Sunday, September 26

Biden made false or inaccurate claims on the CNN forum

Washington (CNN) — President Joe Biden participated in the second CNN forum of his presidency on Wednesday, answering questions from host Don Lemon and local Cincinnati residents.

As he did on his February forum, Biden made a number of false or misleading claims. We haven’t been able to analyze everything he said Wednesday night, but here is a summary of some of his comments.

Covid-19 vaccines

When asking Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Biden said: “If you are vaccinated, you will not be hospitalized, you will not be in the ICU unit and you will not die.” In another exchange moments later, Biden said that even if vaccinated people “get the virus,” “they’re not likely to get sick.”

But then during a third exchange, Biden said that since the vaccines “cover” against the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus: “You are not going to get covid if you have these vaccines.”

The facts first: Biden’s second claim – that vaccinated people “are not likely to get sick” – is correct. But the promises in their first and third comments – that vaccinated people are simply “not going to be hospitalized,” “they are not going to die” and, even with the highly contagious delta variant, “they are not going to get covid” – are inaccurate.

Covid-19 vaccines are very effective and drastically reduce the likelihood of infection, serious illness, and death. However, contrary to Biden’s categorical statements, they do not guarantee that people will not contract the virus or that they will not be hospitalized or die. Even vaccinated people from Biden’s own staff have been infected. Also a Senior Assistant to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, several Texas Democratic state legislators who have been in Washington this month; and several other high profile people.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not endorse the definitive language that Biden used. The CDC notes on its website that “post-vaccination infections will occur even though the vaccines are working as expected” and “there will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized or die from COVID-19.”

Experts emphasize that it is rare for fully vaccinated people to become seriously ill from COVID-19. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last Friday that more than 97% of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated; Chief Health Officer Dr. Vivek Murthy said on CNN on Sunday that 99.5% of COVID-19 deaths right now are among unvaccinated people. But that means, of course, that hospitalizations and deaths sometimes occur among those who are fully vaccinated, as several US jurisdictions have reported in recent days.

The CDC says that as of July 12 it had received reports of 1,063 deaths among people vaccinated with post-vaccination cases, although it warned that 26% of these deaths “were reported as asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19.” The CDC said it had received reports of 5,189 hospitalizations among vaccinated people with post-vaccination cases, although 28% were “reported as asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sought to clarify Biden’s statement that “you will not get covid if you have these vaccines.”

“Well, what the science says is that 97% of hospitalizations are people who were not vaccinated,” Psaki said Thursday. “So, yes, there are cases of people who are vaccinated, to be absolutely clear, that they have contracted covid; it is a very small percentage, and a small number of people, and those cases, the great, vast, great majority, are asymptomatic And they have, they have minor symptoms, which means you’re largely protected, that was the point he was trying to make last night. “

Biden leaves covid-19 in the hands of science 2:58

Car prices

After being asked by a citizen if he was concerned about higher prices, especially inflation in gas, car and food prices, Biden stated that “the cost of a car is something like before the pandemic.”

Facts first: This is false, even with the leeway that Biden granted himself with the phrase “something like that.” Due to the challenges created by the covid-19 pandemic, new car prices and used car prices are significantly higher today than before the pandemic, whether “pre-pandemic” means mid-2019. or early 2020. The prices of used cars have seen a big increase.

For new and used vehicles in US cities, the consumer price index was approximately 20% higher in June 2021 than in January 2020 and approximately 19% higher than in June 2019. Used cars and trucks have increased about 43% in cities since January 2020 and about 41% since June 2019.

The senior writer of CNN Business, Chris Isidorewrote on Sunday that, according to Edmunds, a company that tracks car prices, “the average transaction of new cars in June was just below the record of $ 41,000 set in May, and 10% more than in June. 2019. The median price of used cars soared even higher, increasing 28% in that two-year period to hit a record $ 26,500. “

Kelley Blue Book, which also tracks car prices, reported this week that the average transaction price for a new light vehicle in the U.S. was an all-time high of $ 42,258 in June 2021, not including consumer incentives. That’s up 12% from June 2019 and about 9% from January 2020, according to Kelley Blue Book spokeswoman Brenna Buehler.

