US ELECTION 2020: fact-checking – election ‘trues’ or fake news?


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In the run-up to the US Presidential election – now under way – our student reporting team aims to explore, explain, enlighten and  even entertain you on the race for the White House.

 

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo: Jim Bourg/Pool via APTODAY sees one of the most important US elections in history.

Both President Donald Trump and his opponent, Joe Biden, have been campaigning up to the last minute, as America takes to the polls.

As the election reaches boiling point, both candidates have felt the heat from their critics regarding the truth behind their statements and policies.

Here, we put some of Trump and Biden’s key points under the microscope.

 

 

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump with his ‘populist’ hat and suit combo.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

President Trump is no stranger to controversy; his four years of office have been riddled with disputed claims, fuzzy facts and, of course, fake news.

Coronavirus has been a key area of debate for both candidates. At a Wisconsin rally a couple of weeks back, Trump claimed that Coronavirus cases in the US are “way down” and that he “ended” the pandemic.

However, stats produced by the New York Times dispute Trump’s claims.

As of October 28, there were 8.9million reported cases of Coronavirus in the US, a 41 per cent increase over the previous two weeks.

At least 227,697 people have died so far.

A further area of controversy is Trump’s stance on postal voting, which the President has claimed will allow his opponents to commit electoral fraud and ‘rob’ him of victory.

He has been consistently outspoken about this, saying in the first Presidential debate earlier last month that “as far as the ballots are concerned, it’s a disaster”.

Trump published a tweet in October, saying: “Big problems and discrepancies with Mail in Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3rd.”

Twitter subsequently labelled this tweet from the President as misleading.

Many sources have debunked Trump’s claims about postal voting, including FBI director Christopher Wray, who said: “We have not seen, historically, any kind of co-ordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.”

Furthermore, experts have said that it is more likely that an American will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another American at the polls.

 

Joe Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks in the final presidential debate at Belmont University.

 

Democratic nominee Joe Biden has not faced as much criticism for his claims and policies as his opponent.

However, his campaign has still had to clarify a couple of key policy points.

One issue is his position on fracking: the Trump campaign released a video last month, claiming that Biden would completely ban fracking if he became President.

The clip used in the video is taken from Biden’s exchange with Bernie Saunders in the Democrat nominee primary debates. It was later clarified that Biden was planning to ban oil and gas permits on public land.

However, there is no plan to end fracking completely if he is elected.

The Democratic nominee was challenged on his tax policy in his 60-minute interview on CBS with Norah O’Donnell.

Biden said that he would increase taxes on corporations and enforce corporate tax rates, using the revenues to fund some of his initiatives. He said that by raising the corporate tax rate from 21 per cent to 28 per cent, this would raise over $400billion.

However, CNN used two different models to see if this would work – and both estimated that Biden’s plan would raise about half of what he claimed. Additionally, the Tax Policy Center questioned how much money would be raised from this method.

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