June 19, 2020

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It’s a big weekend for President Donald Trump, as he will be holding his first rally since the U.S. began shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And ahead of the campaign event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have made false claims about the coronavirus.

Trump sought to downplay the numbers associated with the impact of COVID-19 in the United States — more than 2 million confirmed cases and nearly 120,000 lives lost — by arguing that the soaring national count was simply the result of superior testing.

“If you don’t test, you don’t have any cases,” Trump said at a June 15 roundtable discussion at the White House. “If we stopped testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”

It’s a talking point the administration is emphasizing. Pence repeated it during a phone call to Republican governors that evening, recommending they use the argument to quiet public concern about surging case tallies in some states. It’s also a variation on a tweet the president sent earlier in the day.

With that in mind, PolitiFact wanted to dig deeper. We reached out to the White House for comment or clarification, but we never heard back. Independent researchers told us, though, that the president’s remarks are not only misleading — they’re also counterproductive in terms of thinking through what’s needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to read the full fact-check.

Mike Pence says Oklahoma flattened the COVID-19 curve

Vice President Mike Pence’s claim about Oklahoma flattening the coronavirus curve is false. The state’s daily COVID-19 caseload has risen consistently in June, and to levels higher than at any point in the pandemic. Get the facts»

TikTok video claims the U.S. has a patent for a COVID-19 cure

A recent viral TikTok video claims that the U.S. has already patented a cure for the novel coronavirus. The TikTok user even cites a legitimate patent that mentions coronavirus. One problem: It’s for a different type of virus — in birds. It’s Not Legit. Watch the fact-check»

Are Black and Hispanic Americans less likely to have jobs where they can work from home?

Yes. According to the latest survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19.7% of African Americans are in jobs where they could work at home. The fraction was even lower for Hispanics — about 16%. The option to work at home was available to 30% of White people and 37% of Asians. Get the facts»

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Alex Mahadevan is a senior multimedia reporter at MediaWise. He can be reached at amahadevan@poynter.org or on Twitter at @AlexMahadevan. Follow MediaWise on TikTok

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Alex Mahadevan is director of MediaWise at the Poynter Institute. He has taught digital media literacy to thousands of middle and high schoolers, and has…
Alex Mahadevan

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