Final Presidential Debate
Fact-Checking the Final Presidential Debate
“I was put through a phony witch hunt.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“He has caused the deficit with China to go up, not down.” — Mr. Biden
False. (has gone up or down depending on how you calculate the numbers.)

“We are rounding the turn.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“He never did a thing except in 1994 when he did such harm to the Black community, and he called them super predators, and he said it, super predators.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“China is paying. They are paying billions and billions of dollars.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“I know more about wind than you do. It is extremely expensive, kills all the birds, it’s very intermittent, got a lot of problems, and they happen to make the windmills in both Germany and China.” — Mr. Trump
False, at least when it comes to the birds.

“We are trying very hard, but a lot of these kids come out without the parents. They come over through cartels and through coyotes and through gangs.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“They want to take buildings down because they want to make bigger windows into smaller windows. As far as they are concerned, if you had no window, it would be a lovely thing.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“We’re rebuilding it, and we’re doing record numbers. 11.4 million jobs in a short period of time.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

People came back into work quickly because they had been temporarily furloughed as states and cities shut down, and businesses brought them back into their jobs as they reopened. The concern now is that job losses are increasingly turning permanent, which could lead to a slower recovery going forward.

“Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. It is filthy. The air is filthy.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

Trump is essentially talking about the countries’ contributions to climate change, and on that score, his comments fail to capture the full picture.

“You have done nothing other than the crime bill which put tens of thousands of Black men, mostly, in jail.” — Mr. Trump
Mostly true.

Mr. Biden’s actions took place at a time when violent crime was surging in many cities. Mr. Biden has apologized for portions of his anti-crime legislation.

“He wants to raise everybody’s taxes.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“They tried to meet with him. He wouldn’t do it, he didn’t like Obama, he didn’t like him.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“He doesn’t come from Scranton.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“They even have a statement that we have to give 10 percent to ‘the big man.’ You’re the big man, I think.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

This is a reference to a claim and an email provided on Thursday by Tony Bobulinksi, a former business associate of Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, and his brother, James Biden.

“Catch and release is a disaster. A murderer would come in, a rapist would come in, a very bad person would come in. We would take their name, we have to release them into our country.” — Mr. Trump
This is exaggerated.

The vast majority of migrants being caught crossing the border were families seeking asylum, not murderers or rapists.

“Nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump. If you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, possible exception, nobody has done what I’ve done.” — Mr. Trump
False.

A 2017 study that assessed modern presidents based on the analysis of editorials published in Black newspapers ranked resident Lyndon B. Johnson at the top. Mr. Trump would place in the bottom third.

“We should be bailing them out, now, those small businesses. One in six are going under. They are not going to make it back.” — Mr. Biden
True.

“What has been proven to happen is when you do that, these small businesses fire many of their employees.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“He went on with fracking, ‘We are not going to have fracking.’ Then he goes to Pennsylvania once he got the nomination, and he just, ‘Oh, we’re going to have fracking.’” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

Mr. Biden has never called for a ban on the process for extracting oil and gas known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. He has pledged to end new permits for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands and waters, but said fracking “has to continue because we need a transition” to renewable energy. He has also assured union leaders in critical swing states like Pennsylvania that he will protect existing fracking jobs while pursuing a clean energy transition.

“He tried to hurt Social Security years ago.” — Mr. Trump
Partly true.

During his 36-year Senate career, Mr. Biden supported some actions that would slow or reduce spending on Social Security, but also supported others that would protect benefits.

“She is more liberal than Bernie Sanders.” — Mr. Trump
This is exaggerated.

Mr. Trump was referring to Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee. DW-Nominate, an ideological position tracker based on votes, rated Ms. Harris as more liberal than Mr. Sanders but less liberal than Senator Elizabeth Warren in the 2017 to 2019 legislative session.

“We have the best testing in the world by far — that is why we have so many cases.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“We have 180 million people out there that have great private health care, far more than what we are talking about with Obamacare. Joe Biden is going to terminate all of those policies.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“What I would like to do is a much better health care — much better — will always protect people with pre-existing.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“I just gave $28 billion to our farmers.” — Mr. Trump
True.

Mr. Trump was incorrect, however, when he suggested that China was covering these costs: It is American taxpayer money.

