Even the mainstream media is nailing the president for stretching the truth in his first prime-time address to the nation.
The New York Times fact-checked President Joe Biden’s speech Thursday night on the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic, and things don’t look good.
Although it didn’t call Biden out for lies explicitly, every statement it recorded was marked as either “exaggerated” or “misleading.”
The first “exaggeration” was marked in Biden’s opening, where he said that when the coronavirus pandemic first struck, Americans were “met with silence and spread unchecked, denials for days, weeks, then months.”
In more choice terms, this is patently false. Then-President Donald Trump wasn’t silent at all regarding COVID-19 in the first months.
By the end of January, he had already issued a travel ban against China, as all 200 reported coronavirus deaths had taken place in the country.
Then, in March, Trump addressed the United States from the Oval Office and extended his travel ban to most of Europe.
“Silent” is a strange word to use for action since the start.
Biden’s next “exaggeration” was his statement that the coronavirus death toll in America is higher than that of “World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War and 9/11 combined.”
It’s true that over 520,000 lives have been lost to coronavirus, and this number is much higher than the combat deaths from those wars. However, factoring in non-combat service deaths along with the 9/11 toll brings the total to more than 615,000.
Next up was the president’s claim that the country didn’t “have nearly enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all or anywhere near all of the American public” two months ago, but that “soon we will.”
Surprisingly enough, this is true. Not in the way Biden would wish, though.
By the end of 2020, the Trump administration had ordered at least 800 million vaccine doses, according to the Government Accountability Office. As The Times noted, Kaiser Health News reported that this number of doses would be enough for 200 million Americans with authorized vaccines and more than enough to vaccinate 400 million people if all vaccines were fully tested and approved.
As much as Biden might brag about his responsiveness to COVID-19, it was the Trump administration that laid the foundations for the work the current administration is attempting to do. The Biden administration has benefitted massively from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which accelerated the typical vaccine development process by about five years.
As The Times put it, “contrary to Mr. Biden’s suggestions, both administrations deserve credit for the current state of the vaccine supply.”
The last statement that was labeled “misleading” was the president’s comment about the percentage of vaccinated Americans.
“When I took office 50 days ago, only 8 percent of Americans after months, only 8 percent of those over the age of 65 had gotten their first vaccination. Today, that number is 65 percent,” Biden said.
With help from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, vaccine distribution was just beginning after the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for distribution in mid-December.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people 65 years of age and older should receive doses only after the vaccine has been administered to multiple groups, including health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Moreover, these recommendations apply after a vaccine becomes FDA-approved.
So, in truth, only 8 percent of Americans over 65 received their first vaccination because it wasn’t safe or federally recommended for the majority of Americans over 65 to receive their first vaccination.
It is nice to see the left-leaning New York Times fact-checking the Democratic president. However, it’s also very obvious that had Trump made similarly untrue comments during a coronavirus speech, The Times and other fact-checkers would have been filled with “falses,” on-fire pants and Pinocchios.
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