On Thursday, March 11, President Biden addressed America and made some farfetched claims. In the 24-minute prime time address, Biden said that coronavirus claimed more American lives "than World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War and 9/11 combined."
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 527,726 Americans died from coronavirus so far.
While the number is shocking, it's not the same as the 580,000 lives lost during the four historical events Biden enumerated. The claim of a high death rate was one of Biden's biggest blunders during the address.
If Biden only referred to American casualties in all four events, the figures would have added up.
During his speech, Biden also praised his administration's vaccine rollout and made misleading claims about the timeliness of Trump's response to the virus, along with the number of vaccines the former president's administration ordered.
Biden claimed that his administration is "on track" to reach their goal of 100 million shots by his 60th day in office. He also said that no other country in the world has achieved this feat.
It's true that no other country has vaccinated as many people as America, but smaller countries have vaccines more than their total population.
To clarify, the U.S. has vaccinated 95 million people or at least 19 percent of the population. However, smaller countries like Chile, Israel and the U.K. have vaccinated more people per capita.
Biden also said that two months ago, America "didn't have nearly enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all or anywhere near all of the American public." He added that the country soon will, but his claims and promises aren't accurate.
According to the Government Accountability Office, by the end of 2020, the Trump administration had ordered at least 800 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine slated for delivery by July 31, 2021. At least 62.4 percent of people older than 65 have received one dose and at least 32.2 percent were fully vaccinated, reported the CDC.
But Biden's inflated claims don't stop there.
"When I took office 50 days ago, only 8% of Americans after months, only 8% of those over the age of 65 had gotten their first vaccination. Today, that number is 65%," said Biden. This is an overstatement since when he took office on Jan. 20, the vaccinations were already ongoing after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer's vaccine for emergency use in December last year.
Additionally, his claims that the vaccine was already available for "months" is false since when he took office, the vaccine had only been available for one month. (Related: Pence presents coronavirus report to Biden, warns new administration to hold China accountable for pandemic.)
Biden also claimed that in 2020, the pandemic wasn't addressed properly, leading to countless infections as Trump remained in denial about the virus.
While Trump's response to the pandemic was delayed for months, by this time last year he had already addressed the nation on March 20 and acknowledged the growing threat of the pandemic. Trump also announced new travel restrictions for Europe.
"I set a goal that many of you said was kind of way over the top. I said I intended to get 100 million shots in people's arms in my first hundred days in office," said Biden.
The president took his chance to call out those who questioned his ambitious vaccine rollout plan. But in an article from the Washington Post, some experts referred to his plan as "ambitious" but not impossible.
The New York Times also reported that "fulfilling it will require no hiccups in manufacturing or distributing the vaccine and a willingness by Americans to be vaccinated."
In his address, Biden said that his administration is working with Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer to manufacture and purchase hundreds of millions of doses of these "three safe, effective vaccines."
Under his administration, Biden said that Johnson & Johnson is collaborating with Merck, a competitor, to expedite and increase the capacity to manufacture a new one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. He added that he had met with the CEOs of both companies and that he revealed the plan to purchase an additional 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The claims earned criticism since Biden was taking sole credit for the country's vaccine roll-out when his administration heavily relied on Trump's Operation Warp Speed initiative.
The Trump Administration established Operation Warp Speed last April to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of coronavirus vaccines. Regardless of political affiliation, citizens have praised Operation Warp Speed.
Mainstream media outlets, like ABC and The New York Times, have credited Trump with contributing to the success of the coronavirus vaccines. Both publications also criticized Biden for not giving Trump enough credit for Operation Warp Speed.
It's true that Biden did help increase America's supply of the coronavirus vaccine, but it wouldn't have been possible without Trump-era contracts.
When Biden took office, the U.S. government was unable to guarantee that it would have enough supply to cover every adult with vaccines already authorized by federal regulations.
But this was only partly because in 2020, Trump officials were considering a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson that only required one shot, was easier to administered and was almost ready for authorization.
Under the Trump administration, America had agreed to buy enough doses for 200 million adults from Pfizer and Moderna with "options" to buy more as needed. Trump's administration also purchased enough Johnson & Johnson vaccine to buy supply for 100 million adults once authorized, which would cover every American adult by summer.
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