Across our nation today, there are nearly 230,000 empty chairs at dining room tables, where just weeks or months ago loved ones sat and talked and laughed. There are 30 million Americans feeling the sting of a lost job or lost wages — 10 million who’ve had the peace of mind of health coverage taken away.
Parents are struggling to teach their kids at home — often while balancing their own jobs — because there is no comprehensive plan to reopen our schools safely.
One in five small business owners forced to shutter their dreams. Cars stretched for miles in town after town, filled with proud families pushed to the brink — waiting in line, for the first time in their lives, for meal assistance. Last goodbyes to parents delivered through PlexiGlas. Opportunities to pray together and place them in the hands of God confined to a laptop screen.
For eight months, we’ve lived through one of the most devastating tragedies in American history. But even as the numbers mount — with the worst-ever day of confirmed new cases coming just days ago — we cannot become numb to it. We cannot let these lives lost and futures diminished become statistics or background noise — just a blur that passes by on the nightly news.
Each is an American life that deserved better. And cruelest of all, we know that so much pain could have been avoided if only the president had faced reality and taken action sooner.
A study released by Columbia University last week found that up to 210,000 American deaths could have been avoided had President Trump mounted even a basic, competent response to the coronavirus pandemic. Choosing instead to lie to us, divide us and promise that the coronavirus pandemic would go away “like a miracle” cost us irreplaceable lives and made our economic collapse far more painful than it ever should have been.
President Trump campaigned in 2016 promising to lift up the forgotten man — but once he took office, he forgot him. He lost sight of working people. Now, not only has he given up on fighting this virus, he’s actively fighting to strip protections away from 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions. He handed out a $1.5 trillion tax giveaway, largely to big corporations and billionaires – but thinks $15 an hour is too much for essential workers.
I see the world from Scranton, Pa. If you grew up around hardworking families like I did, you don’t see Americans who served in uniform, like my son Beau did, as “losers” and “suckers.” And you understand that Wall Street didn’t build this country — working people did.
Americans need a president who sees the world like they do, and treats everyone with dignity and respect. On Day One, I’ll mount an aggressive approach to control this virus and get us back to our lives. I’ll make sure that we don’t just recover from this economic slump, but build back better than before — creating an economy that deals everyone in.
I won’t raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year – but I will make big corporations and the super-wealthy pay their fair share. We’ll use that revenue to get help to schools and small businesses, give educators and essential workers a well-deserved raise, and make health care, child care and elder care more affordable for everyone.
We’ll rebuild manufacturing —by enforcing a real Buy American plan. President Trump made empty promises to American manufacturers that he simply didn’t keep. I’ll require the federal government’s $600 billion in annual purchasing power be used on American companies with American workers, with supply chains running through American towns.
We’ll rebuild our roads, bridges and ports with American steel. We’ll rebuild crumbling schools and construct 1.5 million new affordable homes with American workers. We’ll eliminate the Trump tax loopholes that incentivize companies to move jobs overseas, and forge a future that’s truly made in America. All told, Moody’s Analytics projects that my plan will create 7 million more jobs and $1 trillion more in economic growth than President Trump’s proposals.
But we know that this election is about much more than policy. America’s character is on the ballot.
If elected, I promise to fight as hard for those who don’t support me as for those who do. That’s the job of a president: not to divide us into red states and blue states, but to bring us together in a common purpose — as the United States of America.
This is not a partisan moment. It’s an American moment. And it’s time we pick ourselves up off the mat and come together. If you believe America is better than what we’ve seen these last four years, I hope that you’ll cast your vote for me. Because throughout our history, there has been nothing we’ve been unable to do when we’ve done it together.