FactCheck.org Deputy Managing Editor Robert Farley spoke with WBAL-TV in Baltimore and several other Hearst TV stations around the country about fact-checking the Democratic convention.
In interviews that aired on Aug. 21, Farley discussed several Democratic claims vetted by FactCheck.org over the course of the week:
- Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s statement, “Five million Americans infected by COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth.” While the U.S. statistics are undeniably grim, when relative population is accounted for, the U.S. is not highest in the number of cases per 100,000 population, nor in its per capita death rate.
- Biden’s claim that President Donald Trump is “proposing to eliminate a tax that pays for almost half the Social Security without any way of making up for that lost revenue.” As Farley noted, it’s tricky because Trump did say he wanted to permanently end that tax, but administration officials say the president only meant he would forgive a recently announced payroll tax deferral through the end of the year.
- Former President Bill Clinton’s misleading claim that the U.S. is “the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple” because of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the comparison is meaningless because the U.S. counts a temporarily laid off worker as unemployed, but many other countries do not.
- And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got it wrong when she said that “billionaires got $400 billion richer” during the pandemic. The figure comes from a study that said the net worth of America’s billionaires grew by that much in the two months after March 18. But the economic impact of the pandemic was felt earlier. The stock market lost about 30% of its value in the prior month.
As part of a partnership with Hearst Television for the 2020 election, FactCheck.org’s work and interviews with our staff will air on Hearst TV and radio stations — which include 34 TV and two radio stations reaching 39 states — as well as appear on the stations’ websites.
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