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{
    "count": 17189,
    "next": "http://www.politifact.com/api/factchecks/?page=2",
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    "results": [
        {
            "id": 18028,
            "slug": "post-wrongly-links-bloomberg-spending-toomey-kavan",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“Fact: Mike Bloomberg spent $12 million to re-elect a Senate Republican (Toomey) in 2016. Toomey beat the Dem (McGinty) by 1.5 points. If McGinty had won, Ds would have controlled the Senate after Doug Jones won and could have blocked Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.”",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-28T13:54:21-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Mike Bloomberg&rsquo;s past spending to help some Republican candidates has drawn the ire of Democrats, now that he&rsquo;s seeking to be their presidential nominee. But a Facebook post goes too far in linking his spending to help re-elect U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., to the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.</p>\n\n<p>In 2016, Toomey won a second term when he beat Democrat Katie McGinty, a former aide to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and former environmental adviser to President Bill Clinton, by about <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/elections/2016/results/pennsylvania-senate-toomey-mcginty\">1.5 percentage points</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Fact: Mike Bloomberg spent $12 million to re-elect a Senate Republican (Toomey) in 2016,&quot; stated the <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/feministnews.us/photos/a.110963062584254/1122807711399779/?type=3&amp;theater\">Facebook post</a>. &quot;Toomey beat the Dem (McGinty) by 1.5 points. If McGinty had won, Ds would have controlled the Senate after Doug Jones won and could have blocked Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>We found that Bloomberg did spend millions to help Toomey; whether that changed the outcome of the election is anybody&rsquo;s guess. But the post exaggerates when it says the race had the power to change the Supreme Court.</p>\n\n<p>The post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\"> our partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Bloomberg&rsquo;s spending on behalf of Toomey</div>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://archive.org/details/PolAd_PatToomey_zrb6t\">Two</a> <a href=\"https://archive.org/details/PolAd_PatToomey_re9d8\">ads</a> by Bloomberg&rsquo;s Independence USA PAC praised Toomey for crossing party lines to support background checks for gun buyers.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Toomey <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/11/us/politics/compromise-on-background-checks.html\">backed legislation to expand checks</a> to online sales and gun shows &mdash; a position shared by Bloomberg, who <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/aug/13/michael-bloomberg/bloomberg-correct-nras-wayne-lapierre-once-support/\">helped launch the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>A <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/us/politics/michael-bloomberg-republicans-donations.html\">New York Times analysis</a> of Bloomberg&rsquo;s donations stated that he spent $11.7 million to support Toomey in 2016. Since 2012, the <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/us/politics/michael-bloomberg-republicans-donations.html\">New York Times</a> found, Bloomberg has helped candidates from both major parties, but his political committees have given more to Democrats than Republicans.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>We used the database of donations posted by the <a href=\"https://www.opensecrets.org/\">Center for Responsive Politics</a> and found that Bloomberg&rsquo;s <a href=\"https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?cycle=2016&amp;cmte=C00532705\">Independence USA PAC</a> spent <a href=\"https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/expenditures.php?cycle=2016&amp;cmte=C00532705\">$5.9 million in support of Toomey</a> in 2016. As an individual, Bloomberg gave<a href=\"https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Michael+Bloomberg&amp;cycle=&amp;state=&amp;zip=&amp;employ=Bloomberg&amp;cand=\"> $2,700 to Toomey&rsquo;s campaign</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race was the most expensive general-election Senate contest in the nation in 2016, reaching a <a href=\"https://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topraces.php?cycle=2016&amp;display=currcandsout\">total of $170 million</a> with candidate and outside spending combined.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Senate split if McGinty, a Democrat, had won</div>\n\n<p>The Facebook post misleads when it states, &quot;if McGinty had won, Ds would have controlled the Senate after Doug Jones won.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.senate.gov/history/partydiv.htm\">At the beginning of 115th Congress in January 2017, </a>there were 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats and 2 independents who caucused with the Democrats. When Alabama Democrat Doug Jones took office in January 2018, that gave Republicans a <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/two-democrats-join-the-senate-which-is-now-split-51-49/2018/01/03/fa522b5c-e110-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html\">51-49 lead</a>.</p>\n\n<p>If McGinty had won, the Senate would have ended up at 50-50.</p>\n\n<p>So who would have been in control?</p>\n\n<p>Washington University political scientist Steve Smith said that there are Senate precedents that allow the vice president&rsquo;s party &mdash; in this case Mike Pence &mdash; to be treated as the majority party.</p>\n\n<p>When the 2000 elections produced a 50-50 tie and a Republican vice president, the two parties worked out a &quot;power-sharing agreement&quot; that provided for committees to be equally divided between the parties but with Republican chairs, Smith said. However the majority leader was the Republican leader.</p>\n\n<p>If the Senate found itself in another 50-50 split, that would lead to another round of negotiations.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The Democrats would not control the Senate in the case of a 50-50 division,&quot; he said. &quot;To the contrary, some power sharing arrangement would again be negotiated and the term &lsquo;control,&rsquo; an informal term, really would not fit. If the vice president was Republican, the majority leader would be Republican.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Senate vote on Kavanaugh</div>\n\n<p>Now that brings us to the part of the Facebook post that said after Jones won, if McGinty had also won, the Democrats &quot;could have blocked Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>This statement does have a qualifier of &quot;could,&quot; but if it assumes that a McGinty win alone could have changed the outcome. That&rsquo;s misleading.</p>\n\n<p>The Senate voted <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/06/us/politics/kavanaugh-live-vote-senate-confirmation.html\">50-48</a> to confirm Kavanaugh in October 2018. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the lone Democrat to vote in favor.</p>\n\n<p>If we take the hypothetical scenario of McGinty beating Toomey, and assume she would have followed Democratic Party lines, and all other senators would have voted in the same way as they actually did, the vote would have tied 49-49. That means that Pence could have <a href=\"https://guides.ll.georgetown.edu/c.php?g=365722&amp;p=2471070\">cast a deciding vote</a>. Other scenarios are equally hypothetical.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A Facebook post said, &quot;Fact: Mike Bloomberg spent $12 million to re-elect a Senate Republican (Toomey) in 2016. Toomey beat a Dem (McGinty) by 1.5 points. If McGinty had won, Ds would have controlled the Senate after Doug Jones won and could have blocked Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Bloomberg did support Toomey and gave him significant funding. The rest of the claim is murky and relies on a hypothetical situation.</p>\n\n<p>Kavanaugh was confirmed in a 50-48 vote. If McGinty had won and all other things were the same, it likely would have ended up in a tie vote to be broken by Pence.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this statement Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Center for Responsive Politics, <a href=\"https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?cycle=2016&amp;cmte=C00532705\">Independence USA PAC</a>, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Federal Election Commission, <a href=\"https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/fecimg/?201706239065370012\">Independence USA PAC</a> Schedule E Form 3X, Nov. 22, 2016</p>\n\n<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/us/politics/michael-bloomberg-republicans-donations.html\">Michael Bloomberg Has Used His Fortune to Help Republicans, Too</a>, Nov. 26, 2019</p>\n\n<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/nyregion/bloomberg-gives-support-to-senator-scott-brown.html\">Bloomberg Endorses Republican in Heated Massachusetts Senate Race</a>, July 26, 2012</p>\n\n<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/11/us/politics/compromise-on-background-checks.html\">A Senator&rsquo;s Search for an Ally Keeps a Gun Bill Alive</a>, April 10, 2013</p>\n\n<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/06/us/politics/kavanaugh-live-vote-senate-confirmation.html\">How Every Senator Voted on Kavanaugh&rsquo;s Confirmation</a>, Oct. 6, 2018</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, <a href=\"https://www.pagunblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Scott-Brown-Concealed-Weapons.pdf\">Letter,</a> Nov. 3, 2011</p>\n\n<p>Center for Responsive Politics, <a href=\"https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/indexpend.php?cycle=2014&amp;cmte=C00543157\">West Main Street Values PAC</a>, 2014</p>\n\n<p>Independence USA PAC, <a href=\"https://archive.org/details/PolAd_PatToomey_zrb6t\">Ad</a>, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Independence USA PAC, <a href=\"https://archive.org/details/PolAd_PatToomey_re9d8\">Ad</a>, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Post and Courier, <a href=\"https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/former-new-york-mayor-bloomberg-gives-to-pro-lindsey-graham/article_4553a13c-8cb1-5f46-85d8-ae98ffcc0db5.html\">Former New York mayor Bloomberg gives to pro-Lindsey Graham PAC</a>, July 14, 2014</p>\n\n<p>Planned Parenthood, <a href=\"https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/pressroom/fact-check-pat-toomey-wants-ban-safe-legal-abortion-in-pennsylvania\">FACT CHECK: Pat Toomey Wants to Ban Safe, Legal Abortion in Pennsylvania</a>, Oct. 14, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Stu Loeser, Michael Bloomberg campaign spokesman, Feb. 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Andrew Mayersohn, Center for Responsive Politics committees researcher, Feb. 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Gregory Koger, University of Miami political science professor, Feb. 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Steven Smith, Washington University in St. Louis political science professor, Feb. 24, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18027,
            "slug": "josh-hawley-exaggerates-state-department-warning-c",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "josh-hawley",
                "full_name": "Josh Hawley",
