Friday, 27 Nov 2020

Trump claims he 'saved 2,000,000 lives from coronavirus' as US death toll soars

The first sentence Donald Trump said in last night’s final 2020 presidential debate was not true, according to an Associated Press fact check of both candidates. 

The US President claimed to have ‘saved two million lives’ from coronavirus as he faced off with rival Joe Biden on Thursday. He opened by saying: ‘So as you know 2.2 million people, modeled out, were expected to die.’

The former businessman later added: ‘We were expected to lose, if you look at the original charts from original doctors who are respected by everybody, 2.2 million people. We saved two million people.’

The US has the highest death toll of any country in the world with 223,061 fatalities, according to the most recent data from John Hopkins.

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Records show the country was never expected to lose two million people to Covid-19. Such an extreme projection was merely a baseline if nothing at all were done to fight the pandemic, which was never an option for health authorities in different states.

At a press briefing on April 1, Trump officials discussed their actual projection of 100,000 to 240,000. The President said a few weeks later he was hopeful deaths would be kept under 100,000, claiming: ‘I think we’re doing better than that.’

He made numerous other inaccurate comments about coronavirus during the debate. At one point, he claimed the country was ’rounding the corner’ and Covid-19 was ‘going away’ – despite daily cases rising from 42,300 on October 7 to 57,210 on October 21. 

Although the rise in cases can be partially put down to improved testing, the daily death toll also rose from 695 to 757 during the same time. The country reported 828 deaths on Thursday.

Both Trump and Biden spoke inaccurately about which parts of the country are worst-affected by the pandemic during the debate.

In an effort to discredit shutdowns, Trump said: ‘His Democrat governors Cuomo in New York, you look at what’s going on in California, you look at Pennsylvania, North Carolina. Democrats — Democrats all. They’re shut down so tight, and they’re dying.’

Meanwhile, Biden tried to warn against reopening, saying: ‘Look at the states that are having such a spike in the coronavirus. They’re the red states. They’re the states in the Midwest or the states in the Upper Midwest. That’s where the spike is occurring significantly.’

In reality, both Republican and Democrat states are seeing rising infections.

Some Republican states still struggling to get transmission rates down after reopening – including Florida which has a 12% transmission rate and South Dakota which has a transmission rate close to 35%.

Democrat-led states which closed down for longer have high transmission rates – including Nevada at 20% and Pennsylvania at 10%, based on a 140-day trend. 

New York was hit hard during the first wave and remained the US’s coronavirus hotspot for weeks.

Los Angeles currently has the highest number of cases in the country, with 294,065 confirmed.

Joe Biden also got his facts wrong last night when he claimed ‘not one single person with private insurance’ lost their insurance under Obamacare.

Millions of people lost their individual health care after Obamacare took effect in 2014. This was because many private healthcare plans no longer met minimum standards established by the law and the backlash forced the White House to offer a workaround. 

Trump and Biden were also fact-checked on climate change, extremists, taxes and the Hunter Biden scandal. 

The election is due to take place on November 3. Biden is leading in the polls, according to websites including FiveThirtyEight – but this is not set in stone as Hilary Clinton was in the lead prior to 2016’s election.

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