Home / World News / Fact-Checking Day 1 of the Republican National Convention

Fact-Checking Day 1 of the Republican National Convention

— Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina

Like previous presidents, Mr. Trump has been generally supportive of historically Black colleges and universities, but Mr. Scott is giving him outsized credit and is wrongly suggesting Mr. Trump reversed the funding policies of the Obama-Biden administration.

Federal funding for those institutions has increased under Mr. Trump, but the program predates his presidency by decades, and funding is appropriated by Congress. Historically black colleges and universities also received hundreds of millions of dollars in funding annually under the Obama administration. Funding ran out last September, a casualty of a broader fight in the Senate about education policy. In December, Mr. Scott and Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, reached a compromise with Senators Doug Jones of Alabama and Chris Coons of Delaware, both Democrats, to restore that funding and make it permanent for a decade.

Mr. Trump signed the bipartisan legislation into law. It’s also worth noting that the “historic” funding that the schools have received recently were not exactly because of Mr. Trump. The president requested $643.9 million in funding for H.B.C.U.’s in the 2019 fiscal year and $626.3 million in 2020 — which is less than the $683 million the schools received in 2010 — but appropriations by Congress topped $700 million in both years.

— Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina

Criminal justice experts and critics say Mr. Biden’s work on crime legislation helped lay the groundwork for mass incarceration that has devastated America’s Black communities. In 1993, Mr. Biden boasted on the Senate floor, “The truth is every major crime bill since 1976 that’s come out of this Congress, every minor crime bill, has had the name of the Democratic Senator from the state of Delaware, Joe Biden.”

Mr. Biden’s actions took place at a time when violent crime was surging in many cities. His work culminated in 1994, when as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he helped pass a vast crime bill known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that included strong punitive measures desired by law enforcement, creating 60 new death penalty offenses, giving states incentives to build prisons, set aside money for 100,000 new police and codified a “three strikes” rule.

While some studies show that the bill lowered the crime rate, which had exploded in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s, there is evidence that it contributed to the explosion of the prison population. Mr. Biden has apologized for portions of his anti-crime legislation. The New York Times examined Mr. Biden’s record on criminal justice in 2019.

— Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina

While it is true that nominal revenues were higher in fiscal year 2018 than in fiscal 2017, inflation and economic growth boost those numbers. Adjusting for price increases, revenues actually fell. Factor in economic growth, and they fell even farther, as one Brookings Institution analysis notes. In fact, revenues came in short of government projections made before the tax package’s passage. “The TCJA did not pay for itself, nor is it likely to do so in the future,” based on the Brookings analysis.

— Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son

While it’s true that the coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China, a wealth of evidence indicates that it arrived in the United States through several routes. Many people in New York, for example, were infected by travelers returning from countries in Europe. President Trump did not block travelers from most European countries until March — long after New Yorkers had already begun traveling home with the virus in tow.

These comments, coupled with earlier references in the evening to the coronavirus as “China virus” — a term that Mr. Trump has deployed frequently since the start of the pandemic — are widely considered offensive. They also paint an incomplete picture of the nature of the coronavirus’s arrival and spread in the United States.

When viruses travel between countries, they typically do so chauffeured by infected people — including residents of both nations, as was the case with the coronavirus.

— Donald Trump Jr.

Police in Democratic cities have frequently clashed with protesters, flooding streets with tear gas, hitting demonstrators with batons and tackling them to the ground. In Seattle, in an effort to de-escalate tensions, police did retreat from the department’s East Precinct in June, and the city tacitly allowed demonstrators to control several blocks around the building over the course of several weeks. But the city later cleared that so-called “autonomous zone” after a series of shootings there. In Portland, which has seen nearly three months of nightly protests, police have continued to clash with demonstrators and have made dozens of arrests in recent days.

— Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fund-raiser for President Trump and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.

Ms. Guilfoyle called herself a “first generation American,” a designation that the Census Bureau uses to designate people who are born in a foreign country and immigrate to the United States. She also said that her mother and father are both immigrants, but her mother was a born in Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory. People born in Puerto Rico have been U.S. citizens since 1917.

Her father, Anthony Guilfoyle, a close adviser to his daughter’s ex-husband, California governor Gavin Newsom, was a first generation American. He was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States when he was an adult.

— Donald Trump Jr.

Most of Mr. Trump’s data points hold up: The expansion that ended shortly after the start of the coronavirus pandemic was in fact the longest on record in America, although most of it took place before he was elected. The unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent in February, had not fallen that far since 1969 — making it actually slightly more than a 50-year low. Unemployment did hit record lows for Black people and Hispanic people. But it did not quite reach record lows for women — their joblessness was lower in the 1950s. And other demographic groups were a mixed bag. Men’s unemployment, for instance, got nowhere close to its historical record.

