Reality test: Trump falsely suggests he was proper when he predicted ‘near zero’ virus instances in February

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Fauci did not say that.

Trump additionally recommended Tuesday that he was right when he stated in February that the US would go down from 15 coronavirus instances to almost zero — though he was wildly inaccurate, because the US now has greater than 1,000,000 instances.

And the President repeated his false claims that he “inherited” a “damaged check” for the virus, although there was no inherited check for a virus solely recognized throughout his presidency. He additionally stated that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had apologized to him for earlier feedback about Trump’s journey restrictions on China, although there was no apology.

Listed below are some reality checks of statements Trump made at his two Tuesday media occasions, throughout an Oval Workplace assembly with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and an East Room occasion in regards to the Paycheck Safety Program for small companies.

Fauci on coronavirus risk in late-February

The President claimed throughout the availability with the governor of Florida that Fauci, the nation’s prime infectious illness professional, downplayed the specter of the coronavirus in February, saying that it was “no drawback.”

“You return, and also you check out even professionals like Anthony have been saying, ‘That is no drawback.’ This was late in February. That is no drawback. That is going to blow over.”

Information First: Trump is fallacious that Fauci publicly stated the virus was “no drawback” and would “blow over.” Whereas it’s true that Fauci stated in late February that Individuals didn’t want to alter their habits patterns at the moment, he additionally clarified that these situations might change and coronavirus might become a serious outbreak.

Trump is presumably referring to an interview Fauci did with NBC’s “At present” present, which conservative social media customers have been sharing as proof that consultants dismissed the specter of the virus as late as February 29. The President himself promoted a tweet in mid-April referring to the interview.
In Fauci’s precise interview, he’s a lot much less assertive than Trump makes him out to be. He even couched his language by saying a number of occasions that the virus might grow to be a lot worse.

“At this second, there isn’t any want to alter something that you simply’re doing on a daily foundation. Proper now, the danger continues to be low,” Fauci stated, “however this might change. I’ve stated that many occasions even on this program.”

“While you begin to see group unfold, this might change and power you to grow to be far more attentive to doing issues that will defend you from unfold.”

When requested how the outbreak would finish, Fauci said that the scenario might escalate.

“This may very well be a serious outbreak. I hope not. Or it may very well be one thing that is moderately nicely managed,” Fauci stated. “On the finish of the day, it will finally go down. Hopefully we might defend the American public from any severe diploma of morbidity or mortality. That is the explanation why we have to do the issues that we’ve got in our plan.”

Trump defends wildly inaccurate prediction

Within the East Room occasion, CNN’s Jim Acosta requested Trump about his wildly incorrect prediction from February that the variety of confirmed coronavirus instances in the USA would quickly attain zero.

For context, here is what Trump stated in February: “When you have got 15 individuals, and the 15 inside a few days goes to be down to shut to zero, that is a reasonably good job we have accomplished.”

On Tuesday, Acosta invoked Trump’s defective prediction from February whereas asking for his response to the information that the USA formally surpassed 1 million confirmed instances.

“It would go all the way down to zero, finally,” Trump responded.

Information First: Trump’s prediction was fallacious and contradicted warnings from medical doctors that the illness would grow to be widespread. He is now saying his prediction was proper, as a result of there’ll finally come a time with out new instances. That is dishonest as a result of by saying it will drop from 15 to zero in a number of days, he could not have meant that instances would climb to 1 million in late April earlier than it will definitely reaches zero.
Trump’s feedback in February got here when he was downplaying the risks of coronavirus. He by no means got here near suggesting that there could be a large swell within the variety of instances, as we have seen in latest weeks. As a substitute, he stated the virus would possibly “disappear.”
And whereas it will be excellent news if the variety of new instances “finally” hits zero, like Trump stated, that milestone will not deliver again the almost 58,000 Individuals who died from the virus.
The back-and-forth on Tuesday is the most recent instance of Trump defending his fallacious predictions.

Coronavirus testing

Trump argued as soon as once more that any coronavirus testing points have been the fault of others, claiming, “We inherited a really damaged check.”

Information First: Since this can be a new virus that was first recognized this yr, the exams for it are newly created, not inherited from any previous administration. The defective preliminary check for the coronavirus was created throughout Trump’s administration, in early 2020, by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. A number of epidemiology consultants have even dismissed the President’s declare as nonsensical.

Trump has made variations of this declare on a number of events, together with the broader and extra debatable declare that the testing “system” was flawed, which he additionally stated immediately. You’ll be able to learn extra in regards to the President’s previous claims and shifting rhetoric on coronavirus exams right here.

Journey restrictions

Trump additionally talked about his oft-repeated false claims about putting journey restrictions on China and Europe as a result of coronavirus.

Talking within the East Room Tuesday afternoon, he claimed that he “closed down” the US and its borders, including, “I did a ban on China from coming in, aside from US residents.”

Earlier within the day with DeSantis, the President additionally stated “finally we did a ban on Europe.”

Information First: It is not true that Trump “closed down” the nation totally. Whereas he acknowledged this time that his journey restrictions on China contained exemptions for sure individuals — he normally simply describes it as a “ban” with out elaboration — he nonetheless wasn’t telling the total story. Residents weren’t the one exempted group; he additionally exempted everlasting residents, among the shut relations of residents and everlasting residents, and a few others. Solely overseas nationals who had been in China, Europe’s Schengen space, the UK or Eire throughout the previous 14 days have been outright banned from coming into the US.

You’ll be able to learn extra in regards to the Trump administration’s journey restrictions in response to coronavirus right here.

Biden and the restrictions on China

Through the assembly with DeSantis, Trump repeated his false declare that Biden had apologized for earlier criticism of Trump’s journey restrictions on China.

“He stated all kinds of issues, we can’t even say it. After which he apologized as a result of — two weeks in the past he put out a press release that I used to be proper,” Trump said.
Information First: Biden’s marketing campaign introduced in early April that he helps Trump’s journey restrictions on China, so a part of Trump’s declare is right. However neither Biden nor his marketing campaign apologized for any earlier criticism of Trump. The marketing campaign says that the Biden feedback Trump has described as criticism of the China restrictions — during which Biden stated Trump has a document of “hysterical xenophobia” and “concern mongering” — weren’t in regards to the journey restrictions in any respect.

The marketing campaign says Biden didn’t know in regards to the China restrictions on the time of the January 31 speech during which he made these remarks, since his marketing campaign occasion in Iowa began shortly after the briefing throughout which the China restrictions have been revealed by Well being and Human Providers Secretary Alex Azar.

Given the timing of the Biden remarks, it is not unreasonable for the Trump marketing campaign to deduce that Biden was speaking in regards to the journey restrictions. However Biden by no means took an express place on the restrictions till his April declaration of help — and whether or not or not you settle for his marketing campaign’s argument that the “xenophobia” declare was not in regards to the restrictions, he definitely hasn’t apologized.

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