OPINION: Criticism of Our Government Under the New Presidency

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Americans are allowed to and should be critical of their government regardless of which party is in power. While a majority of Americans would agree things were far worse under President Trump’s administration and things should be monumentally better under Biden’s administration, there is still a lot of work to do to get there. 

President Biden is not our savior. He is unable to fix the damage done by the inaction of President Trump during this pandemic. People who do not believe in wearing masks never will. People who believe COVID-19 is a hoax never will get vaccinated. 

Biden simply cannot make COVID-19 go away by being a stronger leader. We needed strong leadership a year ago when the pandemic started if we hoped for a Covid-free future anytime before 2022. 

The United States has just surpassed half a million COVID-19 deaths. While that number was already at 400,000 when Trump left office, people are continuing to die of the virus. 

While Biden has made great strides in making sure Americans have access to COVID-19 testing and the vaccine, now 1 in 10 Americans have received their first dose of the vaccine, there are still many issues that need to be addressed. 

Another Covid-related issue is who is able to receive the vaccine. While most people agree that those most at risk deserve to be vaccinated first, such as the elderly, those with pre-existing health conditions, and those most likely to be exposed, such as healthcare workers, educators who have been forced to return to their classrooms have not had the privilege of being added to that list. 

Although they are exposed to large numbers of students and faculty throughout the school day and have been categorized as essential workers, they are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine on a federal or state level unless they meet the age requirement.

Another pressing issue is that stimulus checks are still excluding college students. While the Senate is discussing the third stimulus bill, it is important to acknowledge the only group of people that have been left out of the last two stimulus bills. 

College students make monumentally less than $75,000 a year because they’re in school, but they are still not eligible to receive a check. Most are not able to manage the course load of a full-time student and work a full-time job simultaneously, but because they are over age 17, they are not included on their parent’s stimulus check either. 

There continues to be talk of canceling student loan debt, but it is not likely that will be passed anytime soon. Biden has been hesitant to pursue his party’s more drastic demands. While canceling student loan debt would benefit students in the long-run, it does not provide any immediate relief for students struggling during the pandemic right now. 

Another critical issue is how there is so much work still to be done in regards to dismantling the oppressive systems in this country, work that must start from the top down. Simply voting a notoriously bigoted man out of office does not mean things are just in this country. Bigotry may have lost its biggest platform, but it is still alive and well.

Racism is a pandemic that has plagued the world, and especially the United States, for centuries now and it is about time we firmly discouraged it on a national level. Biden has already made several statements solidifying his stance on issues of equity and inclusion, but his actions will speak louder than his words during his time in office. 

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