and treatment programs and services as alternatives to girls – disproportionately girls of color – being placed in detention.

Joe Biden to Accept Democratic Nomination for President in DNC Final Night Themed ‘America’s Promise’

On this final night of the Democratic National Convention, Joe Biden delivers his acceptance speech and shows how as president, he will help all Americans realize “America’s Promise.” © Karen Rubin/news/photos-features.com

MILWAUKEE—The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) today previewed the official program for the final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which will take place Thursday, August 20 from 9:00-11:00 PM Eastern.

The theme of Thursday’s program is “America’s Promise.” The measure of a president is the same as the measure of a person: What principles guide them? How do they handle adversity? Being president doesn’t change who you are—it reveals who you are. Joe Biden is a good man who believes in the promise of America, and as president, he will deliver on that promise for all.

A former public defender, a leading senator, and two-term vice president, Joe Biden is one of the most experienced candidates to ever seek the presidency. Throughout his career, he has been tested by historic recessions, global conflicts, pandemics, divisive politics, and the never-ending quest for justice and fairness in America. Every step of the way, he has risen to the moment with steady and effective leadership. When he gets knocked down, he gets back up. 

Joe Biden is a leader who believes in America’s Promise—and believes in delivering on that promise for all of us. 

Tonight features Americans sharing where they hope to be this time next year, elected officials standing up for the right to vote, including Senator Cory Booker, California Governor Gavin Newsom,  Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, 2016 candidate Pete Buttigieg, Senators Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Duckworth, and Chris Coons, and the highlight of the evening, Vice President Joe Biden officially accepting the Democratic nomination for president.

As has been featured every night of the convention, between speeches segments, ordinary Americans across country will share their story and the hope they have in electing Joe Biden President and Kamala Harris Vice President.

Highlights from tonight’s program include:

THE PROMISE OF AMERICA

“This Time Next Year”
A collection of everyday Americans and prominent leaders share where they want to be this time next year—when Joe Biden is president. 

Remarks
Andrew Yang
American businessman

Introduction
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
American actress

Pledge of Allegiance
Cedric Richmond, Jr.
Son of The Honorable Cedric Richmond, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Louisiana

National Anthem
The Chicks
Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire, and Emily Strayer

Invocation
Sister Simone Campbell
American Roman Catholic Religious Sister

Remarks
The Honorable Chris Coons
United States Senator, Delaware

Remarks
The Honorable Keisha Lance Bottoms
Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia

A Tribute to John Lewis
Directed by Dawn Porter

Performance
John Legend
American singer-songwriter
Common
American rapper, actor, and writer

Remarks
Jon Meacham
American writer and author

Remarks
The Honorable Deb Halaand
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, New Mexico

Remarks
The Honorable Alex Padilla
California Secretary of State
The Honorable Jocelyn Benson
Michigan Secretary of State

Remarks
The Honorable Cory Booker
United States Senator, New Jersey

“You Built America”: A Conversation on the Economy with Vice President Biden
Joe Biden listens to, and engages with, union workers around how to build an economy that rewards work.

Remarks
Dr. Vivek Murthy
Former Surgeon General of the United States

Remarks
The Honorable Tammy Baldwin
United States Senator, Wisconsin

The Biden Plan: Military Families
A video that focuses on Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden’s deep commitment to military families.

Remarks
The Honorable Tammy Duckworth
United States Senator, Illinois

A Tribute to Beau Biden
A video that focuses on the remarkable life and career of Beau Biden.

Remarks
The Honorable Pete Buttigieg
Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“United We Stand”
Joe Biden through the eyes of those who ran against him in 2020—featuring Senator Cory Booker, Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

Remarks
The Honorable Michael Bloomberg
Former Mayor of New York City, New York

The Biden Grandchildren
A video focused on Joe Biden’s family—and in particular his grandchildren, and their close bond.

Remarks
The Biden Children
Ashley Biden and Hunter Biden tell us about their father. 

Biden Introduction 
The story of Joe Biden’s life, up to this moment—from his parents, to his upbringing, to his greatest challenges, to his biggest successes, to the type of leader, father, husband, and person that he is.

Remarks
The Honorable Joe Biden
2020 Democratic Nominee for President of the United States
Former Vice President of the United States

How to Watch the 2020 Democratic National Convention

Viewers will have more than a dozen options for watching the 2020 Democratic National Convention, ensuring that this year’s convention will reach viewers where they are, however they prefer to watch, all across the nation. 

With an unprecedented number of ways to tune in, this year’s convention will engage voters in new, innovative ways and unite the country around our shared values. The convention will take place over four nights from August 17-20, 2020. Convention programming will air live from 9:00-11:00 PM Eastern each night.

