Gov. J.B. Pritzker: Why I’m voting for Joe Biden

We need a president who can move us forward. A president guided by empathy instead of ego, fact instead of fiction.

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden

Carolyn Kaster/AP Photos

This week, Democrats are sharing our party’s vision with the American people — a vision not simply to return to where we were before the disaster of Donald Trump, but to build back stronger and better.

Right now, our nation is in crisis. More than 170,000 of our fellow Americans have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100,000 small businesses have shuttered for good. Millions have lost their jobs, their savings, and their peace of mind — all while Donald Trump watches from his golf course.

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I’ve seen this suffering firsthand in Illinois, where the deadly pandemic and sudden unemployment has thrown so many lives into a cycle of fear and uncertainty — made worse by Donald Trump’s refusal to recognize the seriousness of Covid-19 and respond appropriately.

The pain this president has caused is immeasurable. But it was not inevitable. Trump was warned about this pandemic beginning last year — not once, not twice, but twelve times by his intelligence advisors. He was told that he needed to take bold action to stop the spread, save lives, and stabilize our economy. But even as these warnings materialized into death and devastation, he still refused to act.

Instead, Trump suggested that Americans drink bleach; he blamed immigrants and attacked public health experts; he praised a doctor who thinks medicine is being made from the DNA of space aliens; he congratulated himself for passing a cognitive test doctors give when they suspect dementia; and to this day, he still says the virus will simply vanish.

The world is on fire, and Donald Trump thinks, “It’s going to be just fine.”

Enough is enough. The American people cannot bear the burden of Trump’s failures any longer. We need a president who can move us forward. A president guided by empathy instead of ego, fact instead of fiction.

That is why I will be voting for Joe Biden. I know Joe as a man who has experienced tragedy and approaches public service with enormous empathy. He has devoted his life to taking on big problems and fighting for everyone. He will be ready on day one to tackle the pandemic with a real plan and get our economy back on track by directing help to the people who need it most. He will fight for assistance for our cities and states — assistance we desperately need to give our first responders the support they deserve, to provide mental health services to those throughout our country and to ensure all our students can continue their education in a safe and responsible way.

Joe Biden also knows that we can’t just set the clock back to the pre-Trump era. For too many Americans, that wasn’t working. That’s why he has laid out a blueprint to build back better. By harnessing the ingenuity of American workers, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will help build an economy for a new era — one that creates millions of good-paying union jobs through a clean energy revolution, that advances racial equality and opportunity, that spurs innovation, raises wages and revitalizes American manufacturing. A future made in America by all of America’s workers.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris believe America is at its best when we lift everyone up, especially the least among us, and when we treat all Americans with the dignity they deserve. Under their leadership, we will not fear the future. We will seize it with the same sense of possibility that has inspired generations before us.

The job of every president is to move our nation forward on the path toward a more perfect union. Donald Trump has worked at every turn to divide us — tearing up families, tarnishing our values, and trampling our constitution.

In November, we can defeat this president and restore civility, decency and honor to the White House. We can heal our divisions, stand up for working families, restore the soul of our nation, and close one of the darkest chapters in our history. And together, we can make our union a little more perfect and build back better.

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