“I prepaid millions and millions of dollars in taxes.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

In 2016 and 2017, Mr. Trump requested an extension to file his 1040, and each time, he made the required payment to the I.R.S. for income taxes he might owe — $1 million for 2016 and $4.2 million for 2017.

“There has been nobody tougher on Russia.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“His own person who ran that for him, who, as you know, was his chief of staff, said it was catastrophic, it was horrible, we didn’t know what we were doing.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

Trump was quoting Ron Klain, once Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s chief of staff, to claim that Mr. Biden handled the H1N1 pandemic poorly. Mr. Klain said this year that his comments solely addressed the difficulties in producing a vaccine for the H1N1 virus, which caused the outbreak.

“He’ll close down the country if one person in our massive bureaucracy says we should close it down.” — Mr. Trump
This is exaggerated.

Mr. Biden has stressed the importance of following scientific expertise, and he has in the past expressed a willingness to close down the country to slow the spread of the coronavirus in response to advice from scientists. But Mr. Trump’s assertion that Mr. Biden would close it down at the behest of “one person” goes too far.

“The bank account was in 2013. That’s what it was. It was opened — it was closed in 2015, I believe.” — Mr. Trump
False.

“I’m listening to all of them, including Anthony, I get along very well with Anthony, but he did say do not wear a mask.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

During an interview with “60 Minutes” in early March, Dr. Fauci did say, “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” But the reason, he said at the time, was that there was a dire mask shortage and he was worried about health care providers and sick people “needing them.”

“He said — this is a terrible thing — ‘You are a xenophobe.’ I think he called me racist, even, and because I was closing into China. Now he says I should have closed it earlier.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

Mr. Biden referred to the president’s “record of hysteria and xenophobia — hysterical xenophobia — and fear-mongering to lead the way instead of science.” It was not clear that Mr. Biden was referring to the travel restrictions, or whether he even knew about them.

“We learned this president does business in China, has a secret bank account in China.” — Mr. Biden
True.

“Joe got $3.5 million from Russia, and it came through Putin, because he was very friendly with the former mayor of Moscow, and it was the mayor of Moscow’s wife, and you got $3.5 million, your family got $3.5 million.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

“Look at the states having a spike, they are the red states, the states in the Midwest, in the upper Midwest, that is where the spike is occurring significantly.” — Mr. Biden
This is exaggerated.

Many of the states recently experiencing coronavirus surges are led by Republican governors or are in the Midwest, but “blue” states and other regions have not been spared.

“We have a vaccine that’s coming, it’s ready, it’s going to be announced within weeks.” — Mr. Trump
This lacks evidence.

“I had something that they gave me, a therapeutic I guess they would call it — some people would say it is a cure — I was in for a short period of time and I got better very fast, or I would not be here tonight.” — Mr. Trump
This lacks evidence.

“As you know, 2.2 million people, modeled out, were expected to died… The mortality rate is down, 85 percent. The excess mortality rate is way down and lower than any other country.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

With mitigation, experts projected, those numbers might be closer to 100,000 to 200,000. Months later, the United States has surpassed that more modest mark — and there is not yet an end in sight.

Excess American deaths attributable to the pandemic — which number in the hundreds of thousands — are also not the lowest in the world.

“We have the best carbon emission numbers that we’ve had in 35 years under this administration.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

The United States is a slightly less polluting country now than it was when President Trump entered office, but those reductions are largely because cheap natural gas prices enticed utilities to drop coal, and because of policies enacted under the Obama administration.

“They say I’m immune, whether it’s four months or a lifetime, nobody’s been able to say that. But I’m immune.” — Mr. Trump
This lacks evidence.

“They did it. We changed the policy. They built the cages.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

The Obama administration did hold children in the same chain-linked enclosures the Trump administration has used to detain migrants — facilities widely decried by Democrats as “cages.”

“First of all, I called my accountants — under audit. I’m going to release them as soon as we can. I want to do it.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

For years, Mr. Trump has said that he cannot release his tax returns because he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

“Biggest beneficiary, the Black and Hispanic communities” — Mr. Trump, referring to his Opportunity Zone program.
This lacks evidence.

“We have the trillion trees program; we have so many different programs.” — Mr. Trump
This is misleading.

Mr. Trump’s order does not actually include any funding or the planting of any trees.

“99.9 of young people recover. 99 percent of people recover.” — Mr. Trump.
This lacks evidence.