By Jeremy Ross


CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross has a fact check of President Donald Trump’s address to the nation Tuesday.

Toward the beginning of his speech the president talked about the drugs crossing into America from the southern border.

He framed the danger of overdoses with an eye opening statistic.

“More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War,” he said.

That statement is true, though not necessarily linked to drug smuggling.  According to the CDC more than 72,000 people in the United States died of drug overdoses in 2017.

The National Archives says more than 58,000 U.S. military casualties are linked to the Vietnam War.

The president originally said Mexico will pay for the wall. Tuesday he said this:

“The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal with have made with Mexico.”

That statement at this time is false. The U.S.-Mexico trade agreement still needs congressional approval, and according to politifact.com there are currently no additional tariffs from goods through Mexico that would fund the wall.

The Democrats’ response included this falsehood:

“The president of the United States, having failed to get Mexico to pay for this ineffective and unnecessary border wall…”

The ineffective and unnecessary part is the key. Since 2006 the federal government has built nearly 700 miles of wall and fencing with bipartisan support. That includes the support of the Democrats, although it was not as tall and expansive as the president’s plan.

The Democrats’ statement about the numbers of federal employees impacted by the shutdown was true. That total is 800,000 employees.

The Democrats’ also spoke true on their claim that their party and the president both want stronger border security. Of course, their spending plans differ greatly in execution.