                "first_name": "Josh",
                "last_name": "Hawley"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“As the State Department warned Mizzou in July 2019, and as I have repeatedly stated, (the Confucius Institute) presented security risks for students &amp; university as a whole.”",
            "ruling_slug": "barely-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-28T11:52:36-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<div>\n<p>U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., applauded the University of Missouri following its announcement that the university&rsquo;s Confucius Institute will shut down in August.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>&quot;Pleased Mizzou is shutting down the#China Communist Party funded &lsquo;Confucius Institute.&rsquo; As the State Department warned Mizzou in July 2019, and as I have repeatedly stated, this program presented security risks for students &amp; university as a whole,&quot;&nbsp;<a href=\"https://twitter.com/HawleyMO/status/1217541796684795904\">Hawley tweeted</a>&nbsp;Jan. 15.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>Hawley has criticized the Confucius Institute and raised questions about the program in the past, including when he sent a letter to MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright on July 24 urging him to &quot;reconsider the costs and risks that come with allowing a Confucius Institute to remain on (Mizzou&rsquo;s) campus, and with entering any other agreements with the Chinese government.&quot;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>That wasn&rsquo;t the first time a politician urged a university to shut down its Confucius Institute program citing threats to security;&nbsp;<a href=\"https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/04/09/texas-am-cuts-ties-confucius-institutes-response-congressmens-concerns\">Texas A&amp;M closed its program</a>&nbsp;after two U.S. representatives wrote a letter recommending the action to four Texas universities.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>We decided to look into whether the State Department really warned Mizzou in July about security risks arising from a Confucius Institute program. We found a letter, but struggled to find a warning.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p><strong>The controversy</strong></p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p><a href=\"https://confucius.missouri.edu/about/\">Mizzou&rsquo;s Confucius Institute</a>&nbsp;is one of about 500 established worldwide by Hanban, a subsidiary of the Chinese Ministry of Education.&nbsp;<a href=\"http://english.hanban.org/node_10971.htm\">Hanban&rsquo;s website</a>&nbsp;describes Confucius Institutes as nonprofit, public institutions that &quot;aim to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>Hawley criticized Hanban in his letter to Cartwright, saying that it is governed by leaders of 12 Chinese ministries, including those that handle media and propaganda. He also said universities that partner with Hanban sign contracts that prohibit &quot;tarnishing the reputation&quot; of Hanban, and they send teachers and textbooks designed to promote a positive image of China.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>In the United States and across the globe, universities have been shutting down their programs amid concerns and investigations. BBC News&nbsp;<a href=\"https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49511231\">reported in September 2019</a>&nbsp;that a &quot;flurry&quot; of universities worldwide had closed their programs in the preceding weeks.&nbsp;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>Mizzou announced on Jan. 14 that its contract with the Confucius Institute will be terminated, effective in August, according to a&nbsp;<a href=\"https://news.missouri.edu/2020/mu-to-terminate-confucius-institute-partnership-due-to-changes-in-federal-guidance/\">news release from the university</a>. The main reason: a change in State Department guidelines that now requires a certified Mandarin teacher to accompany classrooms with Confucius Institute staff members.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>The Confucius Institute instructors were classified as interns on exchange visas, not teachers. The university said it would cost too much to make the changes in categories.</p>\n\n<div><a href=\"https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6789651-University-of-Missouri-Columbia-Letter-of.html\"><em>DOWNLOAD THE LETTER</em></a></div>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<div>\n<p>The release says the State Department notified Mizzou in a July letter. Hawley&rsquo;s press secretary confirmed with us this is the same letter he was referring to in his tweet.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>So, did the State Department warn Mizzou that the Confucius Institute presented security risks?</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>MU spokesperson Christian Basi provided us the July 15 letter from the Department of State&rsquo;s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It was signed by Henry C. Scott, director of the Office of Private Sector Exchange Program Administration. There&rsquo;s no direct warning given by the State Department here. The letter was meant to notify Mizzou of violations in its Confucius Institute program that were found by the department and address how to fix them.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>The letter states the exchange program administration attempts to help sponsors of a Confucius Institute program correct errors when the office notices them. It addressed specific areas of concern.&nbsp;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>The first area of concern was Confucius Institute student interns teaching in K-12 classrooms without a supervisor who speaks Mandarin. The language barrier &quot;creates a vulnerability, as efficacy of the co-teacher&rsquo;s supervision is severely limited,&quot; the letter states.</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>If that is a warning about security, it&rsquo;s pretty opaque.&nbsp;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>The other areas of concern listed were failures to comply with required form signatures and worker&rsquo;s compensation policies, improperly listing Confucius Institute student interns&rsquo; primary site of activity and misusing a &quot;Research Scholar&quot; role defined by the department.&nbsp;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>There is no specific mention of potential risks to students or Mizzou in the letter.&nbsp;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p><strong>Our ruling</strong></p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>Hawley said the State Department warned Mizzou that the Confucius Institute &quot;presented security risks for students &amp; university as a whole.&quot;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>In a July letter to the university, the State Department listed violations of its guidelines and offered instructions on how to fix those violations. The letter never warns the university about risks created by the Confucius Institute; there&rsquo;s little language that points to any warning. The closest it comes is in pointing out the risks of not adhering to the department guidelines on having a Mandaring speaker in the classroom, which &quot;creates a vulnerability.&quot;</p>\n</div>\n\n<div>\n<p>We rate this claim Mostly False.</p>\n</div>\n</div>",
            "sources": "<p>BBC News,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49511231\">&quot;Confucius Institutes: The growth of China&#39;s controversial cultural branch,&quot;</a>&nbsp;Sept. 7, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Columbia Missourian,&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/higher_education/hawley-calls-for-mu-to-cut-ties-with-the-confucius/article_eb242458-ae3e-11e9-a109-b367f7f35306.html\">&quot;Hawley calls for MU to cut ties with the Confucius Institute,&quot;</a>&nbsp;July 24, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Hanban,&nbsp;<a href=\"http://english.hanban.org/node_10971.htm\">About Confucius Institutes</a>, accessed Feb. 18, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Inside Higher Ed,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/04/09/texas-am-cuts-ties-confucius-institutes-response-congressmens-concerns\">&quot;Closing a Confucius Institute, at Congressman&rsquo;s Request,&quot;</a>&nbsp;April 9, 2018</p>\n\n<p>Inside Higher Ed,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/01/09/colleges-move-close-chinese-government-funded-confucius-institutes-amid-increasing\">&quot;Closing Confucius Institutes,&quot;</a>&nbsp;Jan. 9, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Mizzou News,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://news.missouri.edu/2020/mu-to-terminate-confucius-institute-partnership-due-to-changes-in-federal-guidance/\">&quot;MU to terminate Confucius Institute partnership due to changes in federal guidance,&quot;</a>&nbsp;Jan. 14, 2020</p>\n\n<p>MU Confucius Institute,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://confucius.missouri.edu/about/\">About</a>, accessed Feb. 18, 2020</p>\n\n<p>MU International Center,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://international.missouri.edu/about/staff-directory/bios/curreyd/index.php\">David Currey</a>, accessed Feb. 18, 2020</p>\n\n<p>MU International Center,&nbsp;<a href=\"https://international.missouri.edu/about/staff-directory/bios/stegmaierm/index.php\">Mary Stegmaier</a>, accessed Feb. 18, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18026,
            "slug": "no-coronavirus-disease-was-not-used-weapon-robbery",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“Corona virus: Florida man arrested for robbery using cough as a weapon.”",
            "ruling_slug": "pants-fire",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-28T11:36:29-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>The most recent piece of <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/jan/31/readers-guide-misinformation-about-coronavirus/\">misinformation</a> being spread about the coronavirus disease 2019, also called COVID-19, is that it can be used as a unique robbery weapon.</p>\n\n<p>A Facebook <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/DoNotTryThisAtHomeOhManWeHaveToDoThis/photos/a.486181278153522/2419557144815916/?type=3&amp;theater\">post</a> uploaded on Feb. 26, 2020, includes a screenshot of a news story with the headline: &quot;Corona virus: Florida man arrested for robbery using cough as a weapon.&quot; The live news alert&rsquo;s background photo is a man of Asian descent with the quote &quot;if you call the police I will cough&quot; in front of him.</p>\n\n<p>This post was flagged by Facebook as part of efforts to combat false news and information on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>This a screenshot from a satirical news website and the news format of the image is from a breaking news generator that anyone can use.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://dankingnews.com/2020/02/23/corona-virus-florida-man-arrested-for-robbery-using-cough-as-a-weapon/\">website</a> that generated this image says it is a satirical news website and has a link for readers to submit their own satirical news stories. It posted the &quot;live news&quot; image on Feb. 23, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>This breaking news image was made on <a href=\"https://breakyourownnews.com/\">breakyourownnews.com</a>. The font and formatting of this screenshot are identical to the breaking news generator. There is also a breakyourownnews.com watermark in the top right corner of the image.</p>\n\n<p>The image of an Asian man to symbolize a robber using coronavirus feeds into stereotypes about who has the illness. According to the CDC&rsquo;s COVID-19 FAQ <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html\">page</a>, &quot;fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans.&quot; The CDC said that this &quot;hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The CDC&rsquo;s advice: &quot;Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads.&quot; The CDC also includes a breakdown of all the ways COVID-19 can be spread on their <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html\">website</a>.</p>\n\n<p>This screenshot of &quot;breaking news&quot; is fake. It was originally from a satirical news site and has an obvious news generator watermark in the top right corner. It then got spun around the internet in a way that would fool people. We rate this post Pants On Fire!</p>",