— Nikki R. Haley, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations.

The day that an accord went into effect in 2016 to limit Iran’s nuclear program, as brokered by the United States and other world powers, the Obama administration loaded a plane with $400 million in several currencies as a first installment of money long owed to Tehran. The money was part of $1.7 billion in assets, including interest, that the United States froze after Iran’s revolution in 1979 and that had been intended to pay for military hardware that the former shah in Tehran had purchased but that was never delivered.

Ms. Haley’s comment about Iran getting away with murder may have been a reference to the deaths of protesters against the Iranian government. It is doubtful that the Obama administration could have stopped Iranian forces from killing at least dozens of people during “Green movement” protests against then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009. But it is true that the Obama administration wrestled with how tough a line to take against Iran’s government as it also sought to engage with Tehran. Even after the election of the current president, Hassan Rouhani, Iran executed at least 753 people in 2014 alone, according a report by the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.

— Nikki R. Haley, former ambassador to the U.N.

Mr. Biden’s climate change plan would end new leases for hydraulic fracturing or fracking, for oil and gas on federal lands, but does not ban existing fracking on public lands or new or existing fracking on private lands.

— Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee

Democrats support abortion rights, but that does not mean they call for women to have an unfettered right to terminate pregnancies up until the point of birth. Ms. McDaniel was likely referring to a debate over a bill proposed last year by Democrats in the Virginia legislature, would have made it easier for women to obtain abortions late in pregnancy if the mother’s physical health or safety were at risk.

The proposed legislation prompted Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, to falsely claim that Democrats support “abortion up until the moment of birth and even, horrifically, after that.” Other Republicans have echoed the claim.

Democrats support codifying Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that held states could prohibit abortion after fetal viability -— the point at which fetuses can sustain life outside the womb. The current Supreme Court standard holds that states may prohibit abortion after fetal viability so long as there are exceptions for the life and health of the mother.

“Like the majority of Americans, Democrats believe that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion,” the party’s draft 2020 platform states, adding, “Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and rights.”

— Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son

There are some liberal Democrats who support decriminalizing illegal border crossings or abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, but former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is not one of them.

He has said he would “increase resources for training and demand transparency” from ICE and Customs and Border Protection agents. Most Democrats, including Mr. Biden, support an overhaul of the nation’s laws that would include billions of dollars for immigration enforcement. But Mr. Biden has said he would seek to reverse many, if not most, of Mr. Trump’s immigration policies, including restrictions on asylum-seekers and refugees; a ban on travelers from mostly-Muslim countries; efforts to separate migrant children from their families; reductions in legal immigration for businesses; rules that block poor foreigners from immigrating to the United States, and others.

Mr. Biden has also pledged to protect young immigrants from deportation who were brought to the United States as children. Mr. Trump’s claim that immigration would “drive wages down” is also challenged by many experts who say that immigration overall does not automatically lead to lower wages, though it can in some distinct categories of employment.

— Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations

While the Islamic State has been pushed out of its so-called caliphate, the extremist group continues to carry out attacks in Iraq and Syria. And some of the territorial gains made by American troops and their allies predate the Trump administration.

The research firm IHS Markit estimated that the Islamic State lost about a third of its territory from January 2015 to January 2017, while Brett McGurk, the former special presidential envoy to the coalition fighting the group, has said 50 percent of those losses occurred before 2017. Officials and experts had always anticipated that the campaign, which started in 2014 during the Obama administration, would result in pushing the extremist group out of its self-declared caliphate.

— Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina

In the final year of his administration, after Pyongyang stepped up testing in its nuclear weapons program, President Barack Obama considered North Korea to be the most urgent national security issue facing the United States. He persuaded the United Nations to impose a harsh set of sanctions on North Korea and, as he was leaving office, urged Mr. Trump to address the issue as soon as possible.

The Trump administration did get the United Nations to impose additional sanctions, but Mr. Trump also began high-level diplomatic talks with North Korea and halted large-scale military exercises with South Korea to accede to the wishes of Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea. National security hawks on North Korea say Mr. Trump’s concessions weakened Washington’s leverage over Pyongyang.

Mr. Trump has met with Mr. Kim three times — the only times that an American president has done so with a leader of North Korea since the Korean War — but those talks have done nothing to diminish North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Experts say North Korea can produce enough fissile material for a nuclear warhead every six months.

