Former Vice President Joe Biden has never been one to hold back how he feels, which was once again evident in his reaction to President Donald Trump's decision to ban trans people from serving in the military. Biden tweeted, "Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop." The former vice president is clearly not on board with Trump on this issue.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Trump promised to be a friend to the LGBTQ+ community.
At a private LGBTQ+ gala in June, Biden urged the community to hold Trump accountable for this pledge.
Biden said, “Just because you don't have Barack and me in the White House doesn't mean it's time to give up, keep quiet, stay on the sidelines.”
Trump claimed this decision was motivated by "medical costs and disruptions."
But, research doesn't seem to support the president's justification. There are conflicting reports on how many trans people currently serve in the military.
A 2016 study from the RAND Corporation estimated there were between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender active-duty service members (there are 1.3 million service members total).
The study also found the estimated cost of extending gender transition-related health care coverage to transgender service members would only increase health care expenditures by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually -- an increase between 0.04 to 0.13 percent.
The U.S. has the highest military budget in the world -- roughly $600 billion. It's hard to believe this decision was truly linked to medical costs, as the Pentagon arguably has more than enough money to cover such a small increase in health care expenditures.
Given this isn't the first time Trump has attacked trans rights, it's arguably fair to say this has nothing to do with financial concerns, and is inherently motivated by transphobia.
This is precisely why Biden and many others are condemning Trump's decision.