AP FACT CHECK: Trump at rally falsely cites a Biden apology
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump incorrectly told supporters Saturday night that democratic rival Joe Biden apologized for speaking out against his travel restrictions from China at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. On several fronts, the revival of the Trump campaign was the return of the distortions from months ago.
Trump's statements in Tulsa, Oklahoma followed days of self-congratulations and the destruction of the Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president. Many of the President's statements - about the pandemic, public unrest about police brutality, his records of veterans, and more - were inaccurate.
A selection of Saturday evening and last week:
TRUMP said Biden accused him of being xenophobic because he restricted travel from China, where the pandemic started, "he apologized a month later."
THE FACTS: That didn't happen. Biden didn't apologize. He actually supported Trump's travel restrictions.
The democrat has indeed accused Trump of having committed xenophobia and has not apologized for it. Trump began calling the virus "China virus" at some point, and prompted Biden to urge the country not to turn to xenophobia or racism in the pandemic.
Trump put this description aside for a while, but returned to the stereotyping rally, referring to both the "kung flu" and the "Chinese virus."
TRUMP: "We passed VA Choice. ... It never happened."
THE FACTS: A false and common statement that stems from President Barack Obama's records. VA Choice, which provides veterans with the opportunity to receive private health care at public expense under certain conditions, was passed during the Obama administration. Trump signed a law to expand the program.
TRUMP: “Biden received poor grades and surveys about his unsuspecting handling of swine flu H1N1. It was a total disaster, they had no idea what they were doing. “- Twitter on Thursday.
THE FACTS: This is a distorted story of a pandemic in 2009 that killed far fewer people in the United States than the corona virus is currently killing. For starters, Joe Biden, as vice president, did not lead the federal response. Federal health officials were not at all blind when the H1N1 pandemic, also known as swine flu, came to the United States.
Then the flu monitoring network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounded after two children in California were the first people in this country to be diagnosed with the new flu strain.
About two weeks later, the Obama administration declared a public health emergency and the CDC began releasing anti-flu drugs from the national supply to help hospitals prepare. In contrast, Trump declared a state of emergency in early March, seven weeks after the first US case of COVID-19 was announced.
In the United States, more than 119,000 people have died from COVID-19. The CDC puts the death toll in the United States at around 12,500 in the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic.
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: “Oklahoma has really been at the forefront of our efforts to slow down the spread. And they literally flattened the curve. ... The number of cases in Oklahoma has decreased significantly. "- Remarks Monday.
THE FACTS: The curve has actually increased since the end of May and has not flattened out.
Oklahoma reported only 41 new coronavirus cases on May 28, a relatively low number compared to early April. But the infections have increased since then. Last weekend, the state recorded significantly higher numbers, with 450 new cases on Thursday.
Oklahoma is among the almost half of the states where coronavirus infections have increased since May, when governors began to loosen social distance orders and more people could get tests.
In Tulsa, the infection rate is also rising steadily after having remained moderate for months. The four-day average number of new cases in the city doubled from the previous high in April.
TRUMP: “I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous. ... It is actually an important event, an important time. But no one had ever heard of it. - Interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
THE FACTS: It is not true that nobody has heard of it. It is no doubt better known now.
Trump's campaign originally planned his Tulsa rally for Friday, setting it to the date that symbolized the end of slavery, June 19. Trump agreed to postpone it until Saturday. On two days in 1921, White Tulsa's black Greenwood district ransacked, burned, killed up to 300 black Tulsans, and forced survivors to internment camps.
Trump's comment that no one knew about Juneteenth before the excitement caused by his rally contradicts the years of celebrations, the official commemorations of all but a few state governments, and the routine White House recognition of the occasion.
Trump's employees made statements every year on June 19 under his name.
"Melania and I send our best wishes for an unforgettable celebration to those who remember June 19," said the 2019 statement, in which the events of June 19, 1865, as Union troops in Galveston, Texas, arrived with the news that the war was over and that the enslaved were free.
TRUMP on abusive policing: “In their eight years, President Obama and Vice President Biden have never tried to fix this. The reason why they didn't try is because they had no idea how to do it. "- Tuesday at the White House.
THE FACTS: That is wrong.
Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice launched 25 extensive civil rights investigations against local law enforcement agencies across the country, including police stations in Chicago, Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri.
These investigations aimed to overhaul affected departments with patterns of civil rights violations and generally resulted in judicial consent orders that required agencies to make a number of fundamental changes to the use of violence, stops, searches, and more.
The Obama White House also set up a task force to develop best police practices and recommend ways to improve community trust while reducing crime. This task force published its report in 2015.
This year, President Barack Obama banned the government from supplying certain types of military equipment to local police departments, a policy that Trump reversed two years later.
Following nationwide protests against George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, public pressure on Congress could now be stronger to pass comprehensive law on police work. But the limited steps Trump took on Tuesday steered around Congress.
TRUMP about scientists: “These are the people - the best, smartest, most brilliant, and they developed the AIDS vaccine. They came up with ... different things. "- Tuesday at the White House.
