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Opinion Columns

Diana DeGette: Why I’m supporting Joe Biden for president

As we face a global pandemic with increasingly frightening economic and public health consequences, it is difficult for many to look beyond right now.

The American people are uncertain of what’s to come, and working people are bearing the brunt of the far-reaching, economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a public servant, it pains me to see the abdication of presidential leadership amid this crisis. The lack of foresight from this current administration, their refusal to listen to experts and the fundamental lack of empathy from the current president — it’s all unacceptable.

Rep. Diana DeGette (Photo by Evan Semón)

Throughout our history, Americans have always demanded the very best from their leaders in moments of uncertainty, and now cannot be any different. That’s why I’m working hard to elect Joe Biden in November. 

Joe possesses everything we need to defeat this pandemic once and for all, and come out of this moment stronger than before. He has the experience and relationships to navigate this crisis, the vision and foresight to rebuild our country and perhaps most importantly, the heart to lead for all Americans.

I don’t say all of this lightly; I’m not fond of empty promises or blanket statements. But I say all of this with such conviction because I can personally attest that Joe has what it takes to get this done. 

In 2016, I worked closely with Joe to pass the 21st Century CURES Act, which provided increasing funding to the NIH and Biden’s cancer “moonshot” initiative.

I saw firsthand Joe’s ability to get his colleagues to put politics aside, and put the American people first, as has been the case throughout his time in public service.

The Violence Against Women Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Paris Climate Change Accords — which Joe was instrumental at getting 195 countries to sign onto in an unprecedented, coordinated response to climate change —  these are just some examples of Joe’s unique ability to build consensus and get big things done for the American people. 

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

As we face an unprecedented global pandemic, experience matters more than ever. A proven track record of leadership during crisis matters more than ever.

I would suggest you look no further than how Joe helped America get through the Great Recession. As the designated leader of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Joe worked tirelessly — and effectively — to ensure we got relief to American families, and got it to them fast.

Focusing on getting results to the American people immediately is exactly what our leaders should be doing right now. 

That leadership is exactly what we see in Joe’s responses to the dual economic and public health risks the COVID-19 pandemic poses on the American people.

His vision for the implementation of the recently passed stimulus package, which includes strong oversight and specific recommendations for implementation, shows that he has the experience and institutional knowledge to navigate an economic crisis.

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His recommendation of appointing a “supply commander” to ensure that our states and territories get the resources they need to treat victims of COVID-19 is both bold and necessary. And he’s been outspoken about lifting up our farmworkers, taking care of our students and calling attention to how certain communities are being disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Most importantly, his plan to reopen our country is measured, fact-driven and focuses on keeping all Americans safe, which unfortunately, we can’t say of our current president. 

For me, it comes down to the type of man I know Joe personally to be. The leader who has channeled his deep personal loss into purpose, has always treated his colleagues — no matter their political affiliation — with dignity and respect and has never lost sight of what it truly means to be a public servant. Joe is the leader we can count on in this moment and beyond. 


U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, represents Colorado’s first congressional district.