— President Trump

President Trump’s comment, directed at a police officer from Colorado who said he had contracted the coronavirus in late March and recovered, hinted at the prospect of immunity to the virus.

Scientific evidence so far does appear to indicate that people who recover from Covid-19 do mount a strong immune response against the virus — but just months into a pandemic driven by a new and poorly understood virus, it’s too early to say anything definitive about how protective that immune response is, or how long it lasts. In fact, the first case of a coronavirus survivor reinfected by the virus was just confirmed in Hong Kong.

Immunity also isn’t binary; in some cases, people who have recovered from the virus may only be partially protected from it, perhaps remaining susceptible to infection, but experience milder symptoms, or no symptoms at all, upon being exposed to the virus again. If these people are still able to carry the virus, they could still be contagious to those around them.

President Trump also commented that the officer’s blood might be valuable for a plasma donation. This, too, is exaggerated. Not everyone who recovers from a coronavirus infection will carry enough virus-fighting antibodies to donate plasma to someone who’s still fighting off the pathogen. Levels of antibodies also naturally decline in the blood within a couple months after recovery; this is a normal part of the immune response, and these people are expected to still carry many immune cells that can make a fresh batch of antibodies if they’re infected again.

— State Representative Vernon Jones of Georgia

Mr. Vernon was likely referring to the First Step Act, a bipartisan bill signed into law by Mr. Trump in 2018. It was a highly significant piece of legislation that made reforms to sentences in federal prisons but as its title indicates, activists see it as just a start on criminal justice reform. Moreover, it made retroactive reforms enacted in 2010.

The Sentencing Project, a group that advocates for reducing incarceration, on the law’s one-year anniversary said it “applauds the bill’s achievements but cautions that additional reforms are necessary if we are to see a substantial long-term population reduction.”

It is also wrong to blame Mr. Biden, who sponsored the Senate version of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, for mass incarceration. States began passing harsher sentencing laws in the 1970s and 1980s. Though the federal crime bill encouraged the trend, it was not the genesis or principal factor.

— President Trump

Leading Democrats have not proposed laying off postal workers. In fact, Democrats in the House have passed $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service.

— Representative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the United States has shed 257,000 manufacturing jobs while Mr. Trump has been in office, slightly more than the 205,000 manufacturing jobs lost over the course of the Obama administration. But the accurate picture is that manufacturing job growth is more linked to cycles in the economy than the political party that holds the presidency.

The number of manufacturing jobs in the United States sharply contracted during 2008 and 2009, the years of the Great Recession, before beginning a long and gradual recovery for the rest of Mr. Obama’s presidency and the first several years of Mr. Trump’s. Manufacturing employment began to level off in 2019 because of a global economic slowdown and the trade war, then dove with the onset of the pandemic.

— President Trump

While reports of new cases have dropped considerably since late July, when the country averaged well over new 60,000 per day, case numbers remain persistently high, according to a New York Times database, and there is no evidence that the virus is going away anytime soon. On Sunday, at least 446 new coronavirus-related deaths and 32,340 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States.

With more than 5.7 million people infected, the United States leads the world in coronavirus cases — roughly 2 million more than the country with the second highest count, Brazil. The United States also ranks second in the number of new cases over the last seven days. Only India has reported more during that same time.

— Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the minority whip

Mr. Biden has not embraced the “defund the police” movement. On the contrary, he has repeatedly said that he does not support defunding the police. Mr. Biden has said that federal grants to police departments should incentivize reform efforts. In June, he told CBS that he supported “conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness.”

Mr. Biden reiterated his position in an interview that aired on ABC on Sunday. “I don’t want to defund police departments,” he said. “I think they need more help. They need more assistance.”

— Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida

The Democrats propose none of these things. The party, in its 2020 platform, proposes stronger background checks and not allowing individuals who have been convicted of assault or battery to buy guns. Mr. Biden has said he supports the Second Amendment, but he would not “disarm” law-abiding gun owners. Similarly, the party in its platform and Mr. Biden have said they support ending the use of private prisons, but not prisons entirely. (Another speaker also falsely blamed Mr. Biden for mass incarceration.)

As for MS-13, the street gang, many prosecutions of MS-13 gang members took place within the Justice Department under President Barack Obama, and the first MS-13 gang member to be extradited from El Salvador to the United States — a man who had attempted murder in Loudoun County, Va. — was charged and convicted during the Obama administration. Mr. Biden has repeatedly said he does not support defunding the police.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

An Artist’s View of Hazing Rituals, Haunted by Tragedy

As drums and cymbals of Taoist funeral music filled Queenslab, an 8,000-square-foot art space in …

%d bloggers like this: