Photo: Lorie Shaull
Published: Aug 27, 2020 7:40:55 PM
Below is a round up of several of our fact checks from Day 3 of the RNC, for more check our fact check library.
The United States conducted more than 800,000 COVID-19 tests a day.
Vice President Mike Pence claimed that the U.S. is conducting more than 800,000 coronavirus tests per day. However, Mr. Pence's figures do not match the data on the John Hopkins website. The data on the website show that until June 2020, the United States was conducting 350,000 to 450,000 tests a day. According to the New York Times, when the coronavirus spread in the United States between late January and early March, large-scale testing of people who might have been infected did not happen, because of technical flaws, regulatory hurdles, business-as-usual bureaucracies and lack of leadership at multiple levels. Moreover, the C.D.C. also tightly restricted who could get tested and was slow to conduct community-based surveillance.
Subsequently, the U.S saw a steady increase in testing, and the United States averaged about 172,000 tests per day in April, before ramping up to an average of 510,000 in June and nearly 750,000 in July. On some days, the data shows that the U.S did conduct over 800,000 tests in one day. But, the New York Times reported on August 15 that the reported daily tests trended downward for much of the first half of August, nearly stalling the nation’s testing response. Some 733,000 people have been tested each day in August, on average, down from nearly 750,000 in July,
The Obama-Biden administration secretly launched a surveillance operation on the Trump campaign in 2016.
Richard Grenell, who briefly served as the acting director of national intelligence in Donald Trump’s cabinet claimed that the Obama-Biden administration had secretly launched a surveillance operation on the Trump campaign. Grenell was referring to the ‘Spygate’ conspiracy theory that Trump had floated in May 2018, accusing the Obama administration of spying on his 2016 presidential campaign for political gain. Trump asserted in a series of tweets in May 2018 that the spying started early in the campaign to push Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory.
Trump’s allegations were centered around Stefan Halper, a professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge. In a report published on May 24, 2018, the BBC stated that Halper identified himself as an informant who worked with the FBI to gather information on at least three members of the Trump campaign team it suspected could have ties to the Russian government.
On December 9, 2019, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the origins of the Russia investigations was published. It stated, “We found no evidence that the FBI attempted to place any CHSs (Confidential Human Sources) within the Trump campaign, recruit members of the Trump campaign as CHSs, or task CHSs to report on the Trump campaign.” On several occasions, Trump has resorted to the ‘Spygate’ theory to portray himself as a victim of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigations. He even used the word ‘coup’ to describe efforts made by law enforcement to probe Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. elections. In March 2017 he also accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign. The Department of Justice had ruled that no evidence of wiretapping was found.
Former VP Joe Biden asked intelligence officers to uncover the names of Trump’s incoming NSA
On the third night of the RNC, Richard Granell former acting director of National Intelligence stated that Joe Biden asked for the hidden information on incoming NSA nominee and this was politically motivated. There were indeed multiple Obama administration officials, including then-Vice President Biden, who asked the NSA to disclose the name of an American whose identity was concealed in intelligence reports. That American was revealed to be Flynn. Referring to the case as 'Obamagate', President Trump has repeatedly misrepresented the facts around the legal case of former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
Trump has more than once suggested that the disclosure of Flynn’s name as a part of legal U.S surveillance of Foreign Targets was criminal and motivated by partisan politics. However, the request to reveal the identity of Flynn was lawful. President Trump has nonetheless claimed that the Obama administration unfairly targeted Flynn and other associates. The revelation of Flynn’s identity was approved by the National security agency’s “standard bias.” While conducting routine surveillance of foreign targets , names of Americans occasionally crop up in conversation either because foreigners are talking about them or to them. In the interest of protecting their privacy and identity those names are concealed before intelligence is distributed to administrative officials. U.S officials can ask the intelligence agencies to unmask names if it is important to understand the intelligence received.
Trump stands by Americans with preexisting conditions.
White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said that President Donald Trump stands by people with preexisting conditions. She followed this by stating how he supported her through her recovery from a preventive mastectomy. However, the fact that Trump supports pre existing conditions is misleading and false.
Ever since Trump entered office, he has been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The federal law, signed into law by the Obama administration in 2010, requires health insurers to cover people with preexisting medical conditions and not charge them more when they have an expensive medical condition. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) notes that people with preexisting health conditions were often denied coverage or charged higher premiums for individual market coverage before the ACA.
Based on past policy decisions, we conclude that while Trump has not yet passed any orders that actively protect them. On the contrary, under AHP, it is not permitted to set premiums directly based on health-related factors. Other non-health factors, such as occupation and age, can be used to determine premiums closely correlated to health status, potentially leaving people with preexisting conditions or who are older exposed to much higher premiums.
