Lancaster County voters: Here are some issues to consider before you vote for president [editorial] | Editorials

THE ISSUE We are just nine days from Election Day. As of Friday morning, 59,138


We are just nine days from Election Day. As of Friday morning, 59,138 of the 352,114 registered voters in Lancaster County had cast their ballots by mail. In 2016, Donald Trump won Lancaster County by nearly 20 percentage points over Hillary Clinton. This year, President Trump faces former Vice President Joe Biden.

Lancaster County residents tend to be pragmatic, judging the president on his actions rather than his personality. We’ve outlined some of the issues we hope Lancaster County residents consider when they cast their ballots for president.

— The U.S. unemployment rate in January 2017: 4.8%.

— The U.S. unemployment rate in September 2020: 7.9%.

— The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Jan. 20, 2017, the day Trump was sworn into office: 19,827.25.

— Where the Dow was at midday Friday: 28,200, an increase of 42.2% since Trump took office.

— Percentage of Americans who own stock, either directly or through mutual funds or retirement savings accounts: 55%.

— Individuals being served by the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank per month in 2020: 200,000.

— Individuals being served by the food bank per month in 2019: 135,000.

— U.S. COVID-19 deaths, as of 1:15 p.m. Friday: 223,289.

— COVID-19 deaths around the globe: 1,140,010. (The United States has 4.25% of the world’s population, but has seen nearly 20% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths.)

— COVID-19 cases in the United States, as of 1:15 p.m. Friday: 8,428,640.

— COVID-19 cases around the globe: 41,923,630.

— Deaths in Pennsylvania due to COVID-19, as of noon Friday: 8,625.

— Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania, as of Friday: 182,436. (Pennsylvania reported 2,219 new coronavirus cases Friday, the highest number of new cases reported in the state in one day since the pandemic began.)

— Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lancaster County: 9,011.

— COVID-19 deaths in Lancaster County as of Friday morning, according to county Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni: 440.

— What President Trump told journalist Bob Woodward about the novel coronavirus Feb. 7: “It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus. … This is deadly stuff.”

— What Trump told the public on Feb. 19: “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus.”

— What he tweeted Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

— Projected U.S. deaths for COVID-19 by Feb. 1, 2021: 385,611.

— Trump’s Aug. 13 statement on face masks: “We have urged Americans to wear masks. And I emphasized this is a patriotic thing to do. Maybe they’re great and maybe they’re just good. Maybe they’re not so good. But frankly, what do you have to lose? … But again, it’s up to the governors. And we want to have a certain freedom.”

— Estimated number of lives that could be saved by the end of 2020 if 95% of Americans consistently wore masks: 96,000.

— Times that The New England Journal of Medicine has weighed into presidential politics in its 208-year history: Once, this month.

“When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent,” the journal’s editors concluded. “We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

— Times that Scientific American magazine has made a presidential endorsement in its 175-year history: Once, also this month.

“The pandemic would strain any nation and system, but Trump’s rejection of evidence and public health measures have been catastrophic in the U.S.,” that publication’s editors wrote.

— Number of Pennsylvanians covered by the state’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act: 840,000, as of September. (That number last year: 680,000.)

— Number of Pennsylvanians who get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace: 403,000.

— Total number of Pennsylvanians who would lose their health insurance should the U.S. Supreme Court strike down the Affordable Care Act: 1.24 million.

— Number of Lancaster County physicians who recently wrote an LNP | LancasterOnline op-ed arguing for the need to protect health care coverage: 25.

— Oral arguments to be held before the U.S. Supreme Court in a lawsuit, California v. Texas, seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act: Nov. 10.

— Those seeking an end to the Affordable Care Act: Twenty Republican governors and state attorneys general, and the Trump administration.

— Additional justices needed to break the deadlock on the nation’s highest court: One. (Nominee Amy Coney Barrett has criticized a previous Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.)

— Trump’s latest comment on that pending Supreme Court case about the Affordable Care Act, made to Lesley Stahl in an interview with “60 Minutes,” set to air on CBS tonight: “I hope that they end it. It’ll be so good if they end it.”

— What would be lost if the Affordable Care Act was struck down: protections for people with pre-existing conditions; health insurance subsidies; expanded Medicaid eligibility; coverage of young adults up to age 26 under their parents’ insurance policies; “closing of the doughnut hole under Medicare’s drug benefit,” according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

— Trump’s replacement for the Affordable Care Act: Not yet delivered.

— Number of environmental regulations that the Trump administration either has repealed or begun to roll back: 100.

— Number of those regulations that deal with emissions and air pollution: 27.

— American Lung Association’s 2020 rankings for Lancaster County’s air quality (for the years 2016-2018): 74th worst in the nation on ozone; 27th worst in the nation on year-round particle pollution.

— Underlying health issues in Lancaster County made worse by air pollution: pediatric asthma, adult asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and heart disease.

— Number of refugees resettled in the U.S. in 2016 under President Barack Obama: Nearly 85,000.

— Number of refugees resettled in fiscal year 2020: About 10,000.

— Year when Lancaster city was dubbed “America’s Refugee Capital” by the BBC: 2017.

— Number of migrant children separated by the Trump administration from their parents at the U.S. border whose parents cannot be located: 545.

— Number of Republican national security officials who have deemed Trump to be a national security threat, citing his disparagement of U.S. military, diplomatic and intelligence officials; his divisiveness; his alienation of NATO allies; his embrace of dictators; and his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic: More than 130.

— What Trump said about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un: “He wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”

— What Trump said about Russian President Vladimir Putin: “If I get along with Russia, is that a good thing or bad thing? I think it’s a good thing.”

— Trump told journalist Bob Woodward this about getting “along very well” with Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “even though you’re not supposed to, because everyone says ‘What a horrible guy.’ But for me it works out good. It’s funny, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them.”

— Trump associates who were convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, crimes: 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort; 2016 deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates; longtime personal adviser Roger Stone; Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn; and Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen.

— Trump statement on whether he will accept the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election: “We want to make sure that the election is honest and I’m not sure that it can be.”

— Evidence of widespread election fraud and illegal voting: “The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud,” according to longtime Republican election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg, writing in The Washington Post.

— Number of documented lies told by Trump: More than 22,000.

Sources: LNP | LancasterOnline, Statista, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Gallup, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The New England Journal of Medicine, Scientific American, Kaiser Family Foundation, The Washington Post, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Pew Research Center, The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, Defending Democracy Together, The Washington Post,, “Rage,” by Bob Woodward.

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