            "sources": "<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/jan/31/readers-guide-misinformation-about-coronavirus/\">A reader&rsquo;s guide to misinformation about the coronavirus</a>, Jan. 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Facebook <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/DoNotTryThisAtHomeOhManWeHaveToDoThis/photos/a.486181278153522/2419557144815916/?type=3&amp;theater\">post</a>, Feb. 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Danking News, <a href=\"https://dankingnews.com/2020/02/23/corona-virus-florida-man-arrested-for-robbery-using-cough-as-a-weapon/\">Corona virus: Florida man arrested for robbery using cough as a weapon</a>, Feb. 23, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://breakyourownnews.com/\">breakyourownnews.com</a>, visited on Feb. 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CDC, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html\">COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers</a>, Feb. 14, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CDC, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html\">Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)</a>, Feb. 27, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18005,
            "slug": "pocan-money-lagging-wages-claim",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "mark-pocan",
                "full_name": "Mark Pocan",
                "first_name": "Mark",
                "last_name": "Pocan"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“There’s an Amazon distribution center that was advertising, last time I was there, up to $12.75 an hour. Your parents made that three decades ago.”",
            "ruling_slug": "mostly-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-28T10:57:11-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>On the campaign trail, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has made a point of talking about stagnant wages.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>So has U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, who co-sponsored a bill in 2019 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2024.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The bill <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/582/actions?KWICView=false\">passed in the House</a> in July 2019 and is stalled in the Senate, but Pocan is still talking about wage growth &mdash; most recently in his endorsement of Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In a Jan. 16, 2020 video with Sanders posted on Twitter, Pocan described an advertisement he saw for the Amazon distribution center in his hometown of Kenosha, seeking workers for $12.75 an hour.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Your parents made that three decades ago, and that&rsquo;s what people are making now,&quot; Pocan said to the camera.</p>\n\n<p>Is Pocan right on the numbers?</p>\n\n<p>And what about his underlying point: that real wages haven&rsquo;t changed much in 30 years?</p>\n\n<p>We checked it out.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\"><strong>Crunching the numbers</strong></div>\n\n<p>When asked for evidence to back up Pocan&rsquo;s claim, communications director Usamah Andrabi provided historical pay data for the nation&rsquo;s auto industry and the median income for Wisconsin men and women according to the 1990 census.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Andrabi said Pocan often uses auto worker pay to make his point, because auto manufacturing was the dominant industry in Kenosha when he was growing up there.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But Pocan did not mention auto pay in his claim, and pay in that industry historically is far higher than many other jobs. So, we focused on the weekly and hourly earnings data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Let&rsquo;s walk through the math.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Dennis Winters, chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, said the best metric to use in examining the claim is median wages &mdash; and, of course, to examine them in &quot;real&quot; terms, to compare the spending power over time.</p>\n\n<p>The median wage for Americans in December 1990 was $417 per week, which breaks down to $10.43 an hour.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Fast-forward three decades, and the median wage for Americans in December 2019 was $933 per week, or $23.33 an hour.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>That might look like a significant increase.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But using the Bureau&rsquo;s inflation calculator, the 1990 weekly wage translates to $800.88 per week in today&rsquo;s dollars, or $20.02 an hour. So, that&rsquo;s a roughly $3 increase in 30 years.</p>\n\n<p>From a narrow perspective, Pocan is off &mdash; an offer of $12.75 does not equate to hourly wages from 30 years ago, as a straight comparison or with inflation factored in.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>He fares much better when considering the larger point being made: That wage growth has been largely stagnant.</p>\n\n<p>An <a href=\"https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/\">August 2018 study</a> from the Pew Research Center showed that at least since 2000, most of the country&rsquo;s wage growth is distributed among the top 10% of earners.</p>\n\n<p>For those closer to the median and below it, the growth line is nearly flat.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>What&rsquo;s more, the cost of living has undergone a much steeper hike: from 1983 to 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics <a href=\"https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2014/article/one-hundred-years-of-price-change-the-consumer-price-index-and-the-american-inflation-experience.htm\">reported</a> a roughly 3% annual increase in rent and food prices, and a 1.3% annual increase in new vehicle prices.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>So, a small growth in median wages is dwarfed next to the rise in cost of other goods.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\"><strong>Our ruling&nbsp;</strong></div>\n\n<p>In his endorsement video for Sanders, Pocan said that people in 1990 were making the same amount per hour as he saw advertised for the Amazon distribution center in Kenosha today.</p>\n\n<p>A quick comparison shows that wages today are slightly higher than what they were then, once inflation is factored in.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But the cost of everyday goods like rent, groceries and cars have outpaced that median wage growth, meaning a worker&rsquo;s 1990 weekly paycheck, at a $10.43-an-hour rate, would have held more spending power than the $23.33-an-hour rate does today.</p>\n\n<p>We rate Pocan&rsquo;s claim Mostly True.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Phone conversation with Dennis Winters, chief economist at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Feb. 4, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email exchange with Gary Steinberg, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Feb. 6, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LES1252881500\">Weekly and hourly earnings data from the Current Population Survey</a>, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed Feb. 7, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl\">Consumer Price Index inflation calculator</a>, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed Feb. 7, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/\">For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades</a>, Pew Research Center, Aug. 7, 2018</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/582/actions?KWICView=false\">House resolution 582 &mdash; Raise the Wage Act</a>, introduced Jan. 16, 2019</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2014/article/one-hundred-years-of-price-change-the-consumer-price-index-and-the-american-inflation-experience.htm\">One hundred years of price change: the Consumer Price Index and the American inflation experience, Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>, April 2014</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18025,
            "slug": "did-donald-trump-fire-pandemic-officials-defund-cd",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "michael-bloomberg",
                "full_name": "Michael Bloomberg",
                "first_name": "Michael",
                "last_name": "Bloomberg"
            },
            "targets": [
                {
                    "slug": "donald-trump",
                    "full_name": "Donald Trump",
                    "first_name": "Donald",
                    "last_name": "Trump"
                }
            ],
            "statement": "Says of President Donald Trump’s actions on the coronavirus: “No. 1, he fired the pandemic team two years ago. No. 2, he's been defunding the Centers for Disease Control.”",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-28T10:39:46-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>During a <a href=\"http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/2002/26/se.01.html\">CNN town hall</a> before the South Carolina primary, Mike Bloomberg &mdash; a former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate &mdash; was asked whether he had confidence in President Donald Trump to handle a potential coronavirus pandemic, officially known as the COVID-19 virus.</p>\n\n<p>After jokingly saying, &quot;I feel so much better,&quot; Bloomberg told the audience, &quot;No. 1, he fired the pandemic team two years ago. No. 2, he&#39;s been defunding the Centers for Disease Control. So, we don&#39;t have the experts in place that we need. I hope he&#39;s right that the virus doesn&#39;t come here, that nobody gets sick. That would be a wonderful outcome. But the bottom line is, we are not ready for this kind of thing.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Bloomberg had a point that the Trump administration ousted some of its officials dealing with global pandemics, but &quot;defunding&quot; the CDC is more complicated than he let on.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;He fired the pandemic team two years ago&quot;</div>\n\n<p>&quot;Fired&quot; may be a strong word, but there have been abrupt changes to key national security posts with responsibility for global pandemics. More recently the administration has assigned new officials to take leadership roles.</p>\n\n<p>In May 2018, the top White House official in charge of the U.S. response to pandemics <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/10/top-white-house-official-in-charge-of-pandemic-response-exits-abruptly/\">left the administration</a>. Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer was the senior director of global health and biodefense on the National Security Council and oversaw global health security issues, a specialty that had been bolstered under President Barack Obama.</p>\n\n<p>After Ziemer&rsquo;s departure, the global health team was reorganized as part of an effort by then-National Security Adviser John Bolton. Meanwhile, Tom Bossert, a homeland security adviser who recommended strong defenses against disease and biological warfare, was <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-homeland-security-adviser-resigns-amid-continued-turnover-in-trump-administration/2018/04/10/15db518a-3ccb-11e8-a7d1-e4efec6389f0_story.html\">reportedly pushed out</a> by Bolton in 2018. Neither White House official or their teams, which were responsible for coordinating the U.S. response to pandemic outbreaks across agencies, have been replaced during the past two years.</p>\n\n<p>In November 2019, a bipartisan group of lawmakers and experts <a href=\"https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/191122_EndingTheCycle_GHSC_WEB_FULL_11.22.pdf?utm_campaign=wp_the_health_202&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=newsletter&amp;wpisrc=nl_health202\">formally recommended</a> that health security leadership on the NSC should be restored. And on Feb. 18, 2020, a group of 27 senators sent a <a href=\"https://www.schatz.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/021320%20NSC%20Novel%20Coronavirus%20Letter%20final%20pdf.pdf\">letter</a> to current National Security Adviser Robert O&rsquo;Brien to ask him to appoint a new global health security expert to the NSC.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The fact that they explicitly dismantled the office in the White House that was tasked with preparing for exactly this kind of a risk is hugely concerning,&quot; Jeremy Konyndyk, who ran foreign disaster assistance in the Obama administration, <a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/31/us-coronavirus-budget-cuts-trump-underprepared\">told the Guardian</a>. &quot;Both the structure and all the institutional memory is gone now.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Instead, Trump has looked within his administration to fill roles for the coronavirus response.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Last month, Trump appointed his Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, to chair a coronavirus task force. On Feb. 26, he announced that Vice President Mike Pence would be taking charge of the U.S. response to the coronavirus.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>And the following day, Pence <a href=\"https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/vice-president-pence-announces-ambassador-debbie-birx-serve-white-house-coronavirus-response-coordinator/\">announced</a> he was appointing Ambassador Debbie Birx to assist the effort as &quot;White House coronavirus response coordinator.&quot; Birx is a physician and global health expert who is currently responsible for coordinating the State Department&#39;s HIV/AIDS task force. The White House said she will be supported by NSC staff in her role.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;He&#39;s been defunding Centers for Disease Control.&quot;</div>\n\n<p>It&rsquo;s not accurate to say that Trump has been &quot;defunding&quot; the CDC, but he has tried to make cuts in key programs. It&rsquo;s just that Congress didn&rsquo;t listen.</p>\n\n<p>The Trump administration&rsquo;s initial proposals for the <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2019/fy-2019-detail-table.pdf\">budgets</a> <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2021/FY-2021-CDC-Budget-Detail.pdf\">for</a> <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2020/fy-2020-detail-table.pdf\">emerging</a> <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2018/fy-2018-cdc-budget-overview.pdf\">and</a> zoonotic infectious diseases at CDC &mdash; a key player in the fight against coronavirus &mdash; have consistently been lower than what was spent the previous year.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The administration proposed $61.7 million less in 2018 than 2017; $96.4 million less in 2019 than in 2018; $114.4 million less in 2020 than in 2019; and $85.3 million less in 2021 than 2020.</p>\n\n<p>However, Congress reshapes presidential recommendations as they see fit when they craft final spending bills.</p>\n\n<p>Every year since Trump has been president, lawmakers have passed bills &mdash; bills signed by Trump &mdash; that not only exceeded what Trump requested on emerging infections but also exceeded what had been spent the previous year.</p>\n\n<p>As the chart below shows, funding increased every year from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2020. (We have not included the 2017 proposal, since that was submitted by the Obama administration. The figures for 2020 are preliminary.)</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>It&rsquo;s important to note that Trump has asked Congress for a $2.5 billion supplemental budget to help combat the emergence of this coronavirus. House Democrats quickly said the amount was insufficient to meet current threats, and Trump <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/26/congress-coronavirus-response/\">said he was willing</a> to seek more if lawmakers were willing.</p>\n\n<p>In addition, the Trump campaign pointed to <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2021/FY-2021-CDC-congressional-justification.pdf#page=287\">consistent funding</a> for certain budget sub-categories, such as CDC&rsquo;s public health emergency preparedness, which helps states and localities deal with public health emergencies, including outbreaks. That program suffered funding losses that predate Trump.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>Bloomberg said Trump is hampered in the fight against coronavirus because &quot;No. 1, he fired the pandemic team two years ago. No. 2, he&#39;s been defunding Centers for Disease Control.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>On the first point, it&rsquo;s hard to pin down whether the National Security Council staffers were &quot;fired&quot; in 2018, but they certainly left abruptly and have not been replaced, though other leaders in the coronavirus fight have been named in recent days.</p>\n\n<p>On the second point &mdash; funding &mdash; there&rsquo;s no question that the Trump administration sought to cut key CDC budget categories that would be involved in emerging infections like coronavirus. But Bloomberg overlooks that, thanks to Congress, that funding was restored and even increased in bills that were ultimately signed by Trump.</p>\n\n<p>The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details, so we rate it Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>CNN, <a href=\"http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/2002/26/se.01.html\">town hall</a> transcript, Feb. 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-homeland-security-adviser-resigns-amid-continued-turnover-in-trump-administration/2018/04/10/15db518a-3ccb-11e8-a7d1-e4efec6389f0_story.html\">&quot;White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert resigns,&quot;</a> April 10, 2018.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/10/top-white-house-official-in-charge-of-pandemic-response-exits-abruptly/\">&quot;Top White House official in charge of pandemic response exits abruptly,&quot;</a> May 10, 2018.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>KHN Morning Briefing, <a href=\"https://khn.org/morning-breakout/trump-to-assemble-u-s-task-force-to-tackle-coronavirus-top-health-officials-reiterate-americans-are-at-low-risk/\">&quot;Trump To Assemble U.S. Task Force To Tackle Coronavirus; Top Health Officials Reiterate Americans Are At Low Risk,&quot;</a> Jan. 30, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post Health 202, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-health-202/2020/02/27/the-health-202-president-trump-made-it-harder-to-fight-coronavirus-by-actions-he-took-two-years-ago/5e56cfdf602ff108c8ca3368/\">&quot;President Trump made it harder to fight coronavirus by actions he took two years ago,&quot;</a> Feb. 27, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Politico, <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/26/trump-puts-pence-in-charge-of-coronavirus-response-117790\">&quot;Trump puts Pence in charge of coronavirus response,&quot;</a> Feb. 26, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Politico, <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/27/white-house-coronavirus-response-debbie-birx-117893\">&quot;White House announces coronavirus &#39;coordinator&#39; to lead response under Pence,&quot;</a> Feb. 27, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The White House press release, <a href=\"https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/vice-president-pence-announces-ambassador-debbie-birx-serve-white-house-coronavirus-response-coordinator/\">&quot;Vice President Pence Announces Ambassador Debbie Birx to Serve as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator,&quot;</a> Feb. 27, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Center for Strategic and International Studies,<a href=\"https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/191122_EndingTheCycle_GHSC_WEB_FULL_11.22.pdf?utm_campaign=wp_the_health_202&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=newsletter&amp;wpisrc=nl_health202\"> &quot;Ending the Cycle of Crisis and Complacency in U.S. Global Health Security,</a>&quot; Nov. 2019.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Democratic Senators Letter to National Security Adviser Robert O&rsquo;Brien, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.schatz.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/021320%20NSC%20Novel%20Coronavirus%20Letter%20final%20pdf.pdf\">021320 NSC Novel Coronavirus Letter,&quot;</a> Feb. 13, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2019/fy-2019-detail-table.pdf\">budget</a> data <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2021/FY-2021-CDC-Budget-Detail.pdf\">for</a> emerging <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2018/fy-2018-cdc-budget-overview.pdf\">and</a> zoonotic <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/budget/documents/fy2020/fy-2020-detail-table.pdf\">infectious</a> diseases, 2016-2021</p>\n\n<p>Trust for America&rsquo;s Health, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.tfah.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/TFAH-2019-PublicHealthFunding-06.pdf#page=10\">The Impact of Chronic Underfunding on America&rsquo;s Public Health System: Trends, Risks, and Recommendations</a>,&quot; 2019</p>\n\n<p>Foreign Policy, &quot;<a href=\"https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/31/coronavirus-china-trump-united-states-public-health-emergency-response/\">Trump Has Sabotaged America&rsquo;s Coronavirus Response</a>,&quot; Jan. 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/26/congress-coronavirus-response/\">Congressional leaders launch emergency spending talks for coronavirus response</a>,&quot; Feb 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The Guardian, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/31/us-coronavirus-budget-cuts-trump-underprepared\">US underprepared for coronavirus due to Trump cuts, say health experts</a>,&quot; Jan. 31, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Associated Press, &quot;<a href=\"https://apnews.com/d36d6c4de29f4d04beda3db00cb46104\">Democrats distort coronavirus readiness</a>,&quot; Feb. 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/feb/26/free-all-fact-checking-south-carolina-democratic-p/\">Free-for-all: Fact-checking the South Carolina Democratic presidential debate</a>,&quot; Feb. 25, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18024,
