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Double Check: Fact Checking President Trump's NBC Town Hall

Double Check: Fact Checking President Trump's NBC Town Hall

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden both held individual Town Hall events last night in lieu of their previously planned head to head debate. Below are a selection of our fact checks from the President's Town Hall, hosted by NBC. We have also released a roundup of fact checks from Joe Biden's event here.

 

 

85% of the people that wear masks catch COVID-19

FALSE

President Trump misleadingly quoted a CDC report. The report does not state that 85% of the mask wearers contract COVID-19. The study, published on Sept. 11, looked at the behavior of 154 symptomatic people who had tested positive for the coronavirus in July and 160 people who reported symptoms but tested negative in the same month. The study found that 85% of the 154 people who tested positive said they had worn a mask either “always” or “often” over the 14 days before contracting the virus.

Read the full fact check here

 

Trump refused to disavow the QAnon conspiracy theory.

TRUE

Trump refused to disavow QAnon, a widespread and baseless conspiracy theory which suggests that a cabal of Satan-worshipping Democrats, Hollywood celebrities, and billionaires runs the world while engaging in pedophilia and human trafficking. Trump’s comments were somewhat contradictory; he said “I don’t know about QAnon,” before going on to say that he does know they are strongly against pedophilia and, and that he agrees with that.

Read the full fact check here

 

Unsolicited ballots are being given out by the millions, and thousands of them are dumped in dumpsters. 

FALSE

Most states allow voters to cast ballots via mail-in voting and isolated incidents of lost ballots are not indicative of a widespread problem. Of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states, it has been found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate is miniscule in the context of 146 million registered voters in those 12 years.

Read the full fact check here

 

The Obama Administration spied on Trump’s campaign and they got caught. 

FALSE

The 'Spygate' allegations made by Donald Trump about the FBI surveilling his campaign are not supported by evidence. No such FBI operation was authorized by the Obama Administration. 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 promoted the ‘Spygate’ theory to portray himself as a victim of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigations. He used similar tactics in March 2017, when he 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.


Read the full fact check here.

Trump insisted he plans to take care of those protected by DACA.

MISLEADING

Trump tried to terminate the Obama-era program in 2017 but the order was blocked by the Supreme Court. DACA was passed in 2012, and aims to protect young adults who were illegally brought to the US as children by undocumented parents. The order allows these young adults to work legally and protects them against deportation.

During Trump’s presidential campaign, he promised harsher policies on immigration and pledged to repeal DACA. In Sept. 2017, Trump passed an order to end DACA. He called it an “amnesty-first approach” and urged Congress to pass a replacement before he begins phasing out its protections in six months. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that DACA was unconstitutional; however, lower courts issued orders that kept the program in place while the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court. In June 2020, the Supreme Court passed a judgment blocking Trump’s order. The Department of Homeland Security is reviewing the program following the decision. DONE

 

Read the full fact check here.

 

The US was expected to lose 2,200,000 people to COVID-19, and maybe more than that

MISLEADING

President Trump quoted this figure, likely from a report released in March, which predicted the estimate "in the absence of any control measures". The Trump administration has repeatedly claimed that 2.2 million lives would have been lost from COVID-19. The figure being quoted is likely from a report from Imperial College scholars who had projected that a total of 2.2 million Americans could die from COVID-19 if no preventative measures were installed. The report did not look into what would happen if the government did not take any action against the virus rather what would happen "in the (unlikely) absence of any control measures or spontaneous changes in individual behavior."

Read the full fact check here

 

The Trump administration has consistently protected people with pre-existing conditions

FALSE

Trump has made repeated attempts to weaken and repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s Healthcare Plan which aimed to give greater protection to Americans living with pre-existing health conditions. In its place, Trump has allowed the sale of short-term health insurance plans and Association Health Plans that do not require pre-existing conditions to be covered. Trump has not enacted any policy to protect Americans with preexisting conditions. 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.

Read the full fact check here

 

The Trump administration has built over 400 miles of border wall across the southern border.

MISLEADING

During the town hall on Oct. 15, US President Donald Trump stated that “we have built over 400 miles of the southern border wall.” The claim is inaccurate and misleading.   

According to the latest statistics released on the US Customs and Border Protection webpage, approximately 360 miles of a boundary wall on the US border with Mexico has been built so far. At the town hall, Trump also claimed the administration rebuilt borders and that there were “no borders” and “we had nothing.” Only 30 miles of a new wall was built by August this year.

 

Read the full fact check here

 

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