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Australia Donald Trump has made many false coronavirus claims, but some of Joe Biden's are wide of the mark too

00:41  30 october  2020
00:41  30 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Donald Trump says he will release his full 60 Minutes interview

  Donald Trump says he will release his full 60 Minutes interview President Donald Trump announced Thursday he will release the'full, unedited' version of his interview with '60 Minutes' after CBS released a video excerpt of the sit-down. He called Lesley Stahl's questioning of him 'vicious' and an 'attempted takeout' while arguing he gave 'magnificently brilliant' answers to her questions. 'I will soon be giving a first in television history full, unedited preview of the vicious attempted “takeout” interview of me by Lesley Stahl of @60Minutes. Watch her constant interruptions & anger.

Some Democrats have been perplexed at why Mr. Biden has not used his newfound free time to blitz television news shows, many of which are Mr. Biden released a plan to address the coronavirus this month, but unlike many of the senators and governors who competed against him for this year’ s

Trump and many of his aides have eschewed practices like social distancing and mask wearing. Trump has frequently sought to paint a rosy picture of the current situation, including just Trump has blatantly disregarded medical recommendations from his own coronavirus task force during the

a close up of a logo: RMIT ABC Fact Check presents the latest debunked misinformation on COVID-19. (RMIT ABC Fact Check) © Provided by ABC NEWS RMIT ABC Fact Check presents the latest debunked misinformation on COVID-19. (RMIT ABC Fact Check)

CoronaCheck is RMIT ABC Fact Check's weekly email newsletter dedicated to fighting the misinformation infodemic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

You can read the latest edition below, and to have the next newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

CoronaCheck #45

In this week's special US election edition of CoronaCheck, we've touched on as many false coronavirus claims from both presidential candidates that we can fit into this newsletter — from the first uses of the word "pandemic" to the politically charged hydroxychloroquine debate.

Mysterious emails and convenient leaks: The Trump campaign’s Hunter Biden attacks, explained

  Mysterious emails and convenient leaks: The Trump campaign’s Hunter Biden attacks, explained All of a sudden, people have come out of the woodwork saying they have Hunter Biden emails.The contents of what was purportedly Hunter’s laptop were first provided to the New York Post last week by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. A computer repair store owner claimed the laptop was left at his store, but questions have been raised about whether that story is accurate and whether all the information allegedly on the laptop is authentic.

However, Trump claimed that Biden "wants to shut down our economy and close our schools and grind society to a halt." Trump , who has repeatedly said lockdowns intended to prevent the further spread of the virus would inflict more harm than good, told reporters that Biden is "in favor of locking

Trump doesn't have Covid19 and there is War coming!! Nothing is at face value!! We must let go of the Politics and other belief systems they have set in place and realize that this is so much bigger than we can imagine!! In terms of replying….I remember you giving me your email addy at some point.

We've also weighed the facts around voting by mail, and check in with another election being held closer to home.

Donald Trump's most egregious false coronavirus claims

Since assuming office in January 2017, US President Donald Trump has served up more than 22,000 false claims, the Washington Post Fact Checker, of which more than 13,000 have been related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fact Checker uses a system of "Pinocchios" by which to judge claims — the more Pinocchios a claim is awarded, the less factual it is considered.

So, which of Mr Trump's coronavirus claims have been deemed his biggest whoppers?

While Fact Checker caps the number of Pinocchios it awards to four, in cases where a false statement is repeated more than 20 times "" Pinocchios come into play, as is the case with Mr Trump's claim (repeated 42 times) that hydroxychloroquine is a cure for COVID-19.

Trump confronts Biden on son's business dealings in final presidential debate

  Trump confronts Biden on son's business dealings in final presidential debate Trump confronts Biden on son's business dealings in final presidential debateTrump, Biden clash over Hunter Biden business dealings at final presidential debate

If Joe Biden wins the presidency next week, it will be with a coalition that spans figures from Rep. Biden ’ s left flank has already made plenty of noise about how they’d seek to pull him leftward if he wins. “One of the things that I have said publicly and said to many of my colleagues is , we are not

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden issued a stark warning to Americans, saying that “200 million people will die” Speaking in Philadelphia on Sunday, Biden hammered President Donald Trump ’ s handling of the Biden has fumbled his figures before, claiming earlier this summer that more than 120 million

"On June 15, [the Food and Drug Administration] withdrew its emergency use authorisation for hydroxychloroquine, concluding that it 'is no longer reasonable to believe' that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are effective in treating the disease," the Post noted.

