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        {
            "id": 18822,
            "slug": "when-was-last-top-bottom-review-criminal-justice-s",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "john-cornyn",
                "full_name": "John Cornyn",
                "first_name": "John",
                "last_name": "Cornyn"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says the United States has not completed a “top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system at the national level since 1965.”",
            "ruling_slug": "true",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-02T12:07:48-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said the federal government has not convened a commission to review the country&rsquo;s criminal justice system and recommend large-scale improvements in decades.</p>\n\n<p>During a call with Texas reporters on June 11, Cornyn touted a part of Senate Republicans&rsquo; police reform bill that would set guidelines for such a commission.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We haven&rsquo;t done this top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system at the national level since 1965,&quot; he told reporters.</p>\n\n<p>Democrats later blocked the JUSTICE Act bill, saying it didn&rsquo;t go far enough.</p>\n\n<p>We wanted to know: Has it truly been more than half a century since the American criminal justice system has undergone a federal review?</p>\n\n<p><strong>Trump&rsquo;s commission</strong></p>\n\n<p>Cornyn and other Republican lawmakers have pushed to create a commission to study ways to reduce crime and improve policing across the country, filing unsuccessful legislation to establish such a commission since at least 2010.</p>\n\n<p>But last year, President Donald Trump directed the formation of a commission through an executive order, sidestepping the need for legislative action. In January, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced the creation of the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.</p>\n\n<p>The part of the wide-ranging bill Cornyn highlighted during his conversation with reporters had been lifted from a standalone bill that covered just the creation of the commission.</p>\n\n<p>That bill was introduced before Trump created the commission, but a spokesman for Cornyn said the senator would still like to see it advance because he believes his version is more holistic.</p>\n\n<p>While the President&rsquo;s Commission is made up of law enforcement officials only, Cornyn&rsquo;s would include community leaders, civil rights advocates, crime victims, social services providers and public health officials.</p>\n\n<p>Cornyn&rsquo;s bill would also task the commission with a broader area for review, covering the criminal justice system as a whole and its effect on various areas of government from health care to education. The current commission is limited to law enforcement and crime control issues within the Department of Justice&rsquo;s jurisdiction because of the way it is set up.</p>\n\n<p>Additionally, similar to the 9/11 Commission, the bill calls for a group that would be making recommendations directly to Congress. The current commission, in 18 months, will report its findings to the Attorney General, who will submit a final report to the President.</p>\n\n<p>Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, during his introductory remarks at the opening ceremony for the commission in January, echoed Cornyn&rsquo;s statement and said &quot;it has been over 50 years since we have systematically studied ways&quot; to improve upon the criminal justice system.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Earlier commissions</strong></p>\n\n<p>Drew Brandewie, a spokesman for Cornyn, said Cornyn was referring to the Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice that President Lyndon B. Johnson created in 1965.</p>\n\n<p>The commission ended up coming up with more than 200 recommendations -- many of them now very well-known mainstays, such as the 911 emergency call system and research organizations like the Bureau of Justice Statistics.</p>\n\n<p>It, too, was established by way of executive order. Johnson <a href=\"https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/executive-order-11236-establishing-the-presidents-commission-law-enforcement-and\">signed the order July 23, 1965</a>, according to The American Presidency Project at the University of California Santa Barbara.</p>\n\n<p>In the 1965 commission&rsquo;s final report, members wrote that Johnson had created the group &quot;recognizing the urgency of the Nation&#39;s crime problem and the depth of ignorance about it.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The report stated that Johnson wanted to address a key issue with the criminal justice system: a lack of data on police, courts and other justice agencies, which made it difficult to make basic assessments of crime on a national level.</p>\n\n<p>Prior to Johnson&rsquo;s commission, the last effort that was similar in scope was established under President Herbert Hoover to examine the enforcement of alcohol prohibition and its impact on other criminal elements, according to <a href=\"https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/44540NCJRS.pdf\">a 1931 report</a> produced by Hoover&rsquo;s commission.</p>\n\n<p>Johnson&rsquo;s commission came as race riots were breaking out in major U.S. cities over police brutality and other frustrations, including the well-known Los Angeles Watts Riots.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The commission in 1965 really stemmed from the upheaval in the country at the time, and from everything I&rsquo;ve read, Barry Goldwater, he made &lsquo;law and order&rsquo; a big issue during the campaign,&quot; said Marc Levin, founder and chief of policy and innovation at the conservative criminal justice initiative Right on Crime. &quot;And when LBJ came in, he really felt that we needed to take a look at this.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Levin agreed that no such commission has been formed since Johnson&rsquo;s. He said other groups have met and provided recommendations in the years since, but none were as robust as that of a national commission.</p>\n\n<p>In 2014, for example, Congress created the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, which made recommendations on how to make the prison system more just and efficient. But that only looked at the Bureau of Prisons and not the entire criminal justice system from police to courts.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I think (Cornyn&rsquo;s) statement is very accurate,&quot; he said.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Our ruling</strong></p>\n\n<p>Cornyn said it had been 65 years since a national commission studied the American criminal justice system and produced recommendations.</p>\n\n<p>Experts and academic research show that a commission of that scale, with that broad an area of review, has not been convened since Johnson&rsquo;s 1965 group.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this claim True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2020/01/22/attorney-general-barr-launches-presidential-commission-law-enforcement/\">Attorney general launches presidential commission on law enforcement</a>, June 5, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Drew Brandewie, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, June 17, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Press release, <a href=\"https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/content/news/cornyn-statement-establishment-presidential-criminal-justice-commission\">Cornyn Statement on Establishment of Presidential Criminal Justice Commission</a>, June 17, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Kristina Mastropasqua, Office of Public Affairs, Department of Justice, June 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Phone interview, Marc Levin, founder and chief of policy and innovation at Right on Crime, June 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Congress.gov, <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1607/all-actions\">H.R. 1607</a>, accessed June 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Congress.gov, <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/573/actions\">S. 573</a> , accessed June 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Congress.gov, <a href=\"https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/2434?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22National+Criminal+Justice+Commission+Act+of+2019%22%5D%7D&amp;s=1&amp;r=1\">S.2434</a>, accessed June 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Department of Justice, <a href=\"https://www.justice.gov/ag/presidential-commission-law-enforcement-and-administration-justice1965\">Statement from Attorney General Barr on the establishment of the presidential commission</a>, accessed June 17, 2020</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Department of Justice, <a href=\"https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/deputy-attorney-general-jeffrey-rosen-provides-introductory-remarks-presidential\">Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen Provides Introductory Remarks at the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice Opening Ceremony</a>, accessed June 17, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The American Presidency Project, <a href=\"https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/executive-order-11236-establishing-the-presidents-commission-law-enforcement-and\">Executive Order 11236&mdash;Establishing the President&#39;s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice</a>, accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Justice Professional, <a href=\"https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=114623\">Stimuli of Police Education: Wickersham and LBJ&#39;s (Lyndon B. Johnson) Commission</a>, accessed July 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>National Institute of Justice Journal, <a href=\"https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/40th-anniversary-crime-report\">The 40th Anniversary of the Crime Report</a>, accessed July 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, <a href=\"https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/44540NCJRS.pdf\">Report on the Enforcement of the Prohibition Laws of the United States</a>, Jan. 7, 1931</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18821,
            "slug": "no-john-elway-didnt-threaten-fire-players-who-knee",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "blog-posting",
                "full_name": "Bloggers",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Bloggers"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says John Elway told NFL players “Kneel on my field and you’re fired on the spot.”",
