Home Politics The false and misleading claims President Biden made during his first 100...

The false and misleading claims President Biden made during his first 100 days in office

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“When I took office, 8 percent of the people over 65 had received their first shot.”

Analysis: This is a misleading statistic. When Biden took office, vaccinations had only been given for about a month. Moreover, health-care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, frontline essential workers and people over the age of 75 were in line to be the first to be vaccinated, which is why a relatively small percentage of people over 65 had been vaccinated. Biden offers various versions of this statistic; we are including statements when he specifically notes the percentage on the date he took office.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Remarks

Also repeated:April 6March 29March 11

“The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people. We couldn’t do two things at once.”

Analysis: After initially indicating he would raise the refugee cap to 62,500 in fiscal 2021, Biden pulled back after an unexpected surge of migrants at the southern border. He may have been worried about the political optics, but experts said that conflating the refugee problem with the migrant problem is misleading. The Office of Refugee Resettlement has been strained by the migrant surge, but when it comes to refugees, the agemcy is mainly a funding vehicle for nonprofit organizations that handle the settlement of refugees throughout the country. The Trump administration closed resettlment offices, but those would be reopened if the Biden administration turned on the funding spigot again by lifting the refugee cap.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: Remarks

“The folks who own weapons, the folks who own guns, they support universal background checks. The majority of them think we should not be selling assault weapons.”

Analysis: Numerous surveys show that a vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, support enhanced background checks. But Biden went too far in claiming that a majority of gun owners also support a ban on assault weapons. The White House could not point to a poll that supported the claim, while a 2019 Washington Post poll found that a narrow majority of gun owners opposed it. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: GunsSource: News Conference

“This is a moment for American strength and American unity; for government, industries, communities to work together to make sure that we’re ready to meet the global competition that lies ahead, not continuing to slide in terms of our investment. We’re ranked, like, number 25th in the world now. That’s not American.”

Analysis: Biden knocks the United States down a few pegs. The United States actually ranks 13th for infrastructure, according to the global competitiveness rankings by the World Economic Forum. But even that figure is still a bit misleading as the ranking lacks context. “Of the 12 economies the WEF ranked ahead of the United States in 2019, three — Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates — are tiny coastal city-states. It’s patently spurious to compare their infrastructure challenges with those of the United States,” noted Washington Post columnist Charles Lane. “Among the 10 geographically largest countries, including Canada, Australia, China and Russia, the United States places first, based on WEF criteria. The United States is also top among the 10 most populous countries.” If one considered the European countries as a single unit, given many share infrastructure costs, the United States would rank fifth.

Topic: EconomySource: Remarks

“The average rapist rapes about six times.”

Analysis: Biden is relying on a figure for college rapists that is derived from a 2002 study that has come under fire from sexual-assault experts. Other peer-reviewed studies have come up with lower figures, though again they are generallly in the college context. Several experts called on Biden to withdraw his statement. Obviously, The Fact Checker cannot litigate the debate between the study’s author and his critics. But the White House should be aware of the dispute and be more cautious about validating a statistic that may or may not be correct. Otherwise, Biden may be perpetuating misinformation. Ordinarily, given the academic dispute, we’d consider this a Two-Pinocchio claim. But because the president turned a study about campus rape into a statistic about the average rapist, he earns Three Pinocchios. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Three Pinocchios

Topic: MiscellaneousSource: Remarks

“Most people don’t know, you walk into a store and you buy a gun, you have a background check. But you go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want and no background check.”

Analysis: Biden’s phrasing can leave the impression that no background checks are required at gun shows. But a person at a gun show engaged in the business of selling guns needs a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and must conduct background checks and file substantial paperwork. Gun dealers who pretend to be gun hobbyists but actively trade guns at gun shows are prosecuted. Studies suggest most sales at gun shows are made by licensed retailers. In fact, the Congressional Research Service, after examining several studies, including a 2016 survey of where federal and state prisoners obtained the firearms used in their crimes, concluded in 2019: “Private firearms sales at gun shows or any similar venue did not appear to be a significant source of guns carried by these offenders, while private transfers among family members, friends, and acquaintances did appear to account for a significant source of such firearms.” The White House said that Biden was not saying that every gun at gun shows was sold without background checks, but simply that a person can buy a gun from unlicensed sellers at gun shows who sell guns without background checks or any paperwork that would document the transaction. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: GunsSource: Remarks

“The only industry in America, a billion-dollar industry, that can’t be sued, has been exempt from being sued, are gun manufacturers.”

