Fact-Checking Day 1 of the Republican National Convention

— Dr. G.E. Ghali, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Louisiana.

Dr. Ghali claims that, hours after receiving a positive result from a rapid test for the coronavirus, he received remdesivir and convalescent plasma — two treatments that have received emergency approval from the F.D.A. These two treatments, an antiviral and a plasma infusion respectively, do have emergency clearance for use, but only in hospitalized patients. Dr. Ghali’s self-described symptoms were mild, “a fever and mild cough.” To date, there’s no clear-cut evidence suggesting that remdesivir benefits patients with milder forms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. And there’s also little evidence that convalescent plasma actually works as well as President Trump and his colleagues claim it does in patients with any form of the disease.

— Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio

While the unemployment rate was hovering at a 50-year-low before March, it no longer is thanks to the pandemic — instead, it remains higher than its Great Recession peak. While the jump in the unemployment rate is the result of the pandemic, it highlights a reality: It doesn’t make a lot of sense for presidents to take either full credit or blame for unemployment rates. They are often outside of their control.

— Natalie Harp, a pro-Trump citizen from California

Mr. Trump’s partial travel ban on travelers coming from China had only a limited effect in stopping or lessening the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States. The ban was porous — a New York Times analysis of data determined that nearly 40,000 travelers arrived in the United States on direct flights from China in the two months after Mr. Trump imposed his ban. Scientists have also found that the strain of the virus that began circulating in New York around mid-February was one that spread earlier in Europe, indicating it was carried by travelers from there.

In any case, even with Mr. Trump’s partial travel ban on China, the United States has had one of the worst pandemic outcomes in the world, with deaths estimated to be as high as 200,000, about a quarter of the total worldwide.

She also said under a Biden presidency, “China would control our drug production.” Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Biden has said he would compel American companies to move important supply chains back to the United States. In his nomination acceptance speech last Thursday, he specifically addressed the issue of medical and health care supplies and China. His proposal to move pharmaceutical supply chains out of China is similar to Mr. Trump’s.

— Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump repeatedly promised to build a “big, beautiful wall” across the entire 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico, and to get Mexico to pay for it. He has not made good on those promises.

Well into his administration, the president changed his promise, saying he would build 450 miles of wall along the border. His administration has built about 300 miles of steel-slat border walls, but all but a few miles of that replaced already existing barriers. Congress repeatedly refused to give him significant money to build across the entire border, forcing the president to divert several billions of dollars from military projects. Mexico has not paid for any of the wall, though the president said recently he might consider adding fees for legal border crossings to generate money for the wall’s construction.

— Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee

There is a debate, even among Democrats, about whether undocumented immigrants should have some access to health care benefits. Some Democrats, like Senator Bernie Sanders, have argued for universal health care coverage for all people residing in the United States, including the undocumented. But Mr. Biden has rejected that approach, saying that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to buy insurance in the Obamacare marketplace as long as that coverage is not subsidized by American taxpayers. Many Democrats also point out that undocumented immigrants often pay sales, payroll and other taxes despite not being eligible for benefits like Social Security, Medicare and other programs that American citizens receive.

— President Trump, during remarks after he was renominated for president.

Mr. Trump was referring to the number of federal judgeships that were open when he took office and available for him to nominate his choices. When Mr. Trump was sworn in, there were 103 unfilled federal appeals court and district court openings, in addition to a Supreme Court seat. That was certainly a high number, but it’s false that most presidents have had no seats to fill: President Obama took office with 53 such vacancies, President George W. Bush with 80 and President Bill Clinton with 107.

Mr. Trump inherited such a high count of unfilled judgeships due to the opposition that Mr. Obama’s nominees had faced in the Republican-controlled Senate. In the final two years of the Obama administration, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and allies refused to proceed with confirming many of Mr. Obama’s picks.

— Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman, Republican National Committee

Many progressive Democrats and their allies on the left — notably Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the self-described democratic socialist who sought the Democratic nomination for president — want a universal health care program in which all doctors would be reimbursed by the government. But party voters rejected that approach by choosing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as its nominee. Mr. Biden advocates building on the Affordable Care Act, the health care law signed by former President Barack Obama, which is rooted in the current system of private insurance networks. And under the current system, insurance companies can already drop pediatricians and others doctors.

— President Trump, speaking after he was renominated earlier on Monday.

Mr. Trump’s assertions that mail-in ballots lead to voter fraud are unfounded. Reports have found that incidences of voter fraud in the United States are exceedingly rare. The five states that conduct elections almost entirely by mail report very little fraud. Mr. Trump’s own White House commission on voter fraud disbanded in 2018, without any real evidence to back the president’s claims.

— President Trump, speaking after he was renominated earlier on Monday.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited on all four nights of the Democratic National Convention including the words “under God.” It was also recited that way at most of its caucuses. Several smaller meetings — two meetings of the L.G.B.T.Q. Caucus and one gathering of the Muslim Assembly — recited the pledge omitting the words “under God.” Earl D. Fowlkes Jr., chairman of the L.G.B.T.Q. Caucus, said the decision to omit the words was made by two separate individuals who had been asked to lead the pledge and was not a policy decision.

“It was a personal preference,” Mr. Fowlkes said. “I was just as surprised as everyone else.” The phrase “under God” was not originally part of the Pledge of Allegiance but was added during the 1950s at the urging of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

— President Trump, speaking after he was renominated earlier on Monday.

While it is true that the labor market has regained more than 9 million jobs since April, that rebound came on the heels of an even larger decline — and about 60 percent of the jobs lost since February have yet to return. The rapid labor market bounceback has come as many people who had lost jobs temporarily during state lockdowns returned to work. It is difficult to judge at this point how robust the rebound will prove going forward. If businesses can make it through the pandemic intact and rehire their employees, it could pave the way for continued job growth. If many close or downsize permanently, it could be the case that the job gains to date have been the low-hanging fruit and that today’s unemployed workers will have more trouble finding work.

— President Trump, speaking after he was renominated earlier on Monday.

Mr. Trump has channeled substantial government funds to farmers who were hurt when China, one of the world’s biggest agricultural markets, imposed tariffs on American products during the U.S.-China trade war. The Trump administration announced a total of $28 billion in aid for farmers in 2018 and 2019, then secured another $23.5 billion to help American farmers through the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed in March.

The administration says that these funds come from the revenue raised by the tariffs Mr. Trump imposed on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods. To date, the U.S. government has collected more than $60 billion of revenue from the tariffs Mr. Trump levied on Chinese bicycles, seafood, buttons, chemicals and many other goods.

But Mr. Trump’s frequent claim that the tariffs are paid for solely by China is wrong. Whether the Chinese manufacturer, American importer or another company ultimately pays the cost of any particular tariff varies from product to product, depending on the ability of each party to negotiate. But overall, recent economic research suggests that the burden of the tariffs has fallen heavily on American firms, and that American manufacturers and consumers have ended up paying a substantial portion of the tariffs.


Source link