DNC and RNC debut respective candidate’s platform

The 2020 presidential election has begun its final stretch with the political party conventions. The Democratic National Convention was held first followed by the Republican National Convention one week later.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) ran from Aug. 17 to Aug. 20, where former Vice President Joe Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris were nominated for President and Vice President, respectively, on the Democratic ticket. 

The following week, incumbents President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were re-nominated by the Republican party at the Republican National Convention (RNC), which began on Aug. 24 and ended Aug. 27. 

While the DNC consisted of speeches without live audiences from countless locations throughout the United States, the RNC held many of their speeches in Washington D.C., with Trump and Pence giving their speeches at the White House. At Trump’s address alone, over 1,000 people were crowded onto the White House lawn, with many not wearing masks, raising concerns about the possible spread of COVID-19.

The Black Lives Matter movement and protests were major talking points at both conventions. The day prior to night one of the RNC, the shooting of Jacob Blake occurred in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and sparked Pence’s reference to the incident in his speech.

“President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest,” Pence said. “The violence must stop, whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha. Too many heroes have died defending our freedom to see Americans strike each other down. We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American, of every race and creed and color.”

At the DNC, several segments were dedicated to discussing the recent movements regarding racial injustice, including discussions with Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, and NAACP President Derrick Johnson. 

However, Biden upset many of the more progressive members of the Democratic party the first night of the convention by saying, “Most cops are good, but the fact is, the bad ones need to be identified and prosecuted.” Recent discussions regarding racial injustice and police brutality have strengthened movements to defund the police.

COVID-19 was another hot topic filled with many promises from President Trump, most notably that of a vaccine being ready before the new year. “We are delivering life-saving therapies, and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner. We will defeat the virus, end the pandemic and emerge stronger than ever before,” said Trump, during his speech on Aug. 27.

Meanwhile, Biden criticized the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. “Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation. He’s failed to protect us. He’s failed to protect America. And my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable,” Biden said. “Just judge this president on the facts. 5 million Americans infected by COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died.”

On the topic of health care, Biden mentioned providing more funding to the Affordable Care Act, as well emphasizing the importance of caring for the more vulnerable populations with a format similar to Medicaid. “If you qualify for Medicaid and the state hasn’t provided it you’d automatically be enrolled. I’m going to protect you like I tried to protect my own family,” Biden said. 

Trump’s main health care goals revolved around the lowering of prescription drug prices, which was discussed heavily in 2016 as well, alongside ending “surprise billing”. The Right to Try act was touched upon as well, a law passed by the Trump administration in 2018 that allows the terminally ill to participate in unapproved clinical trials.

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