            "slug": "do-democrats-support-abortion-until-and-after-birt",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "ted-cruz",
                "full_name": "Ted Cruz",
                "first_name": "Ted",
                "last_name": "Cruz"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says Democrats are embracing “abortion up until the moment of birth and even, horrifically, after that.”",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-27T17:05:33-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p><a href=\"https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/25/anti-abortion-bills-fail-to-advance-in-senate-vote-117475\">In the latest push</a> from Republicans to advance a federal ban on <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/36\">abortion after 20 weeks </a>and a requirement for doctors to <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/311/text\">treat infants born after an attempted abortion</a>, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, spoke in favor of the efforts from the Senate floor.</p>\n\n<p>In his remarks, Cruz urged his Democratic colleagues to support these kinds of &quot;common sense propositions,&quot; a departure from the party&rsquo;s &quot;extreme&quot; position on abortion.</p>\n\n<p>Neither bill &mdash; versions of which GOP lawmakers have attempted to pass several times over multiple years &mdash; <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/25/anti-abortion-bills-fail-to-advance-in-senate-vote-117475\">was approved</a>.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We&rsquo;ve seen far too many Democrats embrace extreme positions on abortion: abortion up until the moment of birth and even, horrifically, after that,&quot; Cruz said, before highlighting a radio interview Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gave in 2019 about a bill in the Virginia House of Delegates regulating third-trimester abortions.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;This bill was allowing a mother in labor, in the process of delivering a child, this bill would allow a doctor to kill that child instead of delivering that child in the midst of labor,&quot; Cruz said. &quot;The idea of killing a child while the mother is in labor instead of delivering the infant is horrifying beyond words.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Cruz&rsquo;s claim that Democrats support abortion up until birth and &quot;even, horrifically, after that,&quot; is inaccurate, as is his characterization of the Virginia proposal (which was unsuccessful).</p>\n\n<p><strong>Trump claims</strong></p>\n\n<p>This isn&rsquo;t the first time a Republican leader has used an inaccurate description of the Virginia bill to advance legislation to require care for infants &quot;born alive&quot; after attempted abortions.</p>\n\n<p>When Senate Republicans attempted to pass a version of the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act in February 2019, President Donald Trump offered two inaccurate claims on this front.</p>\n\n<p>Speaking at a rally in El Paso, he said that Northam &quot;stated that he would even allow a newborn baby to come out into the world ... then talk to the mother and talk to the father and then execute the baby.&quot; <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/feb/20/donald-trump/trump-wrongly-claims-northam-said-he-would-execute/\">We rated this claim False.</a></p>\n\n<p>In a tweet sent days later, Trump said: &quot;The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don&rsquo;t mind executing babies AFTER birth.&quot; <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/feb/28/donald-trump/fact-checking-donald-trumps-tweet-saying-democrats/\">We rated that claim False.</a></p>\n\n<p>To be clear: <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/feb/28/donald-trump/fact-checking-donald-trumps-tweet-saying-democrats/\">killing an infant after birth is illegal,</a> and people on both sides of the abortion debate agree that this act should be illegal.</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/107/plaws/publ207/PLAW-107publ207.pdf\">Under federal law, </a>the definitions of a person, human being, child and individual all include infants &quot;born alive at any stage of development.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><strong>Virginia legislation</strong></p>\n\n<p>This characterization of Democrats as supporters of allowing abortions during and after a live birth surfaced in early 2019, when a subcommittee of the Virginia House of Delegates considered a bill aimed at loosening the state&rsquo;s abortion laws.</p>\n\n<p>In Virginia, a woman can choose to obtain an abortion through the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, up to 28 weeks from her last menstrual period.</p>\n\n<p>After that point, abortions are legal if they happen in a hospital and three physicians certify that &quot;the continuation of the pregnancy is likely to result in the death of the woman or substantially and irremediably impair the mental or physical health of the woman.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The law also requires physicians to make &quot;measures for life support for the product of such abortion&quot; available if there is &quot;any clearly visible evidence of viability&quot; after an attempted abortion.</p>\n\n<p>The bill Virginia lawmakers considered in 2019 proposed multiple changes to state laws addressing abortion, including the provision regulating the procedure in the third trimester.</p>\n\n<p>The proposal would have lowered the number of physicians required to authorize a third-trimester abortion from three to one and remove the &quot;substantial and irremediable&quot; threshold in the law.</p>\n\n<p>At the time of the debate, the <a href=\"https://www.richmond.com/news/plus/virginia-has-become-the-epicenter-of-the-third-trimester-abortion/article_c3c93e87-5db3-53a7-a1a5-7bddc0bfbeb7.html\">Richmond Times-Dispatch reported</a> that there were two confirmed third-trimester abortions performed in Virginia since 2000.</p>\n\n<p>Republican lawmakers questioned the bill&rsquo;s sponsor on the scope of the proposal, asking whether the measure would allow a woman who is dilating to get a abortion.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;My bill would allow that,&quot; said Democratic lawmaker Kathy Tran. &quot;Yes.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Her response sparked intense backlash from anti-abortion advocates and footage of her remark circulated quickly on social media.</p>\n\n<p>But days later, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/lawmaker-at-center-of-abortion-bill-firestorm-elected-as-part-of-democratic-wave-that-changed-richmond/2019/01/31/d4f76ecc-2565-11e9-90cd-dedb0c92dc17_story.html\">Tran said she misspoke</a>: &quot;I should have said: &lsquo;Clearly, no, because infanticide is not allowed in Virginia, and what would have happened in that moment would be a live birth.&rsquo;&quot;</p>\n\n<p>A spokeswoman for Cruz pointed to the language of Tran&rsquo;s bill and said it clearly allows abortion up until the moment of birth, but Tran&rsquo;s bill only changed the requirements in place before a doctor can perform a third-trimester abortion. It did not change the law as it relates to when such an abortion could take place.</p>\n\n<p>As the law stands, abortion is legal in the third trimester only in cases where three physicians certify that the mother&rsquo;s life is in danger.</p>\n\n<p>Virginia law prohibits <a href=\"https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter4/section18.2-71.1/\">&quot;partial birth infanticide,&quot;</a> the killing of an infant who has &quot;been born alive, but who has not been completely extracted or expelled from its mother.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><strong>Northam&rsquo;s comments</strong></p>\n\n<p>In a radio interview two days after the debate, Northam discussed the legislation and offered a <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/feb/20/donald-trump/trump-wrongly-claims-northam-said-he-would-execute/\">confusing</a> comment about third-trimester abortions: &quot;It&rsquo;s done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that&rsquo;s nonviable. So, in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that&rsquo;s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>A number of anti-abortion advocates accused the Democratic governor of approving the killing of infants.</p>\n\n<p>Northam rejected this characterization of his remarks and a spokesperson said the comments were about options for care available to women with a nonviable pregnancy or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality.</p>\n\n<p>This can include issues like anencephaly, when an infant is born without parts of the brain and skull, and limb-body wall complex, when an infant&#39;s organs have developed outside of its body.</p>\n\n<p>In these cases, where there is &quot;little or no prospect&quot; of an infant surviving after birth, families might opt for <a href=\"https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Ethics/Perinatal-Palliative-Care?IsMobileSet=false\">perinatal palliative care</a>, or comfort care &mdash; prioritizing comfort while allowing an infant to die naturally without exercising full resuscitation efforts.</p>\n\n<p>The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists describes this care as existing on a spectrum of care, &quot;which includes pregnancy termination (abortion) and full neonatal resuscitation and treatment.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Cruz&rsquo;s spokeswoman pointed to this care as an example of a doctor completing an abortion by denying medical care.</p>\n\n<p>This type of care is rare &mdash; a study of deaths at children&rsquo;s hospitals found that while neonates represented 41% of all deaths, perinatal palliative care was only utilized in 2% of cases &mdash; and does not meet the definition of abortion.</p>\n\n<p>Harvard Medical School <a href=\"https://www.health.harvard.edu/medical-tests-and-procedures/abortion-termination-of-pregnancy-a-to-z\">defines abortion</a> as &quot;the removal of pregnancy tissue, products of conception or the fetus and placenta (afterbirth) from the uterus.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><strong>Our Ruling</strong></p>\n\n<p>Cruz said Democrats support &quot;abortion up until the moment of birth and even, horrifically, after that.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Cruz&rsquo;s remark hinged on an inaccurate characterization of legislation considered in Virginia&rsquo;s House of Delegates in 2019 and comments made by the state&rsquo;s Democratic governor at the same time.</p>\n\n<p>State law in Virginia allows doctors to perform abortions up until the moment of birth, but only in cases when three physicians certify that a continued pregnancy is likely to result in the death of the woman. The author of the bill clarified earlier remarks to say it would not allow an abortion to be performed on a woman during a live birth.</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact has rated multiple statements making similar claims about Democrats supporting the execution of children False.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this claim False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Twitter, Ted Cruz, Feb. 