Analysis: The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), signed by President George W. Bush in 2005, generally shields gun manufacturers and dealers from having to face lawsuits over violent crimes committed with the weapons they sell. The law comes with six exceptions, however, so Biden is wrong to claim that the gun industry is totally immune. One exception applies when “a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought.” The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that gun manufacturer Remington Arms could be sued under this exception for potentially violating the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. The U.S. Supreme Court later declined to review the ruling, meaning it stands as the law in Connecticut.

Topic: GunsSource: Remarks

“States that have red-flag laws have seen a reduction in the number of suicides in their states.”

Analysis: Biden is referring to extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws, which authorize the removal of firearms from people determined by a court to be at risk for committing gun violence. But a 2020 Rand Corporation review of gun studies found that it was too soon to make such a sweeping claim. “Although the findings for Indiana’s law are suggestive, considering the strength of this evidence and potential issues of generalizability, we find inconclusive evidence for the effect of extreme risk protection orders on total and firearm suicides,” the report said.

Topic: GunsSource: Remarks

“More than 75 percent of the people over the age of 65 have gotten shots, up from 8 percent when we took office. That’s a dramatic turnaround and critical because seniors account for 80 percent of all covid deaths.”

Analysis: This is a misleading statistic. When Biden took office, vaccinations had only been given for about a month. Moreover, health-care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, frontline essential workers and people over the age of 75 were in line to be the first to be vaccinated, which is why a relatively small percentage of people over 65 had been vaccinated. Biden offers various versions of this statistic; we are including statements when he specifically notes the percentage on the date he took office.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Remarks

Also repeated:April 17March 29March 11

“Independent analysis shows that if we pass this plan, the economy will create 19 million jobs — good jobs, blue-collar jobs, jobs that pay well.”

Analysis: Biden’s finely tuned talking point can leave a misleading impression. The Moody’s Analytics report offered three scenarios for job growth: with no government intervention, with just the American Rescue Plan, and with both the American Rescue Plan and the American Jobs Plan, the moniker for the infrastructure proposal. With the AJP, the economy will create 18.96 million jobs between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2030, but if the infrastructure plan was not passed, the economy would create 16.3 million jobs in that time period. As a result of the infrastructure plan, almost 2.7 million additional jobs would be created over 10 years, the report says. Biden carefully does not say the infrastructure plan would create 19 million jobs; instead, he says the economy would create that many jobs if the plan was passed. That language is just on the edge of being technically correct, but some listeners will come to believe that the infrastructure bill would create 19 million jobs all by itself. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: EconomySource: Remarks

“Raising taxes, the studies show, will not slow the economy at all. Asking corporate America just to pay their fair share will not slow the economy at all. It will make the economy function better and will create more energy”.

Analysis: Biden may be right in the long run, but he cannot make such a definitive statement. His proposed corporate tax increases will initially slow economic growth, according to the same Moody’s Analytics report the president cites for his 19 million jobs estimate. The report predicts that growth will slow slightly in early 2022, trimming about 22,000 jobs, as the impact of Biden’s proposed tax increases are felt before infrastructure spending really gets started later that year. Moreover, the Penn-Wharton Budget model concluded that the combination of tax increases and additional government debt incurred by the plan would slow economic growth slightly, leaving the economy 0.8 percent smaller in 2050 than it otherwise would have been.

Topic: TaxesSource: Remarks

“I have the list of exactly how many have died: 547,296 Americans dead from the virus — more than all the people killed in World War One, World War Two, the Vietnam War, 9/11. 547,296 Americans.”

Analysis: The number of in-service deaths during World War I, World War II and Vietnam War combined adds up to about 580,000 deaths. When we first looked into this, a White House official told The Fact Checker that the president intended to refer to combat deaths in World War I, World War II and Vietnam, which we noted is under 400,000, but he inadvertently omitted that qualifier in his remarks. That was odd because in a similar statement in his inaugural address, Biden referred to in-service deaths. Indeed, if Biden was using only battlefield deaths, he actually could have said more people died of covid-19 than in combat during all of America’s wars against foreign enemies. Despite our fact check, Biden kept leaving off the qualifier referring to battlefield deaths and so kept making this mistake. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Prepared Speech

Also repeated:March 19March 11Feb. 25Feb. 22

“I’d note, parenthetically, that I got criticized for giving tax breaks to middle-class and poor folks this last time. I didn’t hear that cry — hue and cry when we were doing the same thing when Trump’s tax bill passed and 83 percent of the money went to the top 1 percent.”

