US election 2020: Fact-checking Trump and Biden’s final week

By Reality Check crew
BBC News

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After months of bitter campaigning – and loads of spin and distortion of the details – the US election is drawing to an finish.

We’ve been fact-checking the candidates all through, and right here is our choice from the final week of the marketing campaign.

Donald Trump has been way more energetic on the marketing campaign path over the previous few days, with a punishing schedule of rallies in key states.

There’s been no let-up of his repetition of false claims concerning the pandemic, his file in workplace and the integrity of postal voting.

Mr Biden has appeared in public far much less, however he is additionally introduced fact-checking challenges and typically misrepresented the economic system beneath President Trump.

Trump: You can change your vote in “most states”

Verdict: This is just not appropriate. Only in a couple of states can you alter your vote after you’ve got submitted a postal poll.

There are only a handful of states – together with Michigan, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York and Wisconsin – the place your postal vote will be cancelled after it has been submitted.

In these states, you possibly can then both request a brand new postal poll or vote in particular person.

Most states will permit you to vote in particular person for those who’ve been despatched a postal vote however have not returned it. Some of those ballots should be counted final to ensure no-one votes twice.

Biden: “Donald Trump crashed the economic system that Barack and I left him. Like all the things else he is left and inherited, he squandered it.”

Verdict: Only after the onset of the pandemic did financial progress take a nose-dive. It has subsequently skilled a powerful restoration.

The newest numbers present financial output surged by an annualised 33% within the third quarter of 2020, following a file fall as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the economic system has not but recovered to pre-pandemic ranges.

Prior to the pandemic, throughout President Trump’s first three years in workplace,

he oversaw an annual common progress of two.5%.

The final three years of the Obama administration noticed an identical degree of progress (2.3%).

Mr Trump has stated the current restoration in progress is “the most important within the historical past of our nation by virtually triple… that is greater than any nation”.

This is not proper. Over the third quarter interval (July-September) this 12 months, the economic system grew by 7.4% within the US (33.1% is the annualised determine). This is lower than Germany, Italy and the eurozone as an entire.

If you have a look at financial progress from the beginning of the pandemic to the current, the US has executed higher than Europe however “worse that China and another Asian economies” similar to South Korea, says Neil Shearing, chief economist at Capital Economics.

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Biden: “It’s estimated that if we wore masks the following few months, by his personal consultants within the CDC and different businesses… we might save 100,000 lives.”

Verdict: The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) doesn’t make this projection, nor do others.

Mr Biden might have been referring to a projection, not by the CDC, however from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) on the University of Washington.

However, the 100,000 determine Mr Biden quotes is considerably above the IHME’s newest estimate that 62,000 lives could be saved by the tip of January 2021, if mask-wearing was virtually common.

The CDC recommends that individuals put on masks in public settings, occasions and gatherings, to assist cease the unfold of coronavirus.

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Trump: Joe Biden ending money bail would free “400,000 harmful criminals”

Verdict: This wants context. Joe Biden does need to finish the money bail system, however Mr Trump is flawed about its impression.

Joe Biden has pledged to finish money bail – the deposit a defendant pays to keep away from being stored in detention whereas awaiting trial.

His web site says: “The money bail system incarcerates people who find themselves presumed harmless.”

There are about 450,000 people at present detained earlier than trial. However, a big proportion of those are usually not given the choice of bail – particularly these charged with severe crimes.

So Mr Trump’s determine of 400,000 is simply too excessive, say consultants. And it is also not appropriate to name all of the individuals who cannot afford to pay bail “harmful criminals”.

“Cash bail leads to detention primarily based on incapability to pay. As a outcome, a low-risk indigent particular person could also be detained and a high-risk rich particular person could also be launched,” says Prof Crystal Yang at Harvard University.

Biden: “91 of the highest company corporations in America paid zero federal revenue tax.”

Verdict: This is true, in keeping with a research.

The context for this declare is that Mr Biden has criticised huge cuts in taxes beneath the Trump administration which have led to corporations and rich people paying considerably much less.

In 2018, 91 of the highest 500 corporations within the US successfully paid no tax, in keeping with a report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Despite making virtually $80bn in pre-tax revenue, some corporations paid no taxes, because the US company tax code “lowers the bar for the quantity of tax avoidance it takes to get you all the way down to zero”, in keeping with the Institute.

The corporations paying zero tax included Amazon and Starbucks.

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