Joe Biden overinflated the efficiency of vaccines, especially against the Delta variant, during his gaffe-filled town hall on Wednesday where he claimed the jab will prevent Americans from contracting coronavirus.
‘We’re not in the position where we think that any virus, including the Delta virus, which is much more transmissible and more deadly in terms of unvaccinated people, the – the various shots that people are getting now cover that,’ Biden said during a CNN town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio on Wednesday.
‘You’re OK,’ he assured. ‘You’re not going to – you’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.’
This statement is false considering many vaccinated Americans have contracted coronavirus, as well as been hospitalized and fallen fatal to the disease.
‘If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in the IC unit, and you’re not going to die,’ the president told host Don Lemon on stage at Mount St. Joseph University.
‘So it’s gigantically important that … we all act like Americans who care about our fellow Americans,’ he added.
While the vast majority of hospitalizations – around 97 per cent – are among those who are not vaccinated, many who did get inoculated are contracting the virus as the Delta variant surges across the country.
Biden struggled at some points during his town hall to complete statements coherently as he lost his train of thought on multiple occasions.
For example, when talking about getting vaccinations approved for children under the age of 12, the president said: ‘That’s underway, just like the other question that’s illogical. And I’ve heard you speak about it because you always – I’m not being solicitous – but you’re always straight up about what you’re doing.’
‘And the question is whether or not we should be in a position where you uh, um, are – why can’t the, the, the experts say we know that this virus is, in fact, uh, um, uh, it’s going to be – or, excuse me, we, we, we know why all the drugs approved are not temporarily approved by permanently approved. That’s underway too. I expect that to occur quickly,’ Biden continued as he fumbled over his words.
President Joe Biden (left) stumbled through Wednesday night’s CNN town hall with Don Lemon (right) in Cincinnati when he issued a series of gaffes, lost thoughts and false statements
‘You’re OK. You’re not going to – you’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations,’ the president falsely assured
Vaccination rates in the U.S. have taken a massive dive over the summer, and reports indicate the administration is grappling with out to encourage hesitant Americans to get inoculated
‘You mean for the FDA,’ Lemon clarified.
Biden replied: ‘For the FDA’
Here, the president got off track on his answer about getting emergency use authorization for vaccines in children under 12 years of age.
He went on to discuss that the Food and Drug Administration is working on getting full authorization for the use of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines – the three administered in the U.S.
Currently all three shots are only under emergency use authorization, which is a special provision for vaccinations and medicines to be given the go ahead for use in the U.S. before they gain full FDA approval.
Republicans were quick to jump on the president’s gaffes.
‘Is this for real?’ Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik tweeted on Wednesday.
‘And the media will continue to fawn and look the other way,’ the New York Republican added.
Grabien Media founder Tom Elliott posted a video of Biden’s interaction with Lemon about vaccines and sarcastically wrote: ‘Crushing it.’
Many posted images of the mostly-empty auditorium, questioning why CNN and Biden weren’t able to fill all of the seats.
The network, however, insists that the audience of around 300 on Wednesday evening was the typical size for pre-pandemic CNN town halls.
Republicans immediately pounced on the president’s stumbles, with Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik questioning: ‘Is this for real?’
Grabien Media founder sarcastically quipped, ‘Crushing it’ along with a video of Biden fumbling over his words and losing his train of thought several times
When speaking about national security, Biden also lost his words when declaring his qualifications to speak on the matter.
‘And I’ll say one last thing: You’re going to – I’ve had a lot of experience internationally and – I mean, not good or bad, just I have – I chaired the Foreign Relations Committee, I’ve been deeply involved,’ he said.
‘I did national security for our last – the administration with Barack,’ he said. ‘But folks, the rest of the world’s wondering about us. Those of you who travel abroad, it’s not a joke. Not a joke.’
He continued to ramble in saying: ‘Ask — you know, when I went to this G7, all the major democracies. I walked in and go, ‘America’s back.’ I’m serious, heads of state. I give you my word as a Biden. They said, ‘Are you really back?’
