Fact Checks

Final Night of the Republican Convention

At the close of the Republican National Convention, the president distorted the facts on the economy, COVID-19, health care, the military, immigration, policing and foreign affairs:
  • Trump again claimed he built the “greatest” and “strongest” economy ever. Pure poppycock. The economy has grown faster under other presidents — and so have jobs.
  • Trump claimed that Biden has pledged “a $4 trillion tax hike on almost all American families.” Biden said he won’t boost income taxes for anyone making less than $400,000 a year.
  • The president misleadingly claimed his administration will “further” cut drug costs and health insurance premiums. But employer-plan premiums have gone up, and so have prescription drug costs, by a metric Trump has referenced before.
  • He falsely claimed that NATO allies hadn’t increased defense spending in “over 20 years.” Baloney. Combined spending by our NATO allies has gone up every year since 2015.
  • Trump said “we obliterated 100% of the ISIS caliphate” in Syria and Iraq. But half of ISIS territory was taken before Trump took office.
  • The president falsely claimed he had spent “nearly $2.5 trillion” on “rebuilding our military.” The amount budgeted for procurement over four years is about $600 billion.
  • He misleadingly claimed that Biden “opposed the mission to take out Osama bin Laden.” Biden said only that he wanted further confirmation that bin Laden was actually present.
  • Trump falsely said Biden would “defund the police.” Biden explicitly said he doesn’t support that.
  • The president falsely labeled COVID-19-related restrictions on flights into the U.S. from China and Europe as a “travel ban,” and falsely claimed the policies were put in place “very early.” A government study said the restrictions on Europe were too late to mitigate the introduction of the virus.
  • Trump repeated the misleading notion that the U.S. has tested more than any other country. That’s more total COVID-19 tests, but the U.S. has done far fewer tests per confirmed case than many other countries.
  • He exaggerated when he said “[w]e developed a wide array of effective treatments,” including convalescent plasma, which he claimed “will save thousands and thousands of lives.” There are only a few known treatments for COVID-19, and convalescent plasma has not yet been shown to be effective.
  • The president falsely claimed that America has “among the lowest” COVID-19 case fatality rates and that Europe has “experienced a 30% greater increase in excess mortality” than the U.S.
  • Trump Falsely said Biden was “talking about taking the wall down” on the border between the United States and Mexico.
  • He claimed that Biden would “increase refugee admissions by 700%,” but that doesn’t account for the fact that the president has slashed the number of refugees allowed to enter the country.
  • Trump claimed Democrats left “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance during the party’s convention. The pledge was recited in full each night, but left out during daytime meetings of two caucuses.
  • The president falsely accused Biden of condemning rioters only after the Democratic convention. Biden repeatedly condemned violent protests before the convention.
  • Trump wrongly claimed Biden promised to “close all charter schools.” Rubbish. Biden opposes funding for “for-profit” schools — about 10% of the total.

The image has been digitally manipulated from a photo of a Mahatma Gandhi statue
An image appearing to show Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi bowing in front of a statue of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru has been shared in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter. The claim is false; the image has been digitally manipulated to replace a statue of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi with one of Nehru.

False rumour of kidnap accused’s death penalty sentence originated from click-bait article
Numerous posts shared hundreds of times on social media claim that alleged kidnapping kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, has been sentenced to death in Nigeria. But the claim is false; authorities have dismissed the unfounded rumour, which originated from a website that publishes click-bait content. A prosecutor also confirmed that all cases against Onwuamadike are ongoing.

This image shows a Zimbabwean man and his shoe collection, not Uganda’s president
A photo of a man in a room posing with numerous pairs of shoes on the floor has been shared on Facebook with claims that it shows Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni trying to appeal to young voters with a display of more than 100 pairs of sneakers. The claim is false; the image is old and shows Zimbabwean businessman Wicknell Chivayo showing off his personal shoe collection.

‘Taps’ bugle melody did not come from a captain grieving his son
A Facebook post shared more than 20,000 times credits “Taps,” a melody played at military funerals in the US, to “Union Captain Robert Elli” said to have composed it as an homage to his dead son. This is false; General Daniel Butterfield came up with the music, “Taps”, an adaptation from an existing bugle call “Tattoo,” while his brigade was camped in Confederate territory.

Social Media Posts Use Graphic, Unrelated Photos to Smear BLM Protesters
Posts circulating on social media this summer falsely claimed that Black Lives Matter activists were responsible for the beating of five elderly white people shown in the posts’ photos. But the pictures have been online for at least five years — and most early uses identify the photos as originating in South Africa.

Posts Distort Facts on Jacob Blake Charges
Posts on social media falsely claim that the man shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, “wouldn’t have been shot if he was still in prison for raping the 14 year old.” There’s no evidence he was ever charged with such a crime — let alone convicted and imprisoned. Jacob Blake was charged in July with sexually assaulting an adult woman, but has not been convicted.