WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden sparred Tuesday in their first of three debates, hoping to sway undecided voters planning to cast ballots by mail and in person in the final weeks leading up to the Nov. 3 election.

A look at how their statements from Cleveland stack up with the facts:

ECONOMY

BIDEN: Trump will be the “first (president) in American history” to lose jobs during his presidency.

THE FACTS: No, if Trump loses re-election, he would not be the first president in U.S. history to have lost jobs. That happened under Herbert Hoover, the president who lost the 1932 election to Franklin Roosevelt as the Great Depression caused massive job losses.

Official jobs records only go back to 1939 and, in that period, no president has ended his term with fewer jobs than when he began. Trump appears to be on track to have lost jobs during his first term, which would make him the first to do so since Hoover.

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VIRUS RESPONSE

TRUMP, on coronavirus and his campaign rallies: “So far we have had no problem whatsoever. It’s outside, that’s a big difference according to the experts. We have tremendous crowds.”

THE FACTS: That’s not correct.

Trump held an indoor rally in Tulsa in late June, drawing both thousands of participants and large protests.

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