• By The Financial District


US President Donald Trump was true to form as he unleashed a flood of false claims during the first debate with rival Democratic presidential bet Joe Biden, saying: “If you were here, it wouldn’t be 200,000 people, it would be 2 million people. You didn’t want me to ban China, which was heavily infected. ... If we would have listened to you, the country would have been left wide open.” Calvin Woodward and Hope Yen of the Associated Press (AP) said “the audacious claim that Biden as president would have seen 2 million deaths rests on a false accusation.

Biden never came out against Trump’s decision to restrict travel from China. Biden was slow in staking a position on the matter but when he did, he supported the restrictions. Biden never counseled leaving the country ‘wide open’ in the face of the pandemic…. Moreover, Trump repeatedly, and falsely, claims to have banned travel from China. He restricted it on February 2 but travel to the U.S. from the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macao continued.”

Trump also trumpeted: “Drug prices will be coming down 80 or 90%.” AP said “that’s a promise, not a reality, and it’s a big stretch. Trump has been unable to get legislation to lower drug prices through Congress. Major regulatory actions from his administration are still in the works, and are likely to be challenged in court. There’s no plan on the horizon that would lower drug prices as dramatically as Trump claims. Prescription drug price inflation has been low and slow during the Trump years, but it hasn’t made a U-turn and sped off in the other direction. Prices have seesawed from year to year. Looking back at the totality of Trump’s term, from January 2017, when he was inaugurated, to the latest data from August 2020, drug prices went up 3.6%, according to an analysis by economist Paul Hughes-Cromwick of Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting organization.”

The President also made up a story about Dr. Anthony Fauci, who purportedly “said very strongly, ‘masks are not good.’ Then he changed his mind, he said, ‘masks, good.’” AP said “he (Trump) is skirting crucial context. Trump is telling the story in a way that leaves out key lessons learned as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, raising doubts about the credibility of public health advice. Early on in the outbreak, a number of public health officials urged everyday people not to use masks, fearing a run on already short supplies of personal protective equipment needed by doctors and nurses in hospitals. But that changed as the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus became clear, as well as the fact that it can be spread by tiny droplets breathed into the air by people who may not display any symptoms.”

Trump also claimed mass fraud in the vote-by-mail process: “It’s a rigged election.” AP said “he is exaggerating threats. Trump’s claim is part of a months-long effort to sow doubt about the integrity of the election before it’s even arrived and to preemptively call into question the results. Experts have repeatedly said there are no signs of widespread fraud in mail balloting, as have the five states that relied exclusively on that system for voting even before the coronavirus pandemic. Trump’s own FBI director, Chris Wray, said at a congressional hearing just last week that the bureau has not historically seen ’any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.’”

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