ORLANDO, Fla. — We aren't into the general election season yet, but we already have our first attack ad.
With Joe Biden all but assured to be the Democratic presidential nominee, President Donald Trump’s campaign is going after the former VP.
Political reporter Christopher Heath put the ad to the truth test, finding a heavy dose of inuendo.
COVID-19 has dominated the news for months, and it's also dominating this particular ad.
"Coronavirus cost the lives of millions, crushed the world economy,” the ad claims. This is true.
From there the ad moves to its core point: "One nation deserves the blame, China. They lied about it, covered it up." This is also true. From silencing doctors to silencing journalists, China was intentionally opaque. But then the ad makes a jump.
"Joe Biden coddles China," the ad claims. This is much less concrete.
“Some of the things that are being said are things that are mainstream within American politics today," UCF political science professor Dr. John Hanley said.
Hanley points out that, going back to Nixon, all U.S. presidents have worked with China, including the Trump administration.
With Trump praising China for its handling of coronavirus at least 15 times.
But the ad continues, "He criticized President Trump's travel ban calling it, 'hysterical xenophobia.'"
This, as we've previously reported is partially true. The ban still allowed thousands in and Biden was referring to a wide range of actions by the president.
But there's more, "He voted for most favored nation status," the ad claims. This is true, but context is key.
Most favored nation is simply a trade designation, extended to virtually every global trade partner, including as right now, China as well.
"This is something of a bipartisan issue,” Hanley said. “Most favored nation status is something 164 nations have through the World Trade Organization."
Overall, we rate this ad half true. China shoulders the blame for its cover-up of the outbreak, but Trump has been much kinder to China than he lets on.
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