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It’s not often that a Democratic politician gets fact-checked, but presumptive 2020 presidential nominee Joe Biden just got a serious one from FactCheck.org.
Readers may recall that Biden recently appeared on “The Breakfast Club” morning program last week with Charlamagne Tha God, where he infamously proclaimed African-Americans “ain’t black” if they vote for President Donald Trump in November instead of him.
But during the same interview, according to FactCheck.org, the former VP also made several substantially “false” and “misleading” claims and statements.
Man, FactCheckorg just took a wrecking ball to Joe Biden's serial lies about what he said about the coronavirus. Gutted him like a fish. https://t.co/5hwFxgAfDZ
— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) May 28, 2020
“In a May 22 radio interview, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made a number of false, misleading or exaggerated claims,” the site claimed.
— The former “falsely suggested” that he “called for implementing nationwide social distance restrictions” before March 8, “which Columbia University researchers said could have prevented nearly 36,000 U.S. deaths due to COVID-19” between then and “early May.”
— Biden incorrectly said “the NAACP’s endorsed me every time I’ve run” for elected office. In fact, the president and CEO of the historic civil rights organization followed up Biden’s claim with a statement saying, in part, that “the NAACP is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office at any level.”
— He exaggerated when he claimed “I wrote an article” regarding the coronavirus outbreak on Jan. 27 saying “this pandemic’s here.” In fact, he made reference to the outbreak as a “global health challenge,” arguing that President Trump wasn’t prepared to lead the U.S. through “the possibility of a pandemic.”
— Biden “gave himself too much credit,” FactCheck.org noted, when he claimed, “I’m the guy that said we ought to … find out exactly how many people in the black community are getting COVID and are dying from it.” But in reality, Biden merely joined a number of Democrats on April 9 after they had already called on the federal government to provide racial and ethnic health data regarding coronavirus testing and treatment.
“Biden made all of those claims during a roughly 18-minute segment on ‘The Breakfast Club’ radio program. But it was a controversial comment he made about African Americans near the end of the interview — that ‘if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black’ — that received the most attention,” FactCheck.org noted further.
Regarding the study by Columbia University, which the site notes has not yet been peer-reviewed, it was uploaded to the preprint server medRxiv May 20. Researchers claimed that had social distancing and stay-at-home requirements been implemented on March 8 instead of mid-March, 35,927 lives of people who have died from coronavirus could have been saved.
The study doesn’t say that Biden suggested taking those steps earlier, meaning he gave a false impression to listeners when he said, “They pointed out that if he had listened to me and others and acted just one week earlier to deal with this virus, there’d be 36,000 fewer people dead.”
FactCheck.org asked the Biden campaign for an example of the candidate calling for social distancing, but one wasn’t provided. In fact, the site notes, Biden was still out campaigning in person in early March, including speaking to a crowd of about 1,000 people March 9 in Detroit.
This isn’t the first time the leader of the “No Malarkey” campaign has been fact-checked.
His campaign was busted by the Washington Post for creating an ad featuring a meeting President Trump had earlier this month with nurses to discuss issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including personal protective equipment (PPE).
The ad was deceptively edited, leaving out key portions of the president’s back-and-forth with nurses in the Oval Office while giving the impression that he was dismissing their concerns and being a jerk.
Still, the WaPo fact-checker only awarded the deceptive ad “Two Pinocchios” out of four.
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