The official live stream for the 2020 Democratic National Convention will be hosted on DemConvention.com, where viewers can also find the full convention schedulea digital toolkit to get involved, more resources for viewersdelegates and the media and additional plans and details. 

In addition, the DNC is organizing watch parties all over the country, hosted with prominent leaders, as well as drive-in watch parties, like drive in movie theater where you watch on big screens – in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware.

The convention will air from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time every day, Monday through Thursday. There are a variety of ways to watch:

  • The official livestream will be here. It will also be available on YouTubeFacebookTwitter and Twitch.
  • C-SPANCNNMSNBC and PBS will cover the full two hours each night. ABCCBSNBC and Fox News will carry the convention from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. each night. 
  • The New York Times will stream the full convention every day, accompanied by chat-based live analysis from reporters and real-time highlights from the speeches.
  • Streams will be available on Apple TVRoku and Amazon Fire TV by searching “Democratic National Convention” or “2020 DNC,” and on Amazon Prime Video by searching “DNC.”
  • The convention will air on AT&T U-verse (channels 212 and 1212) and AT&T DirectTV (channel 201). It will also air on Comcast Xfinity Flex and Comcast X1 (say “DNC” into your voice remote).
  • You can watch on a PlayStation 4 or PSVR through the Littlstar app.
  • If you have an Alexa device, you can say “Alexa, play the Democratic National Convention.”

Then, after the Convention, tune into a star-studded after-party happening on Thursday, August 20, at 11:00pm ET.

Hosted by Emmy Award-winning host, producer, and author, Andy Cohen, the event will be dropping into the homes of A-list celebrities and activists across the country for several segments, and the after party will be headlined by a never-before seen set for a special musical performance by Grammy Award-winning artist, record producer and DJ Diplo, one of the most dynamic forces in music today.

Other big names attending the after party include Alyssa Milano, Aubrey Plaza, Cat and Nicole Ehrlich Cora, Jaime Camil, Jason George, Elena Delle Donne, Keith Powell, Liza Koshy, Neil Casey, Michelle Kwan, and Zooey Deschanel.

This will be carried on the official livestream following the convention on all social platforms across the Biden campaign, DNC, and DNCC including official Facebook, Youtube, Twitter accounts, joebiden.com, and Twitch. 

Kamala Harris Has Place in History as Democratic Nominee for Vice President

Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for President, selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, a historic pick since she would be the first African American/Asian American woman to serve as Vice President. On the third night of the Democratic National Convention, the nation will have a chance to be introduced to Harris, who brings a life story that many will be able to relate to, and see as a role model. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for President, selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, a historic pick since she would be the first African American/Asian American woman to serve as Vice President. Harris was briefly his rival for the nomination, which was one of the assets Biden considered in choosing her from among a dozen highly qualified women. On the third night of the Democratic National Convention, the nation will have a chance to be introduced to Harris, who brings a life story that many will be able to relate to, and see as a role model. This is from the Biden Harris campaign:

Vice President Joe Biden is running to restore the soul of the nation and unite the country to move us forward.  Joe knows more about the importance of the Vice Presidency than just about anyone, and he is confident that Kamala Harris will be the best partner for him to finally get the country back on track.
 
Since Donald Trump became president, he has made everything worse. He has pursued economic policies that reward wealth over work and benefited corporations and his buddies over working families. He has walked away from American leadership on the national stage. He has used division and stoked hatred for political purposes to pit Americans against one another.
 
Joe knows that we can’t just return to the way things were – we have to build back better. From her track record of managing through multiple crises to standing up for the people who need it most, Joe knows that Kamala will be ready to tackle the work that is needed to heal our country on Day One of the Biden-Harris Administration. 
 
KAMALA’S BIO


The first Black and Indian American woman to represent California in the United States Senate, Kamala Harris grew up believing in the promise of America and fighting to make sure that promise is fulfilled for all Americans. Kamala’s father immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica to study economics and her mother immigrated from India. Kamala’s mother told her growing up “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something,” which is what drives Kamala every single day.
 
Kamala started fighting for working families  in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where she focused on prosecuting child sexual assault cases. From there, she became the first Black woman elected as San Francisco’s District Attorney. In this position, she started a program to provide first-time drug offenders second chances with the opportunity to earn a high school degree and find a job.
 
In 2010, Kamala became the first Black woman to be elected California Attorney General, overseeing the country’s second largest Justice Department, only behind the U.S. Department of Justice. In this capacity, she managed a $735 million budget and oversaw more than 4,800 attorneys and other employees. As California Attorney General, Kamala fought for families and won a $20 billion settlement for California homeowners against big banks that were unfairly foreclosing on homes.
 
