UFC president Dana White appeared at the 2016 Republican National Convention hoping to get his friend, Donald Trump, elected president of the United States. White’s speech at that convention focused on what Trump had done for White and the UFC. Last week, White appeared at the 2020 RNC and his message was a lot more political. It was also more filled with blatant lies, including one that even the most ardent Trump supporter would struggle to defend.
Let’s look at some things White said at the 2020 RNC and if they were true or not.
Dana White claim: Before the pandemic, President Trump built the greatest economy in our nation’s history.
Bloody Elbow: Lie
According to Roll Call, the best year the economy had under Trump was 2018 when the increase in real gross domestic product hit 3.0 percent growth, which fell short of 2015, when the real GDP reached 3.1 percent growth. Roll Call also noted the real GDP began growing in 2010 and had positive growth in every year after.
DW: (Trump) created opportunities for all Americans like no one before him.
According to Business Insider, the U.S. is down 11.8 million jobs when compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
If Trump’s numbers are compared to that of President Obama’s, Obama’s final three years in office exceed Trump’s first three years. According to Forbes, as of February 2020, Obama created 1.6 million more jobs than Trump.
DW: Financial markets hit all time highs.
BE: True, but with a caveat
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a high of 29,551.42 points on February 12, 2020. On August 28, the Dow had almost regained all the losses from the COVID-19 pandemic drop as it hit 28,653.87. However, Scott Horsley of NPR noted that the wealthiest one percent of the country own more than half of all stock, while the bottom 90 percent of the population owns less than 13 percent. In other words, yes, the market hit a high, but that meant little to most Americans.
DW: Unemployment was at an all-time low.
According to FactCheck.org, the unemployment rate was below the historical norm when Trump took office. It did continue to fall during that time and it did hit a 50-year low in September 2019 when the number was 3.5 percent. However, in 1953, the unemployment rate was below three percent for 11 straight months.
DW: Defunding these vital positions (police) is not the answer.
Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, told Good Morning America that he does not want to defund the police.
“I don’t want to defund police departments. I think they need more help, they need more assistance, but that, look, there are unethical senators, there are unethical presidents, there are unethical doctors, unethical lawyers, unethical prosecutors, there are unethical cops. They should be rooted out,” Biden said.
DW: No one person or no one place could have anticipated the challenges that COVID would bring.
This might be true, but we will never know because as the AP reported in March, Trump disbanded the NSC pandemic unit in 2018.
DW: President Trump has faced all these obstacles head on.
According to MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin, “Trump claimed at least 31 times that the virus would just ‘go away.’ More than 180,000 people have died in the U.S.”
DW: He (Trump) immediately put protective measures in place (for COVID-19).
According to VOX, the first reported death from COVID-19 took place in China on January 11, 2020. On January 21, the first reported case was confirmed in Washington state.
Trump’s first “protective measure” happened on January 31 when he suspended entry into the U.S. for many, not all, people traveling from China.
On February 27, 2020, Trump said the coronavirus would disappear, “like a miracle.” The next day he referred to coronavirus as a hoax and that Democrats were making it a political issue.
Trump did not issue a stay-at-home order until March 2020. That order expired on April 30.
DW: (Trump) reached out to the best and the brightest leading American businesses across all industries to discuss what he and his administration could do to get the economy back up and running safely.
BE: True, but with a caveat
Trump did meet with business leaders about reopening the country in April. However, Dr. Eric Toner, from John Hopkins Center for Health Security told NPR in May, “We’ve brought the peak down to a - you know, a certain level, but we’re going to stay at this plateau for the foreseeable future. And so it’s too early to roll back all of the social distancing measures that have been so effective in protecting our health care system so far.”
DW: His (Trump’s) highest priority was always the health and safety of everyone in our country.
BE: Doesn’t sound true
Trump was confronted with the number of COVID-19 deaths by Jonathan Swan of Axios earlier this summer. Trump’s reaction was, “They are dying. That’s true. And you — it is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it.”
DW: Not just Republicans, not just supporters, but every single American (re: health and safety)
BE: Doesn’t sound true
In May, as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 closed in on 100,000 people, Trump went golfing. At that time, 1.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in America.
DW: The president went above and beyond to help all sports leagues involved figure out a way to overcome the challenges to stage live sporting events during the middle of a pandemic.
BE: Maybe false
According to Allan Smith of NBCNews, Mark Cuban, who was on the task force with White, said there was one meeting of that group.
DW: The UFC was the first to do it (come back).
Professional Bull Riding returned on April 25, the UFC returned on May 9.
DW: He (Trump) is one of the most loyal human beings I have ever met.
BBC News has a growing list of Trump staff who have been fired or resigned since he took office.
DW: No one — and I mean no one — is going to outwork this guy (Trump).
According to Trump Golf Count, Trump is projected to visit golf clubs on 304 days of his first four years in office. President Obama played golf a reported 306 times during his eight years in office.
DW: President Trump’s mindset is to work tirelessly to find solutions to problems and help restore America.
According to CNBC, Trump’s housing order does not include an eviction moratorium.
DW: President Trump may be the only president in modern times who has actually done everything he said he would do during his campaign.
BE: C’mon now. This is the big lie.
PolitiFact is tracking 100 of Trump’s campaign promises.
The site found:
Promises kept: 24 percent
Promises compromised on: 20 percent
Promises broken: 49 percent
Promises stalled: 5 percent
We in the MMA world have become accustomed to White’s lies to the point where many just laugh them off, shrug and claim, “Well, that’s just Dana being Dana.” That stance cannot and should not be taken when it comes to the lies White tried to sell to America last week. Perhaps it’s time to take another look at the UFC president and start covering him and his lies in a serious manner, because the things he said at the 2020 RNC could have serious repercussions when it comes time for the 2020 election.