After much anticipation for the 2020 Presidential Election, the President-elect is officially Joe Biden and his Vice-President elect Kamala Harris.
Shortly after the results were called on Nov. 7, New Yorkers took to the streets to celebrate along with the majority of the rest of the country. However, the question still remains: what happens now?
President Donald Trump refuses to accept the results, initiating numerous lawsuits to find incriminating evidence of voter fraud anywhere in the country. The New York Times reported that the president’s Attorney General William P. Barr has also authorized investigations into supposed voter fraud. The general services administrator has refused to give Biden’s team access to transition offices and resources guaranteed under law. The White House is preparing a budget for next year as if President Trump will be there to present it.
“First, Americans should be proud of this election. We demonstrated that 160 million people can cast ballots under very difficult circumstances,” said Queens College (QC) Associate Professor of Political Science Kenna Lipsitz. “Moreover, all of these ballots were counted in a very reasonable amount of time given all of the accommodations states had to make for COVID.”
With that said, Americans now have to look forward to what the future will look like in terms of coronavirus, climate change, the economic struggles of the lower class, among many other issues.
Alba Echeverry, an alumni of the QC political science department, chimed in, “They need to unify an extremely divided nation, handle a pandemic, address racial injustice, address immigration reform, address healthcare, make climate change a priority, and much more.”
In a recent roundtable meeting the QC political science department held via Zoom on Nov. 9, experts discussed what the future might look like in America. They touched on the transfer from the Trump presidency to the upcoming Biden presidency starting with the media. “In this instance, they’re doing what I’ve been longing to see which is turn the cameras away from him,” said Joe Rollins of the political science department.
Rollins pointed out that we should be able to know what the new president is planning and “open up the New York Times, Washington Post and look at the television not to see ‘Trump did this, Trump did that’ but what the Biden team is doing, what they are planning to do and what they are attempting to do.”
Biden and Harris have a lot to undergo this coming year. “After Trump and the era of Trumpism, it’s gonna be interesting to see how and if Biden and Harris are able to put the pieces of this nation back together,” Echeverry stated. “Both of them also have not-so-pleasant pasts where they have made important decisions that hurt marginalized communities. But they can take this opportunity to show us how they can do better.”
As Lipsitz explained, Biden needs to turn the Senate towards the Democratic party. “He will have the most latitude in the area of foreign policy where he will focus on rebuilding our relationships with democracies around the world by focusing on issues that threaten us all, such as climate change and the pandemic.”
On Biden’s campaign website, he has all his plans in squares for everyone to read. Biden and Harris’ plan to beat COVID-19 is to rebuild tracing protocols in order to double the number of drive-through testing sites and in order to establish a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps as a way to mobilize at least 100,000 Americans across the country. With support from trusted local organizations in communities most at-risk, the goal is to perform culturally competent approaches to contact-tracing while protecting these at-risk populations.
He will ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) for everyone through the Defense Production Act that will ramp up the supply of PPE. That is the first step to get through this pandemic as a nation.
Biden also has plans to expand the Child Tax Credit to help families through this crisis as well as help keep families together at our border. Biden intends to improve screening procedures at the ports of entry with the cooperation of Canada and Mexico.
“I hope he will be better at bringing the country together,” Lipsitz said. Biden and Harris have many great plans, but we cannot ignore when something is not right. The people of this nation can’t turn a blind eye on a presidency that was pushed so hard to come. If we the people do, we will be repeating 2020.
“We desperately need him to be [better]. Unfortunately, with half the country living in the alternative reality created by President Trump and the media outlets that cater to him, that is unlikely.”