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'They literally tweeted it'! WaPo fact-checker slaps 'false' label on Trump's claim that W.H.O. said coronavirus 'not communicable' (and people have thoughts)

When President Trump announced that U.S. funding of the World Health Organization was being suspended, he said that in January WHO “parroted and publicly endorsed the idea that there was not human-to-human transmission happening despite reports and clear evidence to the contrary.”

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Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler took on that claim, and, even if you’ve seen the WHO tweets from January, nevertheless came to this conclusion:

Oh really?

Here’s part of the Post’s conclusion, and it’s a parse-a-palooza:

But Trump really gets over his skis when he claims that the WHO “publicly endorsed the idea that there was not human-to-human transmission happening” and that the WHO said it was “not communicable.” The WHO said initially that there was “no clear evidence.” But by Jan. 14, a senior official said they could not rule out human-to-human transmission given the experience with SARS. That statement was made only two weeks after the WHO first learned of the new virus.

It’s almost a Four-Pinocchio claim but not quite. The WHO could have highlighted the human-to-human transmission sooner than it did and pressed China for more information. Trump, of course, could have done the same — and failed to do so, for weeks longer. Trump earns Three Pinocchios.

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It seems that the WHO’s “no clear evidence” qualifier provided the fact-checker the out that was needed in order to label Trump’s statement as false, but not everybody’s buying it:

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Does the Washington Post only employ completely objective, non-disingenuous journalists? There’s no clear evidence.

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