During the Wednesday night vice presidential debate, Vice President Mike Pence airily spouted off an array of classically Trumpian lies. The president and his allies continue to try and build their campaign on brazen, documented misrepresentations of basic reality. For instance, Pence claimed that the president imposed a “ban” on travel from China during the early part of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is a lie — the president imposed restrictions that still allowed tens of thousands of people to fly to the U.S. from China after their implementation. Pence also claimed that Trump has stood up to China since the beginning of the pandemic, which is a lie — during the early days, Trump praised China for their response to the Coronavirus, which first emerged within their borders.
The lies went on from there. For example, Vice President Pence claimed that the administration has always been frank with the American people about the possibility of hundreds of thousands of Coronavirus-connected deaths, but this is untrue. In February, among other examples, Trump claimed that Coronavirus cases in the U.S. might soon go down to zero. That claim was willfully delusional nonsense from the moment that Trump made it. Pence also claimed that the Strategic National Stockpile was “empty” when the Trump administration took over, which is a lie — there were 19,000 ventilators in place, according to journalist Mehdi Hasan
Meanwhile, among other lies, Pence also claimed that former Vice President and current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “has been a cheerleader for Communist China for decades,” a claim which Hasan called “too dumb to even fact-check.” This seemingly just about endless antagonism towards China from the Trump administration is rooted in willful delusion and virulent racism, it seems. At the debate, Pence insisted that the Trump administration is “going to hold China accountable for what they did to America with the Coronavirus.” This is nonsensical race-baiting. China did not “do” something “to” America via the Coronavirus, although this brazenly ridiculous, conspiratorial scapegoating for a pandemic that has spread across the entire planet does give the Trump administration an excuse for their own failures.
Mehdi Hasan noted that one of Pence’s biggest lies was that he and Trump have always told the American people the truth. This suggestion is, of course, nonsense. Trump has obscured the truth over and over again. Fact-checkers have documented some 20,000 lies and counting on the president’s part.
Check out one of Hasan’s fact-checks below:
I fact-checked Mike Pence's 10 biggest whoppers tonight for @peacockTV's live VP debate coverage – lies and half-truths on everything from coronavirus to China to climate change.
Watch it here in just two minutes:pic.twitter.com/RVqIPbbIhD
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) October 8, 2020
Trump has made up entire outrageous conspiracy theories — he has claimed, for instance, that the Obama administration “spied” on his campaign, which Pence reiterated at the Wednesday debate and is a total lie. The Obama administration conducted judicially-supervised surveillance of an ex-Trump adviser, Carter Page, after that adviser was no longer associated with the campaign. The Obama administration did not “spy” on Trump’s campaign — period.
These lies are what the Trump administration has to offer the American people heading into November. They don’t have some kind of record of systematic success — in reality, they have brazenly misled the American people over and over again. This is not debatable — it is basic documented reality.