Kamala worked to protect Obamacare, helped win marriage equality for all, defended California’s landmark climate change law and won a $1.1 billion settlement against a for-profit education company that scammed students and veterans. Kamala also fought for California communities and prosecuted transnational gangs who drove human trafficking, gun smuggling and drug rings.
 
Since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Kamala has introduced and co-sponsored legislation to help the middle class, increase the minimum wage to $15, reform cash bail, and defend the legal rights of refugees and immigrants.
 
Kamala serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that deals with the nation’s most sensitive national security and international threats.  She also serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where she oversees the federal government’s response to natural disasters and emergencies, including the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19.
 
On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kamala has held Trump administration officials accountable and was a powerful voice against Trump’s conservative judicial nominations.
 
Kamala graduated from Howard University, where she was in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.
 
Kamala has been married to her husband Doug for the past six years. She is the stepmother of two children, Ella and Cole who are her “endless source of love and pure joy.”
 
KAMALA’S PARTNERSHIP WITH JOE BIDEN

  • Kamala Harris served as California’s Attorney General at the same time as Joe Biden’s son, Beau, was serving as Attorney General for Delaware. The two grew close while fighting to take on the banking industry. Through her friendship with Beau, she got to know Joe Biden.
  • From hearing about Kamala from Beau, to seeing her fight for others directly, Joe has long been impressed by how tough Kamala is.
  • Particularly on the Senate Judiciary Committee – which Joe used to lead – Kamala has distinguished herself as a fighter on behalf of the American people, on issues ranging from corruption, to women’s rights and election interference.
  • Kamala doesn’t hesitate to take on powerful people and powerful interests, and that’s exactly the kind of leader Joe wants by his side to rebuild this country and restore the soul of the nation.

KAMALA’S RECORD OF RESULTS FOR WORKING FAMILIES
 
COVID-19 and Health Care

  • Kamala has worked to address the racial and ethnic disparities resulting from  the Trump’s administration’s failed response to the pandemic by introducing the COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act. Kamala’s legislation would establish a team of policy experts, regional leaders, and federal officials to develop policy and funding prescriptions based on demographic data to combat issues facing minority and underserved communities.
  • Kamala has a record of taking on corporations who are defrauding the health care system. As Attorney General, she oversaw a $241 million settlement against Quest Diagnostics, for overbilling California’s insurance program for 15-plus years.

 Economy & Workers

  • Kamala took on the big banks on behalf of California homeowners and won a $20 billion settlement, the largest settlement of any attorney general in America.
  • As District Attorney , she prosecuted companies that cheated workers out of their earnings  and jeopardized their safety on the job. As Attorney General, she fought for California’s public employee unions. And as Senator, she stood against the harmful Janus decision.
  • Kamala supports a $15 minimum wage, cosponsoring legislation to raise wages for underpaid Americans. 

 Criminal Justice

  • Kamala, as San Francisco DA, championed a leading re-entry program to direct young people arrested for drug crimes into training and counseling programs instead of jail.
  • Kamala’s Department of Justice was the first statewide agency to mandate a body camera program, launched  implicit bias and procedural justice trainings, and created a public database, including data on deaths in police custody and arrest rates.
  • As Senator, Kamala has championed sentencing reform, ending the cash bail system, and giving proper funding to public defenders.

 Education

  • As Attorney General, Kamala obtained a $1.1 billion judgement against for-profit Corinthian Colleges for predatory practices that saddled students with debt and useless degrees.
  • Kamala co-sponsored Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bill to allow students with existing debt to refinance at the interest rates available to new borrowers.

 Environment

  • As Attorney General, Kamala took on big oil companies and went to court to defend the Obama-Biden Clean Power Plan and New Source Standards.
  • As Attorney General, Kamala sued corporations like Chevron and BP for damaging the environment, and won. And, she sued corporations for their role in exposing Californians to excessive levels of diesel.
  • As San Francisco District Attorney, Kamala created the first-ever unit focused on environmental justice.

 Kamala Fighting for Women

  • Kamala was the first woman elected to serve as both San Francisco DA and California AG.
  • As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Kamala has grilled Trump’s extreme anti-choice judicial nominees, like Brett Kavanaugh.
  • As Attorney General, Kamala cracked down on the sex trafficking of women into California and prosecuted sexual assaults.  In her year in office, she eliminated the backlog of untested rape kits.
  • And, as District Attorney, she worked with community leaders to establish a safe house for victims of human trafficking — the first of its kind in San Francisco.