A claim that former president Barack Obama left behind no ventilators when he left office was awarded bottomless Pinocchios — in fact, 16,600 working ventilators were part of the national stockpile of healthcare equipment when Mr Trump became president.

from Mr Trump that the Obama administration left the US unprepared for a pandemic due to "red tape" and regulations which slowed efforts to roll out testing was awarded four Pinocchios, as were about Mr Obama's handling of the 2009 outbreak of swine flu.

Also earning the Post's four Pinocchio rating was a claim — repeated 12 times in various guises by Mr Trump — that the wall being built on the Mexico border had prevented a larger outbreak of COVID-19 in America.

Nepotism and the 2020 election, explained

  Nepotism and the 2020 election, explained Hunter Biden isn’t the only candidate family member in question in this campaign.It was clear from President Trump’s efforts to coerce the Ukrainian government into launching a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden over this ended with his impeachment. That, in turn, led Trump to back away from the issue, for a while.

US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have batted away key questions during separate meet-the-voter TV events. The president spent much of the town hall arguing with the moderator, who disputed many of his statements. But he beamed when one female

US President Donald Trump has said he is ending negotiations over a Covid-19 relief bill, and will only resume Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Mr Trump had "turned his back" on the It comes as coronavirus cases rise in several parts of the country, the outbreak widens among White

"Public health experts said [the wall] made no difference because travellers from China and Europe brought the virus to the United States and it spread over following months due to lax and inconsistent public health measures inside the country," the fact checkers .

Some of Joe Biden's coronavirus claims were wide of the mark also

While Mr Trump's false coronavirus claims may number in the thousands, his opponent hasn't been immune from spreading a few falsehoods of his own.

Fact checkers at PolitiFact , for instance, that despite a claim from Democratic challenger Joe Biden to the contrary, Mr Trump could not have prevented every COVID-19 death in the US had he "done his job from the beginning".

"A more robust handling of the pandemic would likely have seen the country's death count significantly reduced, but not to zero," public health experts told PolitiFact.

The publication also found Mr Biden had exaggerated remarks made by Mr Trump in regards to curing COVID-19. While Mr Biden claimed Mr Trump had told Americans infected with the virus they "may be OK" if they drank bleach, reported that the President was less explicit in his suggestion.

Joe Biden: From tragedy to verge of triumph in storied political career

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Donald Trump claims to have seen evidence to substantiate the unproven theory that the coronavirus originated at the Wuhan Institute of The US president is increasingly making Beijing’ s handling of the outbreak a major issue for his November re-election campaign and has repeatedly

With that caveat aside, Joe Biden has been ahead of Donald Trump in most national polls since the start of the year. So Mr Trump ' s positive coronavirus test put his response to the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people in the US, back under the spotlight.

"Trump did not specifically recommend ingesting disinfectants, but he did express interest in exploring whether disinfectants could be applied to the site of a coronavirus infection inside the body, such as the lungs," they reported.

FactCheck.org, meanwhile, in order to revisit Mr Biden's early statements on the coronavirus pandemic.

In one example, the fact checkers found that a claim made by Mr Biden in September, that he had labelled the coronavirus crisis a pandemic as early as January, was an exaggeration of a warning he issued that the virus could turn into a pandemic.

According to FactCheck.org, Mr Biden exaggerated how early he had taken a stance on the use of face masks to curb the spread of the virus.

"We couldn't find any instances of Biden 'all the way back in March … calling for the need for us to have masks', as he claimed."

Finally, the fact checkers found that a claim made by Mr Biden during the Democratic National Convention that the US response to the pandemic was "by far the worst performance of any nation on Earth" was missing context.

Using figures available at the time of the claim in August, FactCheck.org concluded that while Mr Biden's claim was "true based on the raw totals of COVID-19 cases and deaths, the US is not the worst when adjusted for population or on other metrics".

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The facts on mail-in voting

Elections in the midst of a global pandemic are a fraught exercise, perhaps especially in the US, where the notion of swathes of voters attending polling stations while the country records more than 60,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 seems downright dangerous.

Voting by mail might seem like an obvious solution, but it's not that clear cut.

Some states, such as Arizona, will allow anyone to vote by mail, should they request to do so.

Others, including California, have sent a mail-in ballot to all registered voters, regardless of whether they requested one.

