Fact check: Pence echoes Trump’s false claims



In the controversy, they tangled over President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response, the economic system, well being care and the local weather disaster, in addition to different subjects.

CNN’s workforce watched the controversy in Salt Lake City. Here are the details.

Pence claimed that the Trump White House has “always” informed the reality about Covid-19.

“Let’s talk about respecting the American people. You respect the American people when you tell them the truth,” Harris mentioned. Pence then interjected, “Which we’ve always done.”

Facts First: That’s false. The Trump administration has not “always” been truthful concerning the pandemic.

CNN’s fact-check reporter Daniel Dale called this “a whopper of a lie.” That’s as a result of Trump has made hundreds of false claims in the course of the pandemic, together with false claims about his journey restrictions, Covid-19 testing, the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, the nationwide stockpile of ventilators, and extra. In current weeks, Trump even lied about lying concerning the virus.
Trump has additionally admitted, in a series of interviews with Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, that he hid the true risk of the coronavirus from the American public earlier this yr. Trump mentioned, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Marshall Cohen

Trump’s coronavirus feedback

“The President said it was a hoax,” Harris claimed in criticizing the administration’s downplaying of the coronavirus.

Harris is probably going referring to Trump’s feedback throughout a February rally, which the Biden marketing campaign portrayed as Trump calling the coronavirus a “hoax” in a September marketing campaign advert.

Facts First: This is deceptive. Taken in totality, Trump’s feedback on the February 28 rally point out that he’s deriding Democrats for attacking his efficiency on the coronavirus. A full 56 seconds go between the 2 clips the marketing campaign advert edited collectively.

In this part of his rally speech, Trump started by saying that “the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” ridiculing Democrats for attacking his administration’s efficiency addressing the virus. The President then in contrast this assault to the investigation into Russian meddling within the 2016 election and calling his impeachment a “hoax.”

Trump then mentioned, “They’d been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning. They lost. It’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”

Here is what Trump said in full:

“Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus — you know that right? Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, “How’s President Trump doing?” They go, “Oh, not good, not good.” They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa. They can’t even count. No, they can’t. They can’t count their votes.

One of my people came up to me and said, “Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That did not work out too effectively. They could not do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on an ideal dialog. They tried something. They tried it again and again. They’d been doing it since you bought in.” It’s all turning. They lost. It’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”

The subsequent day Trump was asked about this remark and tried to make clear what he mentioned, claiming he was “referring to the action that [the Democrats] take to try and pin this on somebody, because we’ve done such a good job. The hoax is on them.”
That mentioned, Trump’s clarification has not stopped a few of his supporters from believing the pandemic is, the truth is, a hoax. One Trump supporter attending a marketing campaign rally in Michigan on September 10 was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta why he was not wearing a mask. “Because there’s no Covid,” he mentioned. “It’s a fake pandemic created to destroy the United States of America.”

Holmes Lybrand

Biden’s feedback on Trump coronavirus response

Pence claimed that Biden referred to as Trump’s journey restrictions on China “xenophobic.”

“Biden opposed that decision. He said it was xenophobic,” Pence mentioned.

Facts First: This wants context. It’s not clear Biden even knew about Trump’s China journey restrictions when he referred to as Trump xenophobic on the day the restrictions had been unveiled; Biden has by no means explicitly linked his accusation of xenophobia to those journey restrictions.

The marketing campaign says Biden’s January 31 accusations — that Trump has a file of “hysterical xenophobia” and “fear mongering” — weren’t concerning the journey restrictions in any respect. The marketing campaign says Biden didn’t know concerning the restrictions on the time of his speech, since his marketing campaign occasion in Iowa began shortly after the Trump administration briefing the place the restrictions had been revealed by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Given the timing of Biden’s remarks, it isn’t unreasonable for Pence to deduce that the previous vp was speaking concerning the journey restrictions. But Biden by no means took an express place on the restrictions till his April declaration of assist.

You can learn extra about Biden’s feedback here.