The coronavirus Delta variant, which was first detected in India, has emerged in hundreds of U.S. cities now makes up 83 per cent of COVID cases in America
Biden said during the town hall that unvaccinated students, including those 12 and under who are not eligible for the shot, will have to wear masks in school. He revealed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will issue new guidance.
The president said tackling misinformation online was one of his top priorities and said he welcomed the way vaccine skeptics on Fox News had made a U-turn in recent days.
The first questioner of the night, a member of a school board, asked for Biden’s message to parents worried about protecting children too young for vaccines.
He said he was optimistic that children under 12 would be approved for vaccination in the coming months before unveiling future guidelines.
‘The CDC is going to say that what we should do is, everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing a mask in school, that’s probably what’s going to happen,’ he said
‘Secondly, those over the age of 12, who are able to get vaccinated if you’re vaccinated, you shouldn’t wear a mask if you aren’t vaccinated, you should be wearing a mask.’
FACT CHECK REVEALS BIDEN FALSELY CLAIMED VACCINE WOULD PREVENT COVID AND HIS ADMINISTRATION HOLDS SIX-MONTH JOBS RECORD
President Joe Biden offered an absolute guarantee Wednesday that people who get their COVID-19 vaccines are completely protected from infection, sickness and death from the coronavirus. The reality is not that cut and dried.
The vaccines are extremely effective but ‘breakthrough’ infections do occur and the delta variant driving cases among the unvaccinated in the U.S. is not fully understood.
Also Biden inflated the impact of his policies on U.S. jobs created in his first half-year in office, misleadingly stating his administration had done more than any other president. He neglects to mention he had population growth on his side in his comparison.
A look at his remarks in a CNN town hall:
BIDEN: ‘If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in the IC unit, and you’re not going to die.’
THE FACTS: His remark accurately captures the strong protection the COVID-19 vaccines provide as cases spike among people who have resisted the shots. But it overlooks the rare exceptions.
As of July 12, the government had tallied 5,492 vaccinated people who tested positive for coronavirus and were hospitalized or died. That’s out of more than 159 million fully vaccinated Americans. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said ‘99.5 per cent of all deaths from COVID-19 are in the unvaccinated.’
BIDEN: ‘You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.’
THE FACTS: Again, he painted with too broad a brush as he described in stark terms the disparity between those who got their shots and those who haven’t. The disparity is real, but a small number of breakthrough infections happen and health officials say they are not a cause for alarm.
No vaccines are perfect, and the government is keeping a close eye on whether new coronavirus mutants start to outsmart the COVID-19 shots. But for now, federal health officials say even when breakthrough infections occur, they tend to be mild – the vaccines so far remain strongly protective against serious illness.
BIDEN, when asked after the town hall about vaccinated people who get infected: ‘It may be possible, I know of none where they’re hospitalized, in ICU and or have passed away so at a minimum I can say even if they did contract it, which I’m sorry they did, i’s such a tiny percentage and it’s not life threatening.’
THE FACTS: Once again, too far. That is evident from the CDC’s finding that 5,492 vaccinated people who tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized or died as of July 12. That’s not ‘none.’ But he is correct that it is a small percentage of the more than 159 million fully vaccinated Americans.
BIDEN: ‘We’ve created more jobs in the first six months of our administration than any time in American history. No president, no administration, has ever created as many jobs.’
THE FACTS: His claim is misleading.
While Biden’s administration in the first half year as president has seen more jobs created than any other president – just over 3 million in the five months tracked by jobs reports – that’s partly because the U.S. population is larger than in the past.
When calculated as a percentage of the workforce, job growth under President Jimmy Carter increased more quickly from February through June 1977 than the same five months this year: 2.2 per cent for Carter, compared with 2.1 per cent for Biden.
Since the late 1970s, the U.S. population has grown by more than 100 million people.