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Virginia&rsquo;s Legislative Information System, <a href=\"http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+sum+HB2491\">HB 2491 Abortion; eliminate certain requirements</a>, Jan. 9, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Virginia&rsquo;s Legislative Information System, <a href=\"https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacodefull/title18.2/chapter4/article9/\">Code of Virginia, Article 9: Abortion</a>, accessed Feb. 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Politico, <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/25/anti-abortion-bills-fail-to-advance-in-senate-vote-117475\">Anti-abortion bills fail to advance in Senate vote</a>, Feb. 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/feb/28/donald-trump/fact-checking-donald-trumps-tweet-saying-democrats/\">Fact-checking Donald Trump&#39;s tweet saying Democrats &#39;don&rsquo;t mind executing&#39; babies after birth,</a> Feb. 28, 2019</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/feb/20/donald-trump/trump-wrongly-claims-northam-said-he-would-execute/\">Trump falsely claims Northam said he&#39;d let doctors &#39;execute&#39; newborns</a>, Feb. 20, 2019</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/feb/06/kathy-tran/del-kathy-tran-wrong-saying-bill-wouldnt-change-la/\">Del. Kathy Tran is wrong saying bill wouldn&#39;t change late-term abortion laws</a>, Fe. 6, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/lawmaker-at-center-of-abortion-bill-firestorm-elected-as-part-of-democratic-wave-that-changed-richmond/2019/01/31/d4f76ecc-2565-11e9-90cd-dedb0c92dc17_story.html\">Del. Kathy Tran was known for nursing her baby on the House floor. Now she&rsquo;s getting death threats over abortion.,</a> Jan. 31, 2019</p>\n\n<p>FactCheck.org, <a href=\"https://www.factcheck.org/2020/02/meme-misquotes-virginia-governor-on-abortion-bill/\">Meme Misquotes Virginia Governor on Abortion Bill</a>, Feb. 15, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Public Law, <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/107/plaws/publ207/PLAW-107publ207.pdf\">Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002</a></p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/poll-majority-of-virginians-say-third-trimester-abortion-should-be-legal-if-womans-health-is-at-risk/2019/02/15/1bc25fda-3077-11e9-86ab-5d02109aeb01_story.html\">Poll: Majority of Virginians say third-trimester abortion should be legal if woman&rsquo;s health is at risk</a>, Feb. 15, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Richmond Times-Dispatch, <a href=\"https://www.richmond.com/news/plus/virginia-has-become-the-epicenter-of-the-third-trimester-abortion/article_c3c93e87-5db3-53a7-a1a5-7bddc0bfbeb7.html\">UPDATED: Virginia has become the epicenter of the third trimester abortion debate. There have been 2 in the state since 2000.</a>, Feb. 1, 2019</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 17987,
            "slug": "dating-back-1991-and-his-time-house-bernie-sanders",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "tweets",
                "full_name": "Tweets",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Tweets"
            },
            "targets": [
                {
                    "slug": "bernie-sanders",
                    "full_name": "Bernie Sanders",
                    "first_name": "Bernie",
                    "last_name": "Sanders"
                }
            ],
            "statement": "\"Not once in his entire career in Washington, D.C., which started way back in 1991, has Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders ever voted yes on sanctions against Russia.\"",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-27T16:54:27-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>From honeymooning in the Soviet Union in 1988 to getting love from Russia for his presidential bids, Bernie Sanders has an uncommon connection with one of America&rsquo;s chief adversaries.</p>\n\n<p>It&rsquo;s subjected the Vermont senator to a number of attacks.</p>\n\n<p>On Feb. 22, 2020, the day Sanders won the Nevada caucuses and arguably established himself as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, a <a href=\"https://twitter.com/drawandstrike/status/1231291873727254530\">post</a> claimed:&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Not once in his entire career in Washington, D.C., which started way back in 1991, has Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders ever voted yes on sanctions against Russia.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Sanders has run as an independent in Vermont, was a member of the U.S. House from 1991 to 2007, and has since been a member of the Senate. He calls himself a democratic socialist.</p>\n\n<p>There aren&rsquo;t many votes to look at when it comes to Russia, and Sanders&rsquo; voting history isn&rsquo;t as clear-cut as the post claims.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Sanders&rsquo; Russia sanctions votes</div>\n\n<p>In recent years, the United States sanctioned Russia in response to allegations of corruption and human rights abuses. It continued sanctions after Russia&rsquo;s invasion of Ukraine.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Some of the sanctions were imposed by presidential executive order, without any vote in the Senate.</p>\n\n<p>Here are the key votes:</p>\n\n<p><strong>Dec. 6, 2012: </strong>Sanders <a href=\"https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&amp;session=2&amp;vote=00223\">voted no</a> on the Magnitsky Act, which <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-rights-congress-magnitsky-idUSKBN13X2AH\">imposed</a> visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials linked to the 2009 death in prison of Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year-old Russian whistleblower.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>GQ <a href=\"https://www.gq.com/story/why-does-putin-love-bernie\">reported</a> on Feb. 23, 2020, that Sanders never explained his vote, but &quot;fellow Dems suggest that it was because a free trade provision had been tucked into the legislative package.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Sanders&rsquo; campaign emphasized to us that in 2015, the Senate with unanimous consent <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/10/12/what-is-the-global-magnitsky-act-and-why-are-u-s-senators-invoking-this-on-saudi-arabia/\">extended</a> the law to countries other than Russia, and said it was &quot;more robust&quot; than the original law.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><strong>June 14 and 15, 2017: </strong>Sanders <a href=\"https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&amp;session=1&amp;vote=00144\">votes yes</a> on an amendment to a bill, adding Russia to a bill that was <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/russia-sanctions-senate-deal-imminent-239451\">sanctioning</a> Iran.</p>\n\n<p>But the next day, Sanders voted no on the overall <a href=\"https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/caatsa.aspx\">legislation</a>, which put new sanctions on North Korea, as well as Russia and Iran.</p>\n\n<p>On Russia, the bill <a href=\"https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/senate-joins-house-overwhelmingly-passing-new-russian-sanctions-n787291\">targeted</a> the country&rsquo;s aggression in Ukraine and Syria, citing corruption, human rights abuses and weapons sales.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Sanders said at the time he feared the bill would endanger the 2015 nuclear deal, which was aimed at curbing Iran&rsquo;s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. &quot;I am strongly supportive of the sanctions on Russia included in this bill. It is unacceptable for Russia to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world. There must be consequences for such actions,&quot; he said in a <a href=\"https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-iran-and-russia-sanctions\">statement</a> at the time.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Jan. 16, 2019: </strong>The Senate <a href=\"https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/16/senate-democrats-vote-to-block-trump-from-lifting-russia-sanctions-fails.html\">failed</a> to stop the Trump administration from easing sanctions on companies linked to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Sanders missed the vote, but his absence did not affect the outcome. He was <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/us/politics/bernie-sanders-discrimination-sexism.html\">meeting</a> with women who accused his 2016 presidential campaign of sexual misconduct.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A post claims: &quot;Not once in his entire career in Washington, D.C., which started way back in 1991, has Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders ever voted yes on sanctions against Russia.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Sanders voted once, in 2017, to add Russia to a sanctions bill. But on the final version of that bill, which carried sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Iran, he voted no. Moreover, he voted no on a Russia sanctions bill in 2012.</p>\n\n<p>The statement is partially accurate. We rate it Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Twitter,&nbsp; <a href=\"https://twitter.com/drawandstrike/status/1231291873727254530\">tweet</a>, Feb. 22, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email, Bernie Sanders campaign regional press secretary Kolby Lee, Feb. 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The Nation, <a href=\"https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/bernie-sanders-is-a-russian-agent-and-other-things-i-learned-this-week/\">&quot;Bernie Sanders Is a Russian Agent, and Other Things I Learned This Week,&quot;</a> June 16, 2017</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/jul/11/danielle-pletka/was-bernie-sanders-fine-russian-annexation-crimea-/\">&quot;Was Bernie Sanders fine with Russian annexation of Crimea? No,&quot;</a> July 11, 2018</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, <a href=\"https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/recent-business/sanctions-on-russia\">&quot;Sanctions on Russia,&quot;</a> March 17, 2014</p>\n\n<p>Politico, <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/russia-sanctions-senate-deal-imminent-239451\">&quot;Senate strikes bipartisan deal to boost Russia sanctions,&quot;</a> June 12, 2017</p>\n\n<p>GQ, <a href=\"https://www.gq.com/story/why-does-putin-love-bernie\">&quot;Why Exactly Does Putin Love Bernie?&quot;</a> Feb. 23, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-rights-congress-magnitsky-idUSKBN13X2AH\">&quot;U.S. Congress votes to apply Magnitsky human rights act globally,&quot;</a> Dec. 8, 2016</p>\n\n<p>CNBC, <a href=\"https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/16/senate-democrats-vote-to-block-trump-from-lifting-russia-sanctions-fails.html\">&quot;Senate Democrats fail to stop Trump administration from lifting sanctions on firms linked to Putin friend,&quot;</a> Jan. 16, 2019&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Congress.gov, <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/284\">&quot;S.284 - Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act,&quot;</a> accessed Feb. 23, 2020</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Senate, <a href=\"https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&amp;session=2&amp;vote=00223\">&quot;On Passage of the Bill (H. R. 6156 ),&quot;</a> accessed Feb. 23, 2020</p>\n\n<p><br>\nU.S. Senate, <a href=\"https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&amp;session=1&amp;vote=00144\">&quot;On the Amendment (Crapo Amdt. No. 232 As Modified),&quot;</a> June 14, 2017</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18023,
