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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden struggled during a speech on Sunday, falsely claiming that estimates indicated that there would be 200 million people dead from COVID-19 by the time he was finished talking.
While talking about the issue of health care, Biden said, “And perhaps most cruelly of all, if Donald Trump has his way, the complications from COVID-19, which are well beyond what they should be—it’s estimated that 200 million people [will] have died probably by the time I finish this talk—the complications of COVID-19, like lung scarring and heart damage, could become the next deniable preexisting condition for over six million Americans who’ve already contracted the disease.”
Globally, fewer than a million deaths have been recorded from the virus and, in the United States, approximately 200,000 people have been recorded as having died from the virus.
Joe Biden says 200 million people will have died from covid by the time he finishes his speech today. Just a bit off on that number. pic.twitter.com/7MVpUb1R8P
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 20, 2020
Biden did not correct himself but, several minutes later, said, “Like I said, as I speak, we’re probably passing 200,000 deaths lost to this virus.”
During a CNN town hall last week, Biden claimed, “If the president had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the people would still be alive. All the people—I’m not making this up. Just look at the data. Look at the data.”
Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler responded to Biden’s claim by writing:
Actually, Biden is making this up. There is no data to support this, even if the president had moved rapidly in January to deal with the coronavirus and been able to persuade the Chinese leadership to be more forthcoming about the situation. Even nations that have been praised for their handling of the pandemic, such as South Korea, New Zealand and Iceland, have suffered some deaths (377 in South Korea, 25 in New Zealand and 10 in Iceland).
In the United States, with 50 states run by governors, policies have varied greatly. Trump has been faulted for not articulating a national plan, but he would have had trouble persuading every governor to follow the exact same path.
Politico responded to Biden’s remarks by writing that he “vastly overstated what protections could have worked against the virus,” and that his remarks were “not true.”
Biden has a history of making puzzling statements regarding numbers, including a remark from last year where he claimed that more than 100 million Americans had been killed from gun violence over the previous 12 years.
“150 million people have been killed since 2007 when Bernie voted to exempt the gun manufacturers from liability,” Biden falsely claimed. “More than all the wars, including Vietnam, from that point on, carnage on our streets.”
Biden also once stated that the U.S. had “over 120 million dead from COVID,” but he then immediately corrected himself, saying in his very next words, “I mean, 120,000 dead from COVID.”
Biden also recently misstated the number of deaths that the U.S. military has experienced from COVID-19.
The Daily Wire reported:
“Military COVID infected: 118,984,” Biden said while reading off of a note card. “Military COVID deaths: 6,114.”
As of today, a total of seven members of the U.S. Military have died from the coronavirus while the total number of infected is 40,026.
A look at photos that were available from the event shows the note card that Biden was reading, which stated: “MI COVID Infected: 118,984. MI COVID Deaths: 6,814.”
Biden—speaking in Michigan—apparently did not understand that “MI” was an abbreviation for the state that he was in, not an abbreviation for “Military.”
A spokesperson for the campaign told Fox News that Biden “misspoke.”