President Trump has offered a series of ridiculous or false claims about the House Speaker’s February visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown.

President Trump, remarks at a news conference, April 20, 2020
I closed it up long before Pelosi. You know, she was having parties in San Francisco. Lets all go to Chinatown.
Trump, remarks at a news conference, April 19
Crazy Nancy Pelosi deleted this from her Twitter account. She wanted everyone to pack into Chinatown long after I closed the BORDER TO CHINA. Based on her statement, she is responsible for many deaths. Shes an incompetent, third-rate politician!
Trump, in a tweet, April 16
Sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter to track the outbreak. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.
By the way, I did that very early, while Nancy Pelosi was trying to have, in San Francisco, parties in Chinatown. Because they she thought it would be great. She wanted to show that this thing doesnt exist.
Trump, remarks at a news conference, April 15
In February, Nancy Pelosi said we should come to Chinatown. This is late February. Come to Chinatown. We think its very safe. Come here. Lets all have the big parade Chinatown parade. Probably referring to San Francisco. And thats it. But I took this action early.
Trump, remarks at a news conference, April 13
Notice a theme, besides the fact that President Trump apparently detests House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)?
Under fire for reacting too slowly to the coronavirus pandemic, Trump is trying to turn the tables and argue that Pelosi was actually slower than he was. He points to his decision effective on Feb. 2 to impose some travel restrictions on non-U.S. citizens coming from China and contrasts that with a visit Pelosi made to San Franciscos Chinatown.
Of course, Chinatown is not China. And there are many things that Trump keeps getting wrong about her visit. It was pretty uneventful, but he tries to spice it up with claims that she called for a big parade, a street party, a street fair and so forth. Then he tosses in some ridiculously false claims.
Trumps repeated remarks dismissing the threat of the coronavirus to the United States have proved to be a problem for his reelection campaign. A president sets the national tone. But, to be fair, other high-profile politicians also did not express early alarm or advocate the extreme social distancing tactics now set in most of the country.
So lets look at what Pelosi did and how that tracks with Trumps description.
Pelosi visited San Franciscos Chinatown on Feb. 24. To view videos of her visits two months later is almost jarring, as she strolls arm-in-arm and walks amid a crowd. She made clear that the point of her visit was to show it was very safe to be in Chinatown, which had been hit hard by a drop in tourism after reports of the virus emerging from China.
This fear is I think unwarranted in light of the precautions that are being taken here in the United States, she said, noting that fashion shows in Italy were being held without audiences.
I cant speak for any other country, she added, though she also said: I do think that because it started in China, theres a concern that are the is the Chinese government doing what it needed to do early enough, and now as we go forward. But that should not be carried over to Chinatown and San Francisco.
Asked whether she had confidence in the federal government, Pelosi did not mention Trump but said she had confidence in Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. Prevention, prevention, prevention, she said. We want people to be concerned and vigilant. However, we dont want them to be afraid.
Other than a reference to a parade that took place two weeks earlier, Pelosi did not propose a parade, a street fair or a party, as Trump claimed. She never indicated that she doubted the virus existed, as Trump claimed. She promoted Chinese businesses, even tweeting a brief video of her making fortune cookies.
It was a pleasure to try my hand at making fortune cookies at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (with a little guidance from owner Kevin Chan, of course).
The message inside?
United We Stand.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 25, 2020
That tweet is still on her Twitter account. Yet Trump falsely claimed that she had deleted a tweet of her visit to Chinatown. The video in Trumps tweet came from a news clip, and there is no record of Pelosi deleting such a tweet.
There is also no evidence that Pelosi was responsible for many deaths. As of April 22, there have been a total of 21 deaths in San Francisco County; the first death was not announced until March 25, a month after her trip to Chinatown.
Chinatown, in fact, had no covid-19 cases as of mid-April in its 22 blocks, according to a report published by the New York Times. Despite being particularly vulnerable to the novel coronavirus in the United States, Chinatown turned out to be well-prepared, unlike other places around the country, the article said, citing a community plan of action that was put in place on Feb. 1, emphasizing frequent hand-cleaning, availability of sanitizers and education on basic hygiene principles, including frequent use of masks.
The day after her visit, Pelosi posted a Twitter thread saying that Trumps response to the emerging crisis thus far was inadequate.
Americans need a coordinated, fully-funded, whole-of-government response to keep them and their loved ones safe. The Presidents request for coronavirus response funding is long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 25, 2020
Trump, meanwhile, insisted things were okay:
….Democrats talking point is that we are doing badly. If the virus disappeared tomorrow, they would say we did a really poor, and even incompetent, job. Not fair, but it is what it is. So far, by the way, we have not had one death. Lets keep it that way!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020
Two days after Pelosis visit, on Feb. 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first case of possible community transmission indicating that the virus was spreading silently through the United States. The announcement came as Trump held a news conference after returning from a trip to India.
Trump compared the coronavirus to the seasonal flu. It is a little bit different, but in some ways its easier and in some ways its a little bit tougher, he said. But we have it so well under control. I mean, we really have done a very good job. He added: When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, thats a pretty good job weve done.
On Feb. 27, Trump told reporters: We have done an incredible job. Were going to continue. Its going to disappear. One day its like a miracle it will disappear.
The first confirmed death from covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, came on Feb. 29, four days after her visit. Pelosi tweeted:
Sadly and prayerfully, today, we learned of the first death from the #coronavirus in the United States. The American people expect a well-coordinated, fully-funded response that appropriately addresses this public health crisis.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 29, 2020
Days later, on March 10, Trump kept on the same theme of serendipity: It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away. Even on March 11, he optimistically said: If we get rid of the coronavirus problem quickly, we wont need [economic] stimulus.
Lets do an accounting here. Trump claimed Pelosi deleted a tweet; thats false. There was no such tweet, and her tweet of her visit is still on her timeline. He accused her of causing many deaths, when there have been none in Chinatown and relatively few in San Francisco. He says she urged street fairs and parades, but thats not true. She advocated patronage of Chinese businesses.
In terms of suggesting that he took the crisis seriously and she did not, thats a stretch. Contrary to Trumps claim, she never suggested that the virus did not exist. In Chinatown, she urged people to take precautions and to be vigilant. A day later, she called for a broader, more forceful response. The president, meanwhile, continued with happy talk for at least two weeks afterward.
That adds up to Four Pinocchios.
(About our rating scale)
Send us facts to check by filling out this form
Sign up for The Fact Checker weekly newsletter
The Fact Checker is a verified signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network code of principles
The Washington Post Fact Checker is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the covid-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.