            "slug": "no-cdc-isnt-recommending-men-shave-their-beard-pro",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says the CDC recommends men shave their beards to protect against coronavirus.",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-27T16:24:47-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Amid increased fears about a <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/health/coronavirus-us.html\">potential coronavirus outbreak</a> in the United States, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention graphic from 2017 has resurfaced online along with the claim that the organization is recommending men shave their beards to protect against the virus.</p>\n\n<p>This is not true. The organization has made no such recommendation.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The wrong information developed out of a CNN wire story that was re-packaged by San Francisco-based news station <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200227173225/https://www.kron4.com/health/coronavirus/cdc-recommends-men-shave-their-beards-to-protect-against-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR10a-CgZDIuMsJ2W3FUsU1VyF3XH3EEGKkA17E-RSL0xzs3s5jvF4N5-9c\">Kron4.com</a>. We saw it <a href=\"https://www.wtnh.com/news/cdc-recommends-men-shave-their-beards-to-protect-against-coronavirus/\">shared</a> on <a href=\"https://www.wkrn.com/community/health/coronavirus/cdc-recommends-men-shave-their-beards-to-protect-against-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR2-tvoIRcZdulvEconyHd4TStz1R0cExF_GwJOA4N3cmzHxdjeZVOi4iz8\">plenty</a> of <a href=\"https://www.easttexasmatters.com/news/cdc-recommends-men-shave-their-beards-to-protect-against-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR2E3lG4ZmV2EdyG8nTaTHzFkBKxC6g5bGK5A3c5gOyBUDPR7SKY_eVoMe4\">other</a> news <a href=\"https://fox40.com/news/coronavirus/cdc-recommends-men-shave-their-beards-to-protect-against-coronavirus/\">websites</a>.</p>\n\n<p>The story was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\"> our partnership with Facebook</a>.)</p>\n\n<p>Though the original Feb. 26 <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/health/coronavirus-us-cdc-facial-hair/index.html\">CNN story</a> differs slightly, it also states that the CDC has suggestions about facial hair in relation with coronavirus protection, and fails to mention that the graphic is old and has no connection to the illness.</p>\n\n<p>The infographic, which covers over 30 different types of facial hair styles, is from 2017 and is unrelated to the current coronavirus outbreak &ndash; or any other illness. It instead warns that some beard styles can interfere with face masks.</p>\n\n<p>The graphic was <a href=\"https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/11/02/noshave/\">originally posted</a> in a CDC blog post that year during &quot;No Shave November&quot; that pointed out some of the problems certain types of beards could present with tight-fitting respirator masks. It&rsquo;s <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/RespiratorInfographics.html\">one of several</a> respiratory protection posters for the workplace compiled by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a CDC department.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The graphic is specific to respirators, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html\">which the CDC does not recommend</a> using outside of the workplace for protection against the coronavirus:&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\"><em>&quot;CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators outside of workplace settings (in the community). Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet). CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes or nose, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue.&quot;</em></p>\n\n<p>For the record, a respirator is different than a surgical mask, as evidenced by this CDC <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf\">graphic</a>. Surgical masks aren&rsquo;t considered adequate protection for respiratory illness, and only protect the face from large droplets and should be worn to shield others from your own coughs and sneezes.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A headline claims that the CDC recommends men shave their beards to protect against coronavirus.</p>\n\n<p>The story, and others like it, say that facial hair can interfere with masks &ndash; and that isn&rsquo;t untrue &ndash; but these posts in connection with the coronavirus are ultimately misleading.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The story inaccurately says the CDC is telling people to shave their faces to help ward off the coronavirus and omits that the graphic was made years ago and unrelated to the current outbreak. It also misses health officials&rsquo; actual recommendation against using respirators for protection outside of the workplace.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>We rate it False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Web Archive, Kron4.com, <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200227173225/https://www.kron4.com/health/coronavirus/cdc-recommends-men-shave-their-beards-to-protect-against-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR10a-CgZDIuMsJ2W3FUsU1VyF3XH3EEGKkA17E-RSL0xzs3s5jvF4N5-9c\">CDC recommends men shave their beards to protect against coronavirus</a>, Feb. 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Web Archive, CNN, <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200227182244/https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/health/coronavirus-us-cdc-facial-hair/index.html\">The CDC has thoughts about soul patches and mutton chops. And they have to do with preventing coronavirus</a>, Feb. 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>World Health Organization, <a href=\"https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200226-sitrep-37-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=6126c0a4_2\">Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report &ndash; 37</a>, Feb. 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease and Control, <a href=\"https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/11/02/noshave/\">To Beard or not to Beard? That&rsquo;s a good Question!</a>, Nov. 2, 2017</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html\">Frequently Asked Questions About Respirators and Their Use</a>, Feb. 12, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/RespiratorInfographics.html\">Respiratory Protection Infographics</a>, Sept. 3, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandDifferenceInfographic-508.pdf\">Understanding the Difference</a>, Accessed Feb. 27, 2020</p>\n\n<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/health/coronavirus-us.html\">C.D.C. Officials Warn of Coronavirus Outbreaks in the U.S.</a>, Feb. 25, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18022,
            "slug": "pro-trump-pac-takes-obama-quote-out-context-attack",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "committee-defend-president",
                "full_name": "Committee to Defend the President",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Committee to Defend the President"
            },
            "targets": [
                {
                    "slug": "joe-biden",
                    "full_name": "Joe Biden",
                    "first_name": "Joe",
                    "last_name": "Biden"
                }
            ],
            "statement": "Says Obama said black people have the \"worst jobs, the worst housing\" and face rampant police brutality, \"but when so-called black committeemen came around election time we’d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket, sell our souls for a Christmas turkey.\"",
            "ruling_slug": "pants-fire",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-27T15:50:12-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>A pro-Trump PAC recycled a quote from President Barack Obama &mdash; taken out of context &mdash; to attack Joe Biden. <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=200776464479203\">In an ad</a> that aired during the Feb. 25 Democratic presidential debate in Charleston, S.C., the Committee to Defend the President urged African Americans to turn their backs on Biden.</p>\n\n<p>Here&rsquo;s the ad&rsquo;s text:</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;Joe Biden promised to help our community. It was a lie. Here is President Obama: &lsquo;Plantation politics. Black people in the worst jobs, the worst housing, police brutality rampant. But when the so-called black committeemen came around election time, we&rsquo;d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket, sell our souls for a Christmas turkey.&rsquo; Enough. Joe Biden won&rsquo;t represent us, defend us or help us. Don&rsquo;t believe Biden&rsquo;s empty promises.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>We&rsquo;ve seen this quote from Obama before. The same PAC used exactly the same material in November to attack Democrats in general for failing the black community.</p>\n\n<p>We rated it <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/nov/12/committee-defend-president/pro-trump-facebook-ad-distorts-obamas-words-about-/\">Pants on Fire</a>. Here&rsquo;s why.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">What Obama wrote in his book</div>\n\n<p>The voice in the ad sounds like Obama dramatizing someone else&rsquo;s words, and the words were not his own views. They came from Obama reading from his 1995 book <a href=\"https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-My-Father-Story-Inheritance/dp/1400082773\">&quot;Dreams From My Father&quot;</a> about his days as a community organizer in Chicago. He recounted his conversation with a barber he called Smitty about Chicago&rsquo;s first black mayor, Harold Washington.</p>\n\n<p>Smitty explains Chicago politics to Obama, who told the barber he was not in Chicago for the election of Washington.</p>\n\n<p>Here&rsquo;s how the scene plays in the book:</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;Had to be here before Harold to understand what he means to this city,&quot; Smitty said. &quot;Before Harold, seemed like we&rsquo;d always be second-class citizens.&quot;</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;Plantation politics,&quot; the man with the newspaper said.</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;That&rsquo;s just what it was, too,&quot; Smitty said. &quot;A plantation. Black people in the worst jobs. The worst housing. Police brutality rampant. But when the so-called black committeemen came around election time, we&#39;d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket. Sell our souls for a Christmas turkey. White folks spitting in our faces, and we&rsquo;d reward &lsquo;em with the vote.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>In his book, Obama then described the power of African Americans to shape their political destiny when they are unified.</p>\n\n<p>Obama wrote:&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;They had turned out in record numbers on election night, ministers and gang-bangers, young and old. And their faith had been rewarded.