Kayla Reynolds, an industrial intelligence analyst at Cox Automotive, owner of Kelley Blue Book, said in an email: “Historically, low inventory of new vehicles has helped drive up transaction prices over the past year. Incentive spending of automakers has also declined markedly, with new vehicle affordability hitting a 10-year low in June. “

Reynolds added that given the global microchip shortage that still affects vehicle manufacturing, analysts at Cox Automotive “do not expect new vehicle inventory to return to normal levels until next year, and even then consumers cannot wait. a significant price correction, just a slowdown in price increases. “

Non-competition agreements

Biden criticized the broad corporate use of “non-compete” clauses that restrict workers’ ability to go to work at other companies. He said: “For example, there are more than 600,000 people signing … 6 million people signing a … I better check the number … of … signing non-competitive agreements. Not because they have … any secrets, but because they were working for a fast food restaurant and they were told they couldn’t make 10 cents more going to the other side of town, going to the other fast food restaurant. Why? To keep wages low. “

The facts first: Biden made it very clear that he wasn’t sure what the actual number of workers was, but still, the numbers he used were a long way off, based on previous estimates from his own administration. Psaki told reporters on July 7 that the non-competition agreements affect “more than 30 million people” in the private sector. Meanwhile, a white house document published on July 9 put the figure at “between 36 and 60 million workers,” citing an estimate by the Institute of Economic Policy.

In a decree on July 9, Biden asked the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission to “consider working” with the rest of the commission to use their authority “to restrict the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may limit unfairly the mobility of workers “.

An infrastructure letter

Speaking about ongoing Senate negotiations on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, Biden said he believes negotiators only need until Monday to resolve unfinished business. He said: “Up to 20 Republicans were made to sign a letter that said, ‘We think we need this deal. We think we need this deal.’

The facts first: If he was talking about the letter that appeared on the news the day he spoke, Biden exaggerated the degree of Republican support. According to Republican Senator Rob Portman, 11 Republican senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, making it clear that they would vote no if Schumer took a procedural vote Wednesday to advance the infrastructure proposal. bipartisan, but that they intended to vote yes if it were voted next Monday. (Biden said “up to 20”, not just “20”, but 11 is so far from 20 that the statement is at least misleading.)

Biden may have mistaken the letter to Schumer for a public statement Wednesday in support of the infrastructure talks, which was endorsed by 22 senators. But that statement also included the names of 11 Republicans: 10 senators and a member of the House.

Wednesday’s vote failed. Schumer has the right to call another vote on Monday or in the future.

The child tax credit

How much will families receive in child credit? 2:27

In touting his expansion of the child tax credit, which was part of the $ 1.9 trillion relief package he enacted in March, Biden stated: “It’s called the child tax credit. If you have a child under 7, you get $ 300 a month, $ 350 a month. If you have a 7 to 17-year-old son, you get a total of $ 200 a month. “

The facts first: Biden was inaccurate in two ways: both in the amount of the tax credit for the two age groups and in what the two age groups actually are.

The age groups used to determine how much money families receive from the tax credit are: 1) ages 6 to 17 (not 7 to 17 as Biden said): 2) under 6 (not under 7 as Biden said).

Eligible parents receive up to $ 250 per month for each child ages 6 to 17, not $ 200 as Biden said. They receive up to US $ 300 a month for each child under the age of 6; Biden originally cited this amount, but later incorrectly increased the figure to $ 350.

Biden’s initial vaccination goal

Biden said, “Now by the way, remember when I was first elected, the problem was, well, I said I was going to do a million doses a week, and people said, ‘Biden can’t do that’ or ‘ Biden’s team can’t do that. ‘And it was 2 million. “

The facts first: Biden was wrong here. Its initial target, which some observers hailed skeptically, was 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines per day, not 1 million doses “per week.” Specifically, Biden had set a goal of 100 million doses in his first 100 days.

Biden then raised the goal to 200 million doses in his first 100 days. That goal was achieved.

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