Fact Check: Trump Camp Did NOT Send Mailer Asking For $421 Million In Donations After President's Positive COVID Test

Fact Check

  • by: Eric Ferkenhoff
Fact Check: Trump Camp Did NOT Send Mailer Asking For $421 Million In Donations After President's Positive COVID Test Fake Mailer

Did President Trump's campaign send out a mailer asking for the public's help in raising $421 million soon after the president tested positive for COVID-19, to care for his recovery? No, that is not true. The supposed mailer, which is making the rounds on social media, is a fabrication. The $421 million figure appears a play on the amount of debt that Trump reportedly owes.

The claim can be found in a post (archived here) published on Twitter on October 2, 2020, with the words, "This is sinister and insulting. #TrumpCovid" above the fake letter, which reads:

Friend,

By now you have heard the news.

President Trump and the First Lady has tested positive for the China Virus. THe next few weeks will be difficult for Americans from all across the nation and we ask for your thoughts and prayers.

He appreciates your unwavering support during this time and wants you to know that it has not gone unnoticed.

President Trump would like to ask a favor. Will you please DONATE to help him recover from this disease? It is only fair since he has sacrificed millions of dollars to serve as your President.

Help us reach our goal of 421 million to ensure our President will recover to serve another 4 years!

He is fighting for all of us!

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Fri Oct 2 16:43:13 2020 UTC)

The fact is that Trump, as president, receives free medical care -- making it unnecessary to raise money to cover such costs.

The letter, with its glaring grammatical errors, is unsigned but appears under the Trump-Pence 2020 campaign logo to "Keep America Great."

Here is a larger copy of the letter:

EjUfg0-WkAEslIl.jpeg

Lead Stories is awaiting a response from the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. In the meantime, here is a tweet from CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale denying the mailer:

It is safe to say that nothing about the mailer is real. Even the poster, Georgia NAACP branch President James Woodall, posted this about eight hours after his orginal tweet:

In its check of the fake mailer, PolitiFact wrote:

The Trump campaign confirmed to us that the email isn't real. So did the Republican National Committee.

"That is a fake," RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt told PolitiFact in an email.

Note the time between Trump's announcement and the original Woodall tweet -- less than three hours.

Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19 late on October 1-early October 2, 2020, reportedly owes $421 million in debt, according to tax records going back decades that were analyzed by The New York Times. The below tweet is from The Associated Press coverage of the Times analysis:

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  Eric Ferkenhoff

Managing Editor Eric Ferkenhoff has been a reporter, editor and professor for 27 years, working chiefly out of the Midwest and now the South. Focusing on the criminal and juvenile justice systems, education and politics, Ferkenhoff has won several journalistic and academic awards and helped start a fact-checking project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he continues to teach advanced reporting. Ferkenhoff also writes and edits for the juvenile justice site JJIE.org.

 

Read more about or contact Eric Ferkenhoff

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