            "ruling_slug": "pants-fire",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-02T11:42:35-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>You may have seen <a href=\"http://archive.is/MjjqM\">articles</a> <a href=\"http://archive.is/a2sC4\">circulating</a> on Facebook with headlines that claim Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway threatened to fire players if they kneel during the national anthem.</p>\n\n<p>The problem is, the quote attributed to the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback is fake. It originated from a satirical website.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But there&rsquo;s no way to know the quote is fabricated by looking at the headline on Facebook, which reads:&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;John Elway Lays Down The Law: &lsquo;Kneel On My Field And You&rsquo;re Fired On The Spot&rsquo;&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Other websites, such as <a href=\"http://archive.is/MjjqM\">Prep-101.com</a> and <a href=\"http://archive.is/a2sC4\">Conservative Republic,</a> copied and pasted the fabricated story without a disclaimer that it was made up.</p>\n\n<p>People commenting on those pages also seemed to have no idea that the story wasn&rsquo;t real.</p>\n\n<p>One person wrote: &quot;Way to go John Elway for standing up for the flag national anthem if they don&rsquo;t want to stand fire them on the spot way to go to John Elway every team should do that.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Another said: &quot;Haven&rsquo;t watched NFL since this kneeling started and nothing was done about it. Thank you MR. Elway wish more would do this.&quot;</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<p>The story originated on a satirical website called &quot;PotatriotsUnite.com,&quot; which states on its &quot;about us&quot; page that it&rsquo;s part of the America&rsquo;s Last Line of Defense network of satire sites and says everything on its website &quot;is fiction.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>While Elway <a href=\"https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2735385-john-elway-on-kneeling-for-anthem-im-one-that-believes-in-standing\">said in 2017</a> that he believed in standing for the national anthem, he posted a statement on <a href=\"https://twitter.com/johnelway/status/1269059545898397697\">Twitter</a> on June 5, 2020, saying he felt it was time to join this &quot;important conversation,&quot; following the death of George Floyd and the worldwide protests against police brutality.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The way the players amplify the voices that need to be heard is more important than ever,&quot; Elway wrote. &quot;I fully support them using their platform and influence in a positive way to create change.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>That was the same day NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a video message that the league <a href=\"https://www.nfl.com/news/roger-goodell-nfl-wrong-for-not-listening-to-protesting-players-earlier\">would embrace</a> the rights of players to protest racism peacefully.</p>\n\n<p>Elway never said that he would fire players if they kneeled during the anthem. We rate this Pants on Fire!</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Prep-101, <a href=\"http://archive.is/MjjqM\">John Elway Lays Down The Law: &lsquo;Kneel On My Field And You&rsquo;re Fired On The Spot&rsquo;</a>, Accessed July 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Conservative Republic, <a href=\"http://archive.is/a2sC4\">John Elway Lays Down The Law: &lsquo;Kneel On My Field And You&rsquo;re Fired On The Spot&rsquo;</a>, Accessed July 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Bleacher Report, <a href=\"https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2735385-john-elway-on-kneeling-for-anthem-im-one-that-believes-in-standing\">John Elway on Kneeling for Anthem: &#39;I&#39;m One That Believes in Standing&#39;</a>, Sept. 26, 2017</p>\n\n<p>Twitter, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/johnelway/status/1269059545898397697\">John Elway post</a>, June 5, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18811,
            "slug": "fact-checking-claim-about-who-couple-who-pointed-g",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Lawyer-couple who pointed guns at protesters are Black Lives Matter backers, Democrats and represent a police brutality victim.",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T17:32:28-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>A conservative activist painted the St. Louis couple who <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/jun/30/what-we-know-about-st-louis-couple-who-pointed-gun/\">pointed guns</a> at protesters marching outside their home as liberals who are actually aligned with the protesters.</p>\n\n<p>The &quot;gun-toting couple,&quot; wrote <a href=\"https://www.tpusa.com/bennyjohnson\">Benny Johnson</a>, support Black Lives Matter, are Democrats, and are representing a victim of police brutality.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The media is going to have a hard time comprehending this since they spent all of last night and this morning smearing them,&quot; wrote <a href=\"https://www.tpusa.com/bennyjohnson\">Johnson</a>, chief creative officer of Turning Point USA, a conservative <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/personalities/turning-point-usa/\">group</a> founded by <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/personalities/charlie-kirk/\">Charlie Kirk</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Johnson made the claim about Mark and Patricia McCloskey in a tweet, an image of which was then shared in a Facebook <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1374262892764770&amp;set=a.132183833639355&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">post</a> June 29.</p>\n\n<p>The Facebook post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership</a> with Facebook.)</p>\n\n<p>Johnson deleted the tweet after he said he discovered a portion of it was inaccurate.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The incident</div>\n\n<p>Protesters seeking the resignation of St. Louis&rsquo; mayor in a controversy over police reform marched toward the mayor&rsquo;s house and past the McCloskeys&rsquo; home.</p>\n\n<p>The couple stood outside their home and brandished guns at the marchers, with Mark McCloskey saying his family feared for their lives because they said marchers had broken through a wrought iron gate that secured a private street in the neighborhood.</p>\n\n<p>The local prosecutor is investigating to see whether the couple should be charged.</p>\n\n<p>Now to the three parts of the claim.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Black Lives Matter statement of support</div>\n\n<p>The McCloskeys expressed support for Black Lives Matter in a <a href=\"https://twitter.com/RobertDEdwards/status/1277650481645596674/photo/1\">statement</a> released by their attorney, Albert Watkins, the day after the June 28 incident.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys. To the contrary, they were expecting and supportive of the message of the protesters,&quot; the statement said.</p>\n\n<p>The statement also quotes Watkins as saying:&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The Black Lives Matters movement is here to stay, it is the right message, and it is about time. The McCloskeys want to make sure no one thinks less of BLM, its message and the means it is employing to get its message out because of the actions of a few white individuals who tarnished a peaceful protest.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Wrong Mark McCloskey</div>\n\n<p>The tweet from Johnson included what appears to be a screenshot of Federal Election Commission data showing the name of Mark McCloskey and ActBlue. No other data is shown, but presumably the screenshot purports to show McCloskey donated to the group.</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/jun/12/ryan-fournier/conservative-pundits-share-false-claim-about-black/\">ActBlue</a> is a platform for people to contribute to Democratic campaigns and other causes like Black Lives Matter.</p>\n\n<p>Johnson apparently realized he erred on this part of his claim.</p>\n\n<p>On June 30, Johnson <a href=\"https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/1277960598555373568\">tweeted</a> an image of that tweet with this message: &quot;I deleted this tweet because the FEC screenshot that went viral online was from a different donor of the same name.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>According to the FEC, Mark McCloskey of the viral video made <a href=\"https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=mark+mccloskey&amp;contributor_city=st+louis&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2010&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2012&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2014&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2016&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2018&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2020\">20 contributions</a> between October 2016 and February 2017 to the Republican National Committee or Donald Trump&rsquo;s presidential campaign. Those are his most recent campaign contributions.</p>\n\n<p>McCloskey also made a few <a href=\"https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=mark+mccloskey&amp;contributor_city=st+louis&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1980&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1982&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1984&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1986&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1988&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1990&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1992&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1994&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1996&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1998&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2000&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2002&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2004&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2006&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2008&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2010\">donations</a> in 1996 to Republican politician Bill Phelps&rsquo; congressional campaign, a primary committee for the 1988 Bush-Quayle ticket, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.</p>\n\n<p>FEC records show that he has donated to Democrats in the past. Between 2004 and 2012, McCloskey <a href=\"https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?data_type=processed&amp;contributor_name=Mark+McCloskey&amp;contributor_state=MO\">donated</a> to Democratic candidates, including Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.</p>\n\n<p>On June 29, it was <a href=\"https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/st-louis-state-senate-candidate-not-keeping-gun-toting-lawyer-s-campaign-contribution/article_d5646fbd-df82-5fd1-9683-0b90369825a6.html\">reported</a> that a Democrat running for a Missouri state Senate seat said his campaign won&rsquo;t keep a $250 contribution he received from Mark McCloskey in 2019.</p>\n\n<p>We didn&rsquo;t find any donations from Patricia McCloskey in the FEC database.</p>\n\n<p>So, based on the pattern of their recent campaign contributions, it&rsquo;s wrong to say the couple are Democrats.</p>\n\n<p>In Missouri, voters <a href=\"https://s1.sos.mo.gov/cmsimages/ElectionGoVoteMissouri/register2vote/Adair.pdf\">do</a> <a href=\"https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/votingquestions\">not</a> register a party affiliation.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Represent police brutality victim</div>\n\n<p>Mark McCloskey represents Isaiah Forman, a man who is suing a police officer over injuries sustained during an arrest. According to a March 6 Associated Press <a href=\"https://www.startribune.com/indictment-missouri-officer-kicked-man-who-was-surrendering/568568172/\">news article:</a></p>\n\n<p>Forman is serving a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree assault on a special victim for crashing into a St. Ann, Mo., police car during an April 2019 chase. David Maas, then a police officer in suburban Woodson Terrace, kicked and struck Forman while he was compliant and not posing a physical threat to anyone, causing &quot;bodily injury&quot; and depriving him of his right to be &quot;free from unreasonable force,&quot; according to an indictment filed against Maas. Maas has been charged by the U.S. attorney&rsquo;s office in St. Louis with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>A lawyer for Maas denied the claims in the lawsuit and said Forman &quot;aggressively resisted arrest&quot; and &quot;struck a police vehicle, narrowly missing a police officer in the process.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A viral image shared on Facebook claimed that a lawyer-couple who pointed guns at protesters are Black Lives Matter backers, Democrats and represent a police brutality victim.</p>\n\n<p>There is some truth to it. The couple expressed support for Black Lives Matter after the incident, via a statement from their attorney. And Mark McCloskey represents a man who has filed a lawsuit alleging police brutality.</p>\n\n<p>But there&rsquo;s a reason the tweet was taken down. It uses campaign donation data from the wrong Mark McCloskey. The Mark McCloskey in the video has donated to both Democratic and Republican candidates, including multiple donations to the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump.</p>\n\n<p>We rate the statement Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Facebook, <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1374262892764770&amp;set=a.132183833639355&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">post</a> (archived <a href=\"http://archive.is/WDmAh\">here</a>), June 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Twitter, Benny Johnson <a href=\"https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/1277960598555373568\">tweet</a>, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/jun/30/what-we-know-about-st-louis-couple-who-pointed-gun/\">&quot;What we know about the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters, fearing &#39;angry mob,&rsquo;&quot;</a> June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Snopes, <a href=\"https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mark-mccloskey-donate-democrats/\">&quot;Did Mark McCloskey Donate to Democrats? After the couple pointed guns at protesters, rumors started to circulate about the McCloskeys&#39; political affiliations,&quot;</a> June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Twitter, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/RobertDEdwards/status/1277650481645596674/photo/1\">Rob Edwards tweet of statement</a>, June 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Federal Election Commission, <a href=\"https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=mark+mccloskey&amp;contributor_city=st+louis\">Mark McCloskey contributions from 2010-2020</a>, accessed June 30, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18819,
