On Saturday, August 8, Trump signed four Executive Orders intended to substitute for Congressional Republicans compromising with Democrats on a relief package against the health and economic ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. In a vitriolic speech, delivered to a mini-rally assembled from among his Bedminister golf course members, he attacked the Democrats’ plan, threatened a stock market crash should Joe Biden become president, and promised to end the payroll tax (which funds Social Security) should he be elected.
Indeed, Trump delivered this campaign promise: to reduce income taxes and capital gains taxes (in order to goose the stock market), in effect robbing the US Treasury which is already over $25 trillion in debt with trillions added because of the 2017 GOP tax cuts and the trillions spent on COVID relief, much of it going to the wealthiest and best connected. Instead of providing aid to states and localities which have been devastated by depleted revenues and run-up in costs to address COVID-19, he put more of the burden on states to come up with his faux employment benefits (it requires 25% to be paid by states). Instead of funding election protection and the post office, he accused Democrats of stealing the election.
“The massive taxpayer bailout of badly run blue states we talked about — that’s one of the things they’re looking to do. Measures designed to increase voter fraud,” he told his adoring audience.
“You know what it’s about? Fraud. That’s what they want: fraud. They want to try and steal this election because, frankly, it’s the only way they can win the election.
“The bill also requires all states to do universal mail-in balloting — which nobody is — nobody is prepared for — regardless of whether or not they have the infrastructure. They want to steal an election. That’s all this is all about: They want to steal the election.”
Trump couldn’t resist attacking proposals for a Green New Deal: “And they want to do the Green New Deal, which will decimate our country and decimate — it’s ridiculous, too. It’s childish. I actually say the Green New Deal is childish. It’s for children. It’s not for adults.”
And when asked what happens if the states can’t pony up the 25% to continue the $400 (not $600) unemployment benefits (the 75% that the federal government would spend would be coming from the states’ share of the CARES Act funding), he said, “Well, if they don’t, they don’t…So I don’t think their people will be too happy.”
As for the reduction in unemployment benefits, Trump said, “this gives them a great incentive to go back to work.”
Questioned about the constitutionality of going around Congress, which has the sole “power of the purse,” Trump said, “This will go very [fast]– if — if we get sued. Maybe we won’t get sued. If we get sued, it’s somebody that doesn’t want people to get money. Okay? And that’s not going to be a very popular thing. “
Pressed whether a President should go around Congress “ and decide how money is collected and spent?” Trump retorted, “You ever hear the word ‘obstruction’? “yes,” the reporter replied. “You were investigated for that.”
Trump then replied, “They’ve obstructed. Congress has obstructed. The Democrats have obstructed people from getting desperately needed money.”
“But this is in the Constitution, Mr. President,” the reporter insisted.Asked why he keeps taking credit for Veterans Choice, which was passed in 2014 by the Obama Administration, Trump abruptly ended the press conference.
In reaction to Trump’s executive orders, Vice President Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic nominee for President, issued this statement: –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Unable to deliver for the American people in a time of crisis, Donald Trump offered a series of half-baked measures today. He is putting Social Security at grave risk at a time when seniors are suffering the overwhelming impact of a pandemic he has failed to get under control. And make no mistake: Donald Trump said today that if he is re-elected, he will defund Social Security.
For months, Trump has golfed rather than negotiated, and sown division rather than pull people together to get a package passed. Now, instead of staying in Washington and working with Republicans and Democrats to reach a bipartisan deal, President Trump is at his golf club in New Jersey signing a series of dubious executive orders.
This is no art of the deal. This is not presidential leadership. These orders are not real solutions. They are just another cynical ploy designed to deflect responsibility. Some measures do far more harm than good.
One order is Donald Trump’s first shot in a new, reckless war on Social Security. Trump announced a payroll tax plan with no protections or guarantees — like the ones the Obama-Biden administration enforced a decade ago — that the Social Security Trust Fund will be made whole. And, Trump specifically stated today that if re-elected, he plans to undermine the entire financial footing of Social Security. He is laying out his roadmap to cutting Social Security. Our seniors and millions of Americans with disabilities are under enough stress without Trump putting their hard-earned Social Security benefits in doubt.
Another order brings cuts, chaos, and confusion to our system of unemployment insurance. Trump is unilaterally reducing the amount laid-off workers could receive. And he purports to provide these benefits until the end of the year, but only identifies enough funding to make it a handful of weeks. Even with that limited funding, Trump is basically playing a cruel game of robbing Peter to pay Paul: He is taking billions of dollars of federal natural disaster funding away so it won’t be available to states like Florida. And, he is forcing states to choose between imposing benefit cuts for unemployed workers or slashing funds for public schools, health workers, and first responders.
A third order, on evictions, is woefully inadequate to deal with the emerging housing crisis. He is leaving our nation’s renters with ever-mounting debt and leaving our small family landlords badly squeezed. Without a comprehensive plan to help our American families make rent, they will leave this crisis months behind on their payments while many landlords teeter on the verge of bankruptcy.
And a fourth order is a band-aid approach to student debt that leaves out 7 million borrowers who obtained their federal loans from private lenders or their college rather than the Department. The economic strain on these Americans is deep and unrelenting.
There is a solution to all of this pain and suffering. A real leader would go back to Washington, call together the leaders of the House and Senate, and negotiate a deal that delivers real relief to Americans who are struggling in this pandemic. We need a president who understands their struggle and believes in their courage to overcome.
As Congress contemplates another round of COVID-19 relief, one massive part of the economy is consistently overlooked, yet has proved so vital in bolstering quality of life during this unprecedented public health emergency in which people must be distanced and isolated: the arts. Shutting down theaters, performance spaces, concerts, exhibitions, museums, galleries and cultural spaces has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs, their careers. Many of these institutions are non-profits, which routinely struggle for financial resources. Now, the industry has created Be An Arts Hero (beanartshero.com), to lobby for support using the same arguments as other industries that are getting more attention: hospitality, airlines, cruiselines, restaurants. This is a “Dear Senators” letter:
The $877 billion our industry generated last fiscal year is about to disappear. The 4.5% we added to our GDP—about to vaporize. We are second only to Retail as the most powerful economic driver of this economy, boasting an export of $72.6 billion and an annual growth rate of 4.16% , nearly double that of the U.S. economy as a whole at 2.2%. Without your immediate action for financial relief by August 1, we will collapse, and the result will be an economic cataclysm.
We are the Arts Economy. We are everywhere. And our fates are tied together.
We are over 675,000 small businesses and organizations in every town, city, and state, employing 5.1 million hard-working Americans who are now desperately struggling to stay above water. Our influence reaches across every sector because the Arts Economy is a jobs multiplier, creating millions of sustainable jobs in collateral arts-adjacent economies. In short, our institutions of Arts and Culture anchor communities, producing highly interdependent commercial ecosystems that depend on rank-and-file Arts Workers who increase tax revenue, real estate value, and attract businesses, large and small. These are the dominoes. If you lose us, we lose the economy. We need your help.
We are Florida’s largest job creator at 260,999 jobs, bringing in $36,937,050,840 (3.7%) to Florida’s state revenue. America’s favorite theme park which was built by union carpenters and construction workers, now runs on the working-class labor of the administrative staff who operate the day-to-day; the engineers who make it move; the electricians who keep it bright; the painters and pyro-technicians who explode it with color; the custodians who keep it clean; and the actors, dancers, and musicians who bring it to life. We need your help.
We are New York City’s main economic driver: in 2019, Broadway sold more tickets than all the NY and NJ sports teams combined, creating a revenue of $1.83 Billion in ticket sales, generating even more in Arts-adjacent businesses. On any night out, our audiences take public transportation, taxis, and Ubers/Lyfts; pay for childcare; go shopping; and by record numbers, they go to restaurants which employ kitchen staff, waiters, and bussers who rely on food delivery trucks whose companies purchase goods from farmers, who are now mass killing their livestock and burning their crops because their industry is crashing. We need your help.
We account for $30.3 billion (3.7% of GSP) of the Illinois economy and contribute over 224,000 jobs. In Chicago, alone, that’s $2.25 billion in economic activity annually. If we go missing, the economic implosion in our neighborhoods, in our cities, and in our state will take decades to rebuild.
We are a $1 billion economy in Wyoming, $2.9 billion in Nebraska, $4.2 billion in Iowa, $7 billion in Utah, $8.3 billion in Indiana, $9 billion in Arizona, $10 billion in Missouri, $15 billion in North Carolina, $19 billion in Ohio, $24 billion in Georgia, $44 billion in Washington, $46 billion in Texas, and $230 billion in California. We are Big Business because we are Local Business, creating and sustaining jobs across trades, not to mention the Artists themselves.
Artists, whose creativity has elevated our best moments and now sustain us through one of our worst. Artists, who require your signature as a byline to one of the most consequential stories of your tenure; the story where you:
1. Extend Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) by August 1, before 28 million of your constituents are evicted and on the streets.
2. Create a 100% subsidy for COBRA to protect workers’ healthcare, with eligibility extended to 36 months.
3. Provide $43.85 billion in economic relief to sustain our Arts and Culture institutions: this relief should go directly to the NEA, NEH, IMLS, and CPB, to be appropriated to its partner organizations across the towns, cities, suburbs, exurbs, and rural areas in which they operate. This $43.85 billion is 5% of our generated revenue for 2019, which is proportionate to the $50 billion you gave to the top ten airlines who successfully lobbied for your assistance. We ask for nothing more than immediate and proportionate economic relief.
The cost of this relief and FPUC’s extension of $85/day ($600 extra dollars a week) will pale compared to your inaction, which is estimated to cost trillions and will devastate working people. Families and individuals who depend on our colossal Arts Economy are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table as they face anxiety over whether they can make it past August 1. Our very humanity—and the Humanities—teeter at the edge of a fiscal and existential cliff. If we fall, so does the identity of America itself, for we are the very expression of this nation. And right now, we are crying out for your action.
Dear Senators, you are at your finest when you come together to hear the collective call of your people, one people, without prejudice to partisanship or politic, and with a heart full of love for all whom you represent. We are not only calling on you to represent us, we are calling on you to represent this moment. We are calling on you to represent our future. We are calling on you to represent the history that you are about to make.
Dear Senators, now is your time. The nation is bearing witness. You hundred women and men stand at the center of America’s stage and we are calling upon you to act. You have the power to save your people and revitalize your country in its darkest hour. And we are desperate for Light. Dear Senators, the ink is still wet, you hold the pen, and the story of this nation is in your hands.
UNITED WE STAND,
Matthew-Lee Erlbach THE ARTS ECONOMY
Co-signatories of this letter include working-class Arts Workers in solidarity with the most preëminent Arts Leaders and Institutions of the United States.
Demonstrating yet again the stark contrast between the malevolent ineptitude of Trump and the competence, care and concern of Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for president has issued his own plan to reopen schools safely in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. Trump’s only plan: damn the science, bully public schools to reopen or lose federal funding, impede testing and keep COVID-19 cases and fatalities secret from the public. This is from the Biden campaign: –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Joe Biden’s Roadmap to Reopening Schools Safely
Educators, students, and families have done an incredible job in difficult circumstances over the last four months. Everyone wants schools to fully reopen for in-person instruction. Creating the conditions to make it happen should be a top national priority. Joe Biden believes that the decision about when to reopen safely should be made by state, tribal, and local officials, based on science and in consultation with communities and tribal governments. It should be made with the safety of students and educators in mind. And, it should be made recognizing that if we do this wrong, we will put lives at risk and set our economy and our country back.
The challenge facing our schools is unprecedented. President Trump has made it much worse. We had a window to get this right. And, Trump blew it. His administration failed to heed the experts and take the steps required to reduce infections in our communities. As a result, cases have exploded. Now our window before the new school year is closing rapidly, and we are forced to grapple with reopening our schools in an environment of much greater risk to educators, students, and their families than there would have been if America had competent leadership.
Over a month ago, Biden identified key steps that Donald Trump needed to take to reopen our schools safely. Trump has taken none of them. In fact, he’s done the opposite. He has threatened to force schools to reopen for in-person instruction without the basic resources they need to keep students, educators, and communities safe. If Trump had actually done his job as President, the decisions facing our schools would look fundamentally different.
Joe Biden has a simple five-step roadmap to support local decision-making on reopening schools safely and to help students whose learning was interrupted:
Get the Virus Under Control: Months into this crisis, infection rates are spiking across the country, personal protective equipment (PPE) is still in short supply, and hospitalizations and deaths are unacceptably high. We have only weeks to go before the school year begins, and we have no plan, no leadership, and no additional resources to fight this crisis. We do not have sufficient testing, adequate contact tracing, or reliable supply chains. It is outrageous that Trump forced educators, parents, and caregivers into this situation. If we want to reopen schools safely, we need to get cases down in states and communities across America. Now. That means mask wearing and appropriate social distancing guidelines that match the virus trajectory in a community. In addition, Biden has laid out comprehensive plans on March 12, April 27, and June 11, among others, to:
Implement nationwide testing-and-tracing, including doubling the number of drive-through testing sites;
Establish a sustainable supply chain for PPE, including fully utilizing the Defense Production Act to ensure enough masks for every school in America every day;
Protect older Americans and others at high risk;
Provide small businesses with the resources they need to reopen safely.
