Fact check: Trump made at least 22 false or misleading claims at ABC town hal

He responded to a sequence of robust questions from Pennsylvania voters, and a few extra from moderator George Stephanopoulos, very like he responds to simple questions from his favourite conservative tv hosts — with a barrage of dishonesty.

Trump made at least 22 false or misleading claims over the hour-and-a-half occasion, based on our preliminary depend.

Here is a listing.

Downplaying the virus

Trump was requested why he downplayed the coronavirus. He responded, “Well, I didn’t downplay it. I actually — in many ways I up-played it in terms of action.”

Facts First: This is ridiculous spin. Trump admitted to journalist Bob Woodward in a recorded March 19 interview that “I always wanted to play it down” (he claimed he did so to maintain the general public calm). And we did not want Woodward’s tape to know Trump had downplayed it; this was apparent even again in February and March, when Trump stored wrongly claiming that the scenario was below management and that the virus was akin to the flu.

Trump’s reward of China

Pressed about how he had initially stated China was doing a superb job dealing with the virus, Trump prompt he had not issued such reward: “No, I didn’t say one way or the other. I’m not saying one way or the other.”

Facts First: Trump repeatedly and effusively praised China and chief Xi Jinping for his or her dealing with of the virus scenario earlier this 12 months. You can learn a listing of examples here.


Trump stated: “So I didn’t say anything bad about President Xi initially, because nobody knew much about the disease. Nobody knew the seniors are susceptible.”

Facts First: It’s simply not true no one knew seniors had been vulnerable to the virus at the time of Trump’s reward. Chinese officers emphasized in January that aged individuals with continual illnesses had been at the very best threat of significant sickness. January media stories around the world talked concerning the threat to seniors; a January 23 report within the New York Times was headlined “Coronavirus Deaths Are So Far Mostly Older Men, Many With Previous Health Issues.” Beginning in February, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, had one of many first recognized outbreaks of the virus within the US.

Biden and the pandemic

Trump claimed opponent Joe Biden stated in March that the pandemic was “totally over-exaggerated.”

Facts First: We couldn’t discover any proof of Biden saying something like this in March.

Biden did say in late February and early March that individuals should not “panic” concerning the virus, however even conservative Breitbart News noted that Biden added in his February feedback that “coronavirus is a serious public health challenge” and in March that individuals should not “downplay” the scenario. In different phrases, he wasn’t saying that it was being overblown.
On March 12, Biden delivered a sharp rebuke of Trump’s dealing with of the pandemic and launched his personal plan for addressing the disaster.


Trump claimed that “a lot of people think that masks are not good.” Asked who these persons are, Trump stated “waiters” — citing the instance of an individual he stated had been serving him but in addition touching their masks, which “can’t be good.”

Facts First: There is an amazing scientific consensus that masks assist cut back transmission of the coronavirus. And there is no such thing as a precise proof that “waiters” usually disagree with this consensus; the instance Trump cited didn’t contain even a single waiter expressing detrimental sentiments about masks.

Trump was right when he stated that distinguished specialists, together with Dr. Anthony Fauci, initially suggested individuals towards sporting masks. (Fauci later said that he had been apprehensive a few scarcity of protecting tools for well being care employees.) But that does not imply there’s a actual debate now.
“These face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield testified to a Senate committee on Wednesday, urging “all Americans” to embrace them due to the “clear scientific evidence that they work, and they are our best defense.” He argued that masks would possibly even be a greater protection towards somebody getting Covid-19 than taking a vaccine.


Trump repeated his acquainted declare that the “cupboards were bare” of ventilators when he took workplace.

Facts First: This shouldn’t be at all true. Trump inherited greater than 16,000 ventilators.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services 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 quick use in March 2020. The spokesperson confirmed that none of these 16,660 had been bought by the Trump administration.

As of June 23, the Trump administration had distributed 10,760 ventilators throughout the coronavirus pandemic, a smaller quantity than the administration inherited.

You can learn an extended truth examine here.

Testing and instances

Told that the US has 20% of the world’s coronavirus instances and deaths, Trump stated, “We have 20% of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing. If we wouldn’t do testing, you wouldn’t have cases. You would have very few cases.”

Facts First: Testing doesn’t create instances; it reveals them. And testing is a instrument used to assist forestall the unfold of the virus and cut back the variety of precise instances. You can learn an extended truth examine here.

Travel restrictions on China and Europe

Trump claimed that he put “a ban on” China and “a ban on” Europe to handle the pandemic.