Joe Biden is soft on China
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been targeted by President Donald Trump on multiple occasions for his stance on China. The suggestion that Democrats are soft on China has been a recurrent policy theme in Trump’s campaign, and on one instance he even went to the extent of claiming that if his Democratic rival Joe Biden wins this November's presidential election, China will ‘own’ the United States and Americans will have to learn to speak Chinese.
China has been a central feature of the U.S. presidential race and Biden has frequently denounced Trump’s handling of ties with Beijing and his unilateral approach to China. On August 6, 2020, Biden announced that he would remove Donald Trump’s tariffs on imports from China while laying out a multilateral approach to dealing with China’s trade practices. Besides that, Biden has voiced criticisms for China’s assertive territorial behavior in the South China Sea and towards Taiwan, and condemned its repression of Hong Kong and the treatment of Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.
The impeachment of Trump was illegal and baseless
In August 2019, reports surfaced about a whistleblower alleging that President Donald Trump may have abused his presidency. The whistleblower had claimed that during a phone call on July 25, 2019, Donald Trump had pressured Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy to launch investigations against Joe Biden’s sons Hunter Biden for his involvement in the Ukrainian energy company Burisma and into the theory that Ukraine itself may have swayed American voters in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections. Trump was also accused of unfairly withholding military aid to Ukraine as a means of pressuring the Ukrainian president.
After the whistleblower’s complaint was made public, an impeachment inquiry was launched against Trump by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on September 24, 2019. This triggered a wave of criticism among Trump’s supporters with many alleging that the impeachment inquiry was illegitimate. However, President Trump’s impeachment was conducted in accordance with the legal framework laid down by the constitution.
Donald Trump did not start any new wars in four years.
Despite pledging that he would stay out of foreign wars, Trump escalated wars in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran. In 2017, Trump announced that he would send more forces into Afghanistan. Trump also deployed a sizable number of American combat forces in Syria. Trump gave former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a free hand to deploy US ground troops and step up the air war against ISIS in 2017. Trump dispatched hundreds of new US troops to Iraq and also put them closer to the front lines and gave them more freedom to bombard targets from the air. Trump has also tweeted about launching a preemptive strike against Pyongyang if it continued to threaten the US and its allies.
According to United States Central Command, as of January 2020, the US had at least 60,000 troops stationed around the Middle East. The US has nearly 800 military bases worldwide, and there are reportedly other US bases in the region, but the locations aren't disclosed for security purposes.
According to the United States Air Forces Central Command, Trump has dropped more bombs and missiles than George W. Bush or Barack Obama did in their first terms. There are still roughly as many US bases and troops overseas as when he was elected. Trump has vetoed bills passed by Congress to disengage US forces from the Saudi war in Yemen and to halt US-made warplanes and bombs' sales.
Trump signed the bill for permanently authorising funds for 9/11 first responders.
President Donald Trump signed a law in 2019 to permanently extend aid to first responders who fell ill after working at Ground Zero following the September, 11 terrorist attacks. Trump signed the $10 billion legislation capping a 15-year fight to ensure first responders and other survivors of the attacks are fully compensated. The legislation authorizes money for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund through 2092, essentially making it permanent. However, extension of the provisions in the bill has been strongly opposed by several Republican senators since 2010.
James Madison was just 25 years old when he signed the Declaration of Independence.
None of the Founding Fathers – George Washington, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, or James Madison – signed the Declaration of Independence.
On the third night of the Republican National Convention, Madison Cawthorn, Republican House candidate, claimed that James Madison, founding father of the United States and the fourth American president, signed the Declaration of Independence at the age of 25. However, that is not true.
The Fourth of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the historical document through which the 13 American colonies severed their political connections with Great Britain and declared themselves to be the United States of America. 56 people, including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams, signed the Declaration, but James Madison was not among them.
Trump supports a commission of a national standard of de escalation training and communication training.
In June 2020, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on safe policing for safe communities. Under the Order, the Attorney General is to allocate certain grant funding to only those law enforcement agencies that meet high standards, including around use-of-force and de-escalation, as credentialed by reputable independent bodies.The order incentivizes law enforcement agencies to use a nationwide database to track terminations, criminal convictions, and civil judgments against law enforcement officers for excessive use-of-force, which will create accountability between agencies. The administration also prioritizes training and other programs for police and social workers in responding to incidents involving people suffering from mental illness, addiction, and homelessness.
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