Set National Safety Guidelines, Empower Local Decision-Making: The Trump Administration’s chaotic and politicized response has left school districts to improvise a thousand hard decisions on their own. Schools need clear, consistent, effective national guidelines, not mixed messages and political ultimatums. Biden would task the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies with establishing basic, objective criteria to guide state, tribal, and local officials in deciding if and how reopening can be managed safely in their communities, including:
Decisions on reopening have been tied to the level of risk and degree of viral spread in the community. Biden agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, that “schools in areas with high levels of COVID-19 community spread should not be compelled to reopen against the judgement of local experts.”
Emergency funding needs have been met so that schools have the resources to reconfigure classrooms, kitchens, and other spaces, improve ventilation, and take other necessary steps to make it easier to physically distance and minimize risk of spread.
Schools have taken necessary precautions to foster a culture of health and safety and protect educators and students, including reducing class size, limiting large gatherings, and providing safe environments for eating.
Schools have ready access to enough masks and other PPE for every student and educator every day, if they need it.
Reasonable accommodations have been made for at-risk educators and students, in collaboration with educators, their unions, parents, and caregivers.
State and local officials have shared a plan for regularly communicating about school decisions and resources with parents, caregivers, educators, and the community.
The federal government has issued reopening guidelines, free from political interference, in greater detail to answer basic questions that schools have, including: How low does the community infection rate need to be to reopen and at what point should schools shut down again if cases rise? What are safe maximum class sizes? If schools cannot accommodate everyone, who should return to the classroom first? The current lack of clarity is paralyzing for schools.
Provide Emergency Funding for Public Schools and Child Care Providers: Schools urgently need emergency financial support, but what they have gotten from Trump is bluster and bullying and, worse, threats to further slash their funding. As a result of Trump’s failure to lead, states could face drastic budget shortfalls totalling $555 billion over state fiscal years of 2020-2022. Left unaddressed, these shortfalls could result in significant layoffs. According to one analysis, just a conservative 5% decrease in state education funding would result in the loss of almost 28,000 school positions, including teachers, counselors, social workers, and school psychologists.
As President, Biden will always put our children, educators, and families first. He believes public schools, especially Title I schools – should have all the resources they need to safely return to in-person instruction and support all students. Biden is:
Calling on Trump and Senate Republicans to pass the education funding in the HEROES Act, which the House passed months ago. This bill includes roughly $58 billion for local school districts to stabilize public education and save jobs. Over four months ago, Biden called for a renewable fund for state, tribal, and local governments to help prevent budget shortfalls and protect that relief from exactly the kind of political brinkmanship we are seeing from Trump and Republicans leaders today. It is past time to get it done.
Calling on the Congress to pass a separate emergency package to ensure schools have the additional resources they need to adapt effectively to COVID-19. School officials estimate that districts will need about $30 billion to put in place the changes needed to reopen safely. This package should include funding for child care providers and public schools — particularly Title I schools and Indian schools — for personal protective equipment; public health and sanitation products; custodial and health services; and alterations to building ventilation systems, classrooms, schedules, class size, and transportation. And, an additional roughly $4 billion is needed to upgrade technology and broadband. Biden has previously announced that, as President, he will ensure schools have the resources to double the number of psychologists, counselors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals in schools so our kids get the mental health care they need. That’s more important now than ever before, as kids grapple with the stress and trauma of our economic and public health crisis.
Ensuring High-Quality Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: We are continuing to learn how to best support students, educators, and their families through this challenging time. Biden would mobilize a large-scale U.S. Department of Education effort to work with practitioners to develop, adopt, and share the latest tools and best practices to ensure high-equality learning during this pandemic. This effort would include:
Delivering high-quality remote and hybrid learning with a special emphasis on students with disabilities, English-language learners, and students who do not have access to specific technology, such as broadband and devices. This includes dedicated time and resources for our educators to pursue professional development opportunities tailored to the unique circumstances of this crisis.
Creating a Safer Schools Best Practices Clearinghouse to help schools and child care providers across the country and around the world share approaches, protocols, and tools for reopening safely.
Providing tools and resources for parents and other caregivers to help them make informed decisions on sending their children to school, help their children cope with the stress of this pandemic, and assist them with their children’s remote learning.
Ensuring tailored remote teaching assignments and educational plans for educators and students who are at greater risk to COVID-19 or live with a family member who is.
Working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health to share with educators and families evolving scientific insights into how COVID-19 affects children.Biden has called for scaling up COVID-19 pediatric research partnerships to address glaring gaps in our knowledge.
Closing the COVID-19 Educational Equity Gap: Despite the best efforts of educators, students, and families, this crisis, coupled with long-standing racial inequities, has led many students, especially low-income students and students of color, to struggle and fall behind. New research shows that some students could even lose an entire year of academic gains. As President, Biden would:
Direct a White House-led initiative to identify evidence-based policy solutions that address gaps in learning, mental health, social and emotional well-being, and systemic racial and socioeconomic disparities in education that the pandemic has exacerbated. Biden would invite participation from a dedicated group of health experts, including mental health professionals and neuroscientists; educators, including early educators, and their unions; school technology practitioners and experts; civil rights advocates; Indian education experts; foundations and the private sector; and families, students, and community advocates. Biden would request its recommendations on an accelerated time frame in order to provide guidance to states, tribal, and local governments as quickly as possible.
Launch a COVID-19 Educational Equity Gap Challenge Grant to encourage states and tribal governments – in partnership with the education and broader community – to develop bold plans that adopt evidence-based policy recommendations and give all of our students the support they need to succeed.
Support community schools. Community schools work with families, students, teachers and community organizations to identify families’ unmet needs and then develop a plan to leverage community resources to address these needs in the school building, turning schools into community hubs. They provide holistic services like health and nutrition, mental health, and adult education– services that are especially critical during and after COVID-19 to address the social, emotional, academic, and health needs of students in a comprehensive way. Biden will provide resources to expand this model.
In face of criminal lack of leadership by Trump in the midst of the worst public health crisis in a century and the worst economic condition since the Great Depression, Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, is showing what a real leader would do. With the nation facing yet another dire shortage of PPE, Biden is offering his plan to rebuild US supply chains so that the nation never faces future shortages of critical equipment. This is from the Biden campaign—Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
FACT SHEET: The Biden Plan to Rebuild U.S. Supply Chains and Ensure the U.S. Does Not Face Future Shortages of Critical Equipment
Joe Biden will work to ensure that the U.S. does not face shortages of the critical products America needs in times of crisis and to protect our national security. To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden will immediately marshal all of the tools of the Federal government to secure sufficient supplies, treatments, and, as soon as possible, a vaccine to combat the pandemic. At the same time, he will implement fundamental reforms that shift production of a range of critical products back to U.S. soil, creating new jobs and protecting U.S. supply chains against national security threats.
While medical supplies and equipment are our most pressing and urgent needs, U.S. supply chain risks are not limited to these items. The U.S. needs to close supply chain vulnerabilities across a range of critical products on which the U.S. is dangerously dependent on foreign suppliers. America needs a stronger, more resilient domestic supply chain in a number of areas, including energy and grid resilience technologies, semiconductors, key electronics and related technologies, telecommunications infrastructure, and key raw materials.
The critical supplies America needs today may be different from the critical supplies needed in the future as technologies and markets evolve. That’s why Biden will institute an ongoing, comprehensive government-wide process to monitor supply chain vulnerabilities, designate vitals products where the U.S. needs to address supply chain vulnerabilities, and immediately close identified gaps. He will work collaboratively with the private sector to improve productivity and avoid unnecessary costs and bureaucracy.
The goal here is not pure self-sufficiency, but broad-based resilience. Biden’s plan will strive to ensure that America doesn’t face a shortage of vital goods — to deal with any future crisis or fundamental national need — through a combination of increased domestic production, strategic stockpiles sized to meet our needs, cracking down on anti-competitive practices that threaten supply chains, implementing smart plans to surge capacity in a time of crisis, and working closely with allies.
He will initiate this process with a 100-day review immediately upon taking office to identify critical national security risks across America’s international supply chains and will ask Congress to enact a mandatory quadrennial Critical Supply Chain Review to institute this process permanently.
As President, Joe Biden will:
Use the full power of the federal government to rebuild U.S. domestic manufacturing capacity of our supply chains for critical products.
Implement a comprehensive approach to ensure the U.S. has the critical supplies it needs for future crises and its national security
Work with allies to protect their supply chains and to open new markets to U.S. exports.
Use the full power of the Federal Government to rebuild domestic manufacturing capacity in our critical supply chains
Joe Biden will soon release a comprehensive strategy to create American jobs through modern American manufacturing. Today, he is announcing a set of targeted proposals to ensure the United States has the domestic manufacturing capacity necessary for critical supply chains. He will:
Use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to put Americans to work manufacturing critical products, including those immediately needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DPA grants the President broad authority to mobilize the domestic industrial base toward emergency preparedness. The Trump administration is still dragging its feet on using the DPA to produce urgently-needed supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and has fallen far short of the domestic mobilization we need. For example, months into the crisis we still face a shortage of N95 masks. By contrast, Biden will use the DPA to direct U.S. companies to ramp up production of critical products that will be needed over the near-term. He will also use the 100-day review process to determine the best way forward over the mid- and long-term.
As President, Biden will use the DPA to its fullest extent to rebuild domestic manufacturing capacity in critical supply chains, using the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and applying them to our national needs. Biden understands that improving the resilience of U.S. supply chains requires working closely with the American private sector. As part of this effort, he will pursue competitive public-private partnerships to encourage and invest in innovative manufacturing technology and capacity.
Use federal purchasing power to bolster domestic manufacturing capacity for designated critical products. In addition to using DPA authority to ensure the U.S. prioritizes emergency preparedness, Biden will direct the federal government’s purchasing power to support manufacturing capacity for products designated as critical to U.S. national security. The government has authority in the Procurement Act of 1949, which permits the president to establish “policies and directives” for federal procurement, and Joe Biden will use that authority to build up capabilities throughout the supply chain. Biden’s use of federal purchasing power to build U.S. manufacturing capacity for critical products will focus not only on where the final product sold to the U.S. government comes from, but at the supply chains of companies that receive large federal contracts. Biden will outline a bold and specific procurement agenda in the coming days.
Build long-term supply chain resilience for pharmaceuticals: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the particular vulnerabilities the U.S. faces with its pharmaceutical and medical device supply chains. According to the FDA, more than 70% of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facilities that supply the U.S. market are located abroad, and U.S. pharmaceutical imports have been rising for years. A substantial amount of this production is happening in places with labor costs comparable to the U.S.
Meanwhile, medicines remain far more expensive in the U.S. than in many countries in part because drug makers fail to pass any saving on to consumers. Given the world-class productivity of American manufacturers combined with a robust set of measures to make medicines more affordable for families, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs, we should be able to increase American production and ensure the security of medical supply chains without raising prices for consumers. Moreover, Biden has offered a comprehensive healthcare plan that will reduce medical costs for millions of Americans while guaranteeing expanded healthcare coverage.
As President, Joe Biden will:
Use BARDA to spur medical production: Biden will use the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which has received billions of dollars to combat COVID-19, to ensure adequate production of vaccines and other medical countermeasures to address COVID-19. Biden will ensure that BARDA engages in science-based purchasing decisions and that it puts Americans to work rebuilding U.S. medical production capabilities by providing incentives for the production of vaccines and other medicines in the U.S. Biden is also prepared to use other federal authorities, including direct compulsory licensing of vaccines where companies are slow in producing them or are charging excessive prices, to rapidly scale up vaccine production as needed.
Leverage Federal health care purchases: Biden will work to ensure that the U.S. leverages the fact that it is the largest purchasers of health care–between Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other health programs as well as Federal procurement more generally–to encourage pharmaceutical companies to make key drugs, drug inputs, and medical devices in the United States while ensuring fair and transparent pricing. He will require the FDA Commissioner, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Department of Defense to identify critical drugs and medical products and create a market for American manufacturing by directing federal agencies to purchase versions of these drugs that are made in the U.S. and that use U.S.-made source ingredients. Biden will take steps to ensure that these measures do not increase the out-of-pocket drug costs for Americans.
Ensure the U.S. tax code encourages on-shoring of pharmaceutical supply chains: Pharmaceutical offshoring has been heavily driven by tax code provisions that have encouraged companies to locate pharmaceutical production in low-tax countries even where those countries have labor and other costs comparable to the U.S. Biden will eliminate Trump Administration tax incentives for offshoring and pursue other tax code changes that will encourage pharmaceutical production in the U.S.
