The National Nominating Conventions: facts or fiction?

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Night 4 of the Republican National Convention concluded on Aug. 27 with President Donald Trump accepting the Republican nomination for re-election. Over the course of those four days, during which numerous speakers voiced their public support for Trump, a handful of misleading claims were made against former Vice President Joe Biden. During his acceptance speech, Trump claimed that, “The Biden plan would eliminate America’s borders in the middle of a global pandemic. And he is even talking about taking the wall down.” This isn’t true.  

During his acceptance speech, Trump claimed that, “The Biden plan would eliminate America’s borders in the middle of a global pandemic. And he is even talking about taking the wall down.” This isn’t true.  

Biden has said that, as president, he would not be in support of expanding the wall. In contrast, Trump has made this a central focus throughout his 2016 presidential campaign. Instead, Biden would seek to improve border protection which would “be based on making sure that we use high-tech capacity to deal with [illegal immigration and drug smuggling].” This means directing federal resources to equipment such as cameras and sensors. It’s at these points of entry that he believes “all [the] bad stuff is happening,” he answered during a virtual conference on Aug. 7. 

As is the game of politics, however, Democrats took a shot at criticizing Trump prior to Aug. 27 during the Democratic National Convention held on the nights of Aug. 17 to Aug. 20. Night 1 had former first lady Michelle Obama blame the Trump Administration for the separation of immigrant families and children in cages at the border, a common argument made by Democrats throughout Trump’s time in office.  

In 2018, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions set forth a “zero-tolerance policy” for the unlawful entry into the United States. The policy caused such an uproar across the nation that it was then reversed through an executive order on June 20, 2018. What’s misleading about Michelle Obama’s claim is that family separation and children in cages actually started under the Obama administration, a fact she failed to mention. When the zero-tolerance policy caused controversy, images from 2014 showing immigrant detainees sleeping on floors and wrapped in tin foil blankets for warmth resurfaced and were wrongly attributed to the Trump administration. Trump did enforce border control, but he did so using the same facilities that were operating before his term. 

The conventions also brought forth statements about the racial violence that has spread throughout the nation in recent months. During the last night of the RNC, Trump said that Biden was in support of violent protesting. Although Biden has said that it isn’t “acceptable for our police sworn to protect our people and serve all people to escalate tension, resort to excessive violence,” as he did on June 2 in Philadelphia when addressing the George Floyd protests. He has also stated that riots, arson and the destruction of businesses are not acceptable ways of protesting. This past Monday he even commented, “Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?” in response to Trump’s RNC speech. 

The DNC had few to no misleading claims. Many spoke on the current pandemic and the falsest statements really depended on statistical numbers. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi remarked, “More than 5 million Americans are infected by the coronavirus.” According to Worldometers, there are actually 6.3 million total Coronavirus cases in the United States, 3.4 million of which have recovered and 187,571 who have died. That would leave about 2.9 million Americans currently infected with the virus. 

Biden also criticized Trump’s handling of the pandemic at the DNC: ”Just judge this president on the facts,” he said. “Five million Americans infected by COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth.” However, if population is counted for in the data, the U.S. isn’t the worst. According to Oxford University’s Our World in Data, countries such as Qatar, Bahrain, San Marino, Chile, Panama, Kuwait and Peru are controlling the virus poorly, with death rates higher than the U.S. So, Biden’s claim drew miscalculating conclusions. 

”Just judge this president on the facts,” he said. “Five million Americans infected by COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth.” However, if population is counted for in the data, the U.S. isn’t the worst

At both conventions, we witnessed the complicated relationship to the truth that both parties possess. This and will soon be brought to Election Day on Nov. 3. Having established their nominees for the popular election, it is now left to the American people to decide what they believe to be fact or fiction, no matter the parties’ inaccuracies. 

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