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Trump’s ABC News town hall: Fact-checking the president’s answers

Posted/updated on: September 15, 2020 at 8:49 pm
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Heidi Gutman/ABCBy ABC NEWS

(PHILADELPHIA) — President Donald Trump answered questions from uncommitted voters Tuesday night during a town hall hosted by ABC News from the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Below, ABC News fact checks what Trump said throughout the 90-minute special, which was anchored by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.

This story will be updated throughout the special. Please refresh for new fact checks.

COVID-19 is unlikely to go away on its own, despite Trump’s insistence

TRUMP’S CLAIM: COVID-19 is “probably going to go away now a lot faster because of the vaccine. It would go away without the vaccine, George, but it’s going to go away a lot faster with the vaccine,” Trump said. Stephanopoulos asked, “It will go away without the vaccine?” To which Trump said, “Sure, over a period of time. Sure, with time it goes away.”

FACT CHECK: This statement is misleading.

The virus is unlikely to go away definitively even with a vaccine. Similar to what has happened with past pandemic influenza viruses and the more mild human coronaviruses that cause “colds,” experts believe that as the pandemic wanes, it may synchronize to a seasonal pattern with diminished severity over time due to mutations and reinfection.

Even so, its trajectory is difficult to predict as the virus is still being studied.

-Sony Salzman and Dr. Alexandra Lambert

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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