Implement a comprehensive approach to ensuring that the U.S. has the critical supplies it needs
Much as the Department of Defense periodically studies defense supply chains and pursues systematic policies to close vulnerabilities, Biden will launch a comprehensive review of U.S supply chain vulnerabilities and implement a national strategy to close them. He will sign a comprehensive Executive Order to inventory U.S. supply chain vulnerabilities, directing relevant agencies to identify the specific critical products where the U.S. faces national security supply chain vulnerabilities and to address these weaknesses immediately. And he will work with the Congress to pass a law making this process permanent as part of a quadrennial Critical Supply Chain Review that will include updating the list of critical products that will be the focus of supply chain security planning.
Biden will ensure that the U.S. has adequate stockpiles of critical supplies in place for future crises, manufactured by American workers in the United States to the greatest extent possible. Our country should not face shortages in the future like those we are facing today under Trump.
Increase federal stockpiles: Biden will increase U.S. strategic stockpiles of medical supplies and other critical goods while using federal procurement authorities to ensure that stockpiled products are made in the U.S. to the greatest extent possible, thereby creating an incentive for on-shoring production of those goods.
Require companies to develop plans to address potential supply chain disruptions for critical products. Biden will work with Congress and direct regulatory agencies to require companies that manufacture, distribute, and use designated critical products in the U.S. to regularly identify potential supply chain vulnerabilities and develop plans for addressing them. Where necessary to protect critical infrastructure and supplies, he will impose targeted restrictions on imports from nations such as China and Russia that pose national security threats.
Promote surge manufacturing capacity. Biden will work with Congress and the private sector to develop standing plans to enable surge manufacturing capacity in the United States for key critical products. This will include:
Compensating companies where necessary for maintaining excess production capacity and inventory for designated critical products;
Encouraging companies to create databases of product designs for supplies that might be needed during a national crisis;
Using legal authorities during crises to ensure product designs and patents can be licensed and utilized quickly if needed to ramp up production in the U.S.; and
Pursuing public-private partnerships to improve manufacturing capacity. The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation initiative (NNMI) put in place by the Obama-Biden administration, and now receiving bipartisan support, is one example of such a program.
Invest in a new Critical Supply Chains Workforce: Joe Biden knows that to make critical supplies in the U.S. over the long term, we need a skilled workforce that can produce them. Biden will create a new Critical Supply Chains Workforce Development Fund that will invest in the workforce skills needed to help bring back manufacturing of key supply chain products and components. He will partner with state, local, and tribal governments to maintain adequate base production capacity in every region of the country and to put in place executive functions that have clear chains of command. This will ensure that that in future times of crisis the U.S. will be able to quickly ramp up production, rather than the chaotic, belated, and largely failed efforts we have seen under the Trump Administration to secure badly needed medical gear, including personal protective equipment.
Create new incentives to spur domestic production of critical products in the United States: Biden will work with Congress, states, tribes, and localities to provide targeted investments and incentives for companies to manufacture designated critical products in the U.S. This will include new targeted financial incentives, including tax credits, investments, matching funds for state and local incentives, R&D support, and other incentives to encourage the production of designated critical materials such as semiconductors in the United States.
Work with allies to protect their supply chains and to open new markets to U.S. exports
Instead of insulting our allies and undermining American global leadership, Biden will engage with our closest partners so that together we can build stronger, more resilient supply chains and economies in the face of 21st century risks. Just like the United States itself, no U.S. ally should be dependent on critical supplies from countries like China and Russia. That means developing new approaches on supply chain security — both individually and collectively — and updating trade rules to ensure we have strong understandings with our allies on how to best ensure supply chain security for all of us. As president, Joe Biden will:
Take action against our competitors when they refuse to honor trade agreements: U.S. manufacturers rely on raw materials like cobalt, copper, graphite, and tin to make a range of products, but foreign governments sometimes take illegal steps to keep these materials away from U.S. companies. China, for example, has a history of levying a tax on raw material shipments to U.S. producers, while allowing its companies to receive the material at cost—putting U.S. companies at a steep disadvantage. Biden will hold our competitors accountable when it comes to trading in raw materials, giving our manufacturers the right to purchase critical materials at the same price as foreign companies.
Deploy trade policy tools and regulations to create new markets for U.S.-made critical products. Under Biden, the United States will not just have greater supply chain security itself; our new production capacity will also result in greater U.S. export capacity, creating new opportunities for U.S. workers and businesses while also helping more parts of the world reduce their own over-reliance on countries like China. This is a win-win for the U.S. and the world.
DonaldTrump may bandy around a “Make America Great” slogan, but Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, has a plan for “Made in All of America,” to resuscitate the economy after the debilitating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, decrease America’s dependence on foreign supply chains, innovate, and restore America’s global leadership in the 21st century. The essence includes Buy American, Made in America, Innovate in America, Invest in America, Stand up for America and Supply America. And he has the experience of rescuing the economy from the brink of a Great Depression. This is from the Biden campaign –Karen Rubin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President Joe Biden will mobilize the talent, grit, and innovation of the American people and the full power of the federal government to bolster American industrial and technological strength and ensure the future is “made in all of America” by all of America’s workers. Biden believes that American workers can out-compete anyone, but their government needs to fight for them.
Biden does not accept the defeatist view that the forces of automation and globalization render us helpless to retain well-paid union jobs and create more of them here in America. He does not buy for one second that the vitality of U.S. manufacturing is a thing of the past. U.S. manufacturing was the Arsenal of Democracy in World War II, and must be part of the Arsenal of American Prosperity today, helping fuel an economic recovery for working families.
The American story has always been deeply rooted in our ability to reinvent ourselves in the face of new challenges. At key moments in our history, the federal government, private sector, and above all American workers and working families have mobilized to unleash eras of innovation and shared prosperity. This partnership propelled us to the moon, to transformative treatments for HIV/AIDS and other diseases, to the creation of the internet, and more. But President Trump has denied science, under-funded research and development, and implemented policies that encourage more manufacturing to move overseas.
If we make smart investments in manufacturing and technology, give our workers and companies the tools they need to compete, use taxpayer dollars to buy American and spark American innovation, stand up to the Chinese government’s abuses, insist on fair trade, and extend opportunity to all Americans, many of the products that are being made abroad could be made here today. And, if we do these things with an unwavering commitment to bolstering American industrial strength, which we will power using clean energy that we also harvest here at home, we will also lead in making the cutting-edge products and services of tomorrow. Biden will do more than bring back the jobs lost due to COVID-19 and Trump’s incompetence, he will create millions of new manufacturing and innovation jobs throughout all of America.
These will be high-quality, high-skill, safe jobs with the choice to join a union — jobs that will grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class. Biden will include in the economic recovery legislation he sends to Congress a series of policies to build worker power to raise wages and secure stronger benefits. This legislation 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. It will also go further than the PRO Act by holding company executives personally liable when they interfere with organizing efforts.
Donald Trump’s main manufacturing and innovation strategy is trickle-down economics that works for corporate executives and Wall Street investors, but not working families. He gave huge tax cuts to the largest multinationals with no requirement that they invest in the United States or favor U.S. jobs over offshoring. He pursued a trade strategy that prioritizes access for big multinational banks to China’s market but has done next to nothing to curb Chinese government trade abuses that hurt U.S. workers. The results have been predictable:
The Trump tax cut encouraged offshoring and investment overseas – not in the United States. Foreign investment was outpacing domestic investment.
In the first 18 months of Trump’s presidency, the rate of federal contractors offshoring jobs more than doubled.
In 2018, stock buybacks were at record highs and corporate tax payments were at record lows.
In 2019, U.S. manufacturing was in recession, and Trump’s much vaunted China trade strategy ended up contributing to a decline in American manufacturing exports.
Biden’s comprehensive manufacturing and innovation strategy will marshall the resources of the federal government in ways that we have not seen since World War II. Together, the following six lines of effort will remake American manufacturing and innovation so that the future is made in America by all of America’s workers:
1. BUY AMERICAN. Make “Buy American” Real and Make a $400 billion Procurement Investment that together with the Biden clean energy and infrastructure plan will power new demand for American products, materials, and services and ensure that they are shipped on U.S.-flagged cargo carriers.
2. MAKE IT IN AMERICA.Retool and Revitalize American Manufacturers, with a particular focus on smaller manufacturers and those owned by women and people of color, through specific incentives, additional resources, and new financing tools.
3. INNOVATE IN AMERICA.Make a New $300 Billion Investment in Research and Development (R&D) and Breakthrough Technologies — from electric vehicle technology to lightweight materials to 5G and artificial intelligence — to unleash high-quality job creation in high-value manufacturing and technology.
4. INVEST IN ALL OF AMERICA.Ensure Investments Reach All of America so we draw on the full talents and invest in the potential of all our communities and workers. America is not at full strength when investments, venture capital, educational opportunities and paths to good jobs are limited by race, zip code, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion or national origin. Biden will ensure that the major public investments in his plan — procurement, R&D, infrastructure, training, and education — reach all Americans across all states and regions, including urban and rural communities, with historic investments in communities of color and an emphasis on small businesses.
5. STAND UP FOR AMERICA.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 to compete for jobs and market share.
6. SUPPLY AMERICA.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.
In addition to bringing back the jobs lost this year, Joe Biden’s plan to ensure the future is made in all of America will help create at least 5 million new jobs in manufacturing and innovation.
BUY AMERICAN: MAKE “BUY AMERICAN” REAL AND MAKE A HISTORIC PROCUREMENT INVESTMENT IN AMERICAN PRODUCTS, SERVICES, SUPPLY CHAINS, AND TRANSPORTATION OF GOODS
Biden will use the government’s purchasing power to Buy American, boosting U.S. industries through a historic procurement investment he is announcing today and an ambitious extension of his infrastructure and clean energy plans that he will announce soon.
Make Buy American Real
Biden starts with a pretty basic idea – when we spend taxpayer money, we should buy American products and support American jobs. Almost 90 years ago, Congress passed the Buy American Act to advance this basic idea. But we have never fully lived up to it.
For decades, big corporations and special interests have fought for loopholes that redirect taxpayer dollars to foreign companies. The result: tens of billions of taxpayer dollars each year go to support foreign jobs and to bolster foreign industries. In 2018 alone, the Department of Defense (DOD) spent $3 billion on foreign construction contracts, leaving American steel and iron out in the cold, and nearly $300 million on foreign engines and vehicles instead of buying from American companies and putting Americans to work.
Trump likes to talk about Buy American – but his actions have made matters worse:
During the first 18 months of his presidency, the annual rate at which major federal contractors offshored jobs more than doubled.
On his watch, government contracts awarded directly to foreign companies are up 30%.
Our military has become more reliant on foreign suppliers, increasing DOD foreign contracts 12%.
His corporate tax cut is handing taxpayer money to big companies that are still offshoring their production.
Biden will make a national commitment to Buy American – and make this promise real, not just rhetoric. He will:
Tighten domestic content rules. Today, loopholes in the law allow products to be stamped “made in America” for purposes of federal procurement even if barely 51% of the materials used to produce them are domestically made. Biden will tighten these rules to require more legitimate American content — so when we deem something made in America, it reflects the work and output of American workers.
Crack down on waivers to Buy American requirements. Too often, Buy American operates like a suggestion, not a requirement. Procurement officers within federal Agencies can waive Buy American rules without explanation or scrutiny. Biden will close these waiver loopholes. First, he will establish a transparent process so that any time a federal contractor requests a waiver based on a claim that something can’t be made in America, it will be published on a website for all potential bidders and relevant stakeholders (like labor unions) to see. Second, he will use expanded Manufacturing Extension Partnerships together with new efforts to identify firms — particularly small businesses and those owned by women and people of color — that have the capability to fill these procurement needs, and provide direct support so that they can raise their hand and have a shot at stepping up to make it here. Biden successfully deployed this approach through the Transportation Department during the Recovery Act, and will extend it to all of government as President.
End false advertising. Biden will also crack down on companies that label products as Made in America even if they’re coming from China or elsewhere. For example, a company selling deployment bags to active-duty troops falsely claimed its products were Made in America, when in reality they came from China. And when an American competitor filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Trump Administration imposed no penalties.
Extend Buy American to other forms of government assistance. For example, when the government is investing in research and development, it should be supporting manufacturing and sourcing in America. No more “invent it here, make it there.” Taxpayer-funded research investments in the 20th century laid the foundation for MRI technologies, yet some of the companies directly benefiting from these innovations are moving MRI production to China. If companies benefit from taxpayer-funded research that leads to new products and profits, those products should be made in the U.S. or the company should reimburse the government for its support. The days of taxpayer benefits going to companies that seek to outsource jobs or avoid paying their fair share of taxes are over.