            "slug": "social-media-image-about-mask-efficacy-right-senti",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "COVID-19’s “contagion probability” between two people is 70% if the carrier is not masked, 5% if the carrier is masked, and 1.5% if both parties are.",
            "ruling_slug": "barely-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T16:48:06-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>A popular social media post that&rsquo;s been circulating on Instagram and Facebook <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-coronavirus-mask-efficacy/partly-false-claim-wear-a-face-mask-covid-19-risk-reduced-by-up-to-98-5-idUSKCN2252T6\">since April</a> depicts the degree to which mask-wearing interferes with the transmission of the novel coronavirus. It gives its highest &quot;contagion probability&quot; &mdash; a very precise 70% &mdash; to a person who has COVID-19 but interacts with others without wearing a mask. A middle tier of 5% is if the person with COVID-19 wears a mask while others don&#39;t.&nbsp;The lowest probability, 1.5%, is when masks are worn by all.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The exact percentages assigned to each scenario had no attribution or mention of a source. So we wanted to know if there is any science backing up the message and the numbers -- especially as mayors, governors and members of Congress <a href=\"https://khn.org/morning-breakout/mcconnell-governors-press-importance-of-wearing-masks/\">increasingly point to mask-wearing</a> as a means to address the <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?action=click&amp;module=Top%20Stories&amp;pgtype=Homepage\">surges</a> in coronavirus cases across the country.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Doubts about the percentages</div>\n\n<p>As with so many things on social media, it&rsquo;s not clear who made this graphic or where they got their information. Since we couldn&rsquo;t start with the source, we reached out to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ask if the agency could point to research that would support the graphic&rsquo;s &quot;contagion probability&quot; percentages.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We have not seen or compiled data that looks at probabilities like the ones represented in the visual you sent,&quot; Jason McDonald, a member of CDC&rsquo;s media team, wrote in an email. &quot;Data are limited on the effectiveness of cloth face coverings in this respect and come primarily from laboratory studies.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>McDonald added that studies are needed to measure how much face coverings reduce transmission of COVID-19, especially from those who have the disease but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Other public health experts we consulted agreed: They were not aware of any science that confirmed the numbers in the image.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The data presented is bonkers and does not reflect actual human transmissions that occurred in real life with real people,&quot; Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine at the University of California - San Francisco, wrote in an email. It also does not reflect anything simulated in a lab, he added.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Andrew Lover, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, agreed. He had seen a similar graphic on Facebook before we interviewed him and done some fact-checking on his own.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We simply don&rsquo;t have data to say this,&quot; he wrote in an email. &quot;It would require transmission models in animals or very detailed movement tracking with documented mask use (in large populations).&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Because COVID-19 is a relatively new disease, there have been only limited observational studies on mask use, said Lover. The studies were conducted in China and Taiwan, he added, and mostly looked at self-reported mask use.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/06/13/spate-new-research-supports-wearing-masks-control-coronavirus-spread/\">Research</a> regarding other viral diseases, though, indicates masks are effective at reducing the number of viral particles a sick person releases. Inhaling viral particles is often how respiratory diseases are spread.</p>\n\n<p>One <a href=\"https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2?ContensisTextOnly=true\">recent study</a> found that people who had different coronaviruses (not COVID-19) and wore a surgical mask breathed fewer viral particles into their environment, meaning there was less risk of transmitting the disease. And a recent <a href=\"https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext#%20\">meta-analysis study</a> funded by the World Health Organization found that, for the general public, the risk of infection is reduced if face masks are worn, even if the masks are disposable surgical masks or cotton masks.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The sentiment is on target</div>\n\n<p>Though the experts said it&rsquo;s clear the percentages presented in this social media image don&rsquo;t hold up to scrutiny, they agreed that the general idea is right.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We get the most protection if both parties wear masks,&quot; Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who studies viral air droplet transmission, wrote in an email. She was speaking about transmission of COVID-19 as well as other respiratory illnesses.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Chin-Hong went even further. &quot;Bottom line,&quot; he wrote in his email, &quot;everyone should wear a mask and stop debating who might have [the virus] and who doesn&rsquo;t.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Marr also explained that cloth masks are better at outward protection &mdash; blocking droplets released by the wearer &mdash; than inward protection &mdash; blocking the wearer from breathing in others&rsquo; exhaled droplets.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The main reason that the masks do better in the outward direction is that the droplets/aerosols released from the wearer&#39;s nose and mouth haven&#39;t had a chance to undergo evaporation and shrinkage before they hit the mask,&quot; wrote Marr. &quot;It&#39;s easier for the fabric to block the droplets/aerosols when they&#39;re larger rather than after they have had a chance to shrink while they&#39;re traveling through the air.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>So, the image is also right when it implies there is less risk of transmission of the disease if a COVID-positive person wears a mask.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;In terms of public health messaging, it&rsquo;s giving the right message. It just might be overly exact in terms of the relative risk,&quot; said Lover. &quot;As a rule of thumb, the more people wearing masks, the better it is for population health.&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Public health experts urge widespread use of masks because those with COVID-19 can often be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic &mdash; meaning they may be unaware they have the disease, but could still spread it. Wearing a mask could interfere with that spread.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling&nbsp;</div>\n\n<p>A viral social media image claims to show &quot;contagion probabilities&quot; in different scenarios depending on whether masks are worn.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Experts agreed the image does convey an idea that is right: Wearing a mask is likely to interfere with the spread of COVID-19.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But, although this&nbsp;message has a hint of accuracy, the image leaves out important details and context, namely the source for the contagion probabilities it seeks to illustrate. Experts said evidence for the specific probabilities doesn&rsquo;t exist. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>We rate it Mostly False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>ACS Nano, <a href=\"https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32329337/\">&quot;Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks,&quot;</a> May 26, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Associated Press, <a href=\"https://apnews.com/afs:Content:8795470456\">&quot;Graphic Touts Unconfirmed Details About Masks and Coronavirus,&quot;</a> April 28, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>BMJ Global Health, <a href=\"https://gh.bmj.com/content/5/5/e002794\">&quot;Reduction of Secondary Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Households by Face Mask Use, Disinfection and Social Distancing: A Cohort Study in Beijing, China,&quot;</a> May 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with <a href=\"https://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=5373\">Andrew Noymer</a>, associate professor of population health and disease prevention, University of California-Irvine, June 29, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with <a href=\"https://www.publichealth.columbia.edu/people/our-faculty/jls106\">Jeffrey Shaman</a>, professor of environmental health sciences and infectious diseases, Columbia University, June 29, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with <a href=\"https://www.globalchange.vt.edu/dr-linsey-marr/\">Linsey Marr</a>, Charles P. Lunsford professor of civil and environmental engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, June 29, 2020.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with <a href=\"https://profiles.ucsf.edu/peter.chin-hong\">Peter Chin-Hong</a>, professor of medicine, and <a href=\"https://profiles.ucsf.edu/george.rutherford\">George Rutherford</a>, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, University of California-San Francisco, June 29, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with <a href=\"https://school.wakehealth.edu/Faculty/B/Werner-Ernst-Bischoff\">Werner Bischoff</a>, medical director of infection prevention and health system epidemiology, Wake Forest Baptist Health, June 30, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Email statement from Jason McDonald, member of the media team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 29, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The Lancet, <a href=\"https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext#%20\">&quot;Physical Distancing, Face Masks, and Eye Protection to Prevent Person-to-Person Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,&quot;</a> June 1, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Nature Medicine, <a href=\"https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2?ContensisTextOnly=true\">&quot;Respiratory Virus Shedding in Exhaled Breath and Efficacy of Face Masks,&quot;</a> April 3, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Phone and email interview with <a href=\"https://www.umass.edu/sphhs/person/faculty/andrew-lover\">Andrew Lover</a>, assistant professor of epidemiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, June 29, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-coronavirus-mask-efficacy/partly-false-claim-wear-a-face-mask-covid-19-risk-reduced-by-up-to-98-5-idUSKCN2252T6\">&quot;Partly False Claim: Wear a Face Mask; COVID-19 Risk Reduced by Up to 98.5%,&quot;</a> April 23, 2020.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/06/13/spate-new-research-supports-wearing-masks-control-coronavirus-spread/\">&quot;Spate of New Research Supports Wearing Masks to Control Coronavirus Spread,&quot;</a> June 13, 2020.</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18818,