Analysis: This is a misleading Democratic talking point that has often earned Two Pinocchios. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that initially more than 80 percent of taxpayers would get a tax cut, with less than 5 percent getting a tax increase. The top 1 percent received 20.5 percent of the tax cut in 2018. But the individual tax cuts expire over the course of the decade. Republicans structured the tax cut this way to keep the whole package — especially the corporate tax cut — in a budget box that allowed only for a $1.5 trillion increase in the federal deficit over 10 years. The assumption — possibly a big one — is that Congress will vote to extend the tax cuts when they begin to expire, just as most of the George W. Bush tax cuts were extended, with the eventual support of Democrats who had long opposed the Bush-era cuts. So Democrats prefer to focus on the TPC estimates for 2027, when the study shows 82.8 percent of the tax cuts will flow to the top 1 percent. But it’s not 2027 yet, so most taxpayers are still getting some kind of tax cut.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: TaxesSource: Prepared Speech

Also repeated:March 25March 16

“You’re going to close a polling place at 5 o’clock when working people just get off. This is all about keeping working folks, ordinary folks that I grew up with, from being able to vote.”

Analysis: Biden makes an unfounded attack on an election bill signed into law in Georgia. Election Day hours were not changed and the opportunities to cast a ballot in early voting were expanded. The law made a modest change, replacing a vague “normal business hours” — presumed to be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — to a more specific 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. time period. (Some rural county election offices only worked part time during the week, not a full eight-hour day, so the shift to more specific times makes it clear they must be open every weekday for at least eight hours.) But that’s the minimum. Under the new law, counties have the option to extend the voting hours so voters can start casting ballots as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 7 p.m. — the same as Election Day in Georgia. Moreover, an additional mandatory day of early voting on Saturday was added and two days of early voting on Sunday were codified as an option for counties. The White House did not provide an explanation for Biden’s erroneous statement. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Four Pinocchios

Topic: ElectionSource: Interview

Also repeated:March 26March 25

“Imagine passing a law saying you cannot provide water or food for someone standing in line to vote.”

Analysis: Biden’s language is very carefully phrased but it might provide a misleading impression of a new election law in Georgia. Long lines have often been experienced during Georgia’s elections, especially in majority-Black districts. Food and water would be distributed while people stood in line. But Georgia officials said such assistance has been viewed as a way to sway votes. The new Georgia law, in what was pitched as an anti-bribery statue, makes that illegal if such assistance occurs within 150 feet of the building where voting is taking place, or within 25 feet of a voting line. The law added, however, that poll workers were not prohibited from “making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in line to vote.” In other words, self-service water can be donated and provided, as long as it is not associated with political campaigns. Voters are also free to bring or buy food and drink for themselves. Biden skips over this nuance by focusing on the bringing of water. Other states, such as New York and Montana, also have a prohibition on distributing food and drink to voters.

Topic: ElectionSource: Interview

Also repeated:March 26March 25

“This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they are doing in Georgia.”

Analysis: This is rhetorical overkill. “Jim Crow” refers to a system that, before passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, systematically denied Black Americans their constitutional right to vote through “literacy tests,” poll taxes and other measures. Biden might argue that some provisions of the law are aimed at Black voters or counties with large Black populations — though advocates of the law deny that. But unlike the Jim Crow era, the law does not put up roadblocks to Black people registering to vote. Still, it’s a close call as the new voting law certainly appears to be a reaction to the fact that Democrats won the presidential contest and two Senate seats in 2020 on the strength of Black votes.

Topic: ElectionSource: Interview

Also repeated:March 26

“When I took office on January 20th, that number [of those over 65 who were vaccinated] was 8 percent. It’s going to 75 percent.”

Analysis: This is a misleading statistic. When Biden took office, vaccinations had only been given for about a month. Moreover, health-care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, frontline essential workers and people over the age of 75 were in line to be the first to be vaccinated, which is why a relatively small percentage of people over 65 had been vaccinated. Biden offers various versions of this statistic; we are including statements when he specifically notes the percentage on the date he took office.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Remarks

Also repeated:April 17April 6March 11

“Among the outrageous parts of this new state law, it ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote after their shift is over.”

Analysis: Biden makes an unfounded attack on an election bill signed into law in Georgia. Election Day hours were not changed and the opportunities to cast a ballot in early voting were expanded. The law made a modest change, replacing a vague “normal business hours” — presumed to be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — to a more specific 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. time period. (Some rural county election offices only worked part time during the week, not a full eight-hour day, so the shift to more specific times makes it clear they must be open every weekday for at least eight hours.) But that’s the minimum. Under the new law, counties have the option to extend the voting hours so voters can start casting ballots as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 7 p.m. — the same as Election Day in Georgia. Moreover, an additional mandatory day of early voting on Saturday was added and two days of early voting on Sunday were codified as an option for counties. The White House did not provide an explanation for Biden’s erroneous statement. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Four Pinocchios

Topic: ElectionSource: Statement

Also repeated:March 31March 25

“It makes it a crime to provide water to voters while they wait in line.”