It’s true, though, that the economy is growing rapidly – it expanded at a 6.4 per cent annual rate in the first three months of the year – and is expected to grow this year at the fastest pace since 1984.
Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue package contributed to the vigorous growth, but much of the expansion also reflects a broader bounce-back from the unusually sharp pandemic recession, the deepest downturn since the 1930s. Even before Biden’s package, for example, the International Monetary Fund was projecting U.S. growth of over 5 per cent for this year.
Biden is also leaving out the fact that the U.S. economy remains 6.8 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level, and the unemployment rate is an elevated 5.9 per cent, up from a five-decade low of 3.5 per cent before the pandemic.
Biden faced questions on protecting children from COVID, replacing crumbling infrastructure, defunding the police, rebuilding the economy, tackling coronavirus misinformation and more
That will come with responsibilities for parents, he added.
‘So it’s going to get a little bit tight in terms of well, are mom or dad being honest that… Johnny did or did not get vaccinated,’ he said. ‘That’s gonna raise questions.’
COVID-19 cases have nearly tripled across the U.S. as doctors battle the Delta variant and a pandemic of misinformation that is being spread online. Deaths and hospitalizations are nearly all among the unvaccinated.
A pediatrician who voted Republican said at the town hall she was worried about the impact of misinformation on social media. Only 12 people, the president said in repeating a White House talking point, are responsible for most of the misinformation online.
‘They’re killing people those 12 individuals,’ he said. ‘That misinformation is going to kill people, not a joke, not a joke.’
Then he delivered some good news about ‘one of those other networks that is not a big fan of mine’ – a clear reference to Fox News.
‘If you notice, as they say, in the southern part of my state, they’ve had an altar call some of those guys,’ he said.
All of a sudden they are out there saying let’s get vaccinated. The very people who before this were saying…’
He cut himself off with a smile.
‘But I shouldn’t make fun,’ he said. ‘It’s good, it’s good.
The audience asked about how to protect children from COVID-19 if they are too young for the vaccines and how he was tackling vaccine misinformation
HOW LIKELY ARE YOU TO GET COVID-19 AFTER BEING FULLY VACCINATED?
So-called ‘breakthrough’ COVID-19 cases occur when people contract the disease 14 days or more after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson one-shot jab.
Clinical trials have shown that Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is 95% effective in preventing symptomatic disease and the Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective.
Meanwhile, real-world data showed the Pfizer jab is 91% effective against all disease for at least six months and the Moderna vaccine is 90% effective.
This means that fully vaccinated people are between 90% and 95% less likely to develop COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trials showed 72% efficacy in the U.S., meaning those who got the one-shot jab are 72% less likely to contract the disease.
When comparing fully vaccinated people who did and did not get sick, the risk is even lower.
The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show that 10,262 of at least 133 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 later contracted the disease.
This translates to 0.00716% of people who have completed their vaccine series have gone on to test positive.
It also represents the true odds of getting COVID-19 after full vaccination: less than 0.01%.
What’s more, fully vaccinated people who test positive have mild illnesses, and are very unlikely to be hospitalized or die.
The CDC states that 99.5% of all deaths occur in unvaccinated people.
That means, if the figure applies to the 3,165 Americans who’ve died in July 2021 so far – as of July 13 – about 3,150 deaths would be among unvaccinated people and 15 deaths among fully vaccinated people.
Sean Hannity, one of the network’s primetime stars, has been urging viewers to get vaccinated.
And this week, during a discussion about deaths of unvaccinated people, the Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy also told viewers: ‘Get the shot, it will save your life.’
The audience – which Lemon said had all been vaccinated – responded warmly when Biden appeared on stage, even in an apparently heavily pro-Trump area.
Questions included what was he doing to tackle gun violence and his plans for replacing crumbling infrastructure, a hot topic in Cincinnati where the ageing Brent Spence Bridge is frequently shut to traffic.
He also took the chance to repeat talking points that are familiar to anyone tuning in to one of his video addresses but may not have been seen by busy, working families.