            "slug": "scotts-misleading-attack-biden-about-castro-maduro",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "rick-scott",
                "full_name": "Rick Scott",
                "first_name": "Rick",
                "last_name": "Scott"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says “Joe Biden supported the Castro regime and meeting with Maduro.”",
            "ruling_slug": "barely-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T16:23:04-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>When asked about President Donald Trump&rsquo;s sagging poll numbers in Florida, Trump ally and Florida Sen. Rick Scott accused presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden of being an ally of Latin American dictators.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Biden supported the Castro regime and meeting with Maduro,&quot; Scott told <a href=\"https://www.fullcourtgreta.com/video/2020/06/27/sen-rick-scott-there-no-enthusiasm-joe-biden/\">Greta Van Susteren</a> on her news show &quot;Full Court Press&quot; on June 28.</p>\n\n<p>For voters of Cuban or Venezuelan descent in Florida, any suggestion that a politician supports repressive regimes that committed human rights abuses is a serious accusation. Cuban American voters in South Florida are an important voting bloc for Republicans, although Democrats point to <a href=\"https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-cuban-american-poll-20190131-story.html\">generational differences</a> with hopes of winning over <a href=\"https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/democrats-hope-sway-floridas-cuban-american-voting-bloc-amid-civil-unrest\">younger </a>voters.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Scott knows the power of his words about Latin American dictators. In 2018, <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/2019/04/22/floridas-hispanic-vote-nearly-doubled-in-2018-what-will-it-do-next-year/\">Scott focused heavily on Hispanic voters</a> and delivered an <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/sep/27/rick-scott/gov-rick-scotts-ridiculous-statement-sen-bill-nels/\">anti-socialism message</a> when he successfully ousted Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson by a <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/florida-senate\">tiny margin</a>. But is his statement accurate?&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>We found that Biden supports normalizing relations with Cuba as President Barack Obama did, but experts told us that doesn&rsquo;t equal supporting the regime. Biden had a brief encounter with Venezuelan President Nicol&aacute;s Maduro in 2015, but that meeting alone doesn&rsquo;t tell the full story about Biden&rsquo;s position with respect to the socialist leader.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;Joe Biden supported the Castro regime.&quot;&nbsp;</div>\n\n<p>Scott&rsquo;s spokesperson pointed to <a href=\"https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/senator-rick-scott-condemns-joe-bidens-support-cuban-regime\">Biden&rsquo;s comments in April </a>when he told CBS&rsquo; <a href=\"https://miami.cbslocal.com/2020/04/27/cbs4-joe-biden-interview/\">Jim DeFede</a> that he would restore Obama&rsquo;s policy of engagement with Cuba.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;In large part, I would go back,&quot; Biden said. &quot;I&rsquo;d still insist they keep the commitments they said they would make when we, in fact, set the policy in place.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>DeFede asked Biden if re-engagement would reward Cuba at a time when its leaders are propping Maduro in Venezuela.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Well, they&rsquo;re having great difficulty propping up Maduro,&quot; Biden said. &quot;Number one, Maduro is in real trouble. Number two, there&rsquo;s no reason why we cannot still sanction them, but failing to recognize them at all is a different thing than sanctioning them.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>While Biden <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/updated-2020-candidates-answer-10-questions-on-latin-america/\">supports engagement with Cuba</a>, he has repeatedly criticized the regime&rsquo;s record on <a href=\"https://twitter.com/joebiden/status/1195810019020664833?lang=en\">human rights</a> and <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1261403984100818944\">political prisoners</a>.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I have no illusions about the situation in Cuba, and it&rsquo;s deeply concerning that the Cuban government continues to assert strong political and economic control while failing to respect press freedom and the freedom of assembly,&quot; Biden told the <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/foreign-policy/cuba-travel-restrictions/\">Washington Post during the primary</a>. &quot;But Cuba is not represented solely by its leadership. There are many different sectors that we can and should work with to support progress in Cuba &mdash; including entrepreneurs, religious groups, universities, young people and human rights defenders.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>There are varying opinions about whether the U.S. should engage with Cuba, including among <a href=\"https://cri.fiu.edu/research/cuba-poll/2018-fiu-cuba-poll.pdf\">Cuban American residents in Miami-Dade County</a>. Conservative Cuban Americans have argued that any U.S. engagement with Cuba ultimately helps the socialist regime. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2016/01/24/deciders-rubio/\">argued against any softening of policy toward Cuba</a>. During the <a href=\"https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/march-democratic-debate-transcript-joe-biden-bernie-sanders\">primary debate in March</a>, Biden said that Obama was trying to &quot;change Cuban policies so the Cuban people would get out from under the thumb of Castro and his brother.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Experts told us that support for engaging Cuba is not the same as endorsing the regime.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Engagement policies are always with adversaries, said Bert Hoffmann, Latin America expert at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and that was not &lsquo;supporting the regime&rsquo; but trying engagement policies,&quot; Hoffmann told PolitiFact. &quot;In the case of Cuba, Obama was always very clear that his engagement policy toward Cuba was in no way support of the regime, but a strategy to help the Cuban people and to stimulate change in a context where the Cold War-type confrontation between Cuba and the U.S. had been effectively stabilizing the Cuban regime for decades.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>William LeoGrande, professor of government at American University, said the charge that the Obama administration supported the Cuban regime amounts to &quot;partisan name-calling.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;President Obama&rsquo;s policy of opening a diplomatic dialogue with Cuba was based on the fact that the old policy of hostility and isolation was a failure,&quot; LeoGrande said. &quot;It hadn&rsquo;t worked for 60 years.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Obama challenged the Cuban regime on human rights and encouraged it to move toward democracy, LeoGrande said. U.S. interests required dialogue with Cuba on issues such as narcotics interdiction and environmental protection.</p>\n\n<p>There is debate about whether Obama&rsquo;s approach improved human rights for the Cuban people. Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, said it&rsquo;s clear Obama&rsquo;s intention was to influence democratic change &mdash; not to support the regime.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Biden on &quot;meeting with Maduro.&quot;</div>\n\n<p>Scott&rsquo;s spokeswoman pointed to a photo showing Biden and Maduro smiling at each other. It stems from their <a href=\"https://twitter.com/trumpwarroom/status/1172333728112103424?lang=en\">encounter in January 2015</a> during former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff&#39;s swearing-in ceremony in Brazil. We did not find an official transcript of their conversation, so we can only rely on what Biden and others said about their encounter and media reports.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://apnews.com/cb0f8669e9844019a6b356060c79dd95\">AP</a> at the time described it as a &quot;brief, impromptu meeting.&quot; An unnamed U.S. administration official said Maduro told Biden that he wanted improved ties, but was concerned about sanctions. Biden said one step Venezuela could take would be to release political prisoners. Maduro described the meeting as &quot;cordial.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Speaking in <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2019/09/16/joe-biden-returns-to-florida-in-bid-for-hispanic-voters/\">Miami in September</a>, Biden called &quot;it a coming to the Lord meeting with Maduro.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I told (Maduro), we&rsquo;d talk with him if he did the following things, starting with setting up elections, making sure he&rsquo;d release political prisoners, a whole range of things. That kind of ended our conversation,&quot; Biden said.</p>\n\n<p>So why was Biden laughing in the photo? We found a couple of different explanations.</p>\n\n<p>A Biden adviser, Juan S. Gonzalez, who identified himself in one of the photos, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/Cartajuanero/status/1172336671112564737\">tweeted that Biden</a> &quot;laughed when Maduro asked him to raise the price of oil (market didn&#39;t work that way) and that if he wanted to talk he first needed to release political prisoners and negotiate in earnest.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://www.yahoo.com/news/biden-maduro-shake-hands-exchange-words-brazil-meet-180452036.html\">Brazilian publication Valor</a> at the time <a href=\"https://valor.globo.com/politica/noticia/2015/01/02/se-tivesse-sua-cabeleira-seria-presidente-diz-biden-a-maduro.ghtml\">wrote</a> that Biden said to Maduro, &quot;If I had your hair, I&#39;d be president of the United States.&quot; (The <a href=\"http://mppre.gob.ve/2020/06/22/biden-pretende-olvidar-dialogo-presidente-maduro-estrategia-campana-politica/\">Venezuelan government website</a> in 2020 recounted a similar statement.)</p>\n\n<p>Other events point to rockier times. One month later, <a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/02/joe-biden-not-plotting-overthrow-venezuela-president\">Maduro accused Biden</a> of trying to organize an effort to overthrow him. Biden&rsquo;s office denied the accusation but said Venezuela had violated freedom of speech, assembly and due process.