Political News

Fact check: Five false claims Trump made in his first speech since getting Covid-19

Posted October 10, 2020 5:25 p.m. EDT

— In President Donald Trump's first public event since his coronavirus diagnosis, he continued to mislead the public about the virus, his accomplishments and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Coronavirus

Trump said the coronavirus is "disappearing," a little more than a week after he announced that he had tested positive for the virus.

Facts First: The President has a long track record of falsely downplaying the threat of the virus in public. Recent data suggests the coronavirus is far from disappearing in the US and that the pandemic is actually intensifying instead.

This past week, half of US states reported an increase in new cases of the coronavirus and more than 10 states set new daily case records. On Friday, the US experienced its third consecutive day of more than 50,000+ reported coronavirus cases.

Biden on fracking

Trump has previously accused Biden of flip-flopping on his position regarding fracking, a drilling method used to extract natural gas and oil.

"They have gone through a period of years, no fracking, no fracking, no fracking," Trump said. "All of a sudden, gets the nomination, he says there's going to be fracking."

Facts First: Trump's characterization is misleading. Biden's written plan never included a full ban on fracking. However, there is at least some basis for Trump's claim: During the Democratic primary, Biden sometimes suggested he was proposing to get rid of all fracking, creating confusion over his stance. He has since explicitly said he does not support a nationwide fracking ban (though in part because he doesn't believe such a ban would pass).

You can read more about Biden's past comments on fracking here.

Biden and protestors

Trump has repeatedly claimed Biden referred to looters and rioters as peaceful protesters. He did so again on Saturday while talking about so-called "left-wing fanatics" who have looted and vandalized churches and buildings.

Facts First: This is false. Biden has correctly noted that many protesters have been peaceful; he has not argued that the violent protesters are peaceful. Rather, he has repeatedly denounced violence, rioting and looting.

Pre-existing conditions

In Wednesday's debate, Vice President Mike Pence insisted the Trump administration has plans to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. Trump made the same assertion Saturday, saying, "We'll always take care of pre-existing conditions, always."

Facts First: We don't usually fact check promises, but this one has already proven to be untrue. The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have repeatedly put forward bills and filed lawsuits that would weaken Obamacare's protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Trump is currently supporting a Republican lawsuit that is seeking to declare all of Obamacare void, and he has not presented any plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions if the lawsuit succeeds.

You can read more about the Trump administration's stance on pre-existing conditions here.

Trump and Black Americans

"The fact is I've done more for the Black community than any President since Abraham Lincoln," Trump said. "Nobody can dispute it. It's true."

Facts First: While we give Trump lots of latitude to express opinions, this is highly disputable, even if he is comparing himself only to previous presidents and excluding other Black heroes.

President Lyndon B. Johnson, for example, signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, monumental bills whose impact dwarfed the impact of any legislation Trump has signed.

It's also worth noting that Black people themselves do not, on the whole, agree with Trump's self-assessment. Trump has had a consistently abysmal approval rating with Black citizens -- just 4% in one recent Quinnipiac University poll, for example, versus 93% disapproval.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.