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Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on Sunday, just over three weeks before Election Day.

Declaring the current moment to be a "frightening" time in American history, the Inquirer editorial board outlined five key areas in which Biden would be able to better benefit Pennsylvania: public health, the environment, the economy, racial justice, and education.

“We believe Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, have the ability to get America back on a healthy, unified track to regain the country’s strength and its standing in the world," the Inquirer editorial board wrote.

The editorial board wrote that they took a more urgent approach to this year's endorsement. In previous years, Inquirer endorsements carefully considered the merits and flaws of each candidate and their policy proposals. This year, however, they wrote that President Donald Trump's disrespect for the office he holds and his mismanagement of the pandemic warranted a more aggressive approach. 

The editorial board lambasted the "division and chaos, incompetence, and intolerance" of the Trump presidency and praised Biden's lifelong commitment to public service.

The Inquirer noted that Pennsylvania ranks 17th in the nation for COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents, despite ranking 41st for total number of cases. The board cited Biden's support of the Affordable Care Act and willingness to follow the advice of scientists as ways that Biden could help mitigate the pandemic.

Biden's environmental plans would also create jobs and help America become carbon-neutral by 2050, the editorial board wrote. The board also criticized Trump's economic plans for benefitting the rich, noting that Pennsylvania wages have barely increased during his administration and the poverty rate increased in nearly half of the state's counties.

Trump trailed Biden in both national and statewide polls in recent weeks, with Biden’s lead increasing further after Trump’s widely criticized debate performance and the subsequent revelation that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Pennsylvania, a swing state with 20 Electoral College votes, is one of the most hotly contested battlegrounds in the race, with both candidates making frequent visits to the state. Biden currently leads Pennsylvania, which Trump won in 2016, by 7.4 percentage points, according to polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight.

This endorsement is the Inquirer editorial board's latest rebuke of Trump, following their 2016 Hillary Clinton endorsement and demand for Trump’s impeachment last year.

“America can overcome the damage Donald Trump has wrought in the last four years — and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the ones to lead the recovery,” the editorial board wrote.