After two months, Joe Biden finally gave his first press conference as President of the United States. Before answering questions from a pre-selected list of journalists, Biden lauded his administration’s supposed early successes.
Central to this theme was the role played by the COVID-19 vaccine in fighting the ongoing pandemic.
During his brief speech, Biden made three statements which were, in their own way, evidence of his utter dishonesty and disregard for mathematical reality on the subject of the COVID-19 vaccine. Let’s break down what he said, and why it is both absurd and even statistically egregious.
Biden celebrated hitting his “goal” of 100 million shots in 58 days
First, Biden lauded the apparent success of his administration having achieved his initial goal of administering 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in 100 days.
“We met that goal last week — by day 58,” Biden said.
The argument seemingly being made by Biden — that beating his goal by 42 days is proof of his leadership abilities — relies on one central premise: the manipulation of data and the ignorance or disinterest of journalists.
When we look at the data, not only is it clear that this goal was easily achievable, but also that the Trump administration provided Biden with all the tools needed to succeed. In terms of sporting metaphors, this was a lay up, not a slam dunk.
The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered — after being miraculously delivered in record time, we should add — on December 14, 2020.
Between December 14 and January 20, 21.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered, according to the CDC. With the initial infrastructure in place, and the vaccine being produced, delivered, and distributed, the heavy lifting had already been performed when Biden entered office.
Given this context, let’s now analyze the math behind Biden’s “100 doses in 100 days” goal. With 100 days remaining on January 20, the number of remaining doses required to hit this goal was just under 78.3 million. That amounts to an average of 783,000 doses administered per day.
On the day Biden entered office, 1,537,748 doses were administered, with a running 7-day average of 996,453 doses per day. Therefore, to achieve the “goal” of hitting 100 doses in 100 days, all the Biden administration needed to do was do nothing, except sit back and watch the result of Trump’s work.
Biden set new “ambitious” goal of 200 million shots in 100 days
Biden then built on this non-success to proclaim that he was doubling his original goal.
“Today, I am making a second goal. By my 100th day in office, we will have administered 200 million shots,” he said.
“I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal,” he added.
Let’s do the math.
With 21.7 million doses already administered on entering office, this means that the Biden administration would need to oversee the use of 178.3 million doses in 100 days. This amounts to an average of 1.78 million doses per day, assuming a static average rate of immunization.
However, on the back of the momentum only made possible by the Trump administration, the rate of immunization has been steadily increasing since the first dose was given in December 2020. Not only that, the rate has been increasing — as expected — at a non-linear rate as infrastructure and related processes ramp up.
In simple terms, this is the equivalent between starting a race from a standing start or from a running start. Biden likely knows this, and is repackaging the progress of the vaccine program as required.
For example, since March, the rolling 7-day average has been above 2 million doses per day, with a recent 7-day average peak of 2.3 million doses per day. In addition, on March 1, almost 84 million doses had already been administered. On March 25, a total of over 133 million doses had been administered since vaccinations began.
This means that 67 million doses must be administered in 36 days for Biden to hit his new “ambitious” goal, which amounts to an average of 1.86 million doses per day. With the last 7-day average of over 2.2 million doses per day, the Biden administration should easily hit this goal — in fact, they could probably scale back current efforts and still hit that goal.
So, no. It’s not ambitious. It’s mathematically likely, and Biden is most likely keenly aware of that. He’s not pushing the boundaries, he’s setting himself up for future self-celebration.
Biden claimed that the American vaccine program is unprecedented, and that no other country has come close to doing “what we are doing”
Finally, after calling for the new “goal,” Biden claimed that the United States has been uniquely successful when it comes to its vaccine program.
“I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has come close … to what we are doing,” he said.
This is simply untrue when we analyze worldwide vaccination data in an objective manner by taking into account the varying population sizes of other countries.
Biden is taking advantage of this lack of context by judging success based on the total number of doses administered. In this category, the United States does indeed lead the world. However, when we remember that the United States has a large population compared to the vast majority of countries, the analysis changes when we adjust for population size.
When we rank countries by doses based on population size, looking at doses administered per 100 people, the United States is being beaten by eight countries. While the United States has administered 39 doses per 100 people, Israel has administered 111 doses per 100 people. The United States is also beaten in this ranking by Seychelles (98 doses per 100 people), the United Arab Emirates (79 doses per 100 people), Chile (48 doses per 100 people), the United Kingdom (47 doses per 100 people), Monaco (47 doses per 100 people), Bahrain (44 doses per 100 people) and Maldives (41 doses per 100 people).
In all three cases, Biden and his team are manipulating basic data to achieve the result they want, and are relying on the fact that no journalist will point out his mathematical abuses. Based on the questions posed to the president during the press conference, it seems like it was a successful strategy.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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