Fact Check

Each week, WFAE checks in with a reporter from the North Carolina Fact-Checking Project, a partnership of WRAL and PolitiFact, to fact check some of the big items in the week's news. 

We're starting off Wednesday not with politics, but, yes, with coronavirus. Social media has been full of charts and graphics about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself against it. We look at one that's been making its rounds. The chart involves classifications of the coronavirus. Now there aren't standard definitions, but mild to moderate cases include symptoms like a fever and dry cough. Some cases may involve a mild form of pneumonia that requires hospitilizaton. The chart we're fact checking says that 80% of coronavirus cases are mild. Joining us to assess this claim is WRAL's Paul Specht.

You generally won't hear North Carolina's political parties endorse a candidate in primary contests, but national groups do. Last week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's pick won the party's nomination for U.S. Senate. Cal Cunningham beat three other candidates, including Erica Smith, an African American woman who has served three terms in the state legislature.

The DSCC's endorsement of Cunningham prompted liberal activist William Barber to call out the group.

You don't need an ID to vote in the North Carolina primaries. That's because a federal court put a state law on hold until a case challenging voter ID can be heard. Last week, a state appeals court blocked it indefinitely. In his response to the federal ruling in December, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore described the law as "one of the nation's most lenient voter ID laws."

North Carolina’s primary is less than three weeks away. It’s Super Tuesday and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg will be on primary ballots for the first time. He’s been spending big on TV ads in North Carolina. 

Recently his campaign mailed letters to people, criticizing President Donald Trump for creating chaos while in office, and asked for people’s vote. It included this phrase, "North Carolina election law allows all registered voters, regardless of registration to vote in the Democratic primary."

You won’t need an ID to cast a ballot next month for the primaries in North Carolina. A federal judge blocked that 2018 law until a court could decide whether it was constitutional. Speaking about that decision, state Rep. Holly Grange, a Republican running for governor, said that makes it easy to impersonate a voter.

Thom Tillis, Cal Cunningham, Erica Smith
Wikimedia, Erica Smith

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has put immigration at the center of his reelection campaign. To set himself apart from his Democratic opponents Cal Cunningham and state Sen. Erica Smith, he’s highlighting their stances on state policies.

When it comes to the state budget stalemate, Republicans and Democrats have been blaming each other – especially when it comes to teacher pay. 

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the budget, saying, for one, it didn’t do enough for teachers. Democratic State Sen. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte waded into the subject this month, tweeting, "We need to raise North Carolina teacher pay to at least the national average – which is where it was back when I was in public school.”

The Trump administration has made a number of proposals that would cut the number of people who receive food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, a Democrat who represents the Charlotte area, drew attention last month to one of those proposals. 

Congressional districts
North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina has new Congressional districts — and it was a process. When lawmakers went back to the drawing board last month, they had a lot to say. 

Former North Carolina state lawmaker Cal Cunningham is campaigning to be the Democratic nominee against Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, and he wants to send a message – that he won’t be a pawn of big businesses.

News & Observer

A lot has been said about last week’s move in the North Carolina House to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget. Only 12 Democrats were there. One of the narratives that arose was that Republicans used 9/11 memorials to trick Democrats into missing the vote.


The long race for North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District is about to come to an end. Election Day is next Tuesday – and ahead of that we look at claims made against Democrat Dan McCready and his Republican opponent, Dan Bishop, in this Fact Check of North Carolina politics.

It’s time for a weekly fact check of North Carolina politics. This week we look at remarks by Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop of Mecklenburg County during a campaign rally held by President Trump in Greenville July 17. 

It's our weekly fact check of North Carolina politics. This week we look at a bill in the General Assembly that would require sheriffs to work with federal immigration officials.

Abortion laws in North Carolina have garnered a lot of discussion lately. In March, a federal court ruled that the state’s ban on abortions after the 20th week of a woman’s pregnancy is unconstitutional. After that Republican lawmakers pushed to impose new penalties on doctors who kill babies that survive an abortion. Governor Cooper vetoed the bill, calling it redundant. A federal law already protects fetuses born alive.

It’s our weekly fact check of North Carolina politics.  This week we turn to September’s 9th District Congressional election.  

In a Facebook post May 31, Republican Dan Bishop accused his Democratic opponent Dan McCready of getting almost $1 million in support from a Nancy Pelosi aligned dark money organization during last year’s election.  McCready has criticized the use of dark money, saying it has no place in American politics. 

Garland Tucker
Garland Tucker Campaign

It’s our weekly check of North Carolina politics. This week we’re looking at next year’s race for U.S. Senate. Retired Raleigh businessman Garland Tucker is challenging incumbent Senator Thom Tillis in the Republican primary.  Appearing on the Sean Hannity Show last month, Tucker made this accusation about Tillis:

"He cosponsored a bill that not only provided amnesty, but provided a clear path to citizenship for illegal immigrants which I think is totally the wrong thing to do."

To see if that’s true or false we now turn to Elizabeth Thompson of the Raleigh News and Observer.

Teachers march in Raleigh, May 2019.
The News & Observer

Hundreds of teachers rallied at North Carolina’s state capital last week to call for more resources for educators and students. A lot of demands and claims and counter claims swirled around the gathering – from teacher’s groups and Republican lawmakers. That meant the Raleigh News and Observer’s Paul Specht was busy. He joins WFAE's "Morning Edition" host Lisa Worf. 

Fact Check: Are Abortion Survivors Covered By Existing Laws?

Apr 21, 2019

Some of the rhetoric surrounding a new North Carolina bill gives the impression that laws don't already protect newborns who survive an abortion.

The "Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act," or Senate Bill 359, instructs physicians and nurses to care specifically for newborns who survive an abortion.

NC Legislature

North Carolina, like many states, has been grappling with how to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths, especially as opioid addiction has become more widespread. North Carolina lawmakers have introduced a pair of bills that would impose tougher penalties on people who illegally give a controlled substance to someone who died as a result of taking it.

The bill’s co-sponsor Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, a Republican from Jacksonville promoted the bill last week in a committee meeting, saying “North Carolina last year was second in the nation in overdose deaths.”

Paul Specht from the Raleigh News and Observer joins Morning Edition co-host Lisa Worf to sort out fact from fiction.