Facts First: While Trump did limit journey from China and from much of Europe, neither coverage was a “ban”: each made exemptions for journey from US residents, everlasting residents, a lot of their households, and a few others — and the restrictions on Europe exempted entire European countries.

Exemptions from the restrictions

Trump stated of his critics’ feedback concerning the journey restrictions: “They say that we allowed certain people in, it’s true — but they were American citizens.”

Facts First: Again, residents weren’t the one individuals exempted. Also omitted from the prohibition had been everlasting residents; spouses of residents and everlasting residents; dad and mom or guardians of single residents or everlasting residents below age 21; single siblings below age 21 of single residents or everlasting residents below age 21; and numerous different classes of individuals.

Health care

Pre-existing situations

Trump claimed that he could be “doing a health care plan” that will “protect people with pre-existing conditions.” He then stated of the Democrats, “They will not do that.”

Facts First: This is an entire reversal of reality. Democrats created these protections for individuals with pre-existing situations, in Obamacare; Biden was vp at the time, and he’s operating on a promise to protect and strengthen the legislation. Trump, conversely, has repeatedly tried to get payments handed that will have weakened the protections — and, as Stephanopoulos identified, is presently in court docket trying to get the entirety of Obamacare overturned.

Trump insisted to Stephanopoulos that he would put ahead a “new health care” plan that will defend individuals. But he has by no means unveiled any plan that will supply protections equal to those in Obamacare — and, regardless, his declare about Democrats is absurd.

The existence of Obamacare

Trump claimed he “essentially ended Obamacare” by repealing the person mandate that required individuals to acquire medical insurance.

Facts First: The particular person mandate, which required Americans to acquire medical insurance, was certainly a key a part of Obamacare — however Trump did not finish Obamacare, basically or in any other case; key components of the legislation stay in impact. For instance, Trump has not eradicated Obamacare’s enlargement of the Medicaid insurance coverage program for low-income individuals, the federal and state marketplaces that enable individuals to buy protection, or the buyer subsidies that assist a lot of them make the purchases.

Biden’s well being care plan

Trump prompt that Biden has agreed to undertake the “socialized” well being care advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders: “He (Biden) agreed to the manifesto, as I call it — the agreement with Bernie is that you’re going to go to socialized medicine.”

Facts First: This is misleading. While “socialized” is a obscure time period, and whereas Biden does endorse a “public option” to permit individuals to choose in to a Medicare-like authorities insurance coverage plan, Biden has not agreed to something just like the “Medicare for All” single-payer proposal Sanders is understood for, which might remove most non-public insurance policy. Biden and Sanders clashed on the problem throughout the Democratic main.
After Sanders dropped out of the race, Biden and Sanders appointed a job pressure to make coverage suggestions; that is what Trump calls “the manifesto.” The job pressure proposed to attempt to obtain common well being care via the general public choice Biden was already operating on; it didn’t endorse any Sanders-style single-payer plan. It says: “Everyone will be eligible to choose the public option or another Affordable Care Act marketplace plan, even those who currently get insurance through their employers, because Democrats believe working people shouldn’t be locked in to expensive or insufficient health care plans when better options are available.”

Protests, race and policing

Black communities and police

Trump stated: “So I just saw a poll where African Americans in this country, Black communities, are 81% in favor of having more police.”

Facts First: Trump wrongly described this ballot consequence. In a survey performed in late June and early July, Gallup discovered that 20% of Black Americans needed the police to spend extra time of their space; 61% stated they needed the police to spend the identical period of time they present spend. Those numbers add as much as 81%, however it’s not true that 81% stated they need a bigger police presence.

Police reform

Asked about tips on how to obtain “common sense police reform,” Trump stated Republican Sen. Tim Scott had a compromise plan “that everybody pretty much agreed to” — and that “a lot of Democrats agreed to it but they wouldn’t vote for it.”

Facts First: It’s not true that “everybody” agreed to Scott’s proposal. While there was certainly some overlap between the coverage proposals in Scott’s invoice and a invoice written by House Democrats, there have been additionally main differences on points like chokeholds and qualified immunity for officers — and lots of Democrats stated the Scott invoice didn’t go almost far sufficient. Sen. Mazie Hirono referred to as it “half-assed,” and Sen. Richard Blumenthal referred to as it “disastrously weak.”

The Senate voted 55-45 to start debate on the invoice, denying Scott the 60 votes wanted. Just two Democrats and unbiased Maine Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats, voted to start debate.