</p>\n\n<p>Biden has &quot;been very clear that Maduro&#39;s government is illegitimate, and that Venezuela needs free and fair elections,&quot; LeoGrande said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>About a month after he met with Maduro, <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/blog/meeting-with-vice-president-biden-triggers-alleged-retaliation-from-venezuelan-government/\">Biden met with Lilian Tintori</a>, the wife of opposition leader and then-political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>During his campaign, <a href=\"https://www.cfr.org/article/presidential-candidates-venezuela\">Biden</a> <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1123352740363681792\">has</a> <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1214641417160724484\">repeatedly</a> <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/updated-2020-candidates-answer-10-questions-on-latin-america/\">criticized</a> Maduro. In February 2019, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1094345590069174273\">Biden called Maduro a &quot;tyrant&quot;</a> and called on the international community to support Juan Guaid&oacute; as president. Trump, too, <a href=\"https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/01/23/venezuela-juan-guaido-declares-himself-president-amid-protests/2658642002/\">recognized Guaid&oacute;</a> as the interim president.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Biden has also called for extending <a href=\"https://joebiden.com/todos-con-biden-policy/\">Temporary Protected Status</a> to Venezuelans who have fled for the United States. It is <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2019/mar/04/how-hard-it-venezuelans-get-asylum-us/\">tough for Venezuelans to get asylum</a> in the U.S.</p>\n\n<p>Democrats, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1274910217508196352\">including Biden</a>, have criticized Trump&rsquo;s comments about Maduro. In June, Trump told <a href=\"https://www.axios.com/trump-venezuela-guaido-maduro-ea665367-b088-4900-8d73-c8fb50d96845.html?utm_source=twitter&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_campaign=organic&amp;utm_content=1100\">Axios</a> that he was open to meeting with Maduro. In response to the backlash, Trump <a href=\"https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1275072468709859328\">tweeted</a>: &quot;I would only meet with Maduro to discuss one thing: a peaceful exit from power!&quot; John Bolton wrote in his <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-backtracks-on-a-meeting-with-venezuelas-maduro-after-chorus-of-criticism/2020/06/22/8f25d598-b491-11ea-aca5-ebb63d27e1ff_story.html\">book</a> that Trump thought Guaido was &quot;weak&quot; as opposed to Maduro, whom he called &quot;strong.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Our ruling</p>\n\n<p>Scott said, &quot;Joe Biden supported the Castro regime and meeting with Maduro.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Scott pointed to Biden&rsquo;s statements in April that he would engage with Cuba, as Obama did. But Scott ignores that Biden has repeatedly criticized Cuba&rsquo;s human rights record. Experts told us that Biden&rsquo;s plan to engage Cuba doesn&rsquo;t mean he supports the regime, although Cuba hardliners view it that way.</p>\n\n<p>Biden did have a brief encounter with Maduro in 2015 in Brazil, which was captured in photos. We don&rsquo;t have an official transcript of what was said but the fact that the two men spoke to each other doesn&rsquo;t mean they were in agreement. The AP reported that Biden suggested to Maduro that he should release political prisoners. Other reports say Biden made a joke about Maduro&rsquo;s hair. Biden has frequently called Maduro a &quot;tyrant&quot; and supported Guaid&oacute; as his replacement.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this statement Mostly False.</p>\n\n<p><em>PolitiFact staff writer Miriam Valverde contributed to this fact-check.</em></p>",
            "sources": "<p>Full Court Press, <a href=\"https://www.fullcourtgreta.com/video/2020/06/27/sen-rick-scott-there-no-enthusiasm-joe-biden/\">Sen. Rick Scott: &lsquo;There&#39;s no enthusiasm for Joe Biden&rsquo;</a> June 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Sen. Rick Scott press release, <a href=\"https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/senator-rick-scott-condemns-joe-bidens-support-cuban-regime\">Senator Rick Scott Condemns Joe Biden&rsquo;s Support of Cuban Regime</a>, April 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CBS4, <a href=\"https://miami.cbslocal.com/2020/04/27/cbs4-joe-biden-interview/\">Joe Biden Confident He&rsquo;ll Turn Florida Blue, Says He&rsquo;ll Restore Obama-Era Cuba Policies In Exclusive CBS4 Interview</a>, April 27, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Former Vice President Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://joebiden.com/todos-con-biden-policy/\">Campaign website</a>, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden op-ed in the Miami Herald, Biden: Our Latin America policies are morally bankrupt. Mine reflect American values, June 24, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Miami Herald, Joe Biden said he &#39;confronted&#39; Venezuela&#39;s Nicolas Maduro. Is that true? Sept. 13, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Trump War Room, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/trumpwarroom/status/1172333728112103424?lang=en\">Tweet</a>, Sept. 19, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Juan S. Gonzalez, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/Cartajuanero/status/1172336671112564737\">Tweet</a>, Sept. 19, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/joebiden/status/1195810019020664833?lang=en\">Tweet</a>, Nov. 16, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1123352740363681792\">Tweet</a>, April 30, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1214641417160724484\">Tweet</a>, Jan. 7, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1274910217508196352\">Tweet,</a> June 21, 2020</p>\n\n<p>President Donald Trump, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1275072468709859328\">Tweet</a>, June 22, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Council on Foreign Relations, <a href=\"https://www.cfr.org/article/presidential-candidates-venezuela\">The Presidential Candidates on Venezuela</a>, July 30, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Rev.com, <a href=\"https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/march-democratic-debate-transcript-joe-biden-bernie-sanders\">March Democratic Debate Transcript: Joe Biden &amp; Bernie Sanders</a>, March 16, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Americas Quarterly, <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/updated-2020-candidates-answer-10-questions-on-latin-america/\">UPDATED: 2020 Candidates Answer 10 Questions on Latin America</a>, March 4, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Venezuelan government, <a href=\"http://mppre.gob.ve/2020/06/22/biden-pretende-olvidar-dialogo-presidente-maduro-estrategia-campana-politica/\">Biden pretende olvidar di&aacute;logo con el presidente Maduro como estrategia de campa&ntilde;a pol&iacute;tica</a>, June 22, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The Guardian, <a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/02/joe-biden-not-plotting-overthrow-venezuela-president\">US says Joe Biden is not plotting to overthrow Venezuela&#39;s president</a>, Feb. 2, 2015</p>\n\n<p>AFP, Biden, <a href=\"https://www.yahoo.com/news/biden-maduro-shake-hands-exchange-words-brazil-meet-180452036.html\">Maduro shake hands, exchange words at Brazil meet</a>, Jan. 2, 2015</p>\n\n<p>AP, Biden, <a href=\"https://apnews.com/cb0f8669e9844019a6b356060c79dd95\">Venezuela leader discuss improving relations</a>, Jan. 2, 2015</p>\n\n<p>Tampa Bay Times, <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2019/09/16/joe-biden-returns-to-florida-in-bid-for-hispanic-voters/\">Joe Biden returns to Florida in bid for Hispanic voters,</a> Sept. 16, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Americas Quarterly, <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/blog/meeting-with-vice-president-biden-triggers-alleged-retaliation-from-venezuelan-government/\">Meeting with Vice President Biden Triggers Alleged Retaliation from Venezuelan Government</a>, Feb. 13, 2015</p>\n\n<p>Axios, <a href=\"https://www.axios.com/trump-venezuela-guaido-maduro-ea665367-b088-4900-8d73-c8fb50d96845.html\">Exclusive: Trump cold on Guaid&oacute;, would consider meeting Maduro</a>, June 21, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-backtracks-on-a-meeting-with-venezuelas-maduro-after-chorus-of-criticism/2020/06/22/8f25d598-b491-11ea-aca5-ebb63d27e1ff_story.html\">Trump backtracks on a meeting with Venezuela&rsquo;s Maduro after chorus of criticism</a>, June 22, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/foreign-policy/cuba-travel-restrictions/\">Questionnaire to candidates during the primary</a>, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Sun Sentinel, <a href=\"https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-cuban-american-poll-20190131-story.html\">Poll shows generational, political divides among Cuban-Americans</a>, Feb. 1, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post,<a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-threats-to-use-force-against-protesters-fit-a-long-standing-pattern/2020/06/02/d26dc58a-a4de-11ea-bb20-ebf0921f3bbd_story.html\"> Trump&rsquo;s threats to use force against protesters fit a long-standing pattern</a>, June 2, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2016/01/24/deciders-rubio/\">Marco Rubio&rsquo;s cold war</a>, Jan. 24, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Congressional Research Service,<a href=\"https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10715.pdf\"> Venezuela: Overview of U.S. Sanctions</a>, June 2, 2020</p>\n\n<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/florida-senate\">Florida Senate Election Results: Bill Nelson vs. Rick Scott</a>, Jan. 28, 2019</p>\n\n<p>FIU, <a href=\"https://cri.fiu.edu/research/cuba-poll/2018-fiu-cuba-poll.pdf\">Cuba poll,</a> 2018</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/sep/27/rick-scott/gov-rick-scotts-ridiculous-statement-sen-bill-nels/\">Gov. Rick Scott&#39;s Pants on Fire statement that Sen. Bill Nelson is a socialist</a>, Sept. 27, 2018</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Mike Gwin, former Vice President Joe Biden campaign spokesman, June 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Sarah Schwirian, Sen. Rick Scott spokeswoman, June 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, William LeoGrande, professor of government at American University, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Bert Hoffmann, Latin America expert and professor at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email, Mark Feierstein, who held senior positions on Latin America in the Obama Administration and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 30, 2020&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Email, Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University and professor of anthropology, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview,&nbsp; Jennifer McCoy, a political scientist and expert on Latin American politics at Georgia State University, June 30, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18817,
