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Trump's acceptance speech at the RNC was an exercise in misinformation that didn't stack up with reality

Trump's acceptance speech at the RNC was an exercise in misinformation that didn't stack up with reality
Trump's acceptance speech at the RNC was an exercise in misinformation that didn't stack up with reality
Trump portrayed a potential Biden presidency as a harbinger of crime and lawlessness and made multiple false statements about his own performance.
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  • President Donald Trump tore into Democratic nominee Joe Biden on the final night of the Republican National Convention, portraying Biden as weak on critical issues like crime, immigration, China, and the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Democratic agenda is "the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee," Trump said.
  • The president also spread misinformation and conspiratorial claims about everything from mail-in voting, police brutality protests, immigration, the economy, and COVID-19.
  • Scroll down to read the president's remarks and how they stack up with reality.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump took center stage on the final night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.

In his speech, the president tore into the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, and portrayed him as weak on critical issues like crime, immigration, China, and the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is the most important election in the history of our country," Trump declared. "At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties."

The president argued that Biden's agenda would be "extreme" and coopted by "left-wing socialists" - a case the GOP has been attempting to make for months. On Wednesday night, Pence similarly accused Biden of being "a trojan horse for a radical left."

"At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas," Trump said. "We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years. At the Democrat convention, you barely heard a word about their agenda. But that's not because they don't have one. It's because their agenda is the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee."

During a highly scripted speech, Trump ridiculed Biden, making a joke about womens' accusations that Biden had touched them inappropriately.

"Joe Biden took donations from blue collar workers, gave them hugs, and even kisses," Trump said, pausing to let the audience laugh. "And told them he felt their pain and then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship our jobs to China and many other distant lands."

Trump also spouted misinformation and conspirational claims about many of his favorite topics including: mail-in voting, antiracism and police brutality protests, impeachment, the Russia investigation, and more.

Here were some of Trump's most notable claims and how they stack up with reality:

On protests against police brutality

What Trump said: The president condemned nationwide protests against racism and police brutality, and claimed a Biden administration would enable violent crime and chaos. He argued that Democratic mayors and governors have failed to contain demonstrations across the country, and made no mention of the Black victims of police brutality.

He also falsely claimed Biden would defund the police if elected.

Fact-check: Although several left-wing activists and progressive lawmakers have supported calls to "defund the police," top Democrats and establishment figures like Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer have rejected the proposal. Vox also recently examined Biden's criminal justice policy and found that his plan would "actually increase the number of police officers in Black and brown communities."

Moreover, Biden has supported directing $300 million in new funding for social workers to work with law enforcement and for stronger community policing.

On COVID-19

What Trump said: The president argued that he and his administration have led an effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, directing personal protective equipment and medical supplies and setting up nationwide testing, among other responses. And he claimed the US will have a "safe and effective" Covid-19 vaccine by the end of 2020.

"Nobody ever thought it could be done this fast," he said. "Together, we will crush the virus."

"We are focusing on the science, the facts, and the data," the president added.

Fact-check: The Trump administration has failed to establish a nationwide system of quick and effective testing. Many Americans have been forced to wait days to receive their test results, dramatically diminishing the efficacy of the tests and contact tracing efforts.

Nearly 6 million Americans have been infected and about 180,000 have been killed by Covid-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. An average of 1,000 Americans are dying every day from the coronavirus.

Trump also spent the first several months of the outbreak spreading misinformation about the virus, falsely claiming it was no deadlier than the flu, that it would go away on its own, and that it was a hoax that was being hyped up by the media and Democrats. He also suggested using disinfectant as a potential remedy for the disease and said he used hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment, to prevent getting infected.

He was repeatedly seen in public without a mask until recently, and he held several rallies that featured no social distancing and very few masks. Around 1,500 people attended Trump's acceptance speech on Thursday, and it was unclear whether everyone was tested before joining the crowd on the South Lawn.

On the economy

What Trump said: The president boasted that his administration had built a booming economy prior to the pandemic-provoked economic collapse, and argued that only he could "make American great again" for the second time.

Trump misleadingly claimed the country's "gained over 9 million jobs" over the last sevearl months - "a record in the history of our country."

Fact-check: The lost jobs as a result of the pandemic have far outnumbered the jobs regained. As of the end of July, nearly 60% of American jobs lost during the pandemic have still not returned and the speed of the nation's recovery slowed in July, as compared to June.

Biden is called to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, which would be lower than it was in 2016. And he's said that no one making under $400,000 would see a tax increase.

On the military

What Trump said: The president claimed that he gave the military three pay raises in three years.

Fact check: The pay raises were standard, annual pay raises according to federal regulations. The military has received an annual pay raise every year for more than four decades.

On immigration

What Trump said: The president claimed that Biden is "even talking about taking the wall down." He also said that he built 300 miles of a wall along the US's southern border.

Fact-check: As CNN's Daniel Dale pointed out, Biden has specifically rejected the idea of taking the border wall down and has instead said that he will stop further construction. Trump also failed to mention that just five miles out of the 300-miles-long southern wall were built in a place where there wasn't already a fence.

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