Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic his Democratic challenger, California Sen. Kamala Harris, face off in Salt Lake City Wednesday night for the lone 2020 vice presidential debate.
The live, 90-minute debate, moderated by USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page, touched on the coronavirus, the economy, climate change, the Supreme Court and more.
Below, ABC News will fact check what both candidates say. Refresh for the latest updates.
Pence misleads when comparing COVID-19 pandemic to H1N1, Obama administration response
PENCE’S CLAIM: “We actually do know what failure looks like in a pandemic: It was 2009, the swine flu arrived in the United States. … When Joe Biden was vice president of the United States, not 7.5 million people contracted the swine flu, 60 million Americans contracted the swine flu.”
FACT CHECK: While Pence is correct that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the 2009 swine flu pandemic infected an estimated 60.8 million Americans in its first year, it is misleading to compare the two outbreaks given H1N1’s far lower fatality rate, and similarly misleading to call the Obama administration’s response a “failure.”
The CDC estimates up to 575,000 lives were lost to the swine flu worldwide. Of those, fewer than 13,000 were American, due in part to the Obama administration’s “complex, multi-faceted and long-term response,” the CDC later wrote. Thus far, COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 210,000 Americans, a little over eight months since the first known case of the virus was discovered in the United States.
“The team, in my opinion, in 2009, really demonstrated that the planning was worth it. Nothing is ever perfect. But I felt just so impressed and so proud of the job CDC did in 2009,” Dr. Julie Gerberding, a CDC director during the George W. Bush administration, told ABC News.
–John Verhovek and Lucien Bruggeman
Pence overstates China travel restrictions
FACT CHECK: At the end of January, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation to restrict travelers who had visited China in the previous 14 days from entering