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Double Check: Fact Checking The First Presidential Debate

Double Check: Fact Checking The First Presidential Debate

The first of three Presidential debates, between Democratic candidate Joe Biden and incumbent President Donald Trump took place last night. Here are some of our collected fact checks from the evening.

 

President Trump said he didn’t want to give anyone a warning about the coronavirus pandemic because he didn’t want to panic the American people

TRUE 

Trump reportedly told journalist Bob Woodward he wanted to "play down" the pandemic to avoid creating panic. Taped recordings of Woodward’s interview with the President confirm that this was his intention. Despite Trump’s conviction that cases would drop to zero by the end of March, to date the pandemic has caused millions of cases and over 204,000 reported deaths.

Read the full fact check here

 

Biden claims that people will be able to have private insurance under his proposal

TRUE

Besides giving every American access to the Affordable Healthcare Act, Biden’s healthcare plan will also allow private insurance to coexist. The Vice President’s plan aims to reverse the Trump administration’s efforts to undercut the Affordable Care Act, but is not a single-payer alternative as proposed by other candidates.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Trump says that Biden forgot the name of his college

FALSE

Biden made no direct claim of attending the university, as claimed by Trump. Biden attended the University of Delaware. In October 2019, Biden said he “got started out of an HBCU, Delaware State,” referring to DSU’s role in his first senate run, this was mischaracterized as a claim that he attended DSU. Several conservative media outlets reported the mischaracterization.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Donald Trump claims he brought manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

MISLEADING

In Trump’s first 30 months as president, manufacturers added 499,000 jobs. The sector has been impacted severely due to trade wars and COVID-19. A report by the Economic Policy Institute indicates that offshoring and the loss of manufacturing plants have continued under Trump and that COVID-19—and the administration's mismanagement of the crisis—has wiped out much of the last decade's job gains in U.S. manufacturing.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Donald Trump has paid millions of dollars in taxes

FALSE

According to a news report by the New York Times, in 2017, Donald Trump paid only $750 in taxes. The President has not paid any federal income tax for 11 of the past 18 years. He has been involved in a decade-long audit with the Internal Revenue Service over a $72.9m tax refund he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Hunter Biden made a fortune in Ukraine, in China and in Moscow

MISLEADING

While Hunter Biden did make a fortune from his foreign business ventures, the implication here is that this implicates Joe Biden in corruption and possible foreign interference. Experts have suggested that Hunter Biden’s roles in these countries indicate “poor judgement” on his part, but there is no evidence linking his fortune to any wrongdoing on the part of his father, Joe Biden.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Joe Biden says his economic plan will create 7 million more jobs than Trump’s in four years

PARTLY TRUE 

Biden was quoting Moody’s Analytics’ recently published forecast that indicated he would produce significantly faster job growth compared to Trump. As the predictions are yet to be proven in practice, it’s impossible to verify this completely.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Donald Trump has polled better among African American voters than any Republican in a long time

PARTLY TRUE

Compared to his Republican predecessors, Donald Trump is doing better in the polls among African-American voters since 2004. The last time a Republican candidate achieved a higher share of the vote that Trump’s current figures was in 2004, when George W Bush ran against John Kerry and claimed 11% of African American votes.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Biden has proposed new taxes worth four trillion dollars on individuals making more than $400,000 a year

TRUE

Joe Biden’s tax plan states that he would impose a 12.4 payroll tax on income earned above $400,000, evenly split between employers and employees. However, the candidate does not intend to not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000, instead he plans to ask wealthy Americans and big corporations to pay a greater share.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

American billionaires got $300-400 billion richer during the COVID-19 pandemic

TRUE

America’s billionaires saw their fortunes soar by $434 billion during the US lockdown between mid-March and mid-May, according to a new report by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality. The fortunes of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg saw the biggest gains, with Bezos adding $34.6 billion to his wealth and Zuckerberg adding $25 billion.

Read the full fact check here

 

In the last four years, Donald Trump has never come up with a comprehensive plan as an alternative to Obamacare

TRUE

The Trump administration proposed regulations that would make it easier to obtain coverage through short-term health insurance plans by allowing insurers to sell policies that last just under a year. However, no comprehensive plan has been put forth by the President so far. Trump’s existing plan excludes those with pre-existing conditions and bases rates on the medical history of the applicant, meaning that the short-term plans will be affordable for some but inaccessible to others.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Biden claims he is totally opposed to defunding the police

TRUE

Trump’s budget proposal has cut police programs by $515 million, while Biden plans on investing in law enforcement. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s plan includes reinvigorating the COPS program with a $300 million investment. This came despite 50 liberal groups warning Biden he could lose black voters’ support and expressing disappointment with his $300 million proposal, according to a June 2020 Reuters report.

Read the full fact check here

 

 

Trump says he is “getting insulin for so cheap that it’s like water”

FALSE

President Trump issued an executive order in July that was intended to lower the price of insulin for some Americans. It is yet to be implemented. According to a report by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the University of Southern California Center for Health Policy and Economics, between 2007 and 2016, major brand insulin list prices increased by 252%, while net prices saw less growth at 57%. The average retail prices of insulin in the US were around $300 in 2019, according to BBC.

Read the full fact check here

 

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