In states like Indiana, however, voters must provide a reason, such as illness, as to why they can't make it to the polling booth on election day, while in Wisconsin, a witness is required for voters marking their mail-in ballot.

With up to 50 per cent of votes expected to be cast by mail in next week's election, Mr Trump has, throughout his campaign, issued a steady stream of claims as to the validity and security of such voting. But what do the fact checkers say?

Back in September, FactCheck.org of Mr Trump's repeated false claims about mail-in voting.

They ruled as false a claim that "millions of mail-in ballots will be printed by foreign countries" leading to a "rigged" election, given the "numerous logistical hurdles", such as bar codes and signature checks, that would need to be jumped in order to get large numbers of fake ballots past the scrutiny of election officials.

"After [FactCheck.org's] story, US intelligence officials in a background briefing with reporters said they have not seen any foreign attempts to counterfeit mail-in ballots," the fact checkers said.

Trump’s Covid-19 disaster will likely get worse before Biden takes office

  Trump’s Covid-19 disaster will likely get worse before Biden takes office Biden’s victory comes too late to stop a Covid-19 surge this fall and winter.It’s true. President-elect Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump, but his inauguration isn’t until January 20, 2021. Until then, there are no signs that Trump will give up any levers of power early — if anything, the opposite is true, as Trump now contests the election results. So Trump’s failed response to Covid-19 will continue, unchecked, over the next couple of months.

Another Trump claim, that the Democratic Party had sent out 80 million unsolicited ballots in order to "harvest" votes, was likewise found to be false.

"Mail ballots will be sent automatically to eligible registered voters in only nine states and the District of Columbia," FactCheck.org said.

"That's about 44 million ballots — not 80 million — and they will be going to Republicans as well as Democrats and independents."

More recently, from Mr Trump claiming there had been "big problems and discrepancies with mail-in ballots all over the US" was this week labelled by Twitter as containing "disputed" content which may be "misleading".

"While mail-in ballots have proved to be secure and are already used broadly in several states, the President has issued false and misleading information about the process," , in reference to the label.

Meanwhile, a Facebook post claiming Mr Trump had already voted twice in the election was deemed false by .

"Trump voted in person at a library in Palm Beach County Oct. 24," the fact checkers said.

Biden vows to 'unify' country in victory speech

  Biden vows to 'unify' country in victory speech "This is the time to heal in America," the Democrat says in his first speech as president-elect. © Reuters "This is the time to heal in America," he told a crowd in Wilmington, Delaware.Mr Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump following a cliff-hanger vote count after Tuesday's election.Mr Trump has yet to concede and has not spoken publicly since his defeat was announced while he was playing golf. The result makes Mr Trump the first one-term president since the 1990s.

"The Supervisor of Elections said he did not vote twice in the general election."

In other news

Americans are not the only ones heading to the polls: Queenslanders will decide tomorrow whether Annastacia Palaszczuk's Labor Government retains power or is ousted in favour of Deb Frecklington and the Liberal National Party.

RMIT ABC Fact Check this week investigated claims made by members of each party while out on the campaign trail.

Speaking to ABC radio earlier this month, and in a news release more recently, Ms Frecklington claimed Queensland had experienced "four consecutive years of the highest unemployment rate in the nation" before COVID-19.

That claim , according to data compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It shows that Queensland did not have the highest unemployment rate in the nation across the four years leading up to the outbreak of COVID-19, whether measured as an average of monthly figures for calendar years or financial years.

Likewise, using a rolling monthly average measure to calculate the unemployment rate for all 12-month periods to March 2020 (that is, before the onset of COVID) does not show Queensland experiencing Australia's highest unemployment rate for four consecutive years.

Meanwhile, Labor's Steven Miles, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, took aim at the opposition for allegedly sacking 4,400 health workers when the party was last in power, a cut he claims was reversed by Labor.

Fact Check .

While data confirms that a cut of the magnitude suggested by the Health Minister was made by the LNP, the LNP restored some of that cut itself, with Labor finishing the job upon returning to power.

Edited by

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Biden vows to 'unify' country in victory speech .
"This is the time to heal in America," the Democrat says in his first speech as president-elect. © Reuters "This is the time to heal in America," he told a crowd in Wilmington, Delaware.Mr Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump following a cliff-hanger vote count after Tuesday's election.Mr Trump has yet to concede and has not spoken publicly since his defeat was announced while he was playing golf. The result makes Mr Trump the first one-term president since the 1990s.

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