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Fact Check: Biden Makes False Claims on Covid-19, Car Prices and Other Matters at CNN Town Hall
As he did at his February town hall, Biden made a number of false or misleading claims. We weren’t able to review everything he said on Wednesday night, but here’s a look at some of his remarks.

Calling on Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19, Biden said: “If you are vaccinated you are not going to be hospitalized, you are not going to be in the intensive care unit and you are not going to die “In another exchange moments later, Biden said that even if those vaccinated” get the virus “, they” are not likely to get sick. “

Facts first: Biden’s second claim – that people vaccinated are “not likely to get sick” – was correct. But the cover promises in its first and third comments – that those vaccinated are just ‘not going to be hospitalized’, ‘not going to die’ and, even with the highly contagious Delta variant, ‘not going to catch Covid’ – were inaccurate.

Vaccines against Covid-19 are very effective and they significantly reduce the risk 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 be hospitalized or die. Even those vaccinated from Biden’s own staff were infected. The same goes for a senior assistant to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, several Democratic state lawmakers from Texas who have been in Washington, DC, this month; and various other personalities.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not approve of the definitive language Biden did. The CDC notes on its website that “vaccine breakthrough cases will occur, even if the vaccines work as intended” and “there will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who will still get sick, be hospitalized or die from Covid-19. “.
Experts point out that it is rare for fully vaccinated people to fall seriously ill from Covid-19. Last Friday, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said more than 97% of Covid-19 patients hospitalized today are not vaccinated; Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy told CNN on Sunday that 99.5% of Covid-19 deaths are currently unvaccinated people. But that means, of course, that hospitalizations and deaths among fully vaccinated people do occasionally occur, as various U.S. jurisdictions have reported in recent days.
The CDC said that as of July 12, it had received reports of 1,063 deaths among those vaccinated with “breakthrough” cases, although it warned that 26% of those deaths were “reported as asymptomatic or unrelated to the disease. COVID-19 ”. The CDC said it received reports of 5,189 hospitalizations among those vaccinated with “breakthrough” cases, although 28% were “reported as asymptomatic or unrelated to COVID-19.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki sought to clarify Biden’s statement that “you are not going to catch Covid if you have these vaccines.”

“Well, what the science is saying is 97% of hospitalizations are unvaccinated,” Psaki said Thursday. “So yes, there are cases of individuals who are vaccinated, to be completely clear, who have contracted Covid – it’s a very small percentage, and a small number of people, and these cases, the big one, the vast, vast 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. “

Automobile prices

After a citizen asked him if he was concerned about rising prices, especially the inflation of gasoline, automobile and food prices, Biden asserted that “the cost of an automobile , it is a bit what it was before the pandemic “.

Facts first: This is wrong, even with the leeway Biden allowed himself with the phrase “sort of.” Due to the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the prices of new cars and used cars are significantly higher today than they were before the pandemic, whether it was “before the pandemic” that is to say mid-2019 or early 2020. Used car prices have seen a particularly large increase.
For new and used vehicles in US cities, the Consumer Price Index was about 20% higher in June 2021 than in January 2020 and about 19% higher than in June 2019. Cars and Used trucks have increased by about 43% in cities since January. 2020 and around 41% since June 2019.
Chris Isidore, senior editor of CNN Business, wrote on Sunday that – according to Edmunds, a company that tracks car prices – “the average new car deal in June was just short of the record $ 41,000 set in May, and up 10% from June 2019. The average price of used cars has skyrocketed again, increasing 28% over that two-year period to a record high of $ 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 United States was an all-time high of $ 42,258 in June 2021, not counting incentives to consumption applied. That’s an increase of about 12% from June 2019 and about 9% from January 2020, according to Kelley Blue Book spokesperson Brenna Buehler.
Kayla Reynolds, Industrial Intelligence Analyst for Cox Automotive, owner of Kelley Blue Book, said in an email: “The historically tight inventory of new vehicles has helped drive up transaction prices throughout the year. past year. Incentive spending by automakers has also fallen dramatically, and the affordability of new vehicles hit its lowest level in a decade in June. ”Reynolds added that given the global chip shortage that still plagues vehicle manufacturing , Cox Automotive analysts “don’t expect new vehicle inventories to return to normal levels until next year, and even then, consumers can’t expect a significant correction in prices. price. , only a slowdown in price increases. “

Non-competition agreements

Biden criticized the widespread use by companies of “non-compete” clauses that restrict the ability of workers to leave for jobs at other companies. He said, “For example, you have over 600,000 people signing – 6 million people signing a – I’d better check the number – of – signing non-compete agreements. No not because they have … a secret, but because they were working for a fast food restaurant, and they are told that they cannot get 10 cents more by crossing town, going to the other fast -food Why? To keep wages low.
Facts first: Biden has made it clear he is not sure the actual number of workers, but the numbers he used were still very far off, according to previous estimates from his own administration. Psaki told reporters on July 7 that non-competition agreements affect “more than 30 million people” in the private sector. A White House document published on July 9, estimated the figure at “some 36 to 60 million workers”, citing an estimate from the Economic Policy Institute think tank.
In an executive order of July 9, Biden asked the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission to “consider working” with the rest of the commission to use his authority “to limit the unfair use of non-compete clauses and ‘other clauses or agreements which may unfairly limit the mobility of workers.

A letter of infrastructure

Speaking of the ongoing Senate negotiations on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, Biden said he believes negotiators only need Monday to resolve outstanding issues. He said: “You got up to 20 Republicans to sign a letter saying, ‘We think we need this deal. We think we need this deal. ‘ “
Facts first: If he was talking about the letter in the news the day he spoke, Biden overstated the extent of Republican support. According to Republican Senator Rob Portman, 11 Republican senators sent a letter to Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in which they made it clear they would vote no if Schumer held a procedural vote on Wednesday to push forward the bipartisan infrastructure proposal, but that they had intend to vote yes if a vote takes place next Monday. (Biden did say “up to 20”, not just “20”, but 11 is so far from 20 that the claim is at least misleading.)
Biden may have confused the letter to Schumer with a public statement Wednesday in support of the infrastructure talks, which was approved by 22 senators. But that statement also included the names of 11 Republicans – 10 Senators and one House member.

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

The child tax credit

Boasting his expansion of the child tax credit, which was part of the $ 1.9 trillion relief package he signed in March, Biden said, “It’s called the credit card. child tax. If you have a child under 7, you get $ 300 per month – $ 350 per month. If you have a child under 7 to 17, you get a total of $ 200 per month. month.”

Facts first: Biden was inaccurate in two ways – both on the amount of the tax credit for the two age groups and on 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 years old (no less than 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 $ 300 per month for each child under the age of 6; Biden initially cited this amount, but then 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 hits a week, and people said, “Biden can’t do that” or “Team Biden can’t do that. And it was 2 million. “

Facts first: Biden misspoken here. Its initial objective – which some observers have indeed greet with skepticism – was 1 million hits of Covid-19 per day, not 1 million hits “per week”. Specifically, Biden had set himself a goal of 100 million shots in his first 100 days.
Biden then increased the goal to 200 million shots in his first 100 days. This objective has been achieved.


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