Facts Matter: Trump hospital video appears edited, despite aide's claim

  • President Donald Trump walks from Marine One to the White House in Washington as he returns Oct. 1 from Bedminster, N.J. Some video of the president speaking posted after his COVID-19 diagnosis appears to be edited, according to The Washington Post.

    President Donald Trump walks from Marine One to the White House in Washington as he returns Oct. 1 from Bedminster, N.J. Some video of the president speaking posted after his COVID-19 diagnosis appears to be edited, according to The Washington Post. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/10/2020 6:25 PM

President Donald Trump spent last weekend as a patient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he tested positive for coronavirus.

During his stay, which ran Friday to Monday, the Trump team released photos and videos of the president to indicate how well he was doing. But some of the messages might not be exactly as they seem, according to The Washington Post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

One of them, a video of Trump talking about his hospital stay, was shared by campaign aide Jason Miller, who added the caption, "One take, from the heart, no teleprompter."

The Washington Post cited professional video editors who said the footage appears to be digitally altered. At one point, Trump's shoulders buckle and he seems to begin a cough. A subsequent segment appears to have been cut from the video and cleaned up using a morph tool, which allows editors to create a transition in the video after a section is removed, the Post said.

No oxygen for short walk

Shortly after Trump walked to a helicopter waiting to take him to Walter Reed hospital to be treated for COVID-19, images began popping up on social media with the false claim that he was hooked up to a concealed oxygen cylinder, according to Snopes.com.

"There is now evidence that Trump was on oxygen," a social media user falsely said, claiming to detect a tube running up his back, through his hair and under his face mask.

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The video doesn't back up this claim, Snopes said.

There is no indication of a tube or a noticeable bulge in the suit pocket of the size of a small oxygen concentrator. And the part of the tube that is supposedly sticking out of his mask appears to be "a wisp of hair that looked somewhat tubelike when viewed in low-resolution images grabbed from just the right angle, and did not appear as such in other images," Snopes said.

Biden misstates numbers

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gave the wrong numbers during a discussion about criminal justice reform during a recent town hall.

In an exchange with Lester Holt, the former vice president claimed the Obama-Biden administration granted clemency to 18,000 people while Trump has granted only a few.

"We let -- 18,000 people were -- got clemency. He got two or three," Biden said during the Oct. 5 event in Miami.

Wrong on both counts, according to FactCheck.org.

During his eight years in office, Obama granted clemency to 1,927 individuals, which included 212 presidential pardons and 1,715 commutations of prison sentences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A spokesman from Biden's campaign later told FactCheck.org that the candidate had meant to say 1,800 instead of 18,000.

Trump has awarded clemency to 38 individuals and issued 27 pardons and 11 commutations.

No tracking chip in masks

A satirical video, showing a disposable face mask from China that contained a hidden tracking device, was recently posted on social media. But some users didn't get the joke.

"How many folks around the world ordered this type of #mask from #China? Billions? Or, how many had these #TrackingChips in them? And why?" asked a Twitter user.

The video was posted on Facebook by Dimitris Ververelis, from Greece, according to The Associated Press. The clip included the caption, "See it before they download it," written in Greek.

It shows an iPhone being scanned across a blue face mask. When it appears to receive the geolocation of the phone, a person examines the mask and pulls out a chip.

"The video is a sarcasm to those people who think masks are bad and contain chips to control humanity," Ververelis told the AP.

Ververelis later changed the caption to say the video is a joke.

"It is sad there are so many people who still think it is real," he said

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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