But Trump’s new tone, like previous Trump new tones, did not last long.
He continued to boast that the US has done many more tests than other countries, ignoring the fact that many peer nations did so much better controlling the virus that they haven’t needed to keep conducting so many tests.
He continued to say that the virus “will disappear,” declining to acknowledge the inaccuracy of his previous suggestions that it would disappear without much harm to the American public — or the possibility that it will take years for the virus to be eradicated, if it goes away at all.
Here are some of the false claims he repeated on Tuesday:
At Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing, Trump repeated his false claim that his administration passed the Veteran’s Choice Act, which provided the Department of Veterans Affairs more resources to improve access for veterans and allow them to seek care from non-VA providers.
“We got Veteran’s Choice, nobody thought that would be possible that’s been many decades they’ve been trying to get veterans choice,” Trump said.
This is among the President’s most repeated false claims. Since CNN started counting on July 8, 2019, Trump has repeated that claim more than 60 times.
The President tried to shift blame for his administration’s delayed response to the coronavirus pandemic on his predecessor, claiming once again that he inherited “very empty cupboards.”
Facts First: The Strategic National Stockpile was not empty before the coronavirus pandemic. For example, the stockpile contains enough smallpox vaccines for every American, among other medical resources. And while the stockpile of some critical supplies that could be used to combat coronavirus was drained and not replenished, Trump had three years in office to build those depleted stockpiles back up.
Ultimately, Trump ignored the warnings of experts and failed to restock masks and prepare other supplies to fight a potential pandemic.
Travel restrictions against Europe and China
Touting the actions his administration took to address the coronavirus, Trump claimed, “We closed the border to China, we put on the ban.” He later added, “I closed the borders from Europe.”
Facts First: It’s misleading for Trump to say he closed the US border to travel from China and Europe because both policies contained multiple exemptions, including for US citizens and permanent residents; the Europe policy exempted entire countries. Only foreign nationals who had been in China, Europe’s Schengen area, the UK or Ireland within the past 14 days were outright banned from entering the US.
Trump claimed governors are receiving “everything they need” from the federal government and that “tremendous amounts” of critical medical supplies are available for states that need them.
“The governors are working very, very hard and we are supporting them 100%, everything they need they get, and we are taking good care,” Trump said. “We have tremendous supplies and a great supply chain. Whether its ventilators or gowns or just about anything they need.”
Facts First: Trump is overselling the federal pandemic response. Some governors have what they need, but others have said the Trump administration is falling short. And even though he says “tremendous supplies” are available, some hospitals and health care workers still don’t have enough protective gear, and experts say Trump’s slow decision-making is partially to blame.
Regarding the governors, Trump is exaggerating.
“Our case fatality rate has continued to decline and is lower than the European Union and almost everywhere else in the world,” Trump said.
He later added: “We have done much better than most and with the fatality rate at a lower rate than most.”
Facts First: By several measures, the US coronavirus fatality rate is one of the highest worldwide.