Analysis: Biden’s language is very carefully phrased but it might provide a misleading impression of a new election law in Georgia. Long lines have often been experienced during Georgia’s elections, especially in majority-Black districts. Food and water would be distributed while people stood in line. But Georgia officials said such assistance has been viewed as a way to sway votes. The new Georgia law, in what was pitched as an anti-bribery statue, makes that illegal if such assistance occurs within 150 feet of the building where voting is taking place, or within 25 feet of a voting line. The law added, however, that poll workers were not prohibited from “making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in line to vote.” In other words, self-service water can be donated and provided, as long as it is not associated with political campaigns. Biden skips over this nuance by focusing on the providing of water. Voters are also free to bring or buy food and drink for themselves. Other states, such as New York and Montana, also have a prohibition on distributing food and drink to voters.

Topic: ElectionSource: Statement

Also repeated:March 31March 25

“This is Jim Crow in the 21st century.”

Analysis: We debated whether this should be considered opinion — or overheated, misleading rhetoric. We ultimately decided to include Biden’s decription of the election law in Georgia as it was part of an official presidential statement and thus was not an off-the-cuff comment. “Jim Crow” refers to a system that, before passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, systematically denied Black Americans their constitutional right to vote through “literacy tests,” poll taxes and other measures. Biden might argue that some provisions of the law are aimed at Black voters or counties with large Black populations — though advocates of the law deny that. But unlike the Jim Crow era, the law does not put up roadblocks to Black people registering to vote. Still, it’s a close call as the new voting law certainly appears to be a reaction to the fact that Democrats won the presidential contest and two Senate seats in 2020 on the strength of Black votes.

Topic: ElectionSource: Statement

Also repeated:March 31

“That’s right, 200 million shots in 100 days. I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close, not even close to what we are doing.”

Analysis: Biden is correct that the United States has vaccinated more people than any other country — about 130 million people, compared with 83 million for China, 53 million for India and 31 million for the United Kingdom. But that’s a raw number that lacks context. At least a dozen countries, such as Chile, Israel and the United Kingdom, have vaccinated a greater percentage of their population. For instance, while the United States has provided 39 doses out of every 100 people, Israel has done 114 doses, the United Arab Emirates 77 doses, Chile 47 doses and the United Kingdom 46 doses. (Most of the other nations ahead of the United States in the per capita ranking are small, island countries.)

Topic: CoronavirusSource: News Conference

“To hear them [Republicans] complain when they passed a close to $2 trillion Trump tax cut, 83 percent going to the top 1 percent.”

Analysis: This is a misleading Democratic talking point that has often earned Two Pinocchios. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that initially more than 80 percent of taxpayers would get a tax cut, with less than 5 percent getting a tax increase. The top 1 percent received 20.5 percent of the tax cut in 2018. But the individual tax cuts expire over the course of the decade. Republicans structured the tax cut this way to keep the whole package — especially the corporate tax cut — in a budget box that allowed only for a $1.5 trillion increase in the federal deficit over 10 years. The assumption — possibly a big one — is that Congress will vote to extend the tax cuts when they begin to expire, just as most of the George W. Bush tax cuts were extended, with the eventual support of Democrats who had long opposed the Bush-era cuts. So Democrats prefer to focus on the TPC estimates for 2027, when the study shows, 82.8 percent of the tax cuts will flow to the top 1 percent. But it’s not 2027 yet, so most taxpayers are still getting some kind of tax cut.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: TaxesSource: News Conference

Also repeated:March 31March 16

“I also set a goal before I took office, of getting a majority of schools in K through 8 fully open in the first 100 days. Now, thanks to the enormous amount of work done by our administration, educators, parents, local, state education officials and leaders, a recent Department of Education survey shows that nearly half of the K-through-8 schools are open now, full time, five days a week for in-person learning.”

Analysis: Biden is referring to a survey, released the day before, that surveyed schools on the situation in January, just as Biden took office. So the numbers do not reflect anything that has happened on Biden’s watch. Moreover, Biden overstated what the survey found. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) survey found that 47 percent of schools serving fourth-grade students and 46 percent of schools serving eighth-grade students that participated in the survey were open for in-person learning. But only 38 percent of fourth-grade schools and 28 percent of eighth-grade schools were open full time, five days a week. Seventeen percent of fourth-grade schools and 20 percent of eighth-grade schools offered a hybrid of remote and in-person teaching.

