From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
Virginia military families expecting more broken promises from Trump’s address tonight following repeated false claims he’d make our military stronger
Richmond, VA — As Donald Trump takes the stage at the Republican National Convention tonight, Virginians are dealing with a complete crisis of leadership from their Commander in Chief. Trump has repeatedly broken his promises to our service members, our veterans, and their families. It’s been especially devastating to Virginia, which has one of the highest populations of active duty service members in the country.
During repeated visits to the Commonwealth, Trump promised to build up our military and build a wall that Mexico – not our nation’s armed forces – would pay for.
- “We’re going to build a wall, and Mexico’s going to pay for the wall.” [Trump Campaign Event, Abingdon VA, 8/10/16]
- “Our military is not being funded properly. We don’t have enough money going in. We need a strong military. We need a powerful, strong military.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Ashburn VA, 8/2/16]
- “We’re going to build up our military stronger than it’s ever been before. Ever, ever, ever, ever.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Norfolk VA, 10/31/15]
The truth is that Trump has been diverting tens of millions of dollars away from military projects in Virginia to send to his failed border wall. Trump forced the military to divert $3.6 billion away from critical construction projects for his wall obsession, including over $77 million in funding from Virginia military projects. When Trump failed to receive $5 billion in taxpayer funds for his wall that he promised Americans would not pay for, he forced a 35-day government shutdown, affecting more than 34,000 Virginians.
Trump’s disastrous quest for a wall isn’t the only thing putting Virginia’s military at risk. Naval bases in Virginia top the list of military bases most vulnerable to climate change. Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, staffing his cabinet with fossil fuel lobbyists, and rolling back dozens of environmental protection rules will exacerbate the threats to Hampton Roads.
Additionally, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ government-run hospitals treated their veteran COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine as Trump promoted the drug for months with no evidence of its efficacy. According to the AP, “VA Secretary Robert Wilkie had wrongly asserted publicly without evidence that the drug had been shown to benefit younger veterans.” As criticism mounted, the VA rolled back their use of the antimalarial drug, which is known to have potentially harmful side effects, including causing heart rhythm problems. As Senator Chuck Schumer said, veterans were treated as “guinea pigs” by the Trump administration.
“Virginia’s service members and veterans deserve a leader who values their commitment to the country and will always have their best interests at heart, but even when their lives are on the line, Donald Trump can think only of himself. He financed his failed border wall with Virginia’s military funding and used VA hospitals to push an unproven COVID-19 treatment. He’s failed as a leader and Virginians will vote him out on November 3,” said DPVA Communications Director Grant Fox.