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Fact check: Trump made at least 20 false or misleading claims at ABC town hall

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

President Donald Trump got a rare grilling at an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Pressed about how he had initially said China was doing a good job handling the virus, Trump suggested he had not issued such praise: "No, I didn't say one way or the other.

Facts First: Trump repeatedly and effusively praised China and leader Xi Jinping for their handling of the virus situation earlier this year.

Facts First: It's just not true nobody knew seniors were susceptible to the virus at the time of Trump's praise.

Trump claimed opponent Joe Biden said in March that the pandemic was "totally over-exaggerated. "

Told that the US has 20% of the world's coronavirus cases and deaths, Trump said, "We have 20% of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing.

Facts First: While Trump did restrict travel from China and from much of Europe, neither policy was a "ban": both made exemptions for travel from US citizens, permanent residents, many of their families, and some others -- and the restrictions on Europe exempted entire European countries.

Trump said of his critics' comments about the travel restrictions: "They say that we allowed certain people in, it's true -- but they were American citizens. "

Trump claimed that he would be "doing a health care plan" that would "protect people with pre-existing conditions. " He then said of the Democrats, "They will not do that. "

Trump insisted to Stephanopoulos that he would put forward a "new health care" plan that would protect people.

Trump claimed he "essentially ended Obamacare" by repealing the individual mandate that required people to obtain health insurance.

Facts First: The individual mandate, which required Americans to obtain health insurance, was indeed a key part of Obamacare -- but Trump didn't end Obamacare, essentially or otherwise; key parts of the law remain in effect.

After Sanders dropped out of the race, Biden and Sanders appointed a task force to make policy recommendations; this is what Trump calls "the manifesto. " The task force proposed to try to achieve universal health care through the public option Biden was already running on; it did not endorse any Sanders-style single-payer plan.

And while there has been a major increase in New York City shootings this year -- as Trump alluded to, the number of shooting incidents has been up about 150% year-over-year -- the city remains safer than it was in Giuliani's final year in office, 2001, even after Giuliani presided over a major decline in crime.

Facts First: Trump could fairly point out that it's not just the super-wealthy who own stocks, but it's also not true that stocks are owned by "everybody. " In polling from March and April, Gallup found that 55% of American adults reported owning stock this year, the same percentage as last year.

Facts First: Trump did not fire Mattis; Mattis resigned in December 2018 because of policy differences with Trump,saying in a resignation letter that Trump deserved a secretary of defense whose views were "better aligned" with the president's.

Facts First: While the final remnants of the caliphate were eradicated in March 2019, more than two months after Mattis's departure, it's misleading for Trump to suggest this was his own accomplishment that Mattis had nothing to do with.

Defending his decision to conceal the severity of the virus from the American public, Trump again invoked the late UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill -- saying Churchill was "not so honest" when he stood on London rooftops during Nazi bombings and told the public "everything's going to be good," but that he was still a "great leader" by keeping people calm.

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