FACT CHECK: Trump Lies About Everything In His Pennsylvania Rally
August 20, 2020
In Pennsylvania today, Trump tried to hold a counterprogramming rally and tout his record as president, but, as usual, he spent the entire time lying. You can expect more of the same at his convention next week.
Trump: “We saved the steel industry.”
Reality: Even before the pandemic, the steel industry was shuttering plants, including in Pennsylvania.
Washington Post: “Steel industry begins to idle plants, shows signs of weakness — despite Trump’s support”
WESA: “A northwestern Pennsylvania steel mill laid off between 80 and 100 employees this month, a move the company blames on President Donald Trump’s increased tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.”
Trump: “Your stock market would crash if they got in.”
Reality: Stock market gains in the first three years of the Obama-Biden administration outpaced Trump’s.
Washington Post: “The Dow Jones industrial average has gained about 45 percent since Trump was sworn in nearly three years ago. The Dow was up about 53 percent at this point in Obama’s presidency and a whopping 57 percent in Clinton’s early years in office.”
Trump: “And I’m standing up to the special interests and to Big Pharma. Weeks ago, I signed four historic directives to dramatically reduce the cost of prescription drugs.”
Reality: Trump’s recent executive orders on drug costs are symbolic gestures that the pharmaceutical companies have acknowledged won’t affect their business.
Salon: “Pharma CEOs privately scoff at Trump’s drug pricing orders: ‘Not expecting any impact’”
Washington Post: “The moves are largely symbolic because the orders are unlikely to take effect anytime soon, if they do so at all, because the power to implement drug pricing policy through executive order is limited. Voters will not see an impact before the November elections, and the drug industry is sure to challenge them in court.
Trump: “In my first three years, Pennsylvania gained 14,000 jobs, manufacturing, and going up at a level that nobody’s ever seen before. We’ll catch all of those jobs that were lost.”
Reality: Pennsylvania lost thousands of factory jobs last year even before the pandemic, and has lost over 20,000 since Trump took office.
Bloomberg: “Pennsylvania recorded a drop of about 5,700 factory positions, while Wisconsin lost 4,100 and Michigan was down 5,300, though overall employment increased in those states, according to figures released Friday by the Labor Department. National numbers previously showed that the U.S. added 46,000 manufacturing jobs in 2019, the second-weakest performance since 2009.”
Bureau Of Labor Statistics: Pennsylvania lost 20,200 manufacturing jobs since Trump took office.
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump boasts 14K manufacturing jobs were added in PA in his first three years. He doesn’t explicitly mention that they have all been lost in the fourth year and that the total is now lower than it has been in decades.”
Trump: “Nobody can even believe the numbers, and watch the numbers will get better and better because we’re opening up.”
Reality: Initial unemployment claims spiked above 1 million again this week, and 13 million Americans who had jobs before the pandemic remain unemployed.
CNN: “American initial jobless claims rocket above 1 million again.”
USA Today: “Clawing back the 13 million remaining lost jobs is likely to be a tougher slog as employers grapple with infection outbreaks and depleted cash. Many businesses have exhausted their federal loans, forcing some struggling firms to lay off workers a second time. Morgan Stanley foresees a ‘significant risk’ of job losses in August.”
Trump: “I stood up to China’s rampant cheating, plunder, and theft.”
Reality: Trump lost a trade war with China and settled for a deal that didn’t address China’s unfair trade practices or lower the trade deficit.
CNN: “The ‘phase one’ deal does not address the major structural changes to China’s economy that Trump has sought.”
Bloomberg: “One of his main goals with the trade deal was to lower the U.S. deficit with China, but now it’s rising again.”
Trump: “This is now during, and hopefully, closing moments of the pandemic … we’ve done an incredible job.”
Reality: The U.S. continues to lead the globe in cases and deaths.
John Hopkins: As of August 20, the U.S. led the world with 5.5 million coronavirus cases and more than 174,000 deaths.
CNN: “Nearly 7 in 10 Americans say the US response to the coronavirus outbreak makes them feel embarrassed, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS, as 62% of the public says President Donald Trump could be doing more to fight the outbreak.”
Trump: “We’ve done an incredible job. You look at our mortality rates. You look at all the things, but they like to compare us to others.”
Reality: The coronavirus killed 6 times more Americans on average than other rich countries from July through mid-August, and a majority of Americans think the U.S. response has been worse than other countries’.
Axios: “Over the past several weeks, the coronavirus has killed Americans at six times the average rate in other rich countries. And we’re recording about eight times more infections.”
Monmouth Poll: “Most Americans (52%) think the United States’ handling of the pandemic is worse than other countries. Just 15% feel the U.S. is a doing a better job than others and 29% say it is doing about the same.”
Trump: “You know how many car plants are being built or expanded in Michigan? We are doing fantastically in Michigan.”
Reality: Trump hasn’t boosted Michigan’s auto industry, and the state’s auto plants have struggled to stay open because of the coronavirus.
FactCheck.org: “General Motors closed a transmission plant in Warren, Michigan, in August, and Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers agreed as part of a new contract ratified in December to close an engine plant in Romeo, Michigan. That’s a net loss of three automotive manufacturing plants in Michigan since the end of 2016.”
New York Times: “But there has been no sudden uptick or reversal of fortune in car manufacturing jobs or plant openings since Mr. Trump’s election.”
CNBC: “So many employees are missing work that it’s causing issues on production lines at plants in states such as Michigan, Missouri and Kentucky where Covid-19 cases are surging.”
Trump: “Nobody’s done for the vets what I have. Nobody. Not even close.”
Reality: Some of Trump’s much-touted achievements for veterans are programs that were passed before he took office, and others have failed to live up to their missions.
New York Times: “His move to protect and promote whistle-blowers had the opposite impact, according to a report by the inspector general, who found that, instead, the department targeted whistle blowers who reported on officials who were friendly with high-level employees in the department.”
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “‘We passed Veterans Choice,’” Trump lies for more than the 150th time of the program signed into law by Obama in 2014.”
New York Times: “Beyond issues of administration at the Department of Veterans Affairs, questions remain about the care offered to those who served. The suicide rate among veterans — one of Mr. Wilkie’s stated priorities — has not been reduced. The Trump administration’s cutbacks at the post office have hit some veterans, who say they are unable to get their prescriptions by mail.”