The second and final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was a more sober affair than the rivals’ first encounter of the cycle. The candidates still made many fibs and half-truths throughout the six-section debate.
Here's a look at some of the biggest contentions and inaccuracies from the debate:
Biden said 1,000 deaths a day are caused by the coronavirus and that over 70,000 new cases are diagnosed, daily.
This is partly false. It's true that the U.S. reached 70,078 new cases on Oct. 16, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is close to the record high of 77,362 recorded by the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center on July 16. But the seven-day moving average number of new cases is 59,699, per the CDC.
The number of deaths per day is also lower than cited by Biden. While JHU reported 1,124 new deaths in the past day, the seven-day moving average is 773 deaths, according to the CDC.
Biden also said he expected another 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus by the end of the year.
This is misleading. Biden's estimate is high. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projected 386,000 cumulative deaths by Feb. 1 in an Oct. 22 report. The number of deaths from the coronavirus has reached 222,176, according to JHU. Approximately 163,000 would meet the institute's projection.
The president claimed that the Obama administration instituted the controversial family separation policy and his administration carried it out. This is false.
But it was the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy that resulted in the separations. The administration later admitted it began separating families under a pilot program in 2017, USA TODAY reported.
On June 26, 2018, a federal judge in San Diego ruled that children in government custody should be reunited with their parents. By this time, more than 2,700 children had been separated from their parents. Court-appointed lawyers said Tuesday they have been unable to locate the parents of 545 children due to inadequate tracking systems.
On American families
The two candidates sparred over several kitchen table issues, most notably the minimum wage. Trump claimed that there is “no evidence” that raising the minimum wage was good for American workers, arguing that it should be a decision left to the states.
This is partly false. Several studies have found that modest minimum wage hikes are good for the creation of new jobs and small businesses.
A Congressional Budget Office analysis of a nationwide proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 found that the proposal would raise pay for 27 million Americans while lifting 1.3 million out of poverty. However, another 1.3 million would be left jobless, the CBO projected.
The numbers, which have been disputed by analysts on the left and right, indicate that a minimum wage hike is largely a trade-off with potential benefits and drawbacks.
Biden and Trump also sparred over health care. Trump accused Biden’s health care plan of promoting “socialized medicine” and that “they want to terminate 180 million (healthcare) plans.”
This is false. Biden’s health care plan would not abolish private insurance, as Trump’s claim insinuates. The former vice president has proposed a public option, meaning that anyone, even those with already employer-sponsored healthcare, could get health insurance from the federal government.
Biden later erroneously claimed that “not one single person with private insurance" lost their access to their plan under the new rules enacted in the Affordable Care Act. This is false.
Some health care plans did not meet all requirements under the ACA. The broader shift in the health care landscape also led to some terminations, though analysts disagree on how impactful this was in the long-term.
Since the ACA’s passage, the overall insurance rate in the country has grown and premiums have fallen.
On race in America
Trump said no one has done more for the Black community than he has in the past four years. In contrast, Trump said Biden hasn't done a thing, save for the 1994 crime bill.
"And they were called, and he called them, super predators. And he said that, he said it -- super predators. And they can never live that down. 1994, your crime bill, the super predators," Trump said, according to a USA TODAY transcript.
This is partly false. Biden warned of "predators on our streets" in a 1993 speech advocating for the crime bill. But it was then-first lady Hillary Clinton who used the term "super predator" in a 1996 speech in support of the policy, according to video recordings supplied by C-SPAN.
Trump also stated Biden "hasn't done a thing" for the Black community. This is false. The Obama administration implemented multiple criminal justice reform policies. The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, established after the 2014 deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police, specifically targeted racial profiling by law enforcement agencies. The task force also lobbied for the investigation of police killings by independent prosecutors, USA TODAY reported.
The administration also vigorously pursued consent decrees, court-ordered agreements between law enforcement and the Department of Justice to reform systemic misconduct in police departments. Christopher Slobogin, director of the Vanderbilt Law School's Criminal Justice program, said the consent decrees were "a significant impetus for change,"
Trump attacked Biden's policy on fracking, accusing the Democratic nominee of wanting to ban the practice. Biden said he only wanted to ban fracking on federal land.
This is accurate. USA TODAY reported in June that the Biden campaign said he does not want to ban fracking, a method of natural gas extraction using horizontal drilling to fracture rocks and release surrounding natural gas.
In an April interview with local CBS affiliate KDKA, Biden said he would not shut down the fracking industry but would halt new leases on federal lands.
"Ninety percent of the leases are not on federal land, to begin with," Biden said. "I would make sure … the water is not being contaminated. But I would not shut it down, no.”
On national security
Trump said he has been tougher on Russia than any former president, having successfully convinced "NATO countries to put up an extra $130 billion, going to $420 billion a year, that's to guard against Russia," according to a transcript.
This is partly false. During a December 2019 meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said the U.S. convinced NATO to increase spending by $130 billion, according to records maintained by the White House.
"I think the Secretary General will tell you that, through some work and some negotiation, we’ve increased the budget of countries other than the USA, because we’re paying far more than anybody else, and far more even as a percentage of GDP. But we’ve increased the numbers that other countries are paying, by $130 billion," Trump said.
But this is a misinterpretation of NATO policy. In 2006, each member of the organization pledged to spend at least 2% on its gross domestic product on defense spending, according to The Washington Post. In response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, allies renewed the pledge in 2014 to meet its spending goal by 2024.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Debate fact check: Biden, Trump claims on COVID-19, fracking, race