Fact check: Bernie Sanders' claims about the status of the US economy


In a tweet on May 26 that received 10,793 retweets and 27,929 likes, U.S. politician Bernie Sanders responded to an earlier argument made by President Donald J. Trump regarding the status of the U.S. economy, making the following claims:

Claim 1: More than 40 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency expense

Fact check: Likely true. Sanders possibly used a Federal Reserve report from May 2018 to back this claim. (Still looking for additional sources that further substantiate or refute this claim)

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Claim 2: 43 percent can’t afford the basics to live

Fact check: Not fully accurate. Sanders likely got this number from a study by the United Way Alice Project. However the study showed that it was 43 percent of households that couldn’t afford “housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone.” The context of Sanders’s claim made it sound like he said individuals couldn’t afford these goods and services. The percentage of individuals could either be higher or lower than the percentage of households.

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Claim 3: Over 25 percent of adults skipped necessary medical care last year because they couldn’t afford it.

Fact check: Likely true. Sanders probably also used the Federal Reserve report from the above fact check for this claim. The report stated, “Over one-fourth of adults skipped necessary medical care in 2017 due to being unable to afford the cost.”

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