"We choose to go to the Moon."
Kennedy did not say "or fake it"
I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project...will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important...and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish...” -President John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961
Although JFK wanted NASA "to go to the moon in this decade", if the Van Allen Belt turned out to be a problem, he would not want LBJ and Nixon to lie about going.
President Kennedy challenged America to go to the Moon.