Seattle protesters

Trump stated of protesters in Seattle: “They took over a big chunk of the city — 20% of the city.”

Facts First: Trump’s determine was not even near right. In June, protesters arrange a self-proclaimed “autonomous zone” overlaying six blocks within the Capitol Hill neighborhood — a big growth, little question, however a tiny fraction of the entire metropolis.

The protest was cleared out by native authorities at the start of July.

Minnesota and the National Guard

Trump once more took credit score for the National Guard deployment in Minnesota to handle violent protests following the killing of George Floyd, claiming that these protests “went on for a week or a week and a half” earlier than the governor “allowed us to bring in the National Guard.”

Facts First: Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Tim Walz, was the one who activated the Guard — and Walz, a Guard veteran, did so two days after the violent protests started, greater than seven hours earlier than Trump publicly threatened to deploy the Guard himself.

You can learn an extended truth examine here.

Crime in New York City

Trump stated: “Look at New York. New York was a very safe city. Rudy Giuliani did a fantastic job. The city was safe and then, all of a sudden, we have a mayor — who starts cutting the police force, and crime is up 100%, 150%. I saw one form of crime up 300%.”

Facts First: There isn’t any main crime class in New York City that’s presently up “300%,” whether or not you might be doing a weekly or month-to-month or yearly comparability, based on official data that’s launched on a weekly foundation. And whereas there was a significant improve in New York City shootings this 12 months — as Trump alluded to, the variety of taking pictures incidents has been up about 150% year-over-year — town stays safer than it was in Giuliani’s last 12 months in workplace, 2001, even after Giuliani presided over a significant decline in crime.
What Trump did not point out was that the enhancements continued below Giuliani successors Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio. So whereas the 2020 will increase are regarding, they’re will increase from a comparatively low 2019 degree.

For instance, New York City had 319 murders in 2019, lower than half the 649 murders of 2001; whereas 2020 is on tempo to be worse for homicide than 2019, with 305 murders as of September 6, 2020 continues to be on tempo to be a lot better than 2001.

Assorted subjects

Stock possession

When Stephanopoulos stated that individuals at the highest of the financial ladder, who personal shares, are doing properly, Trump interjected and stated, “George, stocks are owned by everybody.”

Facts First: Trump may pretty level out that it is not simply the super-wealthy who personal shares, however it’s additionally not true that shares are owned by “everybody.” In polling from March and April, Gallup found that 55% of American adults reported proudly owning inventory this 12 months, the identical share as final 12 months. And rich individuals have lengthy owned far more stock than individuals in decrease revenue teams.

The departure of James Mattis

As Trump did on Fox News earlier on Tuesday, he claimed at the town corridor that he had fired James Mattis as protection secretary.
Facts First: Trump didn’t fireplace Mattis; Mattis resigned in December 2018 due to coverage variations with Trump,saying in a resignation letter that Trump deserved a secretary of protection whose views had been “better aligned” with the president’s.

Trump compelled Mattis to depart the federal government two months sooner than the departure date Mattis had chosen upon his resignation, however that’s nonetheless not a firing.

Mattis and ISIS

Repeating extra of the identical sentiments he expressed on Fox News on Tuesday, Trump stated at the town corridor that Mattis “didn’t do good on ISIS” and that “I took over 100% of the ISIS caliphate.”

Facts First: While the ultimate remnants of the caliphate had been eradicated in March 2019, greater than two months after Mattis’s departure, it is misleading for Trump to counsel this was his personal accomplishment that Mattis had nothing to do with. Much of the progress in liberating the caliphate occurred throughout Mattis’s tenure as secretary of protection between January 2017 and January 2019.

There was additionally substantial progress within the battle towards ISIS in 2016, below President Barack Obama. And Kurdish forces did a lot of the bottom preventing.

Churchill and Trump

Defending his resolution to hide the severity of the virus from the American public, Trump once more invoked the late UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill — saying Churchill was “not so honest” when he stood on London rooftops throughout Nazi bombings and instructed the general public “everything’s going to be good,” however that he was nonetheless a “great leader” by protecting individuals calm.

Facts First: Churchill didn’t give speeches from the rooftops, although he generally did watch the bombing from rooftops, and didn’t say “everything’s going to be good” or usually play down the Nazi risk. Rather — as Churchill students have instructed CNN — he was usually blunt about the specter of loss of life and extreme struggling, warning residents repeatedly about hardships to come back.

You can learn an extended truth examine here.

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