President Trump and Joe Biden are increasingly seeking to discredit each other as election season enters its final weeks. That often means exaggerated, misleading or false claims that leave voters misinformed. So starting today, The Rural Blog will run a more-or-less-weekly fact check of major claims from both campaigns that have been conclusively found less than factual.

Though the Biden campaign is responsible for a few whoppers, the Trump campaign has been churning out a virtual Gish gallop of claims at such a volume that it's difficult to respond to. "All presidential candidates depict opponents in the worst possible light. Trump uses outright fabrications against ... Biden," John Harwood

writes

for CNN. Here are some recent fact-checks from FactCheck.org:

In a Labor Day press conference and the next day at a North Carolina rally, Trump made several unsupported or inaccurate statements about a coronavirus vaccine, and also distorted comments made by the Biden/Harris campaign, Jessica McDonald writes. Trump said Biden and running mate Kamala Harris had spread anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Biden and Harris say they support properly approved vaccines but have echoed concerns in the scientific community about releasing a vaccine that hasn't been well-vetted. Trump also said 30,000 people were being tested with one vaccine and the results are "looking unbelievably strong." That's false, McDonald reports: no trial has yet enrolled 30,000 people, and no one knows how well the vaccines are performing yet.

In a Michigan campaign speech, Biden falsely claimed that the U.S. trade deficit had "hit an all-time high" under Trump. "It is true that the trade deficit for goods and services has grown under Trump compared with the levels under his predecessor, Barack Obama, whom Biden served as vice president. But the deficit was at much higher levels between 2004 and 2008 under President George W. Bush than it has been under Trump," Rem Rieder reports.

At campaign rallies in Nevada, Trump twisted remarks made by Biden, Lori Robertson and Robert Farley

report

. Biden said that local law enforcement using surplus military equipment in a neighborhood looks "like the military invading" and said that "they become the enemy." Trump took those words out of context and said that "Biden called law enforcement the enemy."

Also at the Nevada rallies, Trump also called Biden "a complete disaster on swine flu" and mischaracterized comments from Biden's former chief of staff that the Obama administration "did every possible thing wrong" in 2009. Trump repeated that comment and said it was about the administration's overall response. The former aide said he was talking only about delays in vaccine production, Robertson and Farley report.

"A Biden campaign TV ad falsely claims that a government analysis of President Donald Trump’s 'planned cuts to Social Security' shows that 'if Trump gets his way, Social Security benefits will run out in just three years from now," D'Angelo Gore

reports

. "The Social Security Administration’s chief actuary analyzed 'hypothetical legislation' that would eliminate the payroll tax that funds Social Security — not a proposal from Trump. The president has said he won’t cut benefits."


Trump has repeatedly made false, misleading, and unsubstantiated claims about mail-in voting in recent weeks. He said that Democrats are "cheating" and "dirty fighters" who are mailing out "80 million unsolicited ballots" in order to help Biden win the election. None of that is supported by fact, Eugene Kiely reports.