Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden got his numbers mixed up just a bit, getting the number of Americans who died from the coronavirus off by a factor of 1,000, as he ventured outside for a healthcare event in Pennsylvania.
“People don’t have a job, people don’t know where to go, they don’t know what to do,” Biden said on Thursday at a campaign event in Lancaster.
Now we have over 120 million dead from COVID.
Joe Biden is very confused.He just falsely claimed 120 million Americans (more than one-third of the country) died from the coronavirus.This is after he previously claimed 150 million Americans died from guns.He’s not playing with a full deck, folks. #BarelyThereBidenpic.twitter.com/GwKgdiFjdb
The baffling remark was quickly picked up by the Republicans, who used it as proof that the 77-year-old former vice president may have lost his marbles. Even Biden himself seemed to have noticed he had made a mistake, but the pool video of his remarks cut off as he tried to correct himself.
It is possible that Biden was just misreading what was written on cue cards for him. The actual coronavirus death toll in the US stood at just over 122,000 as of Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
While adding three zeroes to it is a bit much, this isn’t the first time Biden has exaggerated the pandemic’s impact. Back in May, he spoke of 85,000 lost jobs and “millions of lives,” apparently switching the reported death toll and job losses due to the lockdowns.
Nor is this the first time Barack Obama’s two-term VP has rhetorically “killed” millions of Americans; he has previously claimed that “150 million” have died in the US from gun violence. As some sharp-eyed critics pointed out, that would leave only 60 million or so Americans alive.
FLASHBACK: Back in February, no one batted an eye or bothered to correct Joe Biden when he said 150 MILLION Americans have been killed by by gun violence. (a completely absurd number). pic.twitter.com/k6M8EfYHeF
President Donald Trump’s campaign has been hammering his challenger for “hiding in his basement” instead of campaigning, repeatedly noting Biden hadn’t held a press conference in almost three months.
Both the Republicans and the Democrats are keenly aware of Biden’s propensity to speak gibberish at events, which is why the Trump campaign has been baiting him to show his face in public while his own handlers decided he was “fine in the basement” where only two people a day see him, as prominent Democrat strategist Terry McAuliffe put it earlier this month.
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