Strengthen and enforce Buy America. Like Buy American, Buy America provisions – which require that all of the steel, iron, and manufactured products used in transportation projects are melted, mined, and manufactured in the U.S. – are critical for the U.S. manufacturing industry. As part of its historic investment in infrastructure, Biden will strengthen and enforce Buy America.
Update the trade rules for Buy American: Biden will work with allies to modernize international trade rules and associated domestic regulations regarding government procurement to make sure that the U.S. and allies can use their own taxpayer dollars to spur investment in their own countries.
Ship American. The U.S.-flag Merchant Marine fleet and the men and women who operate U.S.-flag ships are crucial to America’s national security, our international trade relationships, and economic development. For this reason, Biden has been a consistent and strong advocate for the Jones Act and its mandate that only U.S.-flag vessels carry cargo between U.S. ports. He will take steps to ensure American cargo is carried on U.S.-flag ships, leading to additional demand for American-made ships and U.S. merchant mariners.
Make A Historic Procurement Investment
Ensuring that our existing taxpayer dollars support American jobs is a crucial first step, but to truly rebuild our industrial base, we need to go further – targeting more federal purchases and more R&D investment to unleash American industry and innovation going forward.
In this time of crisis, Biden will invest $400 billion in his first term in additional federal purchases of products made by American workers, with transparent, targeted investments that unleash new demand for domestic goods and services and create American jobs. This will be the largest mobilization of public investments in procurement, infrastructure and R&D since WWII.
History has shown that when the government commits to make significant purchases in targeted, tradable sectors, it positions U.S. manufacturers to create good American jobs by supplying our own communities and selling more products to the rest of the world. But outside the context of war, we have not historically used our federal purchasing power to aggressively promote U.S. national interests.
These procurement commitments will provide a strong, stable source of demand for products made by American workers and supply chains composed of American small businesses. These commitments will grow new companies and ensure existing companies that employ Americans thrive in vital sectors from steel and cars to robotics and biotechnology. They will increase our industrial strength so we can win in growing global export markets. Specifically, Biden will:
Commit to purchasing tens of billions of dollars of clean vehicles and products to support the expansion of clean energy generation capacity, ensuring we are on the forefront of the clean energy export markets of the future. Other countries should be buying the next generation of battery technology and electric vehicles manufactured by American workers.
Commit to purchasing American steel, cement, concrete, building materials, and equipment, and in the process not only help rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and retrofit our buildings, but position our domestic companies to lead in resilient, sustainable production for the future.
Commit to forward purchases of critical medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, ensuring sufficient stockpiles to weather any crisis—and that Americans get the best possible care.
Commit to future purchases in advanced industries like cutting-edge telecommunications and artificial intelligence, not only creating new, lasting American jobs, but protecting our intellectual property and national security from threats from American adversaries that have gone unaddressed by Trump.
As called for in his plan to strengthen worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions, Biden will require that companies receiving procurement contracts are using taxpayer dollars to support good American jobs, including a commitment to pay at least $15 per hour, provide paid leave, maintain fair overtime and scheduling practices, and guarantee a choice to join a union and bargain collectively.
Biden’s historic procurement effort will be designed to support small businesses and those owned by women and people of color. Just as he did during the Recovery Act—which substantially increased the share of federal contracts awarded to small businesses—Biden is committed to applying the Federal Government’s goal of ensuring that at least 23% of federal contracts get awarded to small businesses. He will implement a multi-pronged small business contracting strategy that includes formula-based awards, widespread outreach and counseling to small businesses owners, and transparent monitoring of contract awards. And he will build on the efforts of the Obama-Biden Administration by launching a new Federal Procurement Center — a first-of-its-kind program to help minority-owned firms apply for and win federal government contracts. President Trump has proposed slashing the funding and even terminating the Minority Business Development Agency and its programs. Biden will do the opposite.
MAKE IT IN AMERICA: RETOOL AND REVITALIZE THE BACKBONE OF AMERICAN MANUFACTURING TO WIN THE JOBS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW
The dramatic increase in demand from the largest combined infrastructure (already announced), procurement (see above), and R&D (see below) public investment since WWII will power economic recovery, accelerate job creation, and jumpstart the modernization and revitalization of American manufacturing. A McKinsey study supports the notion that the type of comprehensive strategy Biden is proposing could lead to 2 million more manufacturing jobs and $500 billion in additional annual GDP by 2025.
Biden will put a special focus on the backbone of American manufacturing — the thousands of small and medium-sized manufacturers throughout the country. He saw firsthand through the rescue of the American auto industry in 2009 that these small and medium-sized manufacturers are critical to jobs, innovation, and ensuring that the future is made in America.
While the Trump Administration has created huge new programs for any large multinational corporation to get cheap capital with no job commitments – it has no strategy to help smaller manufacturers invest and stay competitive. By contrast, Biden will:
Provide Capital for Small-Medium Manufacturers to Invest and Compete: Biden will establish a credit facility to supply capital, especially to smaller manufacturers, so that our aging factories can modernize, compete, and reduce carbon. Low-cost financing for manufacturing investment — including for those struggling with the harms of the COVID-19 crisis – will ensure American manufacturers can invest in the new equipment they need to compete today while supporting a sustainable future.
Quadruple the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help America’s small and medium-sized manufacturers compete for Buy American contracts and modernize: When large contractors claim they need “Buy American” waivers because they can’t find a U.S. manufacturer, these MEPs help small and medium-sized manufacturers compete for those contracts. Trump tried to eliminate this program; Biden will quadruple it.
Pass a Manufacturing Tax Credit to Retool and Revitalize: While Trump’s tax breaks provide giveaways even if companies offshore or move investment overseas, Biden will provide a special Manufacturing Communities Tax Credit that promotes revitalizing, renovating, and modernizing existing – or recently closed down – facilities. Projects receiving the credit will have to benefit local workers and communities by meeting strong labor standards, including paying workers a prevailing wage, employing workers trained in registered apprenticeship programs, and aiming to utilize Project Labor and Community Workforce Agreements. Because Biden understands that investing in clean energy jobs will drive the strength and competitiveness of our manufacturing sector – as part of the Clean Energy component of his jobs and recovery plan, Biden will expand and extend tax credits that will turbo-charge growth in American manufacturing
Expand Manufacturing Innovation Partnerships: Biden’s manufacturing and R&D strategy will build on the successful efforts of the Obama-Biden Administration and those of Senator Sherrod Brown and others to connect research universities — including HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and other minority-serving institutions — community colleges, manufacturing institutes, and employers, unions, and state, local, and tribal governments. These historic investments will connect workers and manufacturers of all sizes to the know-how and technologies needed to compete and win.
Joe Biden’s plan will ensure the American Auto Industry Wins the 21st Century: During the Great Recession, Biden played a critical role in saving and reviving the American auto industry and saving more than a million American auto jobs. He has always understood that the auto industry is the heart of American manufacturing and must remain the global leader for generations to come. He recognizes that the auto industry not only supports a wide range of U.S. manufacturing capability, from steel and aluminum to electrical components and semiconductors, it is also critical to our clean energy future. Even before COVID-19 hit, auto and auto-part manufacturing growth under Obama-Biden was about three times greater than under Trump, nine times greater in Ohio, while states like Michigan actually lost auto manufacturing jobs jobs under Trump’s watch. Every plank of the Biden manufacturing and innovation plan will strengthen both the auto jobs of today and tomorrow. Bold federal procurement and Buy American provisions will create near-term demand for U.S. auto manufacturing and bring back jobs. Investments in technology and innovation will spur U.S. production of new energy and safety technologies, thus increasing the domestic content in U.S. vehicles. Dedicated grants and funding to help manufacturers retool and build new factories will help ensure U.S. global leadership in electric vehicle manufacturing, including EV components and batteries. Biden will announce additional detail on his plan to support auto jobs in the weeks ahead.
INNOVATE IN AMERICA: A MAJOR INVESTMENT IN FEDERALLY FUNDED R&D ACROSS ALL 50 STATES
A successful plan to ensure a future made in America means the United States must have a strategy to win not just the jobs of today – but the jobs and industries of tomorrow. That requires fighting back against unfair trade practices and the theft of American intellectual property, as well as making a national commitment to get off the sidelines as competitors are making aggressive public investments in science and technology to take over global leadership in the most advanced technologies.
Joe Biden is proposing a dramatic, accelerated Research & Development investment of $300 billion over 4 years to create millions of good jobs today, and to secure our global leadership in the most critical and competitive new industries and technologies. Credible estimates indicate that this level of investment could help create 3 million jobs or more.
China is on track to surpass the US in R&D. China’s total R&D expenditures have increased nearly 30-fold from 1991 to 2016. By some estimates, China will overtake the US in R&D spending in 2020. And, as part of China’s “Made in China 2025” plan, China’s government has launched funds to increase manufacturing and technological innovation in key industries, including battery technology, artificial intelligence, and 5G. China’s government is actively investing in research and commercialization across these types of important technology areas, in an effort to overtake American technological primacy and dominate future industries.
Declines in Federal R&D spending have contributed to a hollowing out of the American middle class. The Trump White House and Republicans in Congress have forgotten that major investments in federal R&D not only drove U.S. industrial and technological leadership, but created millions of good-paying middle class jobs. The fight for our future requires us to return to that winning commitment from our past. In 1964, public federal R&D support was 2% of GDP, compared to only 0.7% today. This difference amounts to nearly $250 billion less annually in federal R&D spending. MIT professors Simon Johnson and Jonathan Gruber have found that declining public investment has also led to slow productivity and wage growth.
The $300 billion in innovation funding will power home-grown industries that can lead the world and create jobs in advanced materials, health and medicine, biotechnology, clean energy, autos, aerospace, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, and more. Specifically, Biden will allocate funding to:
Major increases in direct federal R&D spending, including new National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Biden’s new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and other peer-reviewed science research grants to colleges and universities.
New breakthrough technology R&D programs to direct investments to key technologies in support of U.S. competitiveness – including 5G, artificial intelligence, advanced materials, biotechnology, and clean vehicles.
Competitive capital financing to encourage small businesses to commercialize cutting-edge technology, such as a scaled-up version of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, “America’s seed fund,” which provides capital to small businesses pursuing R&D commercialization in concert with research institutions.
State-of-the-art workforce skill development, such as funds for the creation or expansion of technical training programs around digital, statistical, and technology skills, funded by the Labor Department. This will increase pathways for those – including women and workers of color — who are too often under-represented in critical technology jobs.
Infrastructure for educational institutions and partners to expand research, such as building new research labs, buying modern manufacturing equipment, or creating new business parks.
As part of this historic R&D investment, Joe Biden will work to ensure that technological change benefits workers, creates jobs, and strengthens the middle class. He will:
Ensure that taxpayers benefit from the upside of federal research dollars that create profitable inventions. U.S. taxpayers should benefit from the upside of federal investments that result in profitable inventions underwritten by federal funds. Biden will strengthen existing federal rights to ensure that the U.S. government captures a share of the royalties of high-profitable products developed with federal R&D funding.
Ensure workers have a voice in innovation and are first in line to benefit. As president, Biden will ensure that employers receiving federal funds give all affected employees advance notice of technology changes and automation in the workplace, put their employees at the front of the line for new jobs, and offer paid skills training so that employees can succeed in new jobs. And, he will ensure employers discuss workplace technology changes with their employees and their unions and bargain over protections against employees being displaced.
INVEST IN ALL OF AMERICA: ENSURE WE DRAW ON THE FULL TALENTS AND INVEST IN THE POTENTIAL OF ALL OUR COMMUNITIES AND WORKERS
A strategy to ensure the future is made in America will not work unless we have a dramatic new commitment to ensure we are investing in – and drawing on the talents of – all of America. Today, we fall short in too many ways. We fail to provide meaningful investment in R&D and venture capital to all regions of our nation and we fail to give too many Americans – especially those of color or from lower-income urban and rural communities – the full opportunities they deserve to have pathways to good jobs and careers. America is not at full strength when investments, venture capital, educational opportunities, and paths to good jobs are limited by race, zip codes, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, and national origin.
The Biden plan will ensure major research, public investment, and training and education for manufacturing and innovation jobs goes to all parts of America, both urban and rural communities, with historic investments in communities of color.
Joe Biden’s R&D Challenge for All of America
The economic opportunities from investment in innovation have not been shared throughout the U.S. Twenty five percent of venture capital investment is concentrated in the San Francisco area, and 75% flows to just three states: California, New York, and Massachusetts. Female entrepreneurs only receive 16% of all venture capital dollars. Only 3% go to start-ups with Black or Latino founders. As experts from MIT and Brookings have argued, there are a significant number of diverse communities across every region of the country that could become new centers of job-creating innovation and production.