            "slug": "no-coronavirus-vaccines-development-havent-killed-",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“Four kids who took the coronavirus vaccine died immediately.”",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T14:25:25-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>There&rsquo;s still no proven, publicly available vaccine for the coronavirus, but misinformation about it is already coursing through the internet.</p>\n\n<p>One recent Facebook post shares an image containing inflammatory claims about a coronavirus vaccine that might one day be available to the public.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The covid-19 vaccine will be mandatory in order to go back too school. They will contain RFID Chips,&quot; <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200630234301/https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=268596624349001&amp;set=a.102790180929647&amp;type=3&amp;theater=\">the image in the post</a> reads. It continues: &quot;Many kids will die from the covid-19 vaccine. Just to remind you the 4 kids that took the vaccine, died immediately.&quot;</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. (<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">Read more about our partnership with Facebook.</a>)</p>\n\n<p>The&nbsp;claims in the post&nbsp;are&nbsp;speculative and misleading in a number of ways, and <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-vaccine-microchip-idUSKBN23V1F5?fbclid=IwAR0ZbmbTJcPp3i2iZ4b6UoXTZFvp0jnQTvwWAVBqmkKCtYggnJathNuCFh4\">have&nbsp;been debunked</a> by another fact-checking organization.</p>\n\n<p>COVID-19 has killed more than half a million people worldwide, including nearly 130,000 in the U.S. Companies around the world are scrambling to develop a vaccine, and many potential vaccines are undergoing safety trials in humans.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Health officials are <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trumps-promise-of-warp-speed-fuels-anti-vaccine-movement-in-fertile-corners-of-the-web/2020/05/20/c2b3d408-9ab2-11ea-89fd-28fb313d1886_story.html\">struggling to reassure</a> some skeptics that a vaccine can be developed quickly without compromising safety.</p>\n\n<p>As of June 30, only one coronavirus vaccine <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html\">had been approved for limited use</a>. The Chinese government has approved it <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/health/china-coronavirus-military-vaccine-intl-hnk-scli/index.html\">only for military personnel</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Currently there is no coronavirus vaccine that has been approved for the American public. And there is no evidence that children have died because they received one of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed.</p>\n\n<p>In April, PolitiFact investigated a claim that seven children in Senegal died after receiving COVID-19 vaccines and discovered <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/13/facebook-posts/no-seven-children-senegal-didnt-die-after-covid-19/\">the Facebook post&rsquo;s claim was false</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In May, Reuters also reported that <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-guinea-vaccine/false-claim-video-shows-aftermath-of-fatal-covid-19-vaccination-in-guinea-idUSKBN22D67U\">social media posts were incorrect</a> in claiming that a TV news report from 2019 showed the deadly results of a COVID-19 vaccination trial in Guinea.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact found no evidence that anyone has died from complications related to a trial COVID-19 vaccination.</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact has also debunked several false claims involving the coronavirus vaccine and microchips. <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/03/facebook-posts/no-us-isnt-developing-vaccine-or-antivirus-chip-tr/\">The U.S. isn&rsquo;t developing an &quot;antivirus&quot;</a> for COVID-19 that will include an RFID chip, for example. There&rsquo;s also no evidence that Democrats are <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/23/facebook-posts/no-democrats-arent-pushing-microchips-fight-corona/\">pushing for mandatory vaccinations or microchip implants to fight the coronavirus</a>.</p>\n\n<p>And there is no evidence yet of any requirement that students be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to school, though some states <a href=\"https://www.wpr.org/will-wisconsin-kids-need-eventual-covid-19-vaccine-go-school-history-has-some-answers\">could require it</a> if a vaccine becomes available.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>State laws govern immunization requirements for schoolchildren, including those in private schools and daycare centers, but all states <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/vaccinations.html\">allow exemptions</a> for medical reasons, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some allow exemptions for religious or philosophical reasons.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A viral image on Facebook claimed, &quot;Many kids will die from the covid-19 vaccine. Just to remind you the 4 kids that took the vaccine, died immediately.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>There is no evidence that children have died because of the coronavirus vaccines in development, or that a future vaccine will contain microchips.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this claim False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html\">&quot;Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker,&quot;</a> accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-vaccine-microchip-idUSKBN23V1F5?fbclid=IwAR0ZbmbTJcPp3i2iZ4b6UoXTZFvp0jnQTvwWAVBqmkKCtYggnJathNuCFh4\">&quot;Fact check: Four children have not died from a COVID-19 vaccine containing microchips,&quot;</a> June 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/13/facebook-posts/no-seven-children-senegal-didnt-die-after-covid-19/\">&quot;No, seven children in Senegal didn&rsquo;t die after COVID-19 vaccines,&quot;</a> April 13, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/23/facebook-posts/no-democrats-arent-pushing-microchips-fight-corona/\">&quot;No, Democrats aren&rsquo;t pushing microchips to fight coronavirus,&quot;</a> April 23, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/03/facebook-posts/no-us-isnt-developing-vaccine-or-antivirus-chip-tr/\">&quot;No, the US isn&rsquo;t developing a vaccine or &lsquo;antivirus&rsquo; with a chip to track people,&quot;</a> April 3, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-guinea-vaccine/false-claim-video-shows-aftermath-of-fatal-covid-19-vaccination-in-guinea-idUSKBN22D67U\">&quot;False claim: video shows aftermath of fatal COVID-19 vaccination in Guinea,&quot;</a> May 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Wisconsin Public Radio, <a href=\"https://www.wpr.org/will-wisconsin-kids-need-eventual-covid-19-vaccine-go-school-history-has-some-answers\">&quot;Will Wisconsin Kids Need An Eventual COVID-19 Vaccine To Go To School? History Has Some Answers,&quot;</a> June 12, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CNN, <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/health/china-coronavirus-military-vaccine-intl-hnk-scli/index.html\">&quot;Beijing approves experimental Covid-19 vaccine for use in Chinese military,&quot;</a> June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CDC, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/vaccinations.html\">&quot;State School and Childcare Vaccination Laws,&quot;</a> accessed July 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trumps-promise-of-warp-speed-fuels-anti-vaccine-movement-in-fertile-corners-of-the-web/2020/05/20/c2b3d408-9ab2-11ea-89fd-28fb313d1886_story.html\">&quot;Trump&rsquo;s promise of &lsquo;Warp Speed&rsquo; fuels anti-vaccine movement in fertile corners of the Web,&quot;</a> May 20, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18816,
            "slug": "nfl-player-stood-alone-during-national-anthem-says",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "NFL player “stood alone\" while his whole team stayed in the locker room during the national anthem, “a real American patriot!”",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T13:32:24-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>With the National Football League <a href=\"https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1269034074552721408\">softening</a>&nbsp;its stance on peaceful protests during the national anthem, more players <a href=\"https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adrian-peterson-protest-knee-washington-redskins/\">are</a> <a href=\"https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-players-to-kneel-for-anthem-as-a-group-and-some-believe-roger-goodell-could-take-part/\">expected</a> to kneel rather than stand during the pregame ritual in the coming season to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement protesting police brutality.</p>\n\n<p>That&rsquo;s likely to mean more criticism from people, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1271914734724546564?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1271914734724546564%7Ctwgr%5E&amp;ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Fsports%2F2020%2F06%2F13%2Fdonald-trump-nfl-us-soccer-kneeling-during-national-anthem%2F3184906001%2F\">including</a>&nbsp;President Donald Trump, who see the gesture as unpatriotic.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>On June 19, a Facebook user <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3624579084235596&amp;set=a.119718061388400&amp;type=3\">posted</a> a viral image of Pittsburgh Steeler and West Point graduate Alejandro Villanueva, a <a href=\"https://www.steelers.com/team/players-roster/alejandro-villanueva/\">two-time</a> Pro Bowl offensive lineman and former U.S. Army <a href=\"https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2019-news-articles/soldier-to-steeler-nfl-star-shares-insight-to-military-service/#:~:text=Villanueva%20served%20in%20the%20Army,isolated%20position%20on%20a%20battlefield.\">captain</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The caption on the image says: &quot;If you want to make any football player really famous. Let it be this man. He came out and stood alone while his whole team stood in the locker room. He&rsquo;s a veteran and did 3 tours in Iraq. Make him famous. His name is Alejandro Villanueva! A real American patriot!&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3624579084235596&amp;set=a.119718061388400&amp;type=3\">post</a> was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership</a> with Facebook.)</p>\n\n<p>Villanueva is a veteran who did <a href=\"https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2019-news-articles/soldier-to-steeler-nfl-star-shares-insight-to-military-service/#:~:text=Villanueva%20served%20in%20the%20Army,isolated%20position%20on%20a%20battlefield.\">three</a> tours of duty in Iraq, earning a Bronze Star. But the image isn&rsquo;t quite what its caption says it is.</p>\n\n<p>The image is from just prior to the Steelers&rsquo; road game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sept. 24, 2017. That day, <a href=\"https://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/25288/full-transcript-alejandro-villanueva-on-steelers-pregame-ordeal\">some</a> NFL players around the league kneeled, sat or locked arms during the anthem as a show of unity and a form of protest against comments by Trump, who had <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/sports/nfl-trump-anthem-protests.html\">said</a> protesting players should be fired.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>For that game, the Steelers had decided in a team meeting that players would keep any protests off the field and stay in the stadium tunnel during the anthem. But Villanueva emerged from the tunnel and went on the field anyway.</p>\n\n<p>The entertainment TV show &quot;Inside Edition&quot; did a <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj4_F-8UzDo\">story</a> with video clips from the anthem stating that Villanueva was &quot;breaking ranks&quot; with his teammates, and noting that Villanueva&rsquo;s jersey had become the top seller in the league.</p>\n\n<p>But Villanueva insisted he was not being defiant. He just got caught in an awkward moment.</p>\n\n<p>Here&rsquo;s part of what the former Army Ranger and captain <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJubf3o_YCo\">told</a> reporters the day after the game:</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;Based on my unique circumstances and based on the fact that I&#39;ve served in the Army and that pretty much everything that my life is lived through the military, I asked (quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) if there was a way to define the inside or where is it that we were going to stay and if I could watch the national anthem from the tunnel, and he agreed. He said the captains will be out there right behind me, so this plan sort of morphed to accommodate this tough, moral dilemma that I had in my hands to where the players could be behind me in the tunnel. ...</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;I asked one of the security guards when the national anthem was going to start; he said 20 seconds. So I just walked out and I stopped as soon as I saw the flag, as soon as I had a vantage point. &hellip; And when I turned around to sort of signal everybody else to come in so they wouldn&#39;t leave me alone, then that&#39;s when (the song started and) they were essentially unable to exit. At that moment, it was the decision of, do you walk out of the national anthem and join your teammates? I know that would have looked extremely bad. Or as a team, do you start moving halfway through the national anthem?&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Villanueva said the impression that he chose to break ranks with his teammates was &quot;my fault only.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our rating</div>\n\n<p>A Facebook post suggested that Villanueva defiantly stood alone during a pregame national anthem as his teammates remained inside the stadium tunnel. Villanueva was the only Steelers player on the field during the anthem, just outside the tunnel, while the others were inside. But he later apologized, saying he &quot;unwillingly made a mistake&quot; by walking out ahead of his teammates.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important information. We rate it Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Facebook, post (archived <a href=\"http://archive.is/PqaBP\">here</a>), June 19, 2020</p>\n\n<p>YouTube, <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj4_F-8UzDo\">&quot;Inside Edition&quot; story</a>, Sept. 25, 2017</p>\n\n<p>YouTube, Watertown Daily Times <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJubf3o_YCo\">video</a> of Alejandro Villanueva statement, Sept 25, 2017</p>\n\n<p>Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, <a href=\"https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2017/09/25/alejandro-villanueva-steelers-national-anthem-protest/stories/201709250175\">&quot;Alejandro Villanueva: &#39;I feel embarrassed&#39; by anthem foul-up,&quot;</a> Sept. 25, 2017</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18814,
