Fact-checking Trump’s closing arguments on covid-19

In the final days of the campaign, President Trump continues to flood the zone with false and misleading claims about the coronavirus pandemic.

a man standing in front of a crowd: (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Cases have been spiking across the country, while Trump insists “we’re rounding the turn.” The president continues to assert that U.S. infections are rising “because we do more testing than anybody else,” when experts say the main reason is the spreading disease.

In recent interviews, Trump has responded with denials and attacks when journalists Savannah Guthrie of NBC and Lesley Stahl of CBS fact-checked his claims on camera. The president tells crowds that media coverage of the pandemic is meant to damage him politically and “should be an election law violation.”

Here’s a roundup of several coronavirus claims Trump has been repeating in the closing days of the race.

‘Rounding the turn’

“We have made tremendous progress with the China Virus, but the Fake News refuses to talk about it this close to the Election. COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them, in total coordination, in order to change our great early election numbers. Should be an election law violation!”

Trump tweet, Oct. 26

“We’re rounding the turn. Even without the vaccines, we’re rounding the turn, it’s going to be over.”

— Trump, at a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., Oct. 25

As of Oct. 28 at 7:50 p.m., the United States has more than 8.8 million reported coronavirus cases and at least 227,000 deaths, according to The Washington Post covid-19 tracker.

The rate of new cases per week began to climb in mid-September and is currently climbing, showing the United States experiencing a third wave of the disease after two earlier surges in 2020. More than 70,000 new cases are reported every day at current levels.

When comparing the 20 countries most affected by the coronavirus, the United States is fifth in deaths per 100,000 people. Only Belgium, Spain, Brazil and Mexico have higher fatality rates, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Swing states

“At some point, we’re turning that corner, and it’s been pretty amazing. Florida had a rough time. Boom. … It’s all the way down. Texas, all the way down. Arizona, great governors, all the way down.”

— Trump, at a campaign rally in Omaha, Oct. 27

“All he [former vice president Joe Biden] does is talk about shutdowns. But forget about him. His Democrat governors: Cuomo in New York, you look at what’s going on in California, you look at Pennsylvania, North Carolina. Democrats — Democrats all. They’re shut down so tight, and they’re dying.”

— Trump, at the presidential debate in Nashville, Oct. 22

“In Pennsylvania, you can’t go to church … can’t go to restaurants.”

— Trump, at a campaign rally in Martinsburg, Pa., Oct. 26

Arizona, Florida and Texas are battleground states governed by Republicans. North Carolina and Pennsylvania, run by Democrats, are also possible swing states in this year’s presidential race.

Trump says the “red” states are

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