In his final address before leaving the White House, President Trump said that while in office he had done what he came to do.
We’ve fact-checked some of the claims he made about his record.
Claim: “When our nation was hit with the terrible pandemic, we produced not one, but two vaccines with record-breaking speed.”
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use for two Covid-19 vaccines – Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech.
The government’s vaccine programme, Operation Warp Speed, did provide funding for the development of the Moderna vaccine.
While Pfizer/BioNTech did sign a deal with the government to deliver doses, it didn’t receive any money to do development or testing.
And although Pfizer is a US firm, this particular vaccine was developed in conjunction with the German-based BioNTech company.
It was their gene-based technology which was the key to making the vaccine.
Claim: “We proudly leave… with the strongest border security measures ever put into place… with more than 450 miles of powerful new wall.”
Building a wall along the southern border with Mexico was one of his major pledges in the run-up to the 2016 election.
As of 4 January 2021, a total of 452 miles (757km) of barrier has been built since he took office.
However, the vast majority of this new wall replaced existing structures on the border.
Trump’s wall: How much has been built during his term?
Only 80 miles of new barriers have been built where there was none before.
Of this 47 miles is what’s called primary wall, and 33 miles is secondary wall that reinforces the initial barrier.
President-elect Joe Biden said he would not build “another foot” of the wall.
Claim: “We built… the greatest economy in the history of the world.”
The US economy has certainly done well under Trump prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but there have been periods under previous administrations when it did significantly better.
In his first three years in office, Trump oversaw an annual average growth of 2.5%.
This was slightly higher than the final three years of the Obama era.
However, there have been many periods when the growth of GDP – the value of goods and services in the economy – was a lot higher.
And in 2020 the economy saw the largest contraction on record because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It rebounded by 33% in the third quarter last year, itself a record for a quarterly increase, but this did not bring economic activity back to pre-pandemic levels.
Numbers for GDP for the final quarter of 2020 are yet to be published.
Claim: “We… achieved record low unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans…”
The African American and Hispanic American unemployment rate hit 5.2% and 4% respectively in August 2019.
These were the lowest rates recorded since the US Labor Department started collecting these statistics in the 1970s.
The unemployment rate has recently spiked sharply for both groups because of the huge impact of the pandemic on the US economy.
And this has disproportionately affected African Americans and Hispanic Americans – their unemployment rates are 3.2 and 2.6 percentage points higher respectively than the overall figure.
Asian American unemployment is currently 5.9%.
It reached a record low of 2.1% in June 2019, but these records only date back to 2003.
Claim: “We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history”
That’s not right for tax cuts in general – previous ones have been larger. It is right for corporation tax.
We investigated this claim in 2018 shortly after Congress passed sweeping tax reform legislation. According to tax specialists, the cuts were big but not the biggest.
The Committee for a Responsible Budget looked at the numbers and reported that President Trump’s tax cuts would be the eighth-largest in US history, compared with the overall size of the economy.
If you adjust the analysis for inflation, President Trump’s tax cuts rank fourth overall.
However, tax experts also assessed Mr Trump’s cut in corporation tax from 35% to 21%. Most said in absolute terms it was the biggest corporate tax cut in history.
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