            "slug": "painting-people-around-world-wearing-masks-2020-no",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "A Denver International Airport mural of people wearing masks was painted in 1994.",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T11:57:35-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Conspiracy theories that claim COVID-19 was planned as part of a world domination scheme by the &quot;elite&quot; have run amok on the internet.</p>\n\n<p>A miscaptioned mural of people wearing masks was recently tacked onto those rumors as more evidence of the plot. But it&rsquo;s not.</p>\n\n<p>In late June 2020, Facebook users shared <a href=\"http://archive.is/iOmNc\">a photograph</a> of a mural that showed people of the world wearing masks. <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10218338679885438&amp;set=a.2814155120094&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">The</a> <a href=\"http://archive.is/vgdAJ\">posts</a> claim that the mural was created in 1994 for the Denver International Airport, and the mural proves that the virus was planned.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The Denver airport mural painted in 1994. Tell me this is not weird, how far do they plan this stuff in advance?&quot; text along the bottom of the image reads.</p>\n\n<p>One user who shared the image wrote: &quot;And I&rsquo;m the conspiracy &quot;theorist&quot;?! Sorry, but no&hellip;&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Another said, &quot;PLANDEMIC 1994 Denver International airport. Illuminati artworks on display.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<div>&nbsp;</div>\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<p>The mural itself is legitimate. But it&rsquo;s not from 1994, it&rsquo;s not in the airport, and it didn&rsquo;t portend the coronavirus pandemic.</p>\n\n<p>There is some confusion over who created the piece, but we can confirm that it has never been displayed in the Denver International Airport and was made in 2020, not 1994.</p>\n\n<p>The earliest online appearance of the piece was when CJ Trinidad, an artist in the Philippines, <a href=\"http://archive.is/A36Ah\">shared it to his Facebook page</a> in February 2020 with the caption &quot;MASKCOMMUNICATION.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>He posted multiple photographs of the artwork, including one of it <a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/CB9tdqkDE9f/\">in progress</a>, and another of him <a href=\"http://archive.is/uvprL\">posing with it.</a> His signature appears at the bottom right corner of the piece, and <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2961372850598898&amp;set=p.2961372850598898&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">apparel</a> that features the artwork has also been shared on his Facebook account.</p>\n\n<p>But the same piece was credited to someone named Neha Kumari for a <a href=\"https://iccr4art.com/gallerydemo.php\">coronavirus-themed global art competition</a> hosted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Kumari entered it into the competition <a href=\"http://archive.is/N9yXh\">under a different title</a>. The image of the mural on the website also shows Trinidad&rsquo;s signature is cut off.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Authorship aside, the listed submission date of the artwork on the contest website is where people may have gotten the wrong idea about when it was created.</p>\n\n<p>The piece is listed <a href=\"https://iccr4art.com/gallery-detail.php?id=3302&amp;__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=ac3b3dba9add4e188b2c3470a512edffb920f71f-1593232243-0-AXlPoHOwyOaFgyV9bCmMBJbdBgIhjFY-0nptA-Posv3GaOc72cLGPihsVJmeY_p7aDzHY-W-q-tZYzPhEdNvhIyrYFgx8RoBb0U7TLW1gRR1PJnWIfyMk1Pw1YHsgS0qdRRXCcFdS1YRFOzIX5ay7z0BaXSgpdQXPlNZ8SzX3xe1oAV_7B1b_2DMembpQL8hPy1hm7kIC_fHj8i2vjwO829sFWk4N3F0hluWUowz-Zv32eGnINs70HO7FWm6sryZjFDzGpnArECayAOsQe3cHXEPnLxwoNY7hUUrWED9zdAlbnS9Q00iP-TCkDaXDGasxw\">on the site</a> as being submitted on Dec. 28, 1995, but this appears to be an error. The competition&rsquo;s submissions didn&rsquo;t open until April 2020. We reached out to the organization for clarification but haven&rsquo;t heard back.</p>\n\n<p>As for the Denver airport piece of the claim, that&rsquo;s easy to disprove. Alex Renteria, an airport spokesperson, told PolitiFact that the piece is not from the airport&rsquo;s collection.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The only mural painted in 1994 for DEN featuring international children wearing traditional clothing and that also features flags is Leo Tanguma&rsquo;s &lsquo;Children of the World Dream of Peace,&rsquo; but none are wearing masks,&quot; Renteria said.</p>\n\n<p>The airport opened to the public in February 1995 and has been <a href=\"https://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/31/definitive-guide-to-denver-international-airport-conspiracy-theories/\">a hotbed for conspiracy theories</a> for decades, particularly involving its bold, and sometimes unnerving, public art pieces.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>Facebook posts claim that a piece of artwork that shows citizens of the world wearing masks was created in 1994 and is displayed in the Denver International Airport.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>While the original artist is still unclear, the image of the piece does not show a mural that was made in 1994 at the airport.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this False.&nbsp;</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Facebook <a href=\"http://archive.is/iOmNc\">post</a>, June 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Facebook <a href=\"http://archive.is/A36Ah\">post</a>, Feb. 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Facebook <a href=\"http://archive.is/uvprL\">post,</a> March 16, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Instagram <a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/CB9tdqkDE9f/\">post,</a> June 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Indian Council for Cultural Relations, <a href=\"https://iccr4art.com/gallerydemo.php\">UNITED AGAINST CORONA- EXPRESS THROUGH ART</a>, Accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Indian Council for Cultural Relations, <a href=\"http://archive.is/N9yXh\">SUFFERING AND FIGHTING AGAINST CORONA VIRUS</a>, Accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Indian Council for Cultural Relations, <a href=\"https://www.iccr.gov.in/flashnews/art-competition-%E2%80%9Cunited-against-corona-express-through-art%E2%80%9D-guidelines-participants\">Competition guidelines for participants</a>, Accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Denver Post, <a href=\"https://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/31/definitive-guide-to-denver-international-airport-conspiracy-theories/\">The definitive guide to Denver International Airport&rsquo;s biggest conspiracy theories</a>, Oct. 31, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Alex Renteria public information officer at the Denver International Airport, June 30, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18815,
            "slug": "photo-shows-st-louis-protesters-pointing-microphon",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "An image from the St. Louis protest is “what MSM (mainstream media) won’t show you. Peaceful demonstrator pointing weapon at homeowner.”",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T11:28:22-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>You&rsquo;ve no doubt seen the photos of a white man and woman in an upscale St. Louis neighborhood pointing guns at protesters marching near their house.</p>\n\n<p>A poster on social media says that&rsquo;s not the whole story, and uses a different photo from the ones you&rsquo;ve seen to make a different point. &quot;This is what MSM (mainstream media) won&rsquo;t show you. Peaceful demonstrator pointing weapon at homeowner,&quot; the post reads.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>You can see the post and the image <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/dick.stambaugh.5/posts/2657796381105562\">here</a>. (We&rsquo;re not including it in this story because we don&rsquo;t have rights to the image) In the image, the woman is pointing a handgun at a group of protesters. In the bottom right hand corner, a Black man in a white shirt is pointing a long, narrow black cylinder back at the woman. The text accompanying the photo on Facebook says it&rsquo;s a weapon, but eyewitnesses say it wasn&rsquo;t.</p>\n\n<p>In the bottom left hand corner of the image is a watermark from Reuters, a news agency.</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<p>The picture is authentic. We corroborated that the photo was taken June 28, 2020, by Reuters photographer Lawrence Bryant. <a href=\"https://pictures.reuters.com/CS.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&amp;VBID=2C0FC00NFB2C&amp;RW=1440&amp;RH=691#/SearchResult&amp;VBID=2C0FC00NFB2C&amp;RW=1440&amp;RH=691&amp;POPUPPN=1&amp;POPUPIID=2C0FQEX2714DX\">The photo is available on the Reuters website for purchase.</a></p>\n\n<p>The caption information provided with the photograph says the man in the image was not holding a gun.</p>\n\n<p>The caption information from Reuters says: &quot;Patricia McCloskey and her husband Mark McCloskey draw their firearms on protestors, including a man who holds a video camera and microphone, as they enter their neighborhood during a protest against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 28, 2020.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Bryant spoke about the incident in a subsequent interview with Reuters. He described the protesters as peaceful.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I wanted to show there were people protesting peacefully and they came to engage them,&quot; <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-protests-couple-im/a-picture-and-its-story-us-couple-waves-guns-at-anti-racism-protesters-idUSKBN2413FQ\">he said</a>. We reached out to Bryant and will update this story with additional information if we hear back.</p>\n\n<p>We consulted videos from the event looking for further information about what happened.</p>\n\n<p>In this video from <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/29/st-louis-protest-gun-mayor/\">Storyful and posted on the Washington Post</a> website, you see the McCloskeys interacting with some protesters, but not the man in the white shirt. The McCloskeys are holding guns. The protesters in the video do not have weapons. They are holding phones and tablets and are recording the McCloskeys.</p>\n\n<p>In another video from Twitter user <a href=\"https://twitter.com/averyrisch/status/1277398535973949440?s=20\">@averyrisch</a>, you can see the McCloskeys holding weapons. You don&rsquo;t see any protesters holding weapons. You do not see the man in the Reuters image in the white shirt.