&quot;</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">In Smitty&rsquo;s words, &quot;The night Harold won, let me tell you, people just ran the streets &hellip; ,&quot; he said, recounting how the community was proud of Washington and themselves. &quot;When I woke up the next morning, it seemed like the most beautiful day of my life.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The pro-Trump ad uses the passage to create the impression that Obama believed that black voters, ignored and suffering, sold their soul to the Democrats at election time. But the actual book passage is quoting another speaker, and talks about the good things that come from voting.</p>\n\n<p>Worse, the ad suggests Obama was talking about recent times and the failings of Joe Biden.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>We contacted the PAC behind the ad and they defended their use of the excerpt.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A pro-Trump ad says that Obama said black people have the &quot;worst jobs, the worst housing&quot; and face rampant police brutality, &quot;but when so-called black committeemen came around election time we&rsquo;d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket, sell our souls for a Christmas turkey.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>While Obama did say those words, they were not his own. In his book &quot;Dreams from my Father,&quot; Obama was describing a conversation with a Chicago barber who remembered African Americans helping elect Chicago&rsquo;s first black mayor.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The ad creates an impression that Obama was describing the failure of Democrats, including Biden, to actually help blacks, while in reality, the passage was about a key African American election victory.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this claim Pants on Fire!</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Committee to Defend the President, <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=200776464479203\">Biden attack ad</a>, Feb. 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Barack Obama, <a href=\"https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-My-Father-Story-Inheritance/dp/1400082773\">Dreams From My Father</a>, 2004</p>\n\n<p>Chicago Tribune, <a href=\"https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obama-center/ct-obamas-chicago-a-guided-tour-to-meaningful-sites-to-the-president-20150512-htmlstory.html\">Obama&#39;s Chicago: An illustrated tour of key sites (infographic)</a> May 12, 2015</p>\n\n<p>Chicago Tribune, Obama&#39;s Chicago; Take our unauthorized tour of the candidate&#39;s stomping grounds, (Accessed in Nexis) June 25, 2008</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/nov/12/committee-defend-president/pro-trump-facebook-ad-distorts-obamas-words-about-/\">Pro-Trump Facebook ad takes text in Obama&rsquo;s book wildly out of context</a>, Nov. 12, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Email exchange, Luka Ladan, spokesman, Committee to Defend the President, Feb. 27, 2020</p>\n\n<div>&nbsp;</div>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18021,
            "slug": "obama-never-ordered-cia-train-members-isis",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "blog-posting",
                "full_name": "Bloggers",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Bloggers"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“Obama ordered CIA to train ISIS Jihadists”",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-02-27T15:30:51-05:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>A blog post from five years ago that claims President Barack Obama ordered the CIA to train members of ISIS continues to circulate on the internet, despite the fact that it severely mischaracterizes the intent and outcome of a CIA operation.</p>\n\n<p>In 2013, the CIA operated a program that both trained and armed Syrian rebels in an attempt to support stronger opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The program had some unintended consequences &mdash; at times, weapons intended for Syrian rebels were stolen and sold on the black market, for example &mdash; but it was never designed to &quot;train ISIS Jihadists,&quot; as the post claims.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Obama ordered CIA to train ISIS Jihadists,&quot; reads the over-the-top headline.</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200225071251/https://wearechange.org/obama-ordered-cia-to-train-isis-jihadists-declassified-documents/?fbclid=IwAR20r8AwISfyoyudE7U7owT7Y-vLSwraN4cpkNzQeFo7pYfTuBiTMObHplQ\">The blog post</a> bases its claims primarily on a once-classified Defense Intelligence Agency document obtained by <a href=\"http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf\">Judicial Watch</a>, a conservative legal group.</p>\n\n<p>On top of falsely alleging that Obama ordered the CIA to intentionally train members of ISIS, the post claims the released document confirms the United States and its partners &quot;actually facilitated the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an effective adversary against the government of the Syrian dictator President Bashar al-Assad.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The post also says that the DIA document &quot;declared that President Barack Obama and his counterparts within the coalition considered the establishment of a Salafist organization in eastern Syria in order to further downfall of the Assad regime.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The reality is not that simple.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The training program</div>\n\n<p>Despite what the post&rsquo;s headline says, Obama never ordered the CIA to train members of ISIS. In fact, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/world/middleeast/cia-syria-rebel-arm-train-trump.html\">the New York Times reported</a> that Obama only &quot;reluctantly agreed&quot; to the training program to train and arm some Syrian rebels opposing Assad&rsquo;s government forces.</p>\n\n<p>The program, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/world/middleeast/cia-arms-for-syrian-rebels-supplied-black-market-officials-say.html\">code named Timber Sycamore</a>, was a joint effort primarily between the CIA and other Arab intelligence agencies.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The program and its details are still largely classified. Most of what we know comes from media reports. The New York Times, for example, reported that the program trained thousands of fighters and was going well until Russian military aid forced the rebels to retreat. But there were other problems. In October 2015, the <a href=\"https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33997408\">BBC reported</a> that American officials admitted only four or five of the program&rsquo;s trainees &quot;had actually returned to the battle.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Further, an <a href=\"https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/cia-weapons-syrian-rebels-jordan-black-market-160626141335170.html\">Al Jazeera</a> and <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/world/middleeast/cia-arms-for-syrian-rebels-supplied-black-market-officials-say.html\">New York Times</a> investigation revealed that millions of dollars in weapons the CIA meant to provide Syrian rebels had actually been systematically stolen and sold on the black market. From there, the weapons could fall into the wrong hands. Once, stolen CIA-supplied weapons were used in a shooting in Amman, Jordan, that killed five people, including two Americans.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The declassified document</div>\n\n<p>The document obtained by Judicial Watch said Salafi-jihadists &mdash; fundamentalists who believe in the return to traditional Islam practices &mdash; the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida in Iraq were &quot;the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>While the document does not say anything about Obama, it seemed to explore some of the CIA training program&rsquo;s potential effects on Iraq.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria,&quot; reads <a href=\"http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf\">the document.</a> &quot;And this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian Regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Essentially, the document seems to say that the groups it identified as the &quot;major forces&quot; in the region supporting Syrian rebels hoped to establish a Salafist state in Eastern Syria. The document did not say the United States considered supporting this outcome, however.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>The headline said, &quot;Obama ordered CIA to train ISIS Jihadists.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Obama authorized a program in 2013 that trained and armed Syrian opposition forces. The program had its flaws, including that CIA-provided weapons were systematically stolen and sold on the black market, ending up in enemy hands. However, the declassified DIA document contained nothing that suggested the United States or its allies intentionally &quot;facilitated&quot; the rise of ISIS in their efforts to oppose Assad.</p>\n\n<p>Further, there was no evidence the program ever trained known members of ISIS. That was never ordered by Obama.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this claim False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/world/middleeast/cia-arms-for-syrian-rebels-supplied-black-market-officials-say.html\">&quot;C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say,&quot;</a> June 26, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Al Jazeera, <a href=\"https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/cia-weapons-syrian-rebels-jordan-black-market-160626141335170.html\">&quot;Weapons for Syrian rebels sold on Jordan&#39;s black market,&quot;</a> June 26, 2016</p>\n\n<p>PBS News Hour, <a href=\"https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/u-s-strategy-arming-syrian-rebels-didnt-work\">&quot;Why the U.S. strategy of arming Syrian rebels didn&rsquo;t work,&quot;</a> July 20, 2017</p>\n\n<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/world/middleeast/cia-syria-rebel-arm-train-trump.html\">&quot;Behind the Sudden Death of a $1 Billion Secret C.I.A. War in Syria,&quot;</a> Aug. 2, 2017</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-ends-covert-cia-program-to-arm-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria-a-move-sought-by-moscow/2017/07/19/b6821a62-6beb-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html\">&quot;Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow,&quot;</a> July 19, 2017&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>BBC, <a href=\"https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33997408\">&quot;Arming Syrian rebels: Where the US went wrong,&quot;</a> Oct. 10, 2015</p>\n\n<p>The Week, <a href=\"https://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/6073/what-is-salafism-and-should-we-be-worried-by-it\">&quot;What is Salafism?&quot;</a> Sept. 19, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Snopes, <a href=\"https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/obama-cia-isis-train/\">&quot;Did Obama &lsquo;Order the CIA to Train Islamic State&rsquo;?&quot;</a> Oct. 28, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Judicial Watch, <a href=\"http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf\">&quot;Declassified document,&quot;</a> accessed Feb. 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Judicial Watch, <a href=\"http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf\">&quot;A message from President Tom Fitton,&quot;</a> accessed Feb. 26, 2020</p>"
        }
    ]
}