Fact Check: First presidential debate

The first presidential debate is underway. This is a real-time fact check of the topics as they are discussed on the debate stage. Supreme CourtThe first topic discussed was the Supreme Court, which quickly focused on health care and the Affordable Care Act, which former Vice President Joe Biden has said could be stripped if Amy Coney Barrett takes the Supreme Court seat. Biden claimed that 20 million people could lose their health insurance if the ACA is ruled unconstitutional, which is an estimate from The Urban Institute.Biden also said 100 million people could have pre-existing conditions that could have their healthcare taken away. Our partners at FactCheck.org say that’s a bit misleading. The 100 million figure is an estimate for the number of Americans – outside Medicare and Medicaid – who have pre-existing conditions. Without the ACA, those people would lose the pre-existing condition protections. But they’re only at risk of losing all coverage if they’re part of the 6% that only get insurance from the individual market.COVID-19In debating issues surrounding COVID-19, President Donald Trump repeatedly said Tuesday that Biden wants to shut down the country. That’s false. The Associated Press previously noted when Trump made this remark that Biden has said he would do so only if scientists and public health officials said it was necessary.Regarding public health crises, Trump also cast the previous administration’s response to the swine flu pandemic as “disastrous.” Although Biden wasn’t running the federal response to H1N1, experts have said the response had its flaws: Former President Barack Obama’s administration declared a public health emergency two weeks after the first two cases, but Obama didn’t declare a national emergency for six months. In response to Trump’s remarks about H1N1, Biden countered that 14,000 died. According to Johns Hopkins University, over 205,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19.The EconomyIn the third topic about the economy, Biden said that the U.S. now has the highest trade deficit with China. However, our partners at Factcheck.org say that’s not true. It says the trade deficit in goods and services with China is now less than it was in the last year of the Obama administration. In super simple terms: A trade deficit is the difference between how much a country buys from other countries compared to what they sell. While the trade deficit with China reached a record high of $380 billion in 2018, it fell last year to $308 billion, which is slightly below the $310 billion during Obama’s final year in office.Check back for more updates.

The first presidential debate is underway. This is a real-time fact check of the topics as they are discussed on the debate stage.

Supreme Court

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The first topic discussed was the Supreme Court, which quickly focused on health care and the Affordable Care Act, which former Vice President Joe Biden has said could be stripped if Amy Coney Barrett takes the Supreme Court seat. Biden claimed that 20 million people could lose their health insurance if the ACA is ruled unconstitutional, which is an estimate from The Urban Institute.

Biden also said 100 million people could have pre-existing conditions that could have their healthcare taken away.

Our partners at FactCheck.org say that’s a bit misleading. The 100 million figure is an estimate for the number of Americans – outside Medicare and Medicaid – who have pre-existing conditions. Without the ACA, those people would lose the pre-existing condition protections. But they’re only at risk of losing all coverage if they’re part of the 6% that only get insurance from the individual market.

COVID-19

In debating issues surrounding COVID-19, President Donald Trump repeatedly said Tuesday that Biden wants to shut down the country. That’s false. The Associated Press previously noted when Trump made this remark that Biden has said he would do so only if scientists and public health officials said it was necessary.

Regarding public health crises, Trump also cast the previous administration’s response to the swine flu pandemic as “disastrous.” Although Biden wasn’t running the federal response to H1N1, experts have said the response had its flaws: Former President Barack Obama’s administration declared a public health emergency two weeks after the first two cases, but Obama didn’t declare a national emergency for six months. In response to Trump’s remarks about H1N1, Biden countered that 14,000 died. According to Johns Hopkins University, over 205,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19.

The Economy

In the third topic about the economy, Biden said that the U.S. now has the highest trade deficit with China. However, our partners at Factcheck.org say that’s not true. It says the trade deficit in goods and services with China is now less than it was in the last year of the Obama administration. In super simple terms: A trade deficit is the difference between how much a country buys from other countries compared to what they sell. While the trade deficit with China reached a record high of $380 billion in 2018, it fell last year to $308 billion, which is slightly below the $310 billion during Obama’s final year in office.

Check back for more updates.