Fact Checks ☑️

Fact Checks ☑️
D.C. Mayor Did Not Propose Removal of Federal Monuments
A Facebook post falsely claims that Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser “proposed using her power to remove” the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial in the wake of protests against racism. Bowser asked an advisory panel to review possible changes to D.C.-owned assets; she did not propose removing any federal monuments.

Mnuchin Spins Pre-COVID Path to Debt Reduction
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in January forecast rising debt for the rest of President Donald Trump’s presidency and beyond. Yet, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that before COVID-19 hit, the U.S. was experiencing “extraordinary” economic growth that “would pay down the debt over time.”

Treasury officials say the claim is based on Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, submitted in early February, which claims to put the federal budget “on a path to a balanced budget in 15 years.”

But that budget assumes economic growth that far exceeds consensus forecasts, including the CBO’s. It also assumes the significant spending cuts in Trump’s budget will be enacted by Congress. In his annual budget proposals, Trump has regularly called for slashing federal spending, only to wind up signing federal budgets from Congress that increase spending.

Trump’s Latest Bogus Talking Point on Voter Fraud
Nine states and the District of Columbia will mail ballots to about 44 million registered voters for the November election. Several of them have done this for past elections, too.

But in recent days, President Donald Trump repeatedly has distorted the facts about mail-in ballots by falsely claiming the Democrats are mailing out “80 million unsolicited ballots” so they can “harvest” votes to elect Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in November.

Kentucky governor did not attend state’s 2020 Derby
Facebook posts claim Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear attended the 2020 edition of the state’s famous horse race, and didn’t wear a mask for protection during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is false; the 2020 Kentucky Derby took place without spectators except for necessary staff, and the photo illustrating the claims dates from 2017.

Countries were not buying Covid-19 test kits in 2018
Facebook posts feature images of tables from a World Bank-linked website alongside the claim that they prove countries were purchasing Covid-19 test kits in 2018. The claim is false; the tables actually list the imports and exports of medical devices that existed in 2018 and which were classified as “Covid-19 products” in April 2020 because of their use fighting the pandemic, according to the World Bank.

Hoax circulates online that Switzerland has ‘officially confirmed’ coronavirus tests are ‘fake’
A claim that the Swiss authorities have “officially confirmed” that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test used to diagnose novel coronavirus is “fake” has been shared in multiple posts on Facebook. The posts cite the Swiss public health authority Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and Swissmedic, the national supervisory body for medical products, as the source. The claim, however, is false; the posts have taken excerpts of the Swissmedic report out of context; the actual report gives weight to the efficacy of the PCR tests in detecting novel coronavirus.

This photo of Imran Khan was taken before he was elected prime minister of Pakistan
A photo of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan standing in a line has been shared thousands of times on Facebook alongside a claim he queued like members of the public despite being the leader of the country. The claim is false; the photo of Khan has circulated online since at least 2017, before he was elected prime minister of Pakistan in August 2018.

Misleading photo collage inaccurately compares Manila Bay during different Philippine presidencies
A photo collage has been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook and Twitter posts claiming to highlight the contrast in Manila Bay, a harbour in the Philippine capital, during the presidencies of former leader Benigno Aquino III and Rodrigo Duterte, who is currently in office. The posts circulated following a September 2020 government announcement of a proposed plan to develop an artificial white sand beach on the bay. However, the claim is false; the posts contain inaccurate descriptions of the photos' time and location.

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