Democrats' Misleading Coronavirus Claims

www.factcheck.org
8 min read
fairly difficult
Democrats have criticized President Donald Trump for his administration's response to the new coronavirus, making claims about cuts to public health programs and the silencing of government experts. But they haven't always gotten their facts right.
Democrats have criticized President Donald Trump for his administration's response to the new coronavirus, making claims about cuts to public health programs and the silencing of government experts. But they haven't always gotten their facts right:

It's true that the president's budget proposals have consistently called for reduced funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but Congress hasn't enacted those cuts. Some Democrats have correctly said Trump "tried" to implement such cuts, while others wrongly claimed he "slashed funding of the CDC" or "cut the funding," in the words of Democratic presidential candidates Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden, respectively.

Biden said Trump "tried to defund the NIH." Trump did propose cutting NIH funding, but lawmakers instead have enacted increases.

Multiple Democrats, including Bloomberg and Biden, have criticized Trump for getting rid of a pandemic response position on the National Security Council. The position was eliminated, although John Bolton, then-national security adviser, was the person directly responsible.

Biden went too far when he claimed that Trump "hasn't allowed his scientists to speak" about the coronavirus. It's true that the government's top scientists on infectious disease were told to clear their media interviews through a coronavirus task force, but they have since made numerous public appearances.

Trump's Proposed Budget Cuts

It's true that the president's proposed budgets have included funding cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — but Congress hasn't enacted those cuts.

Sometimes Democrats accurately have said Trump "tried to cut back on the CDC," as Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in the Feb. 25 debate in South Carolina. Former Vice President Joe Biden used harsher language in saying in a CNN town hall on Feb. 26 that Trump "tried to defund the CDC." The president proposed reducing the CDC budget — some years by double-digit percentages — not completely defunding…
Lori Robertson, Jessica Mcdonald, Robert Farley
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