WASHINGTON – The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is not only a repudiation of President Trump, it is also a historic opportunity for the nation to advance the health, safety and equity of all Americans.
The following is a statement from EWG co-founder and President Ken Cook.
EWG congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their victory and the historic elevation of a Black woman to the nation’s second-highest office.
While millions of Americans and billions around the world celebrate this moment, it also opens a game-changing path forward. On January 20, we will have a president and vice president who are ready for the enormous challenges the country faces and will work hard to meet them, not spend each day making them worse.
During the campaign, the Biden-Harris team laid out a bold agenda to get the pandemic under control, address systemic racism, tackle the climate crisis, protect the environmental health of Americans from toxic chemicals like PFAS, and aggressively transition the country to clean energy. EWG wholeheartedly supports these goals and will work vigorously to help achieve them.
The damage Trump has done – his assault on public health, science, and environmental protection, giving voice to racists and white supremacists, eroding confidence in the institutions that help Americans lead better lives – is immense, and will not be easily or quickly repaired. Donald Trump will leave the White House, but the toxic dregs of Trumpism will linger.
A linchpin of restoring faith in government must be the rebuilding of essential federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The voices of science, facts and reason must again be heard and heeded as the Biden-Harris administration fights to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in our food, water, air and everyday products. Equity, justice and an end to structural racism must be first principles.
Leading America out of the wreckage Trump leaves behind is a formidable challenge for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris. And they can’t do it alone. They need the support of all Americans – not only those who voted for them, but everyone who shares the vision of a strong, prosperous, just, safe and healthy nation. We will not agree with everything they do but will engage in honest debate and advocacy to hold them to their promises.
Any assessment of this election’s importance to public health and environmental protection must also be centered on the reality that the outcome was determined, overwhelmingly, by the votes of Black women and men whose communities continue to suffer disproportionately from a long and disgraceful legacy of environmental racism. We stand as allies to leaders in the environmental justice movement who rightfully expect the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will mark a new era of common resolve to eliminate the racial injustices of toxic pollution, and advance the equal opportunity of all to enjoy the benefits of a clean and healthy environment.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.