Election contest between President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Photo by |Pixabay
By Cami Melson and Angelika Oviedo
“Horrendous” and “non-educational” were among the words used by CNN anchors to describe the 2020 presidential debates between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump mocked Biden for always wearing a mask three days before he publicly announced he had contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized. Other members of his administration and family tested positive as well.
“Seeing our president mocking former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask everywhere he goes, showed how little concern he’s showing towards this situation and the people,” said York College English major, Gurpreet Kaur, in an email interview.
As Biden struggled to speak without interruption during the first debate, he managed to emphasize that Trump is the cause of more than 210,000 American deaths. Firing back, Trump claimed that he saved millions of lives by restricting travel to and from China.
Before and after contracting the virus, Trump has continued to hold large rallies with no enforcement of masks or social distancing. Many Americans are concerned with the president’s refusal to set an example. They are also waiting for a plan of action to curb the damage of the next wave, from both candidates.
Sadef Kully, a reporter at City Limits, has made it her mission to make sure people know what policies they are voting for. She covers housing and land use in New York, and has met with people who could become homeless in a matter of months.
Kully’s reporting has found an increasing eviction rate as a result of the pandemic. She believes that housing isn’t a partisan topic, and yet neither candidate spoke about housing in the first debate. Kully recalled Senator Kamala Harris uttering one sentence in regards to housing, in the vice presidential debate.
“Whether you are for Biden or Trump, you’re affected by housing and land use,” said Kully.
Andrea Valdez, editor in chief of The 19th, finds her focus to be more on the day to day person. The 19th aims to tell the untold stories of underrepresented women in society and the news.
“Black women are over-represented in how they vote for the Democratic Party and underrepresented in the representation they have in office,” said Valdez.
Valdez has also found that Latinas have endured the highest unemployment in the pandemic. One in five Latinas had no job at the height of the COVID-19. Valdez and her reporters wrote about this impact and wanted to find out if it was driving Latinas to the polls.
Kaur, a first-time voter, believes people will go vote in person, because they know it’s important to vote anyway they can.
“As long as people wear a mask, stay six feet apart and follow all precautions; it will be safe,” she said.
Kaur is reassured by the candidates’ promise of election polls being safe, and she is choosing to vote in person. Regardless of the outcome, Kaur is curious to see a president who will make the right decisions for this country’s present and future.
Jeremiah Duffy, a York College Journalism major and host of YCRadio’s “YC on Purpose” and “Social Justice Institute,” said he was stunned when he heard Trump claim to have done more for the black community than any other president besides Lincoln.
And while Duffy was also shocked to see Biden take his stance on dismantling fossil fuels, he was encouraged by hearing about Biden’s five-step plan on reopening schools, showing that at least one candidate had an actual plan in place.
As for the results of the election, Duffy hopes to see progress on issues involving social justice, healthcare expansion and a better distribution of wealth.
“I hope that Kamala inspires women like my baby sister to continue to dream… and most of all I hope this time we get a president who is a president for all of us,” said Duffy.