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Fact-Checking the Trump and Biden Town Halls

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— Mr. Biden

Data compiled by the Institute on Taxation and Progressive Policy, a liberal research organization in Washington, show that 91 profitable Fortune 500 companies did not pay taxes on the income earned in the United States in 2018. That included companies that reduced their tax liability through deductions for investment, a key aim of the tax cuts that Mr. Trump signed into law in 2017.

— Mr. Trump

Mr. Trump often says that his administration fostered the best economy in history before the onset of the pandemic. But data show that the economy in 2019 failed to measure up to prior economic eras across several dimensions.

The expansion that stretched from 2009 through early 2020 was the longest on record, and it brought very low unemployment and improving wage gains. But many people remained on the job market’s sidelines: the employment rate for men in their prime, for instance, never rebounded to pre-2008 crisis levels. Output growth, which did receive a temporary boost from Mr. Trump’s tax cuts, has otherwise generally hovered around 2 percent. That is roughly the level economists see as sustainable given modern productivity and demographic trends, and lower than the run rate that prevailed in prior decades. And inequality remained very high. The top 1 percent held almost 40 percent of the nation’s wealth last year, little changed from 2016, based on Federal Reserve data.

— Mr. Biden

The former vice president was referring to a monoclonal antibody cocktail developed by the pharmaceutical company Regeneron. The distribution of Regeneron’s treatment, which Mr. Trump received in the hospital this month and praised without evidence as a “cure,” has not been finalized by federal health officials. Regulators are also still examining clinical trial data to determine whether it is effective and which parts of the population might benefit the most from the treatment, which must be infused intravenously.

The Department of Health and Human Services has already started to prepare the outlines of a distribution plan, which leaves much of the decision-making on who gets the treatment to states. Through an agreement with the federal government, Regeneron’s first 300,000 doses will go to the federal stockpile, where the products will then be distributed to the states, who will decide how they should be allocated.

Mr. Biden’s claim that the company had 500,000 vials actually overstated it. Regeneron said it would only initially have enough doses for 50,000 patients, with the plan to have enough for about 300,000 people by the end of the year.

— Mr. Trump

Mr. Trump appears to be referring to a Sept. 10 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found dining out raised the risk of infection more than other social activities. The report went viral on social media, prompting the C.D.C. to write on Twitter that “the interpretation that more mask-wearers are getting infected compared to non-mask wearers is incorrect.”

The C.D.C. followed 314 people who had coronavirus symptoms and sought testing during the month of July; about half tested positive. The study found that in the 14 days before the onset of illness, 71 percent of those who tested positive and 74 percent of those who did not reported always using a cloth face coverings or masks when in public.

— Mr. Trump

Asked during the September presidential debate to condemn white supremacist and militia groups, Mr. Trump said “sure, I’m willing” but did not outright denounce them. “I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing,” he said as Mr. Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace, pressed for a condemnation.

Mr. Trump then asked for a specific group to denounce, to which Mr. Biden responded “Proud Boys.”

“Proud Boys stand back and stand by,” he said, going on to add that “somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem.”

— Mr. Trump

Mr. Trump appears to be selectively comparing the peak of the pandemic in the United Kingdom to the low point in the United States. In late- to mid- July, average daily cases hovered around 800 in the United Kingdom compared to about 19,000 on Wednesday, an increase of 2,500 percent. In that same time frame, the United States hit a peak of about 71,000 cases, compared to about 59,000 on Wednesday.

But countries hit peaks and lows at different points. Most recently, cases in the United Kingdom have increased by 154 percent and deaths by 138 percent, compared to two weeks earlier, according to data tracked by The New York Times. Cases in the United States have increased by 23 percent, though deaths have remained flat.

— Mr. Trump

It is true that people are leaving New York City amid the pandemic, but it is not yet clear what the city will look like in the months and years after the virus is brought under control. A recent report in Bloomberg, based on data from the U.S. Postal Service collected by the company MYMOVE, suggests that 110,000 people on net signaled that they were leaving Manhattan between February and July 2020. It remains unclear how many will remain out permanently.

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