On Thursday night, UFC President Dana White endorsed Donald Trump at The Republican National Convention. His speech did not go over well with fact-checkers.
During his appearance at the RNC, White spoke at length about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and praised Trump’s handling of the issue, which has now claimed upward of 181,000 lives in the United States.
“Now, let’s talk about COVID and let’s be very honest about it,” White said (h/t MMA Junkie). “No one person and no one place could have anticipated the challenges that COVID would bring. But President Trump has faced all these obstacles head on.
“He immediately put protective measures in place and he reached out to the best and the brightest leaders in American businesses of all industries to discuss what he and his administration could do to get the economy back up and running safely,” White added.
Unsurprisingly, a number of political commentators and fact-checkers were quick to question the veracity of White’s claims.
See what they had to say below:
At the Republican National Convention, Dana White just said that no one could have anticipated the Covid pandemic. https://t.co/81maKf2UMD
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) August 28, 2020
Well, here we are.
On @MSNBC, @maddow invites a pulmonologist with degrees from Princeton University, Columbia University, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard University to fact-check Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White.
— David Gura (@davidgura) August 28, 2020
Dana White’s lies about Trump’s coronavirus response are outrageous. Trump claimed at least 31 times that the virus would just ‘go away.’ More than 180,000 people have died in the U.S. Dana White’s RNC speech was just filled with lies.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 28, 2020
Of course, this is laughably and provably false:
“President Trump may be the only president in modern times who has done EVERYTHING he said would do during his campaign.” – Dana White#RNCConvention
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) August 28, 2020
Dana White is praising Trump for his sports COVID task force. Mark Cuban, who was on the group, told me he was only aware of it meeting once
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) August 28, 2020
Dana White has been a friend Trump since 2001, when Trump allowed the UFC to promote events inside the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City at a time when the organization was still struggling to gain mainstream acceptance.
Since then, Trump has made no secret of his interest in MMA. The President recently welcomed former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington to the White House, and even attended the UFC 244 card in New York City late last year. He also added White to the aforementioned economic task force earlier this year.
White, meanwhile, first spoke in Trump’s favor at the 2016 Republican National Convention, when the real estate mogul was first running for President.
“Donald championed the UFC before it was popular, before it grew into a successful business and I will always be grateful—so grateful—to him for standing with us in those early days,” White said back in 2016. “So tonight, I stand with Donald Trump.”
What did you think of the speech Dana White delivered at the Republican National Convention?