</p>\n\n<p>Mark McCloskey <a href=\"https://www.kmov.com/news/st-louis-couple-seen-pointing-guns-at-protestors/article_afbb1b2c-b98e-11ea-ba7e-b3452007bfc8.html\">told St. Louis television station</a> that &quot;one fellow standing right in front of me pulled out two pistol magazines, clicked them together and said, &lsquo;you&rsquo;re next.&rsquo;&quot; We couldn&rsquo;t corroborate that in any of the photo or video footage from the event. Pistol magazines do not match the description in the photo, nor does the context. Daniel Shular, a local reporter who covered the protest, told CNN that some protesters had weapons, but &quot;<a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/01/us/st-louis-couple-protest-firearms-mob-trnd/index.html\">no one drew their guns on the people from the house</a>.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>One other note: The person who made the claim on Facebook that the protester was holding a weapon says he is from Pennsylvania and does not claim to have attended the protest.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A post with an image from St. Louis says, &quot;This is what MSM (mainstream media) won&rsquo;t show you. Peaceful demonstrator pointing weapon at homeowner.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The person who took the photo said the peaceful demonstrator was holding a video camera and microphone, not a gun.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this claim False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p><a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/dick.stambaugh.5/posts/2657796381105562?__cft__[0]=AZW3VEUMlRanJMcZDMDaVezuoe857qXwIq9IUW6CFc3rlbYVc4vBbDWJd57PKT5tsa9fL_julDarmsQAwTrZ7Dh3GUeEb0MxXKms3B20MD8xOe68Npg_OX5uDhR4BvXjOWA&amp;__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R\">Facebook post</a>, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-protests-couple-im/a-picture-and-its-story-us-couple-waves-guns-at-anti-racism-protesters-idUSKBN2413FQ\">A picture and its story: U.S. couple waves guns at anti-racism protesters</a>, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://pictures.reuters.com/CS.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&amp;VBID=2C0FC00NFB2C&amp;RW=1440&amp;RH=691#/SearchResult&amp;VBID=2C0FC00NFB2C&amp;RW=1440&amp;RH=691&amp;POPUPPN=1&amp;POPUPIID=2C0FQEX2714DX\">Reuters photo archive</a>, accessed July 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/29/st-louis-protest-gun-mayor/\">Storyful video of the St. Louis incident</a>, June 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://twitter.com/averyrisch/status/1277398535973949440?s=20\">@averyrisch</a> video of the incident, June 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.kmov.com/news/st-louis-couple-seen-pointing-guns-at-protestors/article_afbb1b2c-b98e-11ea-ba7e-b3452007bfc8.html\">St. Louis television station KMOV coverage of the incident</a>, interview with Mark McCloskey</p>\n\n<p>CNN, <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/01/us/st-louis-couple-protest-firearms-mob-trnd/index.html\">St. Louis homeowner who pointed weapon at protesters says he &#39;was a victim of a mob&#39; and doesn&#39;t oppose Black Lives Matter</a>, July 1, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18813,
            "slug": "scott-milne-violating-campaign-finance-laws-appear",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "vermont-democratic-party",
                "full_name": "Vermont Democratic Party",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Vermont Democratic Party"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "\"Advertisements for [Scott] Milne’s travel company allow Milne to illegally use corporate funds.\"",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T10:00:00-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>The Vermont Democratic Party has called on state media organizations to stop running advertisements for Milne Travel, a business owned by Scott Milne, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Milne has recently appeared in <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCZ_qc2HgHQ\">television ads</a> for his travel agency. The Democrats allege Milne is spending corporate funds &quot;in service of boosting his name recognition for political gains.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Advertisements for Mr. Milne&rsquo;s travel company allow Milne to illegally use corporate funds and skirt around campaign finance laws to boost his name recognition for political gain,&quot; party officials said <a href=\"https://www.vtdemocrats.org/milne-travel\">in a statement</a>.</p>\n\n<p>The television ad featuring Milne does not make a reference to his political candidacy. In the advertisement, Milne says he hopes the Covid-19 pandemic will soon subside, and that a &quot;brighter day is on the horizon.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;When you are ready to travel again, we&#39;re right here, ready to help, just as we&#39;ve been since 1975,&quot; Milne says.</p>\n\n<p>But the Democratic Party charges that Milne&#39;s ad doesn&#39;t focus on his business, but his personal story.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&#39;s in fact kind of a bio narrative that you would put in a campaign ad, so that&#39;s where the concern lies,&quot; R. Christopher Di Mezzo, a spokesperson for the party, said in an interview.</p>\n\n<p>The current ad does not highlight Milne&#39;s backstory. But in 2016, when he was running for U.S. Senate, Milne also appeared in ads for his company, which mentioned that his parents founded the company in the 1970s.</p>\n\n<p>Is running and appearing in ads for his company while seeking the lieutenant governor&#39;s office really an illegal use of corporate funds, as the Democrats claim?</p>\n\n<p>The Democratic Party pointed to federal and state campaign finance laws to back up their claim.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>State law defines an &quot;electioneering communication&quot; as one that clearly refers to a candidate for office, and either supports, or opposes that candidate. Federal law has a similar definition: candidates and corporations must report expenditures that promote the election of candidates.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But campaign finance experts said that just because Milne appears in ads for his company while running for office at the same time doesn&rsquo;t mean he is running afoul of the law.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Brian Porto, a professor at Vermont Law School who specializes in election law, said that after reviewing state statutes, he can&rsquo;t find &quot;clear evidence of a violation.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;He may be using &lsquo;corporate funds&rsquo; from his company, but using your company&#39;s funds to promote your company&#39;s product -- in this case, travel services -- is perfectly legal,&quot; Porto said.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Admittedly, Mr. Milne appears in the ads, but their purpose is to promote his company, not him,&quot; Porto said, adding he didn&rsquo;t see how the ads &quot;intend to promote [Milne&rsquo;s] candidacy.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;If the viewer didn&#39;t already know that Milne was a candidate, she certainly wouldn&#39;t learn from the ad that he was a candidate,&quot; he said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Porto noted that the advertisements could &quot;boost his general name recognition&quot; and suggested that an &quot;ethical compromise&quot; would be for Milne to not appear in them until after the election.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The Vermont Secretary of State&rsquo;s Office referred to state elections statutes and declined to comment.<br>\n&nbsp;<br>\nBurlington attorney and longtime Progressive John Franco, who has represented Vermont political candidates in campaign finance cases, called the Democrats&#39; claim that the ads were an illegal use of corporate money &quot;BS.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Franco said that he doesn&#39;t doubt that Milne might be trying to use the ads for a political advantage. But that doesn&#39;t mean he&rsquo;s violating the law. &nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I have no doubt that that&#39;s what&#39;s going on. But is it a campaign finance violation? No,&quot; Franco said. &quot;This complaint by the Democrats doesn&#39;t even meet the straight face test. There&#39;s nothing about this ad that&#39;s a campaign ad. It just isn&#39;t.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Jared Carter, a constitutional law professor at Vermont Law School, echoed that Milne may be running the ads to increase his name recognition. But he said Milne -- who has advertised his business for years in print, on radio and television -- is still engaging in &quot;protected commercial speech that is not connected to his campaign.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;So to say that Scott can&#39;t advertise the business that carries his name because he happens to be running for lieutenant governor, at least from a constitutional perspective, sounds dubious,&quot; Carter said. The ads never mention Milne&rsquo;s campaign, he noted.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&#39;s virtually impossible, at least under their interpretation it would seem, for him to be able to advertise his business while also running for lieutenant governor,&quot; he added. &quot;So I think on the surface that&#39;s how it strikes me, as probably not with a lot of merit.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Milne declined an interview request. In an email he said: &quot;Our ads are perfectly appropriate and will continue running their planned schedules.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance watchdog group, said questions about whether candidates seeking office can appear in ads for their businesses frequently come up at the federal level.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Fischer said these cases rarely present a &quot;super clear line&quot; between an advertisement &quot;that does not constitute a federal electioneering in communication and an ad that could be construed as promoting the person&#39;s candidacy.&quot; He said Milne&rsquo;s ad occupied this &quot;gray area.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Fischer said Milne opened the door to questions being raised by mentioning a &quot;pressing public, or political issue,&quot; referring to the Covid-19 pandemic.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The connection between the content of the ad to sort of pressing political issues, and the naming of the candidate himself could be factors that would be considered,&quot; Fischer said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><em>DISCLOSURE: Milne Travel is an underwriter with VTDigger.&nbsp;</em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our verdict</div>\n\n<p>The Vermont Democratic Party said &quot;Advertisements for Mr. Milne&rsquo;s travel company allow Milne to illegally use corporate funds.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>While Milne&rsquo;s ads may have the effect of boosting his name recognition, there is no support for the VDP&rsquo;s claim that the ads are illegal.</p>\n\n<p>Democrats could and do argue that Milne is &quot;skirting&quot; the law by appearing in his company&rsquo;s advertisements while he is seeking public office.<br>\n&nbsp;<br>\nBut legal experts say that unless the advertisements refer to Milne&rsquo;s candidacy, they would not violate Vermont campaign finance laws.</p>\n\n<p>We rate the VDP&rsquo;s statement false.&nbsp;<br>\n&nbsp;</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Statement, <a href=\"https://www.vtdemocrats.org/milne-travel\">Vermont Democratic Party Calls for VT Media Organizations to Place Moratorium on Milne Travel Advertisements During Campaign</a></p>\n\n<p>Interview with&nbsp;R. Christopher Di Mezzo, Vermont Democratic Party</p>\n\n<p>Interview with&nbsp;Brian Porto, Vermont Law School</p>\n\n<p>Interview with John Franco, attorney</p>\n\n<p>Interview with Jared Carter, Vermont Law School</p>\n\n<p>Interview with Brendan Fischer, Campaign Legal Center</p>"
        }
    ]
}