Holmes Lybrand

Pandemic timeline

Harris mentioned that Trump knew about the specter of the coronavirus weeks earlier than it took maintain within the United States, noting that “on January 28th, the vice president and the President were informed about the nature of this pandemic.”

Facts First: This is true. Trump informed journalist Bob Woodward how lethal the virus was in a February 7 interview, and Woodward reported that the President had been briefed on the intense risk the virus posed on January 28.

Woodward reported that Trump’s nationwide safety adviser, Robert O’Brien, informed the President in a labeled briefing that coronavirus can be the “biggest national security threat” of his presidency. Trump’s head “popped up,” Woodward reported.

Jeremy Herb

Coronavirus journey restrictions

Pence claimed Trump “suspended all travel from China” in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Facts First: This is false. While Trump did limit travel from China, his coverage was not an precise “ban”: It made exemptions for journey by US residents, everlasting residents, lots of the relations of each teams and a few others.
The New York Times reported in April that almost 40,000 folks had flown to the US from China for the reason that restrictions went into impact in early February.

You can learn extra right here concerning the journey restrictions Trump imposed on China right here.

Tara Subramaniam

Coronavirus vaccine

Pence gave Americans hope that there can be a coronavirus vaccine by the top of the yr. “The reality is, we will have a vaccine, we believe, before the end of this year, and it will have the capacity to save countless American lives and your continuous undermining of confidence in a vaccine is just unacceptable,” Pence mentioned.

Facts First: This wants context.

Though there are a number of vaccine candidates in numerous phases of testing, there is no such thing as a assure that the US Food and Drug Administration can have authorized a vaccine by the top of the yr. And even as soon as one is authorized, it’s going to seemingly nonetheless be many months earlier than it is broadly out there throughout the US.

In interviews in September, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made it clear that vaccine timeline projections are just that — projections — and it’ll take till subsequent yr earlier than vaccines are broadly distributed. “By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority, or more, of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen to the mid or end of 2021,” Fauci told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

Jen Christensen

Coronavirus and the economic system

The pandemic has devastated the American economic system. Harris mentioned “1 in 5 businesses closed.”

Facts First: This wants context. Harris is appropriate primarily based on a June survey from the US Chamber of Commerce, however there’s little real-time information on small enterprise closures and it is onerous to inform what number of have completely shuttered due to the pandemic.

The MetLife & US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll from June discovered that 1 in 5 small companies had been closed, with 19% of them shuttered quickly and just one% closed completely. Most companies mentioned then that they imagine it’s going to take a while to return to regular operations however that they are going to reopen.
In July, the same poll found that 86% of small business reported that they were fully or partially open. At the identical time, 58% of respondents to the survey fearful that their companies must completely shut because of the affect of the pandemic.
A Washington Post analysis of a survey by researchers at Harvard, the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago mentioned that 100,000 small companies had completely shut from March to May.

Anneken Tappe

Health care

When requested about the way forward for American well being care on the debate, Pence mentioned, “President Trump and I have a plan to improve health care and to protect pre-existing conditions for every American.”

Facts First: This is false. The Trump administration, together with Republicans in Congress, have lengthy promised a plan to switch the Affordable Care Act and that they might additionally defend folks with pre-existing circumstances. However, the President has but to place forth a concrete plan that can present the identical robust provisions that presently exist underneath the ACA.

In reality, the President is supporting a lawsuit introduced by a coalition of Republican attorneys basic that would topple the landmark well being reform legislation and its provisions that ban insurers from denying protection or charging larger premiums primarily based on customers’ pre-existing circumstances. The Supreme Court is scheduled to listen to oral arguments within the case on November 10, every week after the election.

Trump signed an government order in September that said that it is US coverage that individuals who endure from pre-existing circumstances can be protected. However, this isn’t really a plan.

Later within the debate, when requested straight to elucidate the administration’s well being care plan, Pence switched subjects.

Tami Luhby

Green New Deal

Pence mentioned that “while Joe Biden denied the Green New Deal… the Green New Deal is on their campaign website.”

