The last TV duel between Donald Trump and Joe Biden before the election was more civilized overall. Nevertheless, the exchange of blows was full of lies, half-truths and inaccuracies.
Photo series with 12 pictures
The debate in Nashville in the US state of Tennessee dealt with the corona pandemic, foreign and economic policy and controversial business activities abroad. A scrutiny of what Donald Trump and Joe Biden said:
Trump’s claim: The coronavirus will “disappear” and the pandemic will soon be over.
Rating: This is in contradiction with statements made by scientists and with current developments.
Facts: Scientists such as the US immunologist Anthony Fauci assume that, given the global spread of the coronavirus, it is no longer possible to completely eradicate the pathogen. Even if a country manages to temporarily no longer have any known new infections, the virus can spread again. This has been shown in New Zealand, for example. According to experts, the best hope of containing the virus lies in an effective vaccine. But even with vaccination, infections will likely continue to occur for many years to come.
Trump’s forecast also contradicts developments in the USA. The number of new infections recently rose again to almost 63,000 within 24 hours, and the trend is rising. In the USA, a country with 330 million inhabitants, there are already 8.4 million confirmed corona infections, according to data from the University of Johns Hopkins. Almost 223,000 people died after infection – more than in any other country in the world.
Trump’s claim: “We have a vaccine coming, it’s ready.”
Rating: This is wrong.
Facts: The development and testing of vaccines by various companies is in full swing around the world. The USA alone is supporting six manufacturers. Some funds are in the crucial test phase III with tens of thousands of test subjects. So far, however, none of the substances has proven to be safe and effective against corona infection.
Trump’s claim: I am immune to the coronavirus.
Rating: Trump restricted his statement himself. However, there is still a lot of confusion about immunity after being infected with the coronavirus.
Facts: Experts assume that people are probably immune after a corona infection. For how long and how absolutely protection exists is still unclear. The Robert Koch Institute, for example, writes: “At this point in time, it is still unclear how regular, robust and permanent this immune status is built up.” Studies in the journal “Science Immunology” conclude that the body’s immune response lasts for at least three months after a corona infection.
Trump’s claim: Biden received $ 3.5 million from Russia.
Rating: There is no evidence of this.
Facts: Trump’s charge against Biden is new. A similar accusation had previously been made in the direction of Biden’s son Hunter. There was no evidence for this either. An investigation by the Republicans in the US Senate concluded that the widow of the former mayor of Moscow, Elena Baturina, transferred an advisory fee of US $ 3.5 million to the bank account of the Rosemont Seneca Thornton company in February 2014 . A report on the investigation said Hunter Biden co-founded the investment company in 2013.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, stated after the publication to US media such as the Washington Post that his client neither held shares in the company nor was a co-founder of it. The allegation that Hunter Biden received $ 3.5 million from Baturina is therefore wrong. Joe Biden said Thursday night that he himself had never taken a “penny” from another country.
Trump’s claim: My Korea policy has saved millions of lives.
Rating: There is no basis for the statement.
Facts: Trump met three times with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to get the country to abandon its nuclear weapons program. So far, however, this has not been successful. Since a failed summit by Kim and Trump in February 2019, the nuclear negotiations with the US in Vietnam have stopped moving.
Biden’s claim: Trump has a secret account in China.
Rating: According to Trump, this is no longer relevant.
Facts: The “New York Times” reported this week about the existence of a previously unknown account of Trump in China. It does not appear in publicly available listings of Trump’s personal assets, as it goes under the company name Trump International Hotels Management, the newspaper wrote. The journalists of the “New York Times” have received tax documents from Trump and his companies from around two decades and have published various articles on them.
Trump said in the TV debate that he closed the account years ago. At the time, he was considering entering the hotel market in China, but decided against it.
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Biden’s claim: Trump’s policies have widened the trade deficit with China.
Rating: That’s not true.
Facts: The trade deficit shrank in 2019 compared to the previous year. This is likely to be a direct consequence of Trump’s trade war with China with measures such as higher tariffs. In 2018, the deficit from the US perspective was around 419 billion dollars, in 2019 only around 345 billion, according to figures from the US Census Bureau.
In the first eight months of this year, the trade deficit also decreased compared to the same period of the previous year, which is probably also due to the corona pandemic. A trade deficit is defined as a surplus of imports over exports. Trump started the trade war because he wanted to cut the trade deficit with China.
Biden’s claim: He never said that he was against fracking.
Rating: This is wrong.
Facts: In a debate during the primary elections in March, Biden agreed to a statement made by his then adversary Bernie Sanders, who called for fracking to be stopped as soon as possible. Shortly afterwards, in the same debate, Biden said, “No more … no new fracking.” His election campaign team later made it clear that Biden meant that he wanted to restrict new fracking projects for natural gas production.
In the meantime, Biden clearly states that he is against a general ban on fracking. He just does not want to allow any new permits for land owned by the federal government. With the clarifications, he is also responding to Trump’s repeated claims that Biden is against fracking. Fracking has sparked an oil and gas boom in parts of the United States. The technology was increasingly used during the administration of President Barack Obama.
Biden’s claim: The United States had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe.
Rating: That is an exaggeration.
Facts: When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as US President in 1933, he was primarily involved in combating the global economic crisis and was reluctant to speak about foreign policy. In 1935, Congress also passed a strict law on neutrality. In October 1937, however, the president gave up his foreign policy reticence and in his famous “quarantine speech” called for the isolation of all aggressive states from the international community, which he implicitly included the Third Reich. After the outbreak of war in 1939, the USA became one of the leading powers in liberating Europe from German occupation.