September 17, 2020

Fact-checking Trump's Philadelphia Town Hall

This past Tuesday, Donald Trump held a town hall type meeting in the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

Things did not go well.  

President Donald Trump faced life outside his own political bubble on Tuesday, where his self-congratulation, buck passing and audacious falsehoods conspicuously failed to meet the moment when he was confronted by undecided voters.

And the media's fact-checkers went to work. Take a look.


During the town hall, Trump said he "didn't downplay" the virus -- when in fact, he has admitted to just that.

"I wanted to always play it down," Trump said in a March 19 interview with veteran journalist Bob Woodward, according to CNN, which obtained an audio recording of the interview, and The Washington Post. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."


Trump claimed opponent Joe Biden said in March that the pandemic was "totally over-exaggerated."

Facts First: We could not find any evidence of Biden saying anything like this in March.

Biden did say in late February and early March that people shouldn't "panic" about the virus, but even conservative Breitbart News noted that Biden added in his February comments that "coronavirus is a serious public health challenge" and in March that people shouldn't "downplay" the situation. In other words, he wasn't saying that it was being overblown. [Bolding and Italics in original.]


"They said at the Democrat convention they're going to do a national (mask) mandate. They never did it, because they’ve checked out and they didn’t do it."

This is off target. In his nomination acceptance speech, Biden said, "We'll have a national mandate to wear a mask, not as a burden, but to protect each other."  We noted that current law makes it tough for the federal government to impose a mask mandate on the states. 

But Biden was talking about what he would do if he won. Trump’s criticism that "they never did it" ignores that Biden has no power to make that happen now.

Also from CNN:

Trump is a serial liar.

Lather, rinse, repeat.