We cannot lead the world if we leave too much of our talent sitting on the bench. Biden will diversify this bold new innovation investment so it supports jobs, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in every part of the United States. He will:
Direct new federal investments to more than 50 communities across our nation that have the capabilities but have too often been overlooked, in both rural and urban areas. He will invest in new technology hubs that bring together this research and development investment with workforce training and education and small and medium-sized businesses, resulting in new innovations from more places, which means stronger communities and job creation. These investments will build on successful programs like Detroit’s LIFT and Youngstown’s “America Makes,” each of which has helped start innovative new start-ups and commercialize cutting-edge technologies.
Guarantee that funding is equitably allocated so that women and communities of color receive their fair share of investment dollars. Biden will ensure that federal research and procurement dollars are awarded fairly and will apply the principles of Congressman Jim Clyburn’s 10-20-30 plan to ensure that help goes to high-poverty areas that have long suffered disinvestment. And, he’ll invest in the diverse talent at Historically Black College and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions to solve the country’s most pressing problems, including by (a) creating at least 200 new centers of excellence that serve as research incubators and connect students underrepresented in fields critical to our nation’s future, (b) dedicating additional and increased priority funding streams at federal agencies for grants and contracts for HBCUs and MSIs, and c) requiring any federal research grants to universities with an endowment of over $1 billion to form a meaningful partnership and enter into a 10% minimum subcontract with an HBCU, TCU, or MSI. Biden will also require that competitive grant programs give similar universities the opportunity to compete against each other, for example, ensuring that HBCUs only compete against HBCUs.
Joe Biden’s Job and Educational Opportunity Challenge for All of America
The need to draw on the talents of all of America is even more pronounced when it comes to building our innovation and manufacturing workforce. Yet today, opportunity is unevenly distributed. Too few women and people of color have been provided with the pathways to the high-skill, high wage, in-demand jobs that STEM careers offer, including in manufacturing and innovation. And too many skilled workers in manufacturing do not get the full chance to increasingly upgrade their skills and be first in line for new jobs in changing industries.
Biden’s plan to invest in career and technical education for high school students and his plan for free high-quality training programs and community colleges and free tuition for 4-year degrees for families earning less than $125,000 will go a long way toward building the workforce for a major expansion in manufacturing and innovation jobs.
He will go further, investing $50 billion in high-quality training programs that give workers a chance to earn an industry-recognized credential without debt. As part of this commitment, Biden will:
Create and expand community college-business-union partnerships to develop effective training programs. Building on successes in the Obama-Biden Administration, Biden will invest in partnerships between community colleges and their faculty, businesses, unions, state, local, and tribal governments, universities, and high schools and their instructors to identify in-demand knowledge and skills in a community and develop or modernize training programs. These programs – which could be as short as a few months or as long as two years – will lead to a relevant, high-demand industry-recognized credential.
Scale up work-based learning programs with a focus on building a diverse workforce, through opportunities like registered apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeship programs and other labor-management training programs. Biden will work with unions to bring forward a new generation of registered apprenticeships in fields ranging from technology to manufacturing to care work. These high-quality registered apprenticeships will allow workers who have lost their jobs as a result of this crisis or young people and others who are entering a weak job market to train to enter the jobs of the future while earning a decent income. Registered apprenticeship programs like the innovative Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship train workers for specialized manufacturing jobs with 18 months of work-based learning and a few technical college classes. Biden also will invest in pre-apprenticeship programs that have a partnership with a registered apprenticeship program, with a focus on ensuring these programs provide a pathway to high-quality employment opportunities for a diverse workforce, including both racial and gender diversity.
Help develop pathways for diverse workers to access training and career opportunities. A study of Labor Department-funded individual career services – which included assistance looking for a job, help developing career plans, and one-on-one career coaching – found that earnings for workers who were provided these services increased 7 to 20%. Biden will ensure these services are universally available to all workers and people entering the workforce who need them. And, he will increase funding for community-based and proven organizations that help women and people of color access high-quality training and job opportunities.
Extend Unemployment Insurance benefits for the duration of training, up-skilling, and reskilling programs while unemployment rates are elevated, so that millions of people can get skills for new technology, innovation, trades, and other jobs, in all parts of America.
In order to ensure the United States is as competitive as possible, we need to tap into all of the talent across our country, including women and communities of color. That’s why Biden’s plan to invest over $70 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions is a key piece of his manufacturing and innovation workforce strategy. In addition to directing additional federal research dollars to these schools and requiring that setting aside competitive grant dollars that for HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs that only similar universities compete over, Biden will invest $35 billion in HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs to create research centers of excellence, build high-tech labs and other facilities, and strengthen graduate programs in fields including STEM. Biden will also tackle workplace discrimination and harassment that keeps so many women, especially women of color, from earning equal pay or fully realizing their professional goals.
A PRO-AMERICAN-WORKER TAX AND TRADE STRATEGY
American workers and businesses can out-compete anyone, hands-down. But their government needs to fight for them. Biden will fight for every American job in the tough competition for jobs and markets – especially against unfair foreign practices. The President needs to stand with American workers and communities, not with wealthy corporations or the foreign governments that are subsidizing and protecting their businesses.
That’s one of the problems with Trump. When push comes to shove, Trump sides with corporate interests against workers, their unions, and their communities. And he rewards corporations and their executives for abandoning American workers and moving jobs overseas — rather than holding them accountable to create, maintain, and bring back jobs to the U.S.
President Trump’s 2017 tax plan showered Wall Street and powerful multinational corporations with incentives to move jobs and production overseas. And Trump’s go-it-alone trade war and empty “phase one” deal with China has been an unmitigated disaster, inflicting maximum pain on American workers and farmers, while doing nothing to curb Beijing’s trade abuses. In negotiating with China’s government, Trump spent more energy fighting for big corporations than he did fighting for American workers. To this day, China’s government continues its trade abuses and is failing to live up to its commitments.
The goal of every decision about trade must be to build the American middle class, create jobs, raise wages, and strengthen communities. To stand up for American workers, Biden’s tax and trade strategy will take a number of steps, including:
Take aggressive trade enforcement actions against China or any other country seeking to undercut American manufacturing through unfair practices, including currency manipulation, anti-competitive dumping, state-owned company abuses, or unfair subsidies.
Rally our allies in a coordinated effort to pressure the Chinese government and other trade abusers to follow the rules and hold them to account when they do not. Rather than picking fights with our allies and undermining respect for America, Biden will work with our closest allies, mobilizing more than half the world’s economy to better deliver for our workers. Biden will focus our allies on addressing overcapacity in industries, ranging from steel and aluminum to fiber optics to shipbuilding and other sectors, and focus on the key contributor to the problem – China’s government.
Confront foreign efforts to steal American intellectual property. China’s government and other state-led actors have engaged in an assault on American creativity. From cyberattacks to forced technology transfer to talent acquisition, American ingenuity and taxpayer investments are too often fueling the advances in other nations. And when it comes to China, under Trump’s “phase one” deal all those practices continue. The piecemeal and ineffective approach of the Trump Administration will be replaced with a coordinated and effective strategy.
Address state-sponsored cyber espionage against American companies. Trump allowed a landmark 2015 agreement negotiated by the Obama-Biden administration to lapse, dramatically increasing China’s state-sponsored cyber espionage against U.S. companies. Biden will set forth clear demands and specific consequences if China’s government does not cease cyber espionage against U.S. businesses, and will develop new sanctions authorities against Chinese firms that steal U.S. technology that cut them off from accessing the U.S. market and financial system.
Establish a “claw-back” provision to force a company to return public investments and tax benefits when they close down jobs here and send them overseas.
Apply a carbon adjustment fee against countries that are failing to meet their Paris Climate commitments to make sure that they are forced to internalize the environmental costs they’re now imposing on the rest of the world. This adjustment stops polluting countries from undermining our workers and manufacturers, ensuring we can lead, compete, and win as we harness the opportunity of a clean energy economy achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Reverse tax policies that encourage outsourcing: Biden will end incentives in the Trump tax giveaway that allow multinationals to dramatically lower taxes on income earned overseas and allow the largest, most profitable companies to pay no tax at all. And, Biden will confront global tax secrecy and avoidance, taking on individuals and businesses that stash their profits in tax havens to avoid paying their fair share while tightening anti-inversion rules that Obama-Biden put in place and which Trump has sought to weaken.
Support strong and independent trade unions here in the United States and in every one of our trading partners. Unions are essential to democracy, unions are essential to economic stability, unions are essential for building markets for American products, and unions are the right thing to do — everywhere in the world. Biden will enforce existing labor provisions and aggressively push for strong and enforceable labor provisions in any trade deal his administration negotiates — and not sign a deal unless it has those provisions.
SUPPLY AMERICA: BRING BACK CRITICAL SUPPLY CHAINS TO AMERICA
On July 7, Biden laid out his plan to strengthen American resilience by bringing back critical supply chains to America.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home the imperative that we must never again face shortages of critical products such as medical equipment when confronting a national crisis. An American who is sick in a pandemic shouldn’t be dependent on drugs from China or ventilators that Trump bought from Russia. If there is a global supply shortage, the U.S. could end up at the back of the line — and our competitors could cut us off to gain a strategic advantage.
As we build the American economy back better, Biden will put Americans to work making critical products, from medical equipment and supplies to semiconductors and communications technology, here in the United States.
Under Trump, our supply chains have actually gotten less secure. His 2017 tax legislation cut taxes for companies that move manufacturing and profits overseas, and we’ve seen pharmaceutical imports rise since the tax cuts were enacted. Trump ignored warnings from experts about U.S. medical supply chain vulnerabilities.
Biden will make sure we close critical U.S. supply chain gaps by immediately directing a comprehensive and ongoing process to evaluate and protect key U.S. supply chains, starting with a 100-day supply chain review at the beginning of a Biden Administration to determine vulnerabilities and needs in vital sectors. In addition, he will:
Leverage federal buying power and the full range of government authorities, including the Defense Production Act, BARDA, and federal procurement, to make sure that we make critical products in America.
Change the tax code to eliminate the incentives for pharmaceutical and other companies to move production overseas and establish new incentives for companies to make critical products in the U.S.
Rebuild critical stockpiles, ensure adequate surge manufacturing capacity in times of crisis, and regularly review supply chain vulnerabilities.
Work with allies to reduce their dependence on competitors like China while modernizing international trade rules to secure U.S. and allied supply chains,
In a series of remarks and fact sheets, Vice President Joe Biden slammed Donald Trump’s abject failure to lead America’s response to COVID-19 — with more than 130,000 Americans now dead, three million infected, and 20 million people out of work and offered his own plan to save lives and the economy.
Trump continues to try to ignore away the threat, even as the U.S. hits record daily levels of new infections and as Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that America is at risk of seeing as many as 100,000 new infections a day if action is not taken now to stop the spread. Indeed, Americans are banned by most countries that have been successful in taking control over the coronavirus pandemic.
While Trump flails and refuses to take responsibility, Vice President Biden laid out clear steps that the nation must take to get the virus under control so that we can save lives and get Americans back to work. It’s no surprise then that two new polls show that Americans “overwhelmingly” trust Biden over Trump to lead our country’s response to COVID-19.
Likewise, Vice President Biden blasted Trump for his dereliction of duty in failing to hold Russia accountable after numerous reports emerged showing that Trump failed to take action after being briefed by the intelligence community about Russian-backed attacks on our soldiers in Afghanistan.
The plan that Biden advanced, he said, “builds on the roadmap I released back in March that would have saved lives if it had been adopted. It is a plan to save lives in the months ahead. Once again — I encourage him to adopt this plan in its entirety. This is too important for politics.”
He added, “It’s not about you, Mr. President — it’s about the health and well-being of the American public. The American people didn’t make enormous sacrifices over the past four months so you could waste your time with late night rantings and tweets.
“They didn’t make these sacrifices so you could ignore the science and turn responsible steps like wearing a mask into a political statement. And they certainly didn’t do it so you could wash your hands and walk away.
“Maybe there are times this nation needs a cheerleader. Now isn’t one of them. We need a president.”
The Biden campaign offered a fact sheet, contrasting the Vice President’s approach with what Trump has failed to do:
Today, the trajectory of COVID-19 in America is headed in the wrong direction. In some parts of the country, the test positivity rate is climbing, hospitalizations are sky-rocketing, and testing sites are overwhelmed. Donald Trump’s catastrophic failures of governance have led to tens of thousands of needless deaths and economic pain for tens of millions of Americans. We are only four percent of the world’s population, yet we have 25 percent of the world’s cases and deaths. And, the United States is barely better equipped to manage the threat of COVID-19 today than we were six months ago. Every day that Trump wastes not acting, he squanders the sacrifices of the American people and sets our response and recovery back even further.
It is impossible to know what the state of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on the day Biden takes office, but if elected, Biden won’t wait to take action. Minutes after he is declared the winner of the election, Biden will make one of his first calls to Dr. Tony Fauci and ask him to extend his unprecedented record of service to six Presidents by serving one more. Dr. Fauci will have full access to the Oval Office and an uncensored platform to speak directly to the American people — whether delivering good news or bad.
