Fact Check

Did Betsy DeVos Say '40 Percent' Means 'More Than Half'?

Reports that the Education Secretary said a 40 percent approval rating meant President Donald Trump has the support of "more than half the country" were satire.

Published Feb 14, 2017

 (Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Wikimedia Commons
Betsy DeVos said that a 40 percent approval rating meant that President Trump had the support of more than half the country.

On 13 February 2017, a quote attributed to United States Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appeared and quickly caught the attention of people on social media:

“I was so excited to see the President’s approval rating hit forty,” DeVos, the Secretary of Education, told reporters. “Just knowing that well more than half the country is with him gives us a great sense of confidence moving forward.”

This quote originally appeared in a satirical article published by humorist Andy Borowitz in the New Yorker. The "Borowitz Report" is a well-known source of satire and is clearly labeled as such:

In 2001, he created the Borowitz Report, a satirical news column that has millions of readers around the world, for which he won the first-ever National Press Club award for humor.

The DeVos article also carried a disclaimer above the title:

This is not the first time that DeVos has been lampooned since she was confirmed as the United States Secretary of Education. A satirical article in the Huffington Post (which was, like this one, mistaken for real by some readers) reported that DeVos had ordered the immediate flattening of all school globes.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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