WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden on Wednesday offered an absolute guarantee that people receiving their COVID-19 vaccines are fully protected from coronavirus infection, disease and death. Reality is not so cut and dried.
The vaccines are extremely effective, but “breakthrough” infections do occur and delta-variant driving cases among unvaccinated in the United States are not fully understood.
Biden, too, inflated the impact of his policies on U.S. jobs created in his first six months in office, misleadingly saying his administration had done more than any other president. He neglects to mention that he had population growth on his side in his comparison.
A look at his remarks in a CNN town hall:
BIDEN: “If you are vaccinated, you will not be hospitalized, you will not be in the IC unit, and you will not die.” – Town hall.
FACTS: His remark captures exactly the strong protection that the COVID-19 vaccines provide as the cases increase among people who have resisted the shots. But it overlooks the rare exceptions.
By July 12, the government had gathered 5,492 vaccinated people who tested positive for coronavirus and were hospitalized or died. That is out of more than 159 million fully vaccinated Americans. The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said “99.5% of all COVID-19 deaths are in the unvaccinated.”
BIDEN: “You will not receive COVID if you have these vaccinations.” – Town hall.
FACTS: Again, he painted with too wide a brush as he sharply described the difference between those who got their shots and those who did not. The difference is real, but a small number of breakthrough infections are happening and health officials say they are not a cause for alarm.
No vaccines are perfect and the government is keeping an eye on whether new coronavirus mutants are starting to overcome the COVID-19 shoots. But for now, federal health officials say even when breakthrough infections occur, they tend to be mild – the vaccines are so far highly protective against serious illness.
BIDEN, asked about vaccinated people who became infected: ‘It may be possible, I do not know anyone where they are hospitalized, at the ICU and or have passed away, so I can at least say, even if they got it, which I’ sorry they did, it’s such a small percentage and it’s not life threatening. ”- remarks to journalists after the event.
FACTS: Once again too far. The CDC’s findings found that 5,492 vaccinated people who tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized or died on 12 July. It is not “none”. But he is right that it is a small percentage of the more than 159 million fully vaccinated Americans.
BIDEN: “We have created more jobs in the first six months of our administration than any time in American history. No president, no administration has ever created so many jobs. ” – Town hall.
FACTS: His claim is misleading.
While Biden’s administration in its first six months as president has seen more jobs created than any other president – just over 3 million in the five months tracked by job reports – this is partly due to the fact that the US population is larger than before.
Calculated as a percentage of the workforce, job growth under President Jimmy Carter rose faster from February to June 1977 than the same five months this year: 2.2% for Carter compared to 2.1% for Biden.
Since the late 1970s, the American population has grown by more than 100 million people.
However, it is true that the economy is growing rapidly – it expanded by 6.4% annually in the first three months of the year – and is expected to grow this year at the fastest pace since 1984.
The bid’s $ 1.9 trillion bailout package contributed to the strong growth, but much of the expansion also reflects a broader backlash from the unusually sharp pandemic recession, the deepest downturn since the 1930s. Even before Biden’s package, for example, the International Monetary Fund expected US growth to exceed 5% this year.
Biden also omits the fact that the U.S. economy remains 6.8 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level, and unemployment has risen 5.9%, up from a five-decade low of 3.5% before the pandemic.
Associated Press authors Lauran Neergaard and Christopher Rugaber of Washington and David Klepper of Providence, Rhode Island, contributed to this report.
EDITOR’S COMMENT – A look at the truth of politicians’ demands.
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