Time for a divided America to heal

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Photo courtesy of Freepik.com.

It’s America’s time to heal.

While results aren’t yet certified, Democratic nominee Joe Biden is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election over incumbent president Donald Trump.

As of Nov. 7, Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States after surpassing 270 Electoral College votes with wins in Nevada and Pennsylvania.

With Biden’s presumed victory comes the hope the country will be able to come together again after four years of turmoil under Trump’s leadership.

During his time as president, Trump has divided the country and enacted policies which have harmed the most vulnerable Americans.

Almost immediately after assuming office in 2017, the Trump administration rescinded Obama-era guidance on transgender bathroom protections in public schools.

Former President Barack Obama instructed public schools to allow transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms which match the student’s chosen gender identity.

The Obama administration cited Title IX, a 1972 law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education, as their reasoning behind issuing the guidance.

Trump’s decision to reverse federal protections for transgender students sent a message that his administration would not be an ally to LGBTQ students, and put these students at risk of abuse and harassment.

LGBTQ+ students aren’t the only students Trump has threatened.

Also in 2017, the Trump administration began efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an immigration policy enacted by the Obama administration.

DACA protects young, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were children from deportation.

DACA also allows young, undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses and work permits, as well as financial aid for those seeking higher education.

About 800,000 individuals are a part of DACA, according to Governing, a political magazine.

Trump’s attempt to end the program was denied by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in June 2020, but that didn’t stop Trump’s attack on immigrant youth.

The Trump administration announced in July 2020 it will reject new DACA applications and shorten the renewal period for old applicants.

This decision has left many young, undocumented immigrants who have spent the majority of their lives in the United States unable to work and in fear of deportation.

Women have not been exempt from the Trump administration’s wrath.

Over the course of his presidency, Trump has made multiple attempts to abolish the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare reform signed into law by Obama.

The goal of ACA is to expand insurance coverage and access to healthcare to all Americans, including vulnerable populations, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The ACA improves women’s health by ensuring women can’t be denied health insurance coverage due to pre-existing health conditions such as breast cancer or pregnancy.

The ACA also requires all healthcare plans cover maternity and newborn care.

If Trump’s attempts to repeal the ACA had been fruitful, millions of women in the United States would have been left without access to healthcare for themselves and their children.

In addition, women’s reproductive rights worldwide have been threatened by the Trump administration.

In January 2017, the Trump administration reinstated the Mexico City Policy, also known as the global gag rule.

The global gag rule bans non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. funding from using their own funds to advocate for, share information on, or offer abortion services, according to NC Policy Watch, a North Carolina public policy think tank.

The global gag rule prevents women from seeking safe abortions, leading some to resort to dangerous methods to terminate pregnancies.

A study published by The Lancet Global Health in 2020 found the global gag rule has increased unsafe abortion rates by 40 percent.

Even more startling are the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks.

Since Trump’s inauguration in 2017, he and his administration have repealed or started to rollback over 100 environmental regulations.

The Trump administration has disregarded scientific data about the risks of climate change time and time again.

Their actions, such as dismantling the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration policy aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, have caused harm to the environment.

The Trump administration has also blocked a rule to phase out inefficient light bulbs and eliminated a rule that required oil and gas companies to detect and repair methane leaks in August 2020.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic was occurring, the Trump administration was searching for new ways to strip Americans of civil and human rights, and cause potentially irreversible damage to the climate.

All the while the Trump administration sidelined government scientists and altered their recommendations, according to a report by the United States Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

The Trump administration failed to control the coronavirus, leading to the deaths of over 200,000 Americans.

It’s time for America to have a president who doesn’t strip citizens of their civil and human rights, puts their health and safety over the economy, and regards science when enacting policies.

Biden may have his faults, but Americans will be better off without Trump.