Fact-Checking the Trump and Biden Town Hall Events

Headline Roundup October 16th, 2020

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden held simultaneous town halls on separate networks Thursday night. Both candidates made at least some false or misleading statements. Some on the left and center praised NBC's Savannah Guthrie for her pointed questioning of Trump during the event; some on the right criticized ABC's George Stephanopoulos for not asking Biden about the New York Post's controversial story published earlier this week on his alleged corrupt foreign business dealings with Ukraine.

More fact checks of the town halls were published in left-rated outlets than in center- and right-rated outlets. Some fact checks in left-rated outlets said that Trump made significantly more false statements than Biden. Fact checks in center- and right-rated outlets tended to focus on a specific candidate or a specific claim.

Fact-Checking the Trump and Biden Town Hall Events

From the Left
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FACT CHECK

The stark differences between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden were on display during their competing town halls on Thursday night, and in no space was that clearer than the magnitude and frequency of their falsehoods.

The fact that the second debate was cancelled after Trump backed out of the proposed virtual format deprived Americans of a chance to see the two candidates sparring on the same stage. But where Biden scattered in a small number of exaggerations or misstatements over about an hour and a half, Trump...

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From the Center
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FACT CHECK

Trump: "Just the other day, they came out with a statement that 85% of the people that wear masks catch it."
Verdict: We can find no evidence to support this claim.

The president may have been referring to a study by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that found adults with Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to have reported eating at a restaurant before getting ill, compared to those without the disease.

The study found that 85% of the 150 respondents with coronavirus said they had...

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From the Right
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FACT CHECK

CLAIM: Joe Biden told an ABC News town hall that President Donald Trump told people to put “bleach in your arm.”

VERDICT: FALSE. Trump spoke about experimental UV light technologies. Biden keeps repeating the same false claim.

The former vice president told an ABC News town hall on Thursday evening that the president told people to put “bleach in your arm” and therefore should not be trusted to pronounce whether a potential coronavirus vaccine was safe or not.

As Breitbart News has noted in previous fact checks:

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