FACT CHECK: Trump’s Town Hall Was An Endless Barrage Of Lies

Trump’s town hall tonight was an endless barrage of lies about everything from his COVID response to protecting patients with preexisting conditions. His lies were so egregious in many cases that the voters asking the questions were forced to fact check him in real time. Here’s the truth:

Trump: “I think we did a great job.”

FACT: Trump’s response to the coronavirus has been one of the worst in the world—and Americans know it.

Axios: “The U.S. Is Far Behind Other Rich Countries In Coronavirus Response”

New York Times: “Yet even with all of these problems, one country stands alone, as the only affluent nation to have suffered a severe, sustained outbreak for more than four months: the United States.”

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: “They talked about don’t wear masks, and now they say wear masks, although some people say don’t wear masks.”

FACT: Even Trump’s own coronavirus task force members say there’s no downside to wearing a mask.

CNN: “Admiral Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said in an interview Sunday that there is ‘no downside to wearing a mask,’ responding to a previous claim by President Donald Trump that wearing a mask is a ‘double-edged-sword.’ ‘It’s really essential to wear masks and for this to work we have to have like 90% of people wearing a mask in public in the hotspot areas, if we don’t have that we will not get control of the virus,’ Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ ‘There is no downside to wearing a mask,’ Giroir added.”

Trump: “We did a very, very good job when we put that [China] ban on.”

FACT: Trump’s China travel “ban” still allowed tens of thousands of people to fly into the U.S. from China—and despite what he claims, the restrictions weren’t even his idea.

Associated Press: “Exempted were thousands of residents of the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau. An analysis of Commerce Department travel entry records and private aviation data obtained by The Associated Press shows that nearly 8,000 Chinese nationals and foreign residents of the territories entered the U.S. on more than 600 commercial and private flights in the first three months after the ban was imposed.”

New York Times: “Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonialike illness to international health officials on New Year’s Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries.”

Axios: “But the assertion that the policy was singularly his idea — and that ‘almost everybody,’ including public health experts, was opposed to it — is ‘very different’ from what actually happened, Woodward said.”

Trump: “The previous administration would have taken perhaps years to have a vaccine because of the FDA and all the approvals.”

FACT: Trump’s vaccine program isn’t a novel idea—President Obama did it in 2009 for the H1N1 influenza vaccine.

Factcheck.Org: “As we’ve explained before, the key idea behind Operation Warp Speed, which is to manufacture a vaccine before it’s known to work so that it can more quickly be distributed if it ends up being approved, is not new. It was done in 2009 for the H1N1 influenza vaccine.”

Trump: “Excess mortality is compared to Europe, is compared to other places, it’s about 25% better.”

FACT: The U.S. has seen far higher per capita deaths and a higher mortality rate from the coronavirus than Europe.

Fortune: “On a per capita basis, the U.S. has lost many more lives than Europe has. Europe, a continent of nearly 750 million people—more than twice the size of the U.S.—has experienced more than 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19; if the U.S. had experienced fatalities at the same rate as the Europe, it would have lost about 90,000 people—60,000 less than it has by now.”

Factcheck.Org: “Other than cherry-picked or misleading figures, we find no evidence to back Trump’s claim, and using a more appropriate comparison with Europe shows that the opposite is true — that even with multiple advantages, the U.S. has experienced a higher rate of excess mortality.”

Factcheck.Org: “Indeed, by this analysis, U.S. mortality is 13.3% higher than normal, versus just 10.1% for Europe. In other words, compared to what is expected, Europe’s death rate is not as elevated — and in fact, America’s excess mortality rate is 32% higher than Europe’s, not the other way around.”

Trump: “We’re going to be doing a health plan very strongly.”

FACT: Trump has no plan.

CNN: “President Donald Trump has long promised to release a health care plan that could replace Obamacare, but with just two months to go until the election, he has yet to do so, with his latest self-imposed deadline passing without a plan.”

Washington Post: “Trump Keeps Promising An Overhaul Of The Nation’s Health-Care System That Never Arrives”

Trump: “We are not going to hurt preexisting conditions.”

FACT: Trump is suing right now to eliminate protections for preexisting conditions, and he has no replacement plan.

Politifact: “Neither his administration nor congressional Republicans have yet offered a replacement plan. None of the bills they have endorsed would maintain the guarantees of coverage for people with medical problems.”

NBC News: “The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to wipe out Obamacare, arguing that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law must be struck down with it.  The late-night brief, filed Thursday in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, carries major implications for the presidential election. If the justices agree, it would cost an estimated 20 million Americans their insurance coverage and nullify protections for pre-existing conditions.”

Trump: “We have a super V.”

FACT: Less than half the jobs lost during the pandemic have returned, the economic recovery is slowing, and more than 100,000 small businesses have closed for good. 

CNN: “Wall Street Thinks A Double-Dip Recession Is More Likely Than V-Shaped Recovery”

Washington Post: “The Recession Is Over For The Rich, But The Working Class Is Far From Recovered”

Washington Post’s Heather Long: “Official unemployment rate = 8.4%. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since March but one of worst in modern history. **About 48% of the 22 million jobs lost during the pandemic have returned**”

Washington Post: “But already, economists project that more than 100,000 small businesses have shut permanently since the pandemic escalated in March, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.”