The Biden campaign recently published an attack ad with misleading edits that made it appear like President Donald Trump was being dismissive of nurses during a White House visit.
The video, posted to Twitter by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, appears to show Trump rudely interrupting a nurse after she notes that she has been reusing her N95 mask because supplies of personal protective equipment have been “sporadic.”
“Sporadic for you, but not sporadic for a lot of other people,” Trump cuts in. The video eventually closes with display text that reads: “Happy National Nurses Week from the president (only to nurses who agree with him).”
“But there’s some important footage missing from the ad,” Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler said.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who listens to someone other than himself? pic.twitter.com/IN2Wtpacc4
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 8, 2020
What actually happened?
The video centers on a meeting that Trump hosted in the Oval Office last week with nurses to celebrate the signing of a National Nurses Day proclamation.
During the meeting, Sophia Thomas, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, mentioned that supplies of PPE have been, in some cases, “sporadic” in certain “pockets” around the country.
“I’ve been reusing my N95 mask for a few weeks now. I just broke out a new one to come here, just in case I needed to wear it,” Thomas said. “My youngest patient has been 4 days old — a 4-day-old infant. And so PPE has been sporadic, but it’s been manageable, and we do what we have to do.”
Following Thomas’ remarks, the president jumped in to counter, but not in the aggressive way that the Biden campaign’s edits make it seem.
Here’s a full unedited clip of the exchange:
Also, at Trump’s interjection, Thomas immediately replies, “Oh, no. I agree, Mr. President. Absolutely.”
Here’s more from Kessler:
The Biden video does two tricky things. First, it shows Thomas only saying “Oh,” eliminating the fact that she says she agrees with Trump. Then, the video highlights Trump crossing his arms when he says the line about hearing the opposite.
The impression left is that Trump is a jerk, cutting Thomas off mid-sentence and then folding his arms in a defiant stance. But that’s misleading, especially because she said she agreed with him. (We acknowledge that being challenged by a president might make many people back off a bit, but that’s still not an excuse for eliminating her response.)
The rest of the video shows Trump bragging about “tremendous supply.” It leaves out the fact that two other nurses at the event told Trump that they did not see any issues, including one nurse from New Jersey who said that she often saw news reports about supply issues, but that “in reality, I’m not seeing it. I’m in a hot zone right now.”
According to the Post, the Biden campaign defended the ad.
“Trump’s failure to act quickly — and his erratic leadership since — has left America dangerously behind where we need to be, especially in getting basic life-saving protective gear to nurses, doctors, and other essential workers on the frontlines of this fight,” a campaign spokesman said in a statement. “Instead of listening to the direct concerns of nurses and other heroes combating the coronavirus about the shortages of protective equipment they face, Trump decided to throw a tantrum in the Oval Office and downplay the fact that health care workers are being forced to risk their lives every day because he has abjectly failed to do his job.”
Author: Phil Shiver