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Where Trump and Biden Stand on Every Issue Based Entirely on What They've Said

In what appears to be a huge prank on the universe, we are on the brink of an extremely important presidential election in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic. Cool-cool-cool. As you ~may~ have heard, voters will decide between Republican sitting president Donald Trump and Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden. Both contenders have largely opposing views—and policies—on basically everything and seem to have a very difficult time talking to one another (no, I’m still not over the chaos that was the first presidential debate!).

If you want to make sure you understand exactly where they stand on the most pressing issues, here is a cheat sheet so you can feel prepared to cast your ballot on November 3—or literally now if you’re doing early voting.

COVID-19

Donald Trump

Despite reportedly having known about the threat of the novel coronavirus since February, Trump’s been insisting that COVID-19 will be gone before we know it. During the first presidential debate, he also claimed that we are “weeks away” from a vaccine—a claim that’s been heavily disputed. During a rally, Trump told the crowd that he would like to “slow the testing” because more testing leads to more positive cases which… yikes.

Trump also does not think we need a federal mask mandate. When asked why, he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that, no.”

For reference, the U.S. has 4 percent of the world population but 20 percent of the world’s COVID-19 deaths.

Joe Biden

The Democratic nominee would like to offer free COVID-19 testing to all Americans as well as increase resources for contact tracing and protective equipment. During the first presidential debate, Biden also mentioned creating a plan designed to alleviate financial hardship for small business owners. Notably, Biden has said that he would mandate that everyone wears a mask.

Climate Change

Donald Trump

Despite the literal science that says otherwise, Trump “does not believe” in climate change. He’s deflected the rising environmental dangers on Asia, insisting that the United States is the “cleanest country.” But according to Factcheck.org, the U.S. is actually 10th overall for best air quality and 29th for water and sanitation.

Per the Brookings Institute, the Trump administration has taken 74 actions to weaken environmental protection. He’s mostly focused on rolling back policies that address climate change and support the fossil fuel industry, including the Obama Clean Power Plan, which limited carbon emissions in power plants. He also allowed drilling for the first time in the Arctic Refuge, which thrilled oil lobbyists.

In 2017, Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement, an international effort by world leaders to mitigate climate change, and rescinded policies that would combat climate change, as well as give permission to private entities to bypass environmental regulations. So that’s…not good.

Joe Biden

During the presidential debate, Biden maintained that there is no greater challenge than climate change, and—condemning Trump’s actions—promised to rejoin the Paris Agreement. Biden has put forward a plan that allocates nearly $2 trillion in climate policy infrastructure and investment.

Racial Injustice

Donald Trump

Trump has implied, if not outright stated, that he does not support the Black Lives Matter movement. When asked in an interview with CBS News why Black Americans were “still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country,” he said, “So are white people. What a terrible question to ask.”

During the presidential debate, Trump was asked if he would denounce white supremacy and he refused. He then name-checked the violent right-wing group Proud Boys and instructed them to “stand by.”

Joe Biden

Biden has condemned violence that took place at the George Floyd protests that happened after the grand jury ruling regarding Breonna Taylor’s death. But he says he supports “peaceful protest” and has acknowledged racial injustice to be a systemic issue in this country. He made history by choosing the first Black vice presidential pick, Kamala Harris.

Police Reform

Donald Trump

Trump has repeatedly insisted that police do not need to be defunded, although he signed an order that allows Americans to report officers who have been fired or found to have used excessive force. He often touts the phrase “law and order,” which critics claim he uses as a racist scare tactic to make voters fearful of crime particularly in suburbs.

Joe Biden

Even though a movement to “defund the police” gained support from liberals this summer, Biden has repeatedly said that he is not for defunding the police so much as he is all in for reform. Part of his campaign pushes for funding for continued training and body cameras. During the debate he said there was “systemic injustice” in law enforcement. He also said, “But, look, the vast majority of police officers are good, decent, honorable men and women. They risk their lives every day to take care of us. But there are some bad apples…and they have to be held accountable.”

Gun Violence

Donald Trump

Trump has been appealing to his base by doubling down that the right to bare arms is a constitutional right (so was slavery, just FYI). Despite the surges in gun violence during his presidency, Trump has refused to take action that might marginally decrease school shootings and other gun-related massacres that have seen a rise in the last decade. The NRA loves him.

Joe Biden

Biden has long been a strong proponent for gun safety and one of his major platforms is banning assault weapons. He’s also pushed for universal background checks and a federal gun buyback program that would take guns off the streets.

Health Care

Donald Trump

As Trump himself admitted during the first presidential debate, part of his plan for health care is abolishing the Affordable Care Act, although he has never put forward a replacement plan. He recently said he’s going to sign an executive order to protect Americans with preexisting conditions. The president has repeatedly claimed that he plans on lowering the cost of drugs (including insulin), although he does not, according to fact checkers.

Joe Biden

A huge part of Biden’s legacy during his time as vice president was his involvement in passing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It makes sense that Biden would expand Obamacare while also adding a public option that anyone—employed or not—can sign up for, comparing it to a “Medicaid-Medicare-like provision.” Biden does not support free universal health care. His platform also supports keeping abortion accessible and protecting Roe v Wade.

Reproductive Rights

Donald Trump

The Trump administration has attacked women’s health and rights numerous times in the last four years. In 2017, one of his first acts as president was to reinstate the global gag rule that restricts access to safe abortion for women overseas. Trump has also supported the March for Life movement, which attacks women’s right to choose.

Joe Biden

Under Biden, the Affordable Care Act will cover contraception and abortions. He’s made wishy-washy comments in the past about not supporting federal funding for abortion but wants to protect Roe v Wade and stop any state restrictions on access to abortion. Biden also plans to rescind the global gag rule and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Foreign Policy

Donald Trump

Trump’s entire foreign policy plan can be summed up into his favorite phrase: America First. He’s exited the Trans-Pacific agreement, has antagonized Mexico with his “build a wall’ plan, and made immigration infinitely harder. Trump often sides with dictators and autocrats, like Vladimir Putin in Russia and is friendly toward North Korea. He has also has made several derogatory comments toward China, creating an unstable relationship with one of the biggest world leaders.

Joe Biden

Biden wants to “restore dignified leadership at home and respected leadership on the world stage” with his foreign policy, according to his campaign. He also plans to end wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East and strengthens relationships with Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Biden is a supporter of Israel, a long-time U.S. ally.

Peaceful Transition of Power

Donald Trump

On more than one occasion, Trump has insinuated that he would not accept the election results if he were to lose. During the first presidential debate, when moderator Chris Wallace asked if he will urge supporters to stay calm and not engage in civil unrest if Biden wins, Trump said that he will ask them to “watch carefully” and he won’t “go along with that” if he suspects voter fraud. When asked if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power he said, “We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”

Joe Biden

Biden has vowed to accept all the results of the election and has been encouraging voters to vote in person if possible. When asked about Trump’s thinly veiled threats, Biden has said that he will use military power to escort Trump from the White House if necessary.

Military

Donald Trump

Although Trump frequently refers to the U.S. troops as the greatest on Earth, he’s also made alarming comments about fallen soldiers, referring to them as “losers,” according to multiple reports. He infamously mocked the late Senator John McCain for having been captured in combat. Despite Trump’s claims that military families love him, polls show that Biden has overwhelming support from the troops.

Joe Biden

Biden has made several pledges to ensure veterans and their families will receive the adequate amount of resources and care in return for their service. Part of his plan ensures that caregivers will get compensation for mental health care and peer support. He’s also pledged to help military families stabilize between relocations and increase economic opportunities for military spouses.

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