 Kamala Fighting for the Black Community

  • As a student at Howard University, Kamala was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) – the oldest Greek-letter sorority for black women. It was during her time at Howard that she joined protests on the National Mall against apartheid in South Africa.
  • Kamala was the first Black woman to be elected San Francisco District Attorney and Attorney General of California, and only the second Black woman elected to the United States Senate.
  • In the Senate, Kamala championed a bill to make lynching a federal crime.

 Kamala Fighting for the Latino Community

  • Kamala joined Congresswoman Veronica Escobar in leading the charge to demand that migrant children be released from HHS and DHS custody during the pandemic.
  • While Attorney General, she ensured unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in the U.S. had access to pro-bono counsel.
  • After Hurricane Maria, Kamala sponsored the COUNT Victims Act that provides FEMA more resources to calculate the death toll from a natural disaster.

 Kamala Fighting for the LGBTQ+ Community

  • As San Francisco District Attorney, Kamala established an LGBT hate crimes unit, dedicated to pursuing hate crimes against LGBTQ+ students.
  • As Attorney General, Kamala refused to defend Proposition 8 in court.  She also officiated the first same-sex wedding in California after the U.S. Supreme Court ended Proposition 8.
  • Kamala has a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign.

Stacy Abrams Leads United Call to Action From Rising Stars in Democratic Party at 2020 DNC

Stacy Abrams, former Georgia State House Minority Leader, Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, voting rights activist (Atlanta, GA) led 17 Democratic Party rising stars in calling for unity, saying, “In a time of voter suppression at home and authoritarians abroad, Joe Biden will be a champion for free and fair elections, for a public health system that keeps us safe, for an economy that we build back better than before, and for accountability and integrity in our system of justice. We stand with Joe Biden because this isn’t just about defeating Donald Trump. We are in this to win for America. So let’s get it done.” © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

MILWAUKEE—Reimagined for a convention that will look and feel different than anything ever before, the Keynote Address for the second night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, themed “Leadership Matters,” wove together powerful and diverse voices from the next generation of party leaders into a unified pledge to step up and lead in this critical moment for the nation.

The address featured not one, but 17 of the Democratic Party’s rising stars from all across the country—ranging from state representatives, to mayors, to a Navajo Nation President, to members of Congress. These young electeds offered a diversity of different ideas and perspectives on how to move America forward, but they also spoke to the future our party is building together—a future with Joe Biden at the helm, but Stacy Abrams, former Georgia State House Minority Leader, Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, voting rights activist (Atlanta, GA), brought home the unique challenges and urgency of voting this year.

Here are Abrams’ remarks:

This nation belongs to all of us. And in every election, we choose how we will create a more perfect union, not by taking sides but by taking stock of where we are and what we need.

This year’s choice could not be more clear. America faces a triple threat: a public health catastrophe, an economic collapse, and a reckoning with racial justice and inequality. So our choice is clear: a steady, experienced public servant who can lead us out of this crisis just like he’s done before, or a man who only knows how to deny and distract; a leader who cares about our families or a president who only cares about himself.

We know Joe Biden. America, we need Joe Biden. To make your voice heard text Vote to 30330.

In a democracy, we do not elect saviors. We cast our ballots for those who see our struggles and pledge to serve; who hear our dreams and work to make them real; who defend our way of life by protecting our right to vote. Faced with a president of cowardice, Joe Biden is a man of proven courage. He will restore our moral compass by confronting our challenges, not by hiding from them or undermining our elections to keep his job.

In a time of voter suppression at home and authoritarians abroad, Joe Biden will be a champion for free and fair elections, for a public health system that keeps us safe, for an economy that we build back better than before, and for accountability and integrity in our system of justice. We stand with Joe Biden because this isn’t just about defeating Donald Trump. We are in this to win for America. So let’s get it done.

Other participants included:

  • State Senator Raumesh Akbari; Tennessee (Memphis, TN) 
  • Congressman Colin Allred; TX-32 (Washington D.C.)
  • Congressman Brendan Boyle; PA-2 (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • State Senator Yvanna Cancela; Nevada (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Former State Rep. Kathleen Clyde; County Commissioner, Portage County, OH (Kent, OH)
  • Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried; Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Tallahassee, FL)
  • Mayor Robert Garcia; (Long Beach, CA) 
  • State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta; Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • State Senator Marlon Kimpson; South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
  • Congressman Conor Lamb; PA-17 (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • State Rep. Mari Manoogian; Michigan (Birmingham, MI)
  • State Rep. Victoria Neave; Texas (Dallas, TX)
  • President Jonathan Nez; Navajo Nation President (Widow Rock, AZ)
  • State Rep. Sam Park; Georgia (Lawrenceville, GA)
  • State Rep. Denny Ruprecht; New Hampshire (Landaff, NH) 
  • Mayor Randall Woodfin; (Birmingham, AL)