Source: Becket Adams
Democratic nominee Joe Biden this weekend had another “largely factual” incident.
Speaking Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, the former vice president said 200 million people will die from the coronavirus “probably by the time I finish this talk.” Either that or he said 200 million have died already from the pandemic. It is not clear exactly what he meant to say. What is clear is that Biden said the COVID-19 death toll in the United States is somewhere in the millions. It is not.
“If Donald Trump has his way,” Biden said, “the complications from COVID-19, which are well beyond what they should be, it’s estimated that 200 million people have died probably by the time I finish this talk. The complication of COVID-19, like lung scarring and heart damage, could become the next deniable pre-existing condition for over six million! Americans have already contracted the disease.”
Biden almost certainly meant to say that 200 million have died already from the coronavirus, not that 200 million likely died in the time that it took for him to deliver his address in Philadelphia. But, man alive, that is not much of a defense. Biden’s number is nowhere near close to being accurate.
As of this writing, the total number of COVID-19-related death in the U.S. stands at 199,479, according to Johns Hopkins University. Biden is off by a magnitude of 199,800,521. Missed it by that much.
The question now is whether Biden’s estimate is a simple screw-up or an intentional falsehood. Given how badly he botched his reading of his prepared remarks, it seems more likely the Democratic nominee merely made a mistake when he said “million” instead of “thousand.” After all, he did get the “200” part right.
Then again, as a member of President Trump’s rapid response team noted Sunday, Biden tends to overstate estimates. Badly. Biden claimed earlier this year during a visit to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that 120 million people had died from the coronavirus. Not even close. Earlier than that, the Democratic nominee claimed 150 million Americans have been killed by gun violence since 2007. Again, that is not even close to being true. There is also the fact that Biden has a long, long history of exaggerating, embellishing, and outright lying.
Did Biden intentionally lie Sunday? Probably not. It was probably an honest gaffe. Let’s just say he was not batting a .300 Sunday afternoon when he made his 200 million comments. It is more likely that along with everything else he screwed up during his address, he simply bungled the COVID-19 death toll. But that is what happens when one tells as many lies as Biden has. Even honest screw-ups must be handled with suspicion.