THE FACTS: No one has come up with an AIDS vaccine, and there is no cure. Nearly 38,000 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the U.S., and about 1.7 million worldwide in 2018.
Powerful drugs have made HIV a manageable chronic condition for many patients, which has led to great global efforts to bring these drugs to more people who need them.
In addition, taking certain anti-HIV medications daily can also act as a preventive measure and dramatically reduce the likelihood that someone who is still healthy will be infected by sex or drug use. A small proportion of Americans who could benefit from this use this “pre-exposure prophylaxis”.
However, "there is no vaccine that prevents or treats HIV infection or treats those who have it," the US Department of Health explains efforts to develop one.
Trump may have tried to correct himself when he followed the comment that science has "different things" for AIDS.
As for a coronavirus pandemic vaccine, Trump seems confident that one will be ready by the end of the year, but health officials warn that there is no guarantee that one of the candidates currently being tested will fail. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health says that a vaccine at the end of the year is only conceivable if everything goes right in the final tests this summer.
TRUMP about what he did for veterans: "Every medical facility in VA now offers emergency mental health on the same day, something we didn't have or didn't even get close to." - Comments Wednesday.
THE FACTS: That is wrong. The same day psychiatric service started in VA before Trump took office in January 2017.
The VA's efforts to provide the same day medical and mental health care as needed in every medical center in the VA were published in April 2016 during the Obama administration. By the end of 2016, the department's blog announced that the goal would be achieved by the end of the year.
In an article in the Harvard Business Review dated December 23, 2016, new services were given on the same day in all Virginia hospitals as evidence of remarkable progress in the department. David Shulkin, then the VA secretary, informed Congress at the end of January 2017 that the services were already fully in place.
TRUMP on the veteran's efforts to lower the suicide rate: "We are working very hard on this problem and I think we have made tremendous progress. I even noticed your number: 20. Twenty is different from 24. You know what that means: every day. Difficult to believe. Every day. But 20 is a big difference and we get it far down. "- Comments Wednesday.
THE FACTS: No. The veterans' suicide rate has not improved at all during Trump's tenure. Suicides have increased recently.
The VA estimated in 2013 that an average of 22 veterans died each day (not 24, as Trump put it). However, the estimate was based on data from less than half of the countries. In 2016, VA released an updated estimate of 20 suicides a day, based on 2014 data from all states and the Pentagon. This is the figure that Trump falsely claimed for himself.
Last fall, VA changed the count to remove some active duty members and former National Guard and Reserve members who were in the mix. This resulted in a daily suicide rate of 17 per day by military veterans, a change that did not reflect improvement, but only a different methodology.
For 2017, VA reported 6,139 suicides by military veterans, 139 more than in the previous year.
CHILDREN & COVID-19
TRUMP: "You have achieved this at a level that is really unimaginable. Incidentally, the regular flu, other rivers, other things, SARS or H1N1, all when you look at the young people who affected them like everyone else, but for whatever reason, the COVID numbers are very high, very low. " - Remarks Monday.
THE FACTS: Although it is true that children are less likely than adults to develop COVID-19, the CDC has counted more than 86,000 infections from the virus in Americans under the age of 18.
Trump's statements overlook serious COVID-19 diseases and some child deaths in the U.S., although children generally become less sick than adults. It also glosses over the fact that children can spread disease without showing symptoms themselves.
The CDC examined the impact of the pandemic on different ages in the United States in April and reviewed preliminary investigations in China, where the corona virus started. Social distance is also important for children, for their own safety and that of others.
"While most COVID-19 cases in children are not serious, this age group still has severe COVID-19 disease that leads to hospitalization," the CDC study said.
Last month, the CDC also warned doctors not to look for a rare but life-threatening inflammatory response in some children who had the coronavirus. The condition has been reported with more than 100 children in New York and some children in several other states and in Europe with some deaths.
TRUMP: "These terrible and politically charged decisions of the Supreme Court are shotguns ... Do you have the impression that the Supreme Court doesn't like me?" - Tweets Thursday.
THE FACTS: Whether judges like or dislike a president is irrelevant to their decisions.
Trump referred last week to two key decisions on LGBT rights and immigration, in which the conservative Supreme Court handed him defeats. But they were not personal.
Chief Justice John Roberts was on the Liberal side of the court in both cases. In the LGBT case, Judge Neil Gorsuch, one of Trump's two individuals, also ruled against Trump.
Roberts tried to emphasize the judiciary's independence from the government's political branches and to make it clear that judges are not "politicians in robes". After Trump followed up on a judge in 2018 who decided against his asylum order for migrants and called him the "Obama judge," Roberts issued an extraordinary reprimand.
"We have no Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts replied to a request from The Associated Press. "What we have is an exceptional group of dedicated judges who do their best to give those who appear before them the same right."
Associated press writers Eric Tucker, Lauran Neergaard, Jessica Gresko and Mark Sherman contributed to this report.
Editor's Note - A Look at the Accuracy of Statements by Political Figures.
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