Fibbing, or just disconnected from reality? With Joe Biden, it’s tough to tell. Nevertheless, Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler gives the presumptive Democratic nominee three Pinocchios for this meandering accusation from last week’s CNN virtual town hall. It’s the third week in a row that the Post has had to call out Biden or his campaign for lying about the administration’s coronavirus response:
“The first thing this president did, maybe not the first but very first, he eliminated the office, took it out of the White House. He, in addition to that, when we were talking about early on in this crisis, we said — I said, among others, that, you know, you should get into China, get our experts there, we have the best in the world, get them in so we know what’s actually happening. There was no effort to do that. He didn’t put any pressure on Xi. I guess because of his trade deal, which wasn’t much of a deal. And in addition to that, what happened was, we had one person in country was working — he pulled him out of the country.” …
There are two issues we will explore: What did President Trump and the Trump administration do to gain access to China, and when did Biden say the United States should get experts into China?
The answer to Kessler’s first question stretches on for a great many paragraphs. That’s because both Trump and his administration had tried to get US experts into China from the beginning of January, efforts which Kessler lists in detail. The Biden campaign later claimed that Biden was talking only about Trump himself, but Kessler notes that Trump personally pushed the issue with Xi Jinping by the end of January, shortly before Trump suspended travel between China and the US: