It is common post-election to make comparisons between political leaders, their differing policies and tendencies. In the case of Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, however, the difference in governing style could not be more “stark” – especially when it comes to emergency situations.
On Tuesday, newly-elected president Biden spoke with the governors of Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Oklahoma – telling them the federal government is prepared to assist and give financial support. The governor of Texas thanked Biden for approving emergency federal aid.
As the country faces turbulent emergencies in many “red states”, questions of partisanship came to the surface. Some on social media criticised those who voted conservative as if they ‘had what was coming to them’, while others shot back that this kind of partisanship was completely inappropriate as people suffered.
Beyond that, others were quick to hearken back to the days of the Trump presidency – remembering his reactions to disasters and how stark the comparison is now.
“You won't hear President Biden saying Texas is a red state that doesn't deserve his help unless they praise him,” one person wrote – referencing the start of the pandemic when Trump said he was willing to help blue-state governors who were struggling to contain outbreaks, only if they were willing to stop criticising him.
“Remember how Trump handled California as it burned to the ground?” they added.
Most people might imagine that if something similar to occur under his watch, Biden would take it much more seriously considering his in-depth “Environment justice” plan.
Others on Twitter also brought up Trump’s “mishandling of Puerto Rico” – referring to the 2017 hurricane that ravaged the island’s infrastructure.
Despite Trump’s claims that “the best job we did was Puerto Rico”, Trump made a five-hour presidential trip to San Juan two weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the US territory, following complaints that the government's handling of the storm's was way too slow.
“Another big difference between Biden and Trump. No ‘both sides.’ Just go back and see the casual cruelty of Trump towards California and Puerto Rico. Glad Texas is getting the attention and help it needs,” writer Wajahat Ali said on Twitter.
Even so, others thought this was not the best time to be making comparisons. As Clara Long, associate director of Human Rights Watch, said of the emergency, “Yes, it's great that the Biden admin has a plan... But much, much more is needed. And fast.”