FILE PHOTO: Candidates debate during the second night of the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S.

Fact Check: Night Two of the First Democratic Primary Debates

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The primary elections for the Democratic Party started with a live democratic debate on MSNBC news on June 26-27. The WikiTribune fact-checking project is checking the claims of the candidates.

WikiTribune fact checking is open to anyone, you can pick any claim and check it, it is a very simple and straightforward process. Start with reading the Guideline, and the Seven steps to create a fact-checking report.

Consider THIS EXAMPLE as your model when picking and checking claims. You can watch the debate HERE, here you find a transcript.

Claims made by:

Bernie Sanders
Joe Biden
Michael Bennet
Eric Swalwell
John Hickenlooper
Andrew Yang
(please add claims by Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Marianne Williamson, Kirsten Gillibrand)

Claims made by Bernie Sanders:

Claim 1:

“500,000 people are sleeping on the street today”

Fact Check 1: True

“On a single night in January 2018, 552,830 people experienced homelessness in the United States,” accoding to the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, published by the U.S. Office of Community Planning and Develoment, Part 1, Point-in-Time (PIT) estimates. 65% were sheltered persons, “living in emergency shelters and transitional housing projects”, 35% unsheltered persons, “living in a place not designed or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for humans” (definitions by the Methology Guide). A PIT count is defined as “count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons carried out on one night in the last 10 calendar days of January or at such other time as required by HUD”.

Strictly speaking, “sleeping on the street” is not true for sheltered persons. The question is whether, thought in political terms, the distinction between sheltered and unsheltered persons matters.  In the context of Sanders words, the quoted claim is the one part of the pair of opposite, the other part being “people … owning more wealth than the bottom half of America”. Seen in context, the above said distinction is irrelevant.

 

Claim 2:

” last poll I saw had us 10 points ahead of Donald”

Fact Check 2:

According to a survey by conducted by Emerson Polling, both Sanders and Biden lead Trump by 10 points.

 

Claim 3:

“In the last 30 years, the top 1 percent has seen a $21 trillion increase in their wealth”

Fact Check 3:

Needs verifying

 

Claim 4:

“The scientist tell us we have 12 years before there is irreparable damage to this planet”

Fact Check 4:

Needs verifying

 

Claim 5:

” We have a gun crisis right now, 40,000 people a year are getting killed”

Fact Check 5:

The time cited a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the time mentions says that ” 39,773 people were fatally shot in 2017, a figure that has grown by more than 10,000 people since 1999. CDC data going back to 1979shows that last year had the highest rates of gun deaths in nearly 40 years.

 

Claim 6:

“How come for the last 45 years wages have been stagnant for the middle class”

Fact Check 6:

Needs verifying

 

Claim 7:

“How come 45 million people still have student debt”

Fact Check 7:

Needs verifying

 

Claims made by Joe Biden:

Claim 1:

“I supported the ERA from the very beginning.”

Fact Check 1:

Needs verifying

Claim 2:

“In our administration, we built the largest wind farm in the world, the largest solar energy facility in the world”

Fact Check 2:

Needs verifying

Claim 3:

“I’m the guy that extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years”

Fact Check 3:

Needs verifying

 

Claims made by Michael Bennet:

Claim 1:

” We have got the worst income inequality that we’ve had in 100 years”

Fact Check 1:

Needs verifying

 

Claim 2:

“There are 35 million people in Canada”

Fact Check 2:

According to the officially published data, as of the second quarter of 2019, there are 37,412,852 million in Canada”

 

Claims made by Eric Swalwell:

Claim 1:

“The 40 million of us who can’t start a family”

Fact Check 1:

Needs verifying

 

Claim 2:

“I will approach it as the only person on this stage who has voted and passed background checks”

Fact Check 2:

Needs verifying

 

Claims made by John Hickenlooper:

Claim 1:

“We [ In Colorado] reduced teen pregnancy by 54 percent ”

Fact Check 1: Probably true

It was not possible to exactly verify the claim because neither the time is referred to nor the source of information nor the age of the teens concerned are specified. For the years from 2007 to 2017, the figures dropped by about 60% which is more than the claim stated. The exact figure of 54% is documented for the years 2007 to 2017.
The claim was stated in context of achievements of the state of Colorado. This is backed by a study by the University of Colorado which for two-thirds attributed the success to the engagement of the State Health Department.

According to a report (2012) by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the teen birth rates (ages 15–19) changed as follows:

1991-2005: -29.2%, 2005-2009: -10.7%, 1991-2009: -36.8%.

The actual State of Adolescent Sexual Health (SASH) Report (p. 3) of the CDPHE resp. the State of Colorado Trend Analysis 2019 provided the following:

2007-2017: – 61% resp. – 59.4%.

From 2009 to 2016 the birth rates decline was 54%, the Colorado told in a press release by the end of 2017 with reference to the CDPHE. It added: “An independent analysis by University of Colorado researchers concluded that the state health department’s family planning program was responsible for as much as two-thirds of the drop in births from 2009 through 2015”.

 

Claim 2:

“We expanded reproductive health to reduce teenage abortion by 64 percent”

Fact Check 2: Probably true

It was not possible to exactly verify the claim by the same reasons as in Fact Check 2.

The State of Colorado Trend Analysis 2019 provided the same figure value which Hickenlooper reported: “Abortions among Colorado adolescents decreased 64.6 percent between 2007 and 2016.” According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute (2014), the use of Long‐acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) by young women lead to a decline of abortion rates. The use of LARC had been supportet by the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI).

Claims made by Andrew Yang:

Claim 1:

“We automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin”

Fact Check 1:

Needs verifying

 

 

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