A surge in consumer prices would be temporary, he promised, adding that his economic plan would drive down inflation in the long term.
‘The vast majority of the experts, including Wall Street, are suggesting that it’s highly unlikely that it’s going to be long-term inflation that’s going to get out of hand,’ he said.
Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan suffered a setback on Wednesday, as Republicans rejected his proposals in a vote. The bipartisan group of senators who negotiated the package said they were close to reaching a new deal in a statement after the vote.
The president insisted he remained confident. ‘It’s a good thing and I think we’re going to get it done,’ he said.
Ohio was once a key swing state that could deliver the White House to one candidate to another. But in recent years it has moved firmly into the red column.
Biden’s visit reflects his enduring belief that he can cross America’s political divides by appealing directly to voters.
U.S. President Joe Biden talks with Robert Guthrie, instructor and IBEW Local 212 Journeyman Wireman, and apprentice Nicholas Patton at an IBEW/NECA union electrician training center in Cincinnati, Ohio
‘Half of life is showing up, and Joe Biden shows up,’ John Anzalone, Biden’s presidential campaign pollster, told the Associated Press.
‘He’s going to be a president for people who voted for him and people who voted against him.’
The state faces a particularly lively election next year following the retirement of Sen. Rob Portman, one of the more centrist Republicans who was involved in negotiating the bipartisan $973 billion infrastructure plan that now hangs in the balance.
‘President Joe Biden will visit a great city suffering from devastating levels of violent crime caused by the failed leadership of Democrat Mayor John Cranley,’ said Ohio Republican Party Chair Bob Paduchik, before the visit.
Before the town hall in Cincinnati, Biden visited a training center for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to discuss his policies to create union jobs.
‘The alarm goes off we’re going to run,’ he joked as he walked into an area where apprentices are taught how to install and repair fire alarms.
He met an apprentice and heard about training programs.
Biden said ‘unions are the best’ when it comes to training, saying they ‘built the middle class.’
Joe Biden talks of his pride at Hunter’s recovery from addiction as he calls for more federal resources for addicts and mandatory rehab rather than prison for drug use
President Biden spoke passionately about his son Hunter’s recovery from drug addiction on Wednesday evening as he demanded more federal resources for addicts and for mandatory rehab to replace incarceration.
Amid questions about COVID-19 and the economy, the moment brought one of the most animated responses from the president.
‘I am so damn proud of my son,’ he told CNN host Don Lemon on stage at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
‘My son just wrote a book about how he overcame being addicted and he did it and he’s doing it and he’s in good shape, thank God.’ he said.
President Biden’s spoke passionately about his son Hunter’s recovery from addiction as he laid out his four-point plan for ensuring that addicts get the help they need
The president spoke of his pride at the way his son Hunter had overcome addiction. ‘My son just wrote a book about how he overcame being addicted and he did it and he’s doing it and he’s in good shape,’ said Biden
Hunter has been a favorite target of conservative critics, who have delighted in his troubles and accused him repeatedly of cashing in on the family name.
Biden used his example and experience to set out a series of solutions to tackling the nations epidemic of drug abuse.
‘Here’s the thing. We don’t have nearly enough people involved in mental health and drug addiction services, number one,’ he said to some of the loudest applause of the night.
‘Number two, we shouldn’t be sending people to jail for use. We should be sending them to mandatory rehabilitation. Mandatory rehabilitation.
‘Number three, when people are in jail… if that’s not the main crime … they should be getting treatment while they are in jail.
‘Fourth, when people get out of jail, whether it’s for drug addiction or any other crime. If they’ve served their time, they should have full access to everything from Pell grants to public housing.’
More than 93,000 peope died from drug overdoses in 2020, according to the latest figures from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention – an almost 30 percent increase on the previous year.
‘We have to deal with the idea of addiction by providing for what we all know: it’s a disease of the brain… and has to be treated as such,’ said Biden.