These □are tough times. Our country is at a crossroads, facing a pandemic, a recession, □and an election that will decide our futures for a very long time.
This □year, we've seen the best of America carry us forward: heroic doctors, nurses, □grocers, restaurant owners, essential workers – including so many Asian □Americans.□
But □we've also seen the worst: acts □of hate against Asian Americans wrongly blamed for COVID-19, spurred on, in □part, by hateful rhetoric from President Trump. They've been screamed at, spit □on, and assaulted. Homes, □businesses, and cars vandalized□ with slurs. Small children stabbed. □An 89-year-old grandmother set □on fire□ amid this rising culture of hate.
This □is not who we are.
For □nearly two centuries, Asian Americans have made our country strong – from the □gold miners and railroad and factory workers who helped □to power our rise; to the scientists, architects, artists, and entrepreneurs who □are helping to drive us forward now. For years, their courage, sacrifices, and □success have powered the American Dream and helped America stand as □a beacon of freedom and hope to the world.
President □Trump doesn't get that. He □has led an assault on our values as a nation of immigrants, even tearing □thousands of children from their parents' arms at our border. Hate crimes □against people are at a 16-year-high, □even before this pandemic. And now, to deflect blame for his failure to protect □our nation from this crisis, he insists on calling COVID-19 the "China virus," □no matter how many thousands□ of reported racist incidents against Asian Americans it encourages.
Words □matter – and a president's words matter even more. As □President, I'll □defend the American Dream for everyone, so every hardworking family has the same □fair shot at prosperity and a better future. I'll stand against racism in every □form, directing the □Justice Department to prioritize hate crimes, □and working to heal the wounds of hatred and division, not fan the □flames.
Donald □Trump knew how deadly COVID-19 was back in January and did nothing to stop it. Now, □more than 220,000 Americans are dead. Some 30 million have lost jobs, hours, □wages. One in five small businesses have shut down. □Trump's failed leadership has tanked our economy – and the longer he's □president, the longer it'll take to get it fully up and running □again.
We're eight □months in, but Trump still has no plan. I do.
It □starts with taking responsibility and doing the hard □work to control this pandemic and get our lives back. I'll □implement the plan I've laid out since March to beat COVID-19. I'll □listen □to scientists and experts; protect our families; and make □testing, treatment, and any eventual vaccine free and available to □everyone.
I'll □get right to work building our economy back better – getting real relief out to □millions of hard-hit small businesses. They're the lifeblood of our communities □– but Trump's corrupt recovery passed them by, funneling funds to big □corporations instead. Some 75% □of Asian-owned small businesses□ weren't expected to get any first-round stimulus funds at all. It's wrong. I've □called for ensuring small businesses with less than 50 employees get new relief □funds. And I'll boost their long-term access to credit and capital, and work to □ease the language barriers that can hold back immigrant □entrepreneurs.
Through □it all, my economic recovery plan will reward work, not just wealth, creating □millions of good paying jobs of the future. Independent economists at Moody's □found that my plan creates □7 million more jobs – and $1 trillion more in economic growth – than President □Trump's would. □And I □won't raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000 a year – period. Instead, □I'll make sure the super wealthy and big corporations finally pay their fair □share.
I've □fought my whole career for working and middle class families – so many of them □hard-working immigrants who came to America in search of a better life. I'll □help parents afford a quality education for their kids, boosting teacher pay and □making public college free for most families. I'll make it easier to care for □aging parents, and make health care more affordable. Trump is in court right now □trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, stripping tens of millions of people □of health coverage in the middle of a deadly pandemic. It makes no □sense.
Meanwhile, □COVID-19 is proof that the United States can't isolate itself from the world. We □have to work with other nations to meet global challenges that impact us all, □starting by rebuilding our relationships with our closest partners. We're a □Pacific power, and we'll stand with friends and allies to advance our shared □prosperity, security, and values in the Asia-Pacific region. That includes □deepening our ties with Taiwan, a leading democracy, major economy, technology □powerhouse – and a shining example of how an open society can effectively □contain COVID-19. And our approach to China will focus on boosting American □competitiveness, revitalizing our strengths at home, and renewing our alliances □and leadership abroad. We'll work to collaborate with China when it's in our □interest, including on public health and climate change.□
America □has always led □the world not only with the example of our power, but the power of our example. □To truly do that again, we also have □to fix our broken immigration system, keeping families together and ensuring the □United States continues to draw the world's □best and brightest.
I'm □running to build America back better, as a country of opportunity, unity, and □new beginnings. A place made strong by generations of immigrants. A place where □everyone has a voice and every vote counts. I'll lead on these issues, and more □importantly, I'll listen. So please make sure you get your vote in today. □Together we'll restore the soul of this nation we love.□
by Former Vice President Joseph Biden for World Journal