Facts First: This is true however wants context. Biden’s campaign website does say the decision is a “crucial framework” for addressing local weather change, however his personal plan differs from it in a number of methods. In explicit, Biden’s plan doesn’t embrace a number of the Green New Deal’s proposed financial actions, equivalent to guaranteeing a job for each American.

After lauding the “framework” of the Green New Deal, Biden’s marketing campaign webpage on the atmosphere lays out the bullet factors of the candidate’s personal plan to fight local weather change, which incorporates objects like constructing out energy-efficient infrastructure and setting a aim for the US to succeed in zero emissions by 2050.

While the 2 plans overlap on some environmental targets, Biden’s plan doesn’t embrace lots of the social welfare proposals of the Green New Deal. For occasion, he’s not calling for a assured job for every American with household and medical depart and paid holidays, because the deal proposes.

In different methods, the proposals differ much less dramatically. Biden’s plan additionally has a aim of making a carbon-pollution-free power sector by 2035, whereas the Green New Deal proposed reaching 100% clear energy in 10 years.

— Holmes Lybrand

Fracking

Pence claimed that the Biden marketing campaign desires to “ban fracking.”

Facts First: This is deceptive. Biden is just not operating on a proposal to fully ban fracking (hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique used to extract pure gasoline or oil). However, there’s at the least some foundation for Pence’s declare: During the Democratic major, Biden generally urged he was proposing to eliminate all fracking. He’s additionally pledged to “establish an enforcement mechanism to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050,” which might nearly actually require a major discount in fracking.

Biden’s written plan by no means included a full ban on fracking; slightly, it proposes “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters,” not ending all new fracking wherever or ending all present fracking on public lands and waters. Biden has explicitly mentioned he doesn’t assist a nationwide fracking ban (although partly as a result of he does not imagine such a ban would go).

Biden created confusion about his stance with a few of his feedback in the course of the Democratic major. For instance, he had this change with CNN’s Dana Bash throughout a July 2019 debate:

Bash: “Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Just to clarify, would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?”

Biden: “No, we would — we would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either — any fossil fuel.”

Could a president even ban fracking alone? No.

Without an act of Congress, the president couldn’t difficulty an outright ban on fracking throughout the US. There are, nevertheless, a variety of regulatory and government actions an administration might take to stop or shrink the usage of fracking expertise, significantly on federal land. However, most fracking takes place on personal land, and any makes an attempt to restrict it might seemingly face authorized challenges.

— Holmes Lybrand

Fracking bans

Pence mentioned Harris had beforehand supported a ban on fracking.

“You yourself said on multiple occasions when you were running for president that you would ban fracking,” he claimed.

Facts First: It’s true Harris voiced assist for a ban on fracking throughout her major run, beginning with public lands.

During a CNN city corridor in September 2019, Harris was asked if she would “commit to implementing a federal ban on fracking your first day in office.”

“There’s no question I’m in favor of banning fracking,” Harris mentioned. “So yes. And starting with what we can do on day one around public lands. And then there has to be legislation.”

The Biden campaign’s written plan, nevertheless, proposes “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters,” and doesn’t embrace a full ban on fracking.

Holmes Lybrand

Military readiness

Pence claimed the Obama administration “left the Strategic National Stockpile empty.”

Facts First: This is deceptive.

The Strategic National Stockpile was not empty earlier than the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, the stockpile incorporates sufficient smallpox vaccines for each American, amongst different medical assets.

While Trump is not incorrect to recommend he inherited a depleted stockpile of some medical provides — the stockpile of masks, for instance, was drained and never replenished by the Obama administration — it was not fully empty; he inherited important portions of different provides. Congress repeatedly didn’t pay for the stockpile to be replenished. And Trump had three years in workplace to construct depleted stockpiles again up.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services additionally confirmed to CNN in late June that there had been about 19,000 ventilators within the nationwide stockpile for “many years,” together with 16,660 ventilators that had been prepared for instant use in March 2020; the spokesperson confirmed that none of these 16,660 had been bought by the Trump administration.

You can learn an extended reality verify right here.

Tara Subramaniam

This is a breaking story and can be up to date.





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