The global COVID-19 pandemic was the first topic discussed during the vice presidential debate Wednesday night and saw Democratic candidate Sen. Kamala Harris make an oft-repeated claim about President Donald Trump’s characterization of the pandemic.
“They didn’t tell you,” Harris said. "Can you imagine if you knew on Jan. 28 as opposed to March 13 what they knew? They knew, and they covered it up. The president said it was a ‘hoax.’”
The word “hoax” has been employed by President Trump in relation to the pandemic, but the word was only used to describe the Democratic criticism of his administration’s pandemic response.
One example of the Biden campaign’s framing of Trump’s “hoax” comment came in a March 3 video posted to social media. An analysis of the video shows that it was cut together from footage of a Feb. 28 rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, to make it seem as though the president called the virus a hoax, but the comment was more directed at how the Trump administration’s response was viewed by Democrats, not the virus itself.
Because of that, the News4Jax Trust Index team is rating this claim by Harris as “Not True.”