During his transition, Biden will seek out governors and mayors and other leaders of both parties, from every state, territory, and tribe, and consult with education, technology, business, and labor leaders so he’s ready to hit the ground running and fight the virus as our next President.
Over the last four months, Joe Biden has laid out comprehensive plans with five basic elements that he would do as President to address COVID-19: (1) test-and-trace, (2) sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for all, (3) science-based treatments and vaccines, (4) steps to reopen safely and effectively, and (5) protecting those at high-risk, including older Americans.
Biden has repeatedly said he hopes that Trump will use these intervening months to adopt the policies he’s outlined. The health of our nation — and our economy — hang in the balance.
Today, Biden is updating his Plan to Combat COVID-19 for the current circumstances we face as a result of President Trump’s persistent failures:
Implement Widespread Testing-and-Tracing
The Trump Fiasco: The failure to test swiftly and broadly led to the failure to get the virus under control. After deflecting blame for months, Donald Trump has repeatedly doubled down on his orders to slow down testing. It is unacceptable that with cases surging in some parts of the country and Americans urged to go back to work in others, we still do not have the basic capacity in testing and contact tracing we need to sustainably manage this virus. In Arizona, this past week, Americans with COVID-19 have had to wait in baking hot cars in miles-long lines for a test, and those were the lucky ones who had an appointment. In March, Donald Trump claimed that every American who wanted a test could get one. It was a lie then. It’s still a lie.
Double the number of drive-through testing sites and increase the numbers until there are no more lines.
Build a national contact tracing workforce, starting by hiring at least 100,000 Americans and equipping sorely under-resourced public health departments with the resources they need to spot and stop outbreaks.
Establish Sustainable Supply Chain for PPE and Supplies and Help for Health Care Workers:
The Trump Fiasco: Months into this crisis, our health care workers are still forced to scramble for their own supplies and reuse masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) shift-after-shift. Hundreds of health care workers have died from COVID-19, and tens of thousands have been infected. This is heartbreaking — and a catastrophic failure of leadership. Health care workers put their lives on the line every day, and the risk they face is unacceptably compounded by the inconsistent and politized response to expert guidance, like social distancing and masks. Trump has abdicated responsibility, and turned his back on health care workers in their time of need.
The Biden Plan:
Implement a coordinated, country-wide, future-facing national effort to acquire, produce, and distribute PPE, test kits and machines, lab supplies, and other critical supplies, including by fully utilizing the authorities under the Defense Production Action.
Identify tomorrow’s needs for PPE, lab reagents, and test supplies when they run low, as well as replenish depleted supplies in hard-hit areas, especially for federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, safety-net hospitals, and nursing homes, which are typically resource-poor and disproportionately serve vulnerable populations that are bearing the brunt of COVID-19.
Build now toward a future, flexible American-sourced and manufactured capability to ensure we are not vulnerable to supply chain disruptions in times of crisis.
In addition, Biden would ensure the U.S. government steps up for nurses, doctors and other health care workers and first responders, including by providing:
Guaranteed priority access to national supplies of PPE.
Premium Pay for health care workers for putting themselves at risk. There is no substitute for ensuring the safety of health care workers, but as Biden has said, everyone who puts their lives on the line should receive a boost in their paychecks.
Emergency paid leave, which Biden has called for anyone who gets COVID-19 or needs to care for a loved one who has it.
Free, accessible, and safe housing to enable health care workers to quarantine away from their loved ones as necessary.
A Health Care Worker COVID-19 Consultation Hotline and strengthened clinician peer-to-peer learning, so that frontline staff do not have to rely on social media to learn best practices in treating COVID-19 patients.
Access to an array of prevention and early intervention mental health services, including health-status monitoring, emotional-health support and psychological first aid, to every COVID-19 health care worker. Seeking help should not impact your current or future employment, including your ability to get a license. This is in addition to Biden’s robust commitment to ensuring every American has access to mental health insurance coverage and expanding immediate access to telemental health services by requiring all carriers — not just Medicare — to pay for telemental health services. There should be no barrier to mental health care in this crisis – none.
The mobilization of health care workers nationwide, including assessing areas of need, developing a registry of volunteers, and ensuring that staffing gaps are voluntarily filled in a safe, sustainable way.
Accelerate the Development of Treatments and Vaccines:
The Trump Fiasco: Instead of listening to public health professionals, Trump pushes dangerous, disproven drugs. Our country is now stuck with a massive stockpile of hydroxychloroquine, a drug Trump repeatedly hailed. Trump’s vaccine development effort — “Operation Warp Speed” — lacks sound leadership, global vision, or a strategy for securing the necessary funding to see this mission through or secure trust from Americans who depend on its success. And, the Trump Administration’s management of our government’s critical medical research agencies has been marred by infighting, political pressure and retaliation, and calculated cronyism. We cannot allow the Trump Administration to repeat its continued failures on relatively simple tasks like getting masks to nurses and tests to nursing homes with the harder mission of treatments and vaccines. Too much is a stake.
The Biden Plan: Biden would accelerate a coordinated global approach to develop, manufacture, and distribute a safe, effective vaccine, including:
Ramp up the large-scale manufacturing of as many vaccine candidates as necessary
Help secure COVID-19-related research from cyber threats.
Proactively build a nationwide vaccination campaign, taking the steps now to guarantee the fair distribution of all vaccines.
Immediately restore our relationship with the World Health Organization, which — while not perfect — is essential to coordinating a global response during a pandemic.
Ensure everyone — not just the wealthy and well-connected — in America receives the protection and care they deserve, and consumers are not price gouged as new drugs and therapies come to market.
Biden would also get ahead of this year’s seasonal flu by developing capacity now to ensure safe distribution and administration of seasonal flu vaccine — paired with an effective campaign to help people understand why getting a flu shot is so critical, especially this year. This effort must account for distribution in a time of social distancing, when Americans may not have access to providers from whom they normally receive the flu vaccine, including university and workplace clinics. This past flu season led to as many as 62,000 deaths and 740,000 hospitalizations, and the arrival of COVID-19 came to the United States just as the regular flu season was waning. We must prepare now for the possibility of simultaneous outbreaks of flu and COVID-19 that could overwhelm our public health system and confound our efforts to fight COVID-19.
The Trump Fiasco: While urging states to reopen as quickly as possible, Trump abdicated effective federal leadership, leaving state, tribal, and local officials to do their best without help from Washington. He has failed to deliver a unified plan for the country, advocated reopening in areas that couldn’t meet the guidance, and placed Americans at greater risk. Trump has sowed confusion and competition between states and repeatedly refused to serve as a role model or follow the guidance of our top scientists, further sowing chaos.
The Biden Plan: A stronger, more effective reopening recognizes that we won’t be able to solve the economic crisis in our country without a rigorous public health response. It requires clear, science-based, and nationwide public health guidance — including a clear, consistent message from the very top of our government on the importance of mask wearing — because we are one country with one population to protect. In addition to testing, contact tracing, and protecting older Americans, it would:
Guarantee paid leave for all who get sick and for workers caring for family members or other loved ones sick with COVID-19.
Ensure worker protection and accountability, including tasking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with setting and enforcing a rigorous emergency temporary standard so employers follow a clear set of rules to keep workers safe from COVID-19.
Create a “Safer for Shoppers” program that gives compliant businesses a sign for their window so shoppers know they have done what they can to minimize the risk of exposure.
Equip small business with an ambitious “restart package” that provides small business owners support for retaining and rehiring workers and covering other costs of restarting in this challenging environment.
Assist schools and child care programs with re-opening, perhaps the single most important step to get parents back to work, including scaling-up NIH-funded COVID-19 pediatric research, building a Safer Schools Best Practices Clearinghouse, and providing the resources child care providers and schools — particularly Title I schools — need to safely reopen and help students who have fallen behind.
Protect Older Americans and Others at High Risk
The Trump Fiasco: Trump’s failure to organize a coherent and timely response to the crisis has placed older Americans and others at high-risk in even more vulnerable circumstances and left them behind without effective support or real options except to quarantine indefinitely. It is unconscionable that over 52,000 residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19. The massive shortfall in COVID-19 testing and contact tracing has particularly heightened the risk of exposure, increased social isolation, and made more difficult the efforts to return all Americans – and especially older Americans – to something resembling normal life as safely and quickly as possible.
The Biden Plan:
Ensure evidence-based guidance for each phase of reopening and an easy-to-read Nationwide Pandemic Dashboard that Americans can check in real-time to help them gauge whether local transmission is actively occurring in their zip codes. This information is critical to helping all individuals, but especially older Americans and others at high risk, understand what level of precaution to take.
Ensure enough testing capacity so that people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are able to receive visitors safely.
Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, in a speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, decried Trump’s latest move to have the Affordable Care Act declared “unconstitutional,” despite having been ruled constitutional several times by the Supreme Court. The latest move, based on the dubious claim that the ACA’s “individual mandate” is unconstitutional, and therefore negates the entire law (duly passed by Congress in 2010, which enabled 30 million to access health care without being cut off because of preexisting conditions and no lifetime caps, and requiring at least 80% of premiums to go to patient care, and for the first time reversed the explosive annual increases in premiums), was inspired when the Republican 2017 tax law made the fine zero, the warped logic a right wing Texas judge used to therefore declare the entire law unconstitutional.
Instead, Biden spoke up for the crucial benefits of the Affordable Care Act and said if he were president, he would expand the public option, ensure premiums are never more than 8.5% of income, end surprise billing for medical care. “My plan lowers health care costs and gets us to universal coverage quickly when Americans desperately need it.” In Biden’s remarks, he distinguished his approach to the presidency from Trump’s – essentially, Biden intends to serve the people, while Trump, clueless in how to actually solve problems, is solely focused on what benefits himself politically.
“That’s what the presidency is — a duty to care for everyone. Not just those who voted for us…And no trust is more sacred, no responsibility is more solemn, no purpose is more fundamental, than for a President to do absolutely everything he or she can to protect American lives. “So I want every single American to know: if you’re sick, if you’re struggling, if you’re worried about how you’re going to get through the day — I will not abandon you. I will not leave you to face these challenges alone. We are going to get through this — together.”
Here are Biden’s remarks: — Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Today, in the middle of the worst global health crisis in living memory, Donald Trump will file a brief in the Supreme Court to attempt to strip health coverage away from tens of millions of families, and to strip the peace of mind away from more than 100 million people with pre-existing conditions.
If he succeeds, more than 23 million Americans could lose their coverage outright— including nearly a million Pennsylvanians.
Insurers could once again discriminate, or deny services, or drop coverage for people living with preexisting conditions like asthma, diabetes, and cancer.
And perhaps most cruelly of all, if Donald Trump has his way, complications from COVID-19 could become a new pre-existing condition.
Some survivors will experience lasting health impacts — like lung scarring and heart damage.
And if Donald Trump prevails in court, insurers would be allowed to strip away coverage or jack up premiums — simply because of their battle with the coronavirus.
Those survivors, having struggled and won the fight of their lives, would have their peace of mind stolen away at the moment they need it most.
They would live their lives caught in a vise between Donald Trump’s twin legacies: his failure to protect the American people from the coronavirus, and his heartless crusade to take health care protections away from American families.
I have called on Donald Trump many times to withdraw his lawsuit. Today, I am renewing that call.
Mr. President, drop the lawsuit. Stop trying to take away people’s health care.
Now more than ever, stop trying to steal their peace of mind. I cannot comprehend the cruelty that is driving him to inflict this pain on the very people he is supposed to serve.
One of the families the Affordable Care Act has delivered peace of mind to is the Ritters—who live not far from here in Manheim, Pennsylvania.
Jan and Madeline Ritter were just four years old when their mom, Stacie, heard some of the most devastating words that a parent can ever hear. Both of her twins had been diagnosed with leukemia.
I promise you — that news — it stops your heart. It wrenches your entire world off of its axis. And the very last thing on your mind — the very last thing that should be on your mind— is whether you can afford treatment.
But when Stacie’s twins got sick, there was no Affordable Care Act.
So, after the draining days and the endless nights, the harrowing stem-cell transplants, the fickle waves of hope and fear, after enduring more than any parent should have to endure, the Ritters still faced a future where their twins could be denied coverage for the rest of their lives.
The Affordable Care Act was created to put a stop to that inhumanity — to ensure that people like Stacie, thrust into the worst nightmare of their lives, could focus on the fight that matters.
Stacie’s twins won their fight. They beat cancer — and now, they’re 22 years old. Jan is studying early education at Elizabethtown College. Madeline just graduated from Arcadia University with a degree in international studies. And because of the law, insurance companies can no longer deny them coverage because they’re survivors of cancer.
I’m proud of the Affordable Care Act.
In addition to protecting people with pre-existing conditions, this is a law that delivered vital coverage to more than 20 million Americans.
It’s a law that bars insurance companies from capping Americans’ benefits— and from charging women more simply because they are women.
It’s a law that reduced prescription drug costs for nearly 12 million seniors, who would see their those costs spike — because the Medicare ‘donut hole’would have suddenly reopened.
It’s a law that saves lives.
But now, in the middle of the worst public health crisis in modern history, Donald Trump is suing to take the Ritters and millions more Americans — back to the way things were.
It’s cruel, it’s heartless, and it’s callous.
And it’s all because he can’t abide the thought of letting stand one of President Obama’s greatest achievements.
We’ve seen that same callousness in his handling of the coronavirus.
Just over three months ago, as most Americans were first coming to grips with the unprecedented scale and danger of the pandemic, President Trump publicly claimed that, “Anybody that wants a test can get a test.”
That wasn’t true. And he knew it.
Then, five days ago, at his campaign gathering in Tulsa, he admitted telling his people to, slow the testing down, please.” At first, his spokespeople tried to say he was joking. But then Trump himself said he wasn’t joking.
He called testing, “a double-edged sword.” Let’s be crystal clear about what he means by that.
Testing unequivocally saves lives, and widespread testing is the key to opening up our economy again — so that’s one edge of the sword.
The other edge: that he thinks finding out that more Americans are sick will make him look bad.
And that’s what he’s worried about. He’s worried about looking bad.
Well, Donald Trump needs to stop caring about how he looks and start caring about what’s really happening in America.
The number of cases is increasing in 29 states. We are going to be dealing with this for a long time. Trump can’t wish it away. He can’t bend it to meet his political wishes. There are no miracles coming.
We are going to have to step up as Americans — all of us — and do both the simple things — and the hard things — to keep our families and neighbors safe, to re-open our economy, and to eventually put the pandemic behind us.
And sadly — we are going to have to do it without responsible leadership from the White House. So it is up to us. All of us.
We’re going to have to wear masks. And I know as Americans it’s not something we’re used to. But it matters. All the evidence from all over the world tells us it just might be the most effective thing we can do.
We’re going to have to socially distance. It’s not easy. It seems so strange to us. Not as Americans, but as human beings. We’re built to talk, to laugh, to hug, to gather with other people. I know I am. I know you are. But for now, we have to socially distance. It matters.
We’re going to have to find a way to keep our economy running as we bring the number of cases down. The president wants you to believe this is a choice between the economy and the public’s health. He still hasn’t grasped the most basic fact of this crisis: to fix our economy, we have to get control of the virus.
He’s like a child who just can’t believe this has happened to him. It’s all whining and self-pity. This pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us.
And his job isn’t to whine about it. His job is to do something about it.
If I have the honor of becoming President, I promise you I will lead.
I will do everything I can to take responsibility and ease that burden on you and your families. I will put your family first. And that will begin with a dramatic expansion of health coverage and bold steps to lower health care costs.
We need a public option now more than ever — especially at a time when more than 20 million people are unemployed.
That public option will allow every American— regardless of their employment status — the choice to get a Medicare-like plan.
It will force private insurers to keep premiums low and offer better coverage because, for the first time, they’ll have to compete for your business against a public insurer that doesn’t have a profit motive.
We’re going to lower premiums for people buying coverage on their own by guaranteeing that no American ever has to spend more than 8.5 percent of their income on health insurance — and that number will be lower for lower-income families.
We’re also going to further reduce costs by making it less expensive for Americans to choose plans with lower deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses by lowering prescription drug prices and by ending the practice called “surprise billing,” which can leave you with an unexpectedly high bill after you leave a hospital.
Here’s the bottom line: my plan lowers health care costs and gets us to universal coverage quickly when Americans desperately need it.
Families are reeling right now — enduring illnesses, forced into risky choices, losing their employer plans in droves.
They need a lifeline now. That’s what the families here today deserve. That’s what families all across this nation deserve.
They don’t need a president going into court to deny them health care. They need a president going into the White House who will fight for the health care they need.
If Donald Trump refuses to end his senseless crusade against health coverage, I look forward to ending it for him. And working quickly with Congress to dramatically ramp up protections, get America to universal coverage, and lower health care costs as soon as humanly possible.
This is my promise to you. When I am President, I will take care of your health coverage the same way I would for my own family. This is personal to me.
I was sworn into the United States Senate next to a hospital bed. My wife and daughter had been killed in a car crash— and lying in that bed were my two surviving little boys.
I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like if we didn’t have the health care we needed immediately.
Forty years later, one of those little boys, my son Beau, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only months to live.
I couldn’t imagine an insurance company coming in and saying, “for the last six months of your life, you’re on your own” — which is exactly what happened to so many families before the Affordable Care Act.
So Amy, I understand.
And when I say I’ll take care of your health coverage the same way I would for my family — there is nothing I take more seriously.
That’s my promise to Stacie and Victoria and Amy and to every American.
That’s what the presidency is — a duty to care.
A duty to care for everyone.
Not just those who voted for us.
For all of us.
And no trust is more sacred, no responsibility is more solemn, no purpose is more fundamental, than for a President to do absolutely everything he or she can to protect American lives.
So I want every single American to know: if you’re sick, if you’re struggling, if you’re worried about how you’re going to get through the day — I will not abandon you.
I will not leave you to face these challenges alone.
We are going to get through this — together.
And we are going to build our health care system, our economy, and our country back better than it has ever been before.
Thank you. God bless you, and God protect our troops.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a joint incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state.
This quarantine – effective midnight June 25, 2020 – applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will continually update and publish on their respective websites a list of states to which the new advisory applies. This information will be updated regularly.
The tri-state measure will use uniform parameters and messaging on highways, airports, websites and social media across the three states. The three states will also ask hotels to communicate the 14-day quarantine to guests who have traveled from one of the impacted states.
“In New York we went from the highest number of cases to some of the lowest rates in the country – no one else had to bend the curve as much as we did and now we have to make sure that the rate continues to drop in our entire region,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’ve been working with our neighbors in New Jersey and Connecticut throughout this entire pandemic, and we’re announcing a joint travel advisory that says people coming in from states with a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days. We’ve worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down and we don’t want to see it go up again because people are traveling into the state and bringing it with them.”
“Over the course of the past few months, our states have taken aggressive action to flatten the curve and beat back the coronavirus,” Governor Murphy said, “As a result of our collective efforts, we have low infection rates, falling hospitalizations, and have steadily been reopening our economies. Unfortunately many states continue to have high transmission rates. We are proud to work with our partners in New York and Connecticut on a joint incoming travel advisory to ensure continued progress against this virus and to keep residents of the tri-state area safe.”
“Working together as a region has proven to be immensely successful as our respective states are leading the country when it comes to our response with low infection and positivity rates relative to increased testing capacity,” Governor Lamont said. “We have made difficult decisions throughout this pandemic, but we have proven to make many of the right decisions. This step to inform travelers form states with hot spots to self-isolate is meant to protect our residents and maintain our incredible public health progress.”
Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa has issued a report to Governor Cuomo outlining the COVID-19 Domestic Violence Task Force’s initial recommendations to reimagine New York’s approach to services for domestic violence survivors. Governor Cuomo has accepted these recommendations in full and is directing the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, along with other sister agencies of the Office of Children and Family Services, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Office of Victim Services, the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Department of Health, to use these recommendations to update and improve domestic violence services in New York State.
The recommendations identified by the Task Force recognize that the needs of domestic violence survivors vary greatly and there are different tools needed to allow each survivor maximum control over their situation including: mobile advocacy, flexible funding and housing choice. The recommendations offered by the Task Force are ready to be quickly implemented, cutting red tape and prioritizing cultural competency to better meet survivors where they are, give them what they need and set a foundation for continued innovation. The Task Force’s full report is available here.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a drastic increase in the number of reported domestic violence cases in the state, leaving many survivors trapped at home with their abusers without access to help or resources,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York has been working to modernize our systems and the way we deliver services to survivors, and the recommendations made by the task force will help address this alarming spike in domestic violence incidents while building our systems and processes back better than they were before. I thank all the task force members for their work on this issue and for their dedication to ending domestic and gender based violence.”
“Domestic violence has been a pervasive problem in our society, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation and exposed the limitations of our traditional systems and methods,” Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor and Chair of the New York State Council on Women and Girls, said.”Since the uptick in domestic violence incidents during the pandemic, New York has taken aggressive actions to find new and innovative solutions to safely reach domestic violence survivors and provide critical, life-saving services. These recommendations build on our efforts and will help to transform and reimagine the way we provide services by giving survivors of domestic violence choice in their future and control of their decisions.”
Recommendation One: Using New Technologies to Reach More Survivors
The Task Force recommends that the Governor direct the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence to partner with national technical assistance providers to enhance knowledge around the use of technology to reach more survivors, including those in traditionally underserved populations and young people who may be impacted by intimate partner violence.
The Task Force also recommends that state agencies support programs in purchasing mobile devices and supporting technological infrastructure with federal funding related to the pandemic.
The Task Force also recommends that OPDV permanently incorporate a chat and text component into the functionality of the NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline.
Recommendation Two: Providing Flexible Funding to Meet the Diverse Needs of Survivors
The Task Force recommends that state agencies provide funding for local programs that can be used to support survivors’ safety, housing stability, transportation or other needs. In tandem with the mobile advocacy strategy, the state should allow programs to use funds to conduct community-based mobile advocacy, with an emphasis on housing stability, economic empowerment, and safety planning, to enable survivors to remain safe and stably housed in the community, if possible. Support provided by local programs should have more flexible parameters, should meet survivors’ needs as quickly as possible and should be available until the survivor feels safe. Further, the state should continue its commitment to partnering with the philanthropic and advocacy community, collaborating to leverage support, fill in the gaps where existing funds fall short and foster further innovation.
Recommendation Three: Providing More Housing Navigation Services
The Task Force recommends that state agencies connect providers to diverse housing-related funding streams to support a housing navigator system. Navigators will work with survivors to help them access available resources and support for housing beyond shelter and work with domestic violence advocates to help them better understand and assist with their clients’ needs around housing.
Additionally, domestic violence programs should designate a portion of one staff member’s salary to be used for housing navigation services, and community-based resources should incorporate this information into their resource database in order to fully support those victims. The role of the housing navigator would be to “bridge the gap” between domestic violence services and housing providers in order to ensure that the housing needs of domestic violence survivors are met.
Recommendation Four: Removing the Requirement that Domestic Violence Victims File a Police Report in Order to Access Victims of Crime Act Funding
The Task Force recommends that the Governor issue an executive order to remove the requirement that domestic violence victims file a police report in order to access the Victims of Crime Act funding. Many domestic violence survivors may be unable or unwilling to file a police report against their abuser, and expanding access to this funding while the state of emergency remains in effect will allow survivors to navigate the COVID-19 crisis with crucial financial support to seek safety.
Recommendation Five: Addressing the Needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color Survivors of Gender-Based Violence
The Task Force recommends that the Council on Women and Girls establish a standing committee to prioritize and coordinate the creation of culturally competent service delivery designed to address the needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) survivors of gender-based violence. The committee will operate under a shared understanding of the impact of systemic racism on BIPOC survivors, and apply an intersectional lens to also consider sexuality, gender identity, age, disability, immigration status, and other identities and experiences in its work. The committee should meet bi-monthly to create an action plan for implementing these elements of service delivery across agencies, including comprehensive prevention strategies, improved language access and culturally competent outreach.
The Task Force also recommends that the state launch a paid and earned media campaign to promote prevention in a culturally competent way and reach specific populations across New York State.
Recommendation Six: Normalizing Domestic Violence Screening During Tele-Health Visits
The Task Force recommends that the Governor direct OPDV and the Department of Health to create guidelines for best practices in identifying and responding to intimate partner violence via tele-health. DOH and the Department of Financial Services should explore the rapid deployment of Medicaid (and commercial) payment mechanisms for intimate partner violence screening and response through telehealth, and OPDV should develop and provide training, technical assistance and appropriate literature to healthcare providers to encourage safe screening for domestic violence and appropriate responses when domestic violence is suspected or identified during tele-health visits.
Recommendation Seven: Coordinating a Program to Promote the Need for Representation of Immigrant Victims
The Task Force recommends that the Governor direct OPDV to coordinate a program with the New York State Bar Association and other bar associations and legal services providers to facilitate training and promote the need for representation of immigrant victims by large law firms through their pro bono programs.
Recommendation Eight: Launching a Public Awareness Campaign to Highlight Financial Abuse
The Task Force recommends that OPDV expands the functions of its existing text and chat line to serve as a conduit to address the various forms of financial abuse experienced by domestic violence survivors.
The Task Force also recommends the establishment of a pilot project with local domestic service providers to identify victims whose credit has been ruined as a result of their abuse and work to repair and rebuild their financial standing.
Recommendation Nine: Launching a New Prevention Initiative Specifically Directed at Educating Men About Domestic Violence
The Task Force recommends that OPDV exercises its oversight authority for abusive partner interventions programs in New York State and directs it to launch a new prevention initiative specifically directed at men, emphasizing the connection between domestic violence and harm to children.
Recommendation Ten: Setting the Stage for Future Progress
The recommendations offered in this report represent just a small fraction of the many ideas and best practices offered by the members of the Task Force over the course of their work. Among the long-term strategies to be further explored are policies around court innovation, ways to address the connection between child abuse and domestic violence, robust prevention programs, and more comprehensive data collection practices. While the Task Force will no longer formally convene, its members have generously offered to continue serving as resources for the state as it develops these long-term plans.
About the New York State COVID-19 Domestic Violence Task Force
In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, data reported by law enforcement and domestic violence service providers pointed to an increase in domestic violence, with the New York State Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline recording a 33 percent increase in calls for April 2020 compared to April 2019, and shelter occupancy rates upstate rising to 78 percent in April 2020, versus 59 percent in April 2019.
Since the pandemic began and the NYS PAUSE order went into effect, the state’s Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and all relevant state agencies have been working diligently to reach domestic violence survivors and connect them with information about services and support. OPDV also implemented a new, confidential text line and chat program for survivors across the state. The creation of the Task Force built on that work, convening 27 experienced and knowledgeable advocates, service providers and thought leaders from across the country to meet virtually, share their expertise and create written proposals.
Members of the COVID-19 Domestic Violence Task Force include:
Scott Berkowitz – Founder and President, Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
Alejandra Y. Castillo, Esq. – CEO, YWCA USA
Karma Cottman – Executive Director, Ujima, Inc: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
Nathaniel M. Fields – President and CEO, Urban Resource Institute (URI)
Ruth M. Glenn – President and CEO, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)
Peg Hacskaylo – Founder and CEO, National Alliance for Safe Housing (NASH)
Jim Henderson – Probation and Domestic Violence Expert, Battered Women’s Justice Project
Grace Huang, JD – Policy Director, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Tandra R. LaGrone – Executive Director, In Our Own Voices
Cindi Leive – Senior Fellow, USC-Annenberg School of Journalism and Communications
Tonya Lovelace, MA – CEO, Women of Color Network Inc (WOCN)
David Mandel – Executive Director, Safe & Together Institute
Karol V. Mason – President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Joan S. Meier – Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School and Director, National Family Violence Law Center at GW
Connie Neal – Executive Director, New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV)
Ana L. Oliveira – President and CEO, The New York Women’s Foundation
Leslye Orloff – Director, National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project at American University Washington College of Law
Farzana Safiullah – CEO, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV)
Lynn Hecht Schafran, JD – Legal Director and Director, National Judicial Education Program at Legal Momentum, The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund
Lucy Rain Simpson – Executive Director, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC)
Joe Torre – Co-Founder and Chairman, The Safe at Home Foundation and Special Advisor to Major League Baseball (MLB)
Patricia Tototzintle – CEO, Casa de Esperanza/National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Community
Deborah D. Tucker, MPA – President, National Center on Domestic & Sexual Violence (NCDSV)
Deborah J. Vagins – President and CEO, National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)
Troy Vincent – Executive Vice President of Football Operations, NFL and National Advocate to End Domestic Violence
Carole Warshaw, M.D. – Director, National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health
Joanne Zannoni – Executive Director, New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA)
As the United States, with the most COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, passes the 2 million infected mark and approaches 114,000 deaths, with cases spiking in more than half the states, Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, offered a statement, and a detailed plan for economic recovery that takes into account the well-founded concerns of workers and consumers. As Biden said, Trump did not cause the pandemic but his utter failure to lead, to come up with any cohesive strategy and in fact to contradict and undermine the CDC and other agencies who would mitigate the worst impacts, has made both the toll on lives and llvelihoods that much worse. Biden shows yet again that he does not just have the compassion but the competence to be president that Trump woefully lacks. –Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.
Here are Vice President Biden’s remarks and his economic plan:
The United States has passed yet another grim milestone of President Trump’s utter failure to lead us through this crisis, with two million Americans now having been afflicted with COVID-19.
President Trump isn’t responsible for the virus, but he is accountable for his historic mismanagement of the response. We now know that tens of thousands of lives could have been saved if President Trump had listened to the experts and moved faster. We know that we could have dramatically reduced the economic devastation of this outbreak if our response was anywhere close to as competent as that of other countries.
Even now, after the incredible toll our country has already paid, President Trump still refuses to take the virus seriously. While he may have forgotten about COVID-19, COVID-19 hasn’t forgotten about us. In more than 20 states, the level of new infections continues to rise. Just like Donald Trump could not wish the disease away in April, or tweet it away in May, he can’t ignore it away in June.
And now, President Trump is returning to the campaign trail, trying to ignore reality. He’s failing to take the long-overdue steps that I’ve called for to protect our country and safely re-open our economy, like getting more testing and protective equipment into the field, putting in place a national contact tracing corps, and letting science and medicine inform our strategy.
We all want to get the virus under control, and we all want the re-opening to proceed effectively so that we can get our country back to work. However, President Trump has taken his eye off the ball yet again, and he is unwilling or unable to do the hard work we need to do to win this fight. The American people can’t afford that any longer.
FACTSHEET: The Biden Plan for an Effective Re-Opening that Jumpstarts the Economy
Today, more than 20 million Americans are unemployed – and a majority of those unemployed are a result of the economic crisis worsened by President Trump’s failed response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. After weeks and months of social distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, communities across the country are in the process of re-opening. Americans deserve a President who will ensure that re-opening is as effective and safe as possible – putting people back on the payroll as quickly as possible and restoring economic demand as fully as possible. Trump has abdicated any effective federal leadership, leaving state, tribal, and local officials to do their best without help from Washington. With cases of COVID-19 still rising rapidly in parts of the country, Trump has effectively ceased to mobilize any national public health response.
A stronger, more effective reopening requires doing the work to keep workers safe, to restore consumer confidence, to support small businesses, to ensure seniors can participate, and to provide parents with the help they need to get back to work. Trump has a one-point plan for all of this – put up the “Open for Business” sign and then just see what happens. That isn’t going to fix the economy that Trump broke or minimize the risk of COVID-19 resurging. Trump’s approach falls woefully short. First, it does nothing to keep workers safe and help businesses stay open. Second, it does nothing to boost consumer confidence. And third, it does nothing to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs. Trump is essentially hanging a mission accomplished banner because a small fraction of jobs returned when millions were lost because of his incompetent response to COVID-19. Biden will release an aggressive and comprehensive plan for good-paying job creation in the coming days.
To meet the first two challenges, Biden has an eight-part plan to make sure the reopening is safe and strong and sets the foundation for an economy that works for everyone.
Guarantee Testing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for All Called Back on the Job: If we are going to send Americans back to work without having beaten COVID-19 as a nation, workers should know if they or their co-workers are infected. Biden would:
Direct the federal government to provide regular and reliable COVID-19 testing for every worker called back on the job – paid for by the federal government, with a federal guarantee of availability and rapid reporting of results — for the duration of this crisis.
Ensure all workers, in all communities, have access to effective personal protective equipment based upon their risk of exposure to the virus and their type of workplace. No worker should be forced to give up benefits and return to work under unsafe conditions.
Ensure workers and unions have a voice in reopening plans, and that reopening decisions by tribal governments are respected. (Read Joe Biden’s plans for establishing a Pandemic Testing Board to surge testing nationwide,and ramping up the production and fair distribution of PPE.)
Guarantee Paid Leave for All Who Get Sick: No one should have to choose between their paycheck and their health. Biden would:
Ensure paid leave for all workers who get sick with COVID-19, for as long as they need to recover and complete quarantine – leave paid for by the federal government with a guarantee that workers can return to their jobs.
Guarantee federally-funded paid leave for workers caring for family members or other loved ones sick with COVID-19. His plan is broader, stronger, and longer than the plan enacted by Congress, and is in addition to existing paid leave provided by a business’s existing policies, including collectively-bargained leave.
Ensure Worker Protection and Accountability: People want to get back to work, but they also want — and deserve — to know that their workplaces are safe. Biden would:
Task the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with setting and enforcing a rigorous emergency temporary standard for worker protection so employers follow a clear set of rules to keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure.
Ensure that the OSHA standard includes requirements for exposure identification and control, including social distancing, improved ventilation, and other workplace design measures, adequate personal protective equipment, targeted sanitation procedures, as well as training, notification and communication requirements for handling cases at work.
Protect workers not fully covered by OSHA, including by working with Congress to ensure this standard would cover public employees and directing other agencies to enforce industry-specific standards.
Pursue tough fines on corporations that do not abide by standards or recklessly expose their workers to COVID-19, targeting employers that engage in the most egregious violations that put the largest number of workers at serious risk. And, he would do everything in his power to ensure workers are protected against retaliation as they reasonably try to stay safe.
Build a National Contact Tracing Workforce: Once COVID-19 infected people are identified, we need to find those to whom they might have unwittingly spread the disease. Contact tracing is a core component of a robust nationwide data-driven disease surveillance system. Given the massive unemployment problem that Trump generated and the incredible need for contact tracers, Biden would:
Create a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps. Through this Corps, the federal government will closely coordinate with state, tribal, and local leaders, as well as unions, to mobilize at least 100,000 people — and many more, if necessary — to support the public health response including by ensuring contract tracing reaches every community in America. Corps members should come from the communities they serve in order to ensure that they create trust and are as effective as possible.
Establish a COVID-19 renewable state, tribal, and local government fund — which Biden proposed in mid-March — to provide sorely under-resourced public health departments the support they need to stop new outbreaks.
Protect Older Americans, Americans with Disabilities, and Others at High Risk: Discrimination against those at risk or those with COVID-19 cannot be tolerated. Biden would:
Require employers to tailor work arrangements for anyone who is in a high-risk group or has a high-risk individual in their home. If arrangements cannot be made, individuals would be allowed to continue to draw unemployment benefits and be protected from job loss. These benefits would last for the duration of the crisis.
Provide older Americans and others at high risk evidence-based guidance for different phases of reopening. Biden’s plan to ramp up testing nationwide — and the resulting aggregated testing data — will help inform advanced this guidance, and will give older Americans, who already experience social isolation, the confidence to know they will not be left behind.
Establish testing capacity so that every resident in a long-term care facility could safely see at least one visitor every week and that the many older Americans who foster or care for children have access to regular and reliable testing.
Direct the federal government to create an easy-to-read Nationwide Pandemic Dashboard that Americans can check in real-time to help them gauge whether local transmission is actively occurring in their zip codes. This information is critical to helping all individuals, but especially older Americans and others at high risk, understand what level of precaution to take.
Create “Safer for Shoppers” Program: The economy will not fully come back until consumers feel safe again. The Safer for Shoppers voluntary federal program will:
Provide state, tribal, and local governments with funding and technical assistance for their public health departments to certify business as compliant with testing procedures and other best practices for reducing transmission and to conduct spot-checks as necessary.
Compliant businesses would receive a “Safer for Shoppers” sign to display so shoppers would know that the businesses have done what they can to minimize the risk of exposure.
Restart Small Business: President Trump’s corrupt economic response has routinely favored corporations over small businesses and largely shut out minority business owners from COVID-19 recovery funds. Biden refuses to allow this crisis to inflict further economic pain on working families and communities of color. Biden would:
Provide an ambitious “restart package” that provides small business owners support for retaining and rehiring workers, as well as for fixed costs as long as they are bringing back workers.
Support work-sharing so that small businesses — and larger ones, too — can bring back all of their workers, even if they are not operating at full capacity, with the federal government making up the difference.
Provide grants for businesses to cover the costs of restarting in this challenging environment, including for supplies like personal protective equipment and plexiglass to use as a barrier to reduce transmission risk.
Swiftly end the racial inequity in small business support by ensuring that minority-owned businesses get effective access to all of these tools, as well as access to technical assistance — such as accounting support and legal advice — so that they are not shut out of federal aid programs.
Reopen Schools and Child Care Programs: Trump has done effectively nothing to help schools or child care providers reopen, perhaps the single most important step to get parents back to work. While schools stay closed, parents are struggling and students, especially low-income students and students of color, are falling behind. Biden would mobilize the federal government, in cooperation with educators, child care providers, unions, communities, and families, to take decisive action.
Significantly scale-up National Institutes of Health-funded COVID-19 pediatric research partnerships to help address the glaring gaps in our understanding of how the virus affects children and generate evidence-based guidance.
Build a Safer Schools Best Practices Clearinghouse to help schools and child care providers across the country and around the world share approaches and tools for reopening.
Provide funds for child care providers and schools — particularly Title I schools — to cover costs, including personal protective equipment and enhanced sanitation efforts; alterations to classrooms, schedules, class sizes, and transportation so students can physically distance; upgraded technology and broadband for new forms of instruction; support for social-emotional learning; and training for educators, parents, and students as they adapt to new circumstances.