TV duel in USA: Corona deaths, masks, Biden son: fact check after the mud fight around the White House
US President Trump and his challenger Biden stood together for the first time before the election in November. They engaged in a chaotic TV debate and covered each other with allegations. What is the truth of the main claims?
In the hot phase of the US election campaign, the Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger met each other for the first time. The first TV debate on Tuesday (local time) in Cleveland, Ohio, dealt with the corona pandemic, the US Supreme Court, the integrity of the election and the state of the US economy. “We had an avalanche of lies from President Trump,” said CNN’s fact checker Daniel Dale afterwards. Biden also made some false and misleading statements, but was mostly correct. A closer look at the statements. (Source. DPA and CNN)
Trump: Biden closes the country
Trump’s claim: “He (Biden) wants to close our country.”
Rating: It is misleading.
Facts: Biden promises to contain the corona pandemic with the help of a national strategy. For example, he said that he would follow the advice of scientists and health experts. If they recommend new exit restrictions to contain the pandemic, he would obey, said Biden. “I would be ready to do whatever it takes to save lives,” he said in an interview with ABC television. There are almost 7.2 million confirmed corona infections and more than 205,000 deaths in the United States – more than any other country in the world.
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Trump: No exact number of deaths in China, Russia and India
Trump’s claim: It is not known how many corona deaths there are in China, Russia and India.
Rating: In the absolute formulation that is not true.
Facts: There are worldwide comparative figures, for example from the American Johns Hopkins University. This uses, for example, national health authorities or the World Health Organization WHO as sources as well as local media reports for its information. According to this, more than 96,000 people have died in connection with Covid-19 in India so far. The United States, with more than 205,000 deaths, leads the world in relative numbers. However, experts assume high numbers of unreported cases.
Biden: One in a thousand African Americans has died of Covid-19
Biden’s claim: One in one thousand African Americans has died from Covid-19.
Facts: The independent research group APM Research Lab has evaluated data from almost all US states. They show that one in 1020 black Americans has died after being infected with the coronavirus. That corresponds to around 98 deaths per 100,000 people. No other ethnic group in the United States has such a high proportion. For indigenous peoples there are around 82 deaths per 100,000 people, for whites only around 47.
Trump: Immunologist Says “Masks Are Not Good”
Trump’s claim: Immunologist and presidential adviser Anthony Fauci said “masks are not good”. Then he changed his mind.
Rating: This is a simplified representation.
Facts: In an interview with the broadcaster CBS News in early March, early in the US pandemic, Fauci said: “Right now, people in the United States shouldn’t be wearing masks.” Fauci justified this with the lack of protective masks for the sick and medical staff. He also said that masks do not offer the “perfect protection” that people assume.
Since the beginning of April, the CDC health authority has recommended that healthy people without symptoms should also wear cloth masks in public in the fight against the coronavirus. Fauci repeatedly points out that the level of knowledge about the virus and its spread has changed over the months and that recommendations may also change as a result.
Biden: Trump leaves small businesses in the lurch in the corona crisis
Biden’s claim: The government “did nothing to help small businesses” during the Corona crisis.
Rating: That’s not true.
Facts: Stimulus packages that Republicans and Democrats agreed on also included loan programs for small and medium-sized businesses. However, there was criticism that the aid would not reach the most affected companies. In addition, it is not solely thanks to the government that the aid got through.
Trump: Biden’s son received money from the widow of the Moscow mayor
Trump’s claim: Biden’s son Hunter received $ 3.5 million from the widow of former Moscow mayor, entrepreneur Elena Baturina.
Rating: There is no evidence of this.
Facts: Senate Republicans have been scrutinizing Hunter Biden’s affairs and published a report on it last week. In it they write that in February 2014, Baturina is said to have transferred a consultancy fee of 3.5 million US dollars to the bank account of the company Rosemont Seneca Thornton. The report also states that Hunter Biden co-founded the investment company in 2013. That Hunter Biden should have received the money directly – as Trump says – does not emerge from it.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, told US media such as the Washington Post after the report was published that his client neither held shares in the company nor was a co-founder of it. The allegation that Hunter Biden received $ 3.5 million from Baturina is therefore wrong.
Trump: Biden described black people as “predators”
Trump’s claim: In the past, Biden described black people as “super predators”.
Rating: That’s not true.
Facts: The claim goes back to statements made by Hillary Clinton in 1996. The first lady at the time spoke of “super predators” in connection with gang crime. Biden also used the term “predators” in connection with crime in the 1990s as a senator and also went into the connection between crime and ethnicity – but he did not call black people “predators”.
Biden: Greater deficit with China than before
Biden’s claim: “We now have a larger deficit with China than we had before.”
Rating: That’s not true.
Facts: The trade deficit decreased in 2019 compared to the previous year. This is likely to be a direct consequence of the “trade war” with China with measures such as higher tariffs. In 2018 the deficit was around 419 billion dollars from the US perspective, in 2019 only around 345 billion, as shown by figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A trade deficit is defined as a surplus of imports over exports. It is showing that a country consumes more than it produces itself – the difference is imported. Trump started the trade war because he wanted to cut the trade deficit with China.
Trump: For Biden, demonstrations were “peaceful protest”
Trump’s claim: Biden said it was a peaceful protest when demonstrators ran through the town, burned shops and killed people.
Rating: That is completely exaggerated and not true.
Facts: Biden has condemned rioting, looting and arson during protests against racism as “lawlessness”. During Tuesday’s TV duel, he said: “Violence in response is never appropriate, never appropriate. It is peaceful protest, violence is never appropriate.”
Trump: The election “will not end well”
Trump’s claim: The choice “will not end well”.
Rating: That is purely hypothetical.
Facts: Trump made his statement with a view to the postal vote. Because of the corona pandemic, it is expected that many more voters than in normal years will cast their votes by post. Trump warns again and again of massive electoral fraud in a large-scale postal vote, but has not given any solid evidence.
Several democratically governed US states, including Washington, California, Nevada and New Jersey, send postal ballots to every registered voter. Postal ballot papers are also sent to every registered voter in Republican-ruled Utah. FBI chief Christopher Wray recently said in the Senate that there had been no large-scale electoral fraud in the US, but that there had been cases at local level from time to time.
Trump: Biden wants to eliminate private health care
Trump’s claim: Biden will wipe out the private health care they are very satisfied with from 180 million people. Biden’s health care plan will eliminate private insurance.
Rating: Not correct.
Facts: Biden’s plan is to create a public option, a government-run plan. But he wouldn’t do away with private insurance.
Biden: Trump leaves fewer jobs
Biden’s claim: Trump is “the first President of the United States to leave office with fewer jobs in his administration than when he became president.”
Facts: That’s right if you look at the past 67 years, but the government’s data doesn’t go back far enough to compare the job performance of all presidents in history.
Since President Harry Truman, who left office in 1953 – 67 years ago – every president has created new jobs during his term of office. Under the Trump administration, 4.7 million jobs were lost between January 2016 and August 2020.
Trump versus Biden: Expert explains who won the chaos duel on TV
After 20 minutes, Biden says to Trump: “Can you shut up, man?”
ksk / dpa