Topic: EducationSource: News Conference

“Well, look, the idea that I’m going to say, which I would never do, that if an unaccompanied child ends up at the border, we’re just going to let them starve to death and stay on the other side — no previous administration did that either, except Trump.”

Analysis: Biden claimed, without apparent evidence, that children “starved to death” in Mexico under Trump’s 2019 policy allowing border officers to return non-Mexican asylum seekers to locations in Mexico as their claims are adjudicated in immigration courts. Asked for evidence of such deaths, a White House official referred to reports of “widely reported treacherous conditions at camps along the border on the Mexican side that formed as a result of the Trump administration’s use of the Migrant Protection Protocol, more commonly known as ‘Remain in Mexico.’” A nurse, for instance, told Reuters that in the camps, “she saw breastfeeding mothers so dehydrated that they could not nurse their babies and parents chewing up donated pizza into mush to feed their infants. Some children were showing early signs of malnutrition.” One woman in the camp told the Guardian: “We’ve gone hungry. We’ve been cold. We’ve had to bathe in the river. This is a desperate place.” The American Immigration Council also reported on the case of a woman who feared her daughter would die of starvation. These reports are certainly compelling, but none documented the deaths of children by starvation. Nevertheless, a 2020 report by Physicians for Human Rights described cases of asylum seekers being dismembered or tortured as they waited in Mexico.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: News Conference

“We’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming.”

Analysis: This is false. Only 41 percent were turned away in February — and preliminary March numbers indicated fewer than 20 percent were being sent back.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: News Conference

“It happens every single solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. … The reason they’re coming is that it’s the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat in the desert.”

Analysis: Biden sugarcoated an unusual situation on the border. The numbers do not spike in the winter “every single solitary year.” In 2017, for instance, apprehensions and encounters with “inadmissible” migrants declined through the winter. The increase over the preceding eight weeks appears to be especially sharp, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said earlier in March that the United States is “on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.” In March, the number of unaccompanied teens and children taken into custody is on pace to exceed 17,000, a record, and overall arrests and detentions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection are projected to surpass 150,000 for March, preliminary figures showed.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: News Conference

“Ninety of the Fortune 500 companies making billions of dollars not paying a cent in taxes.”

Analysis: Biden loves this statistic, but he usually is careful to say “federal taxes.” Simply saying “taxes” makes it wrong, because no matter what the federal tax liability, these companies certainly pay a variety of payroll, real estate, and local or state taxes. In a 2019 report, the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) concluded that 91 profitable companies in the Fortune 500 did not pay any federal income tax, largely as a result of the 2017 tax law, such as through deductions for investment that Trump promoted in the bill. The group said an additional 56 companies paid effective tax rates between zero and 5 percent on their 2018 income, for an average effective tax rate of 2.2 percent. It’s worth noting that companies do not fully disclose their tax liability in their filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, so this statistic is the product of research and analysis by the ITEP. But the group has done this for many years, and certainly the comparison of estimated taxes paid before and after the tax bill is relevant.

Topic: TaxesSource: News Conference

“I would like elected Republican support, but what I know I have now is I that have electoral support from Republican voters. Republican voters agree with what I’m doing. … Over 50 percent of them must be over that edge, as well, because they support what I did.”

Analysis: Biden overstates his support from Republicans, according to Washington Post pollsters Scott Clement and Emily Guskin. “Polls show majorities of Republicans across the country opposed the stimulus bill, although polls show most Republicans supported some key parts of the legislation,” they wrote. “Across five national polls since late February, between 54 percent and 73 percent of Republicans opposed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The bill enjoyed majority support from the public overall — from a low of 61 percent to a high of 75 percent in polls by CNN, Monmouth University, the Pew Research Center, CBS/YouGov and YouGov/Economist.”

Topic: MiscellaneousSource: News Conference

Also repeated:March 11

“The way to deal with this problem — and I started to deal with it back when I was a United States senator — I mean, vice president — putting together a bipartisan plan of over $700 million to deal with the root causes of why people are leaving.
What did Trump do? He eliminated that funding. He didn’t use it. He didn’t do it.

Analysis: Trump cut the budget for the program, U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America, but he did not eliminate it, according to the Congressional Research Service. Spending fell from a high of $750 million under President Barack Obama to $506 million in fiscal 2021. The Trump administration suspended most foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras while it sought agreements on migrants and asylum-seekers, but eventually the aid was restored.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: News Conference

Also repeated:March 24

“You know, if you’re a husband and wife, schoolteacher and a cop, you’re paying at a higher rate than the average person making a billion dollars a year is.”

Analysis: With few unusual exceptions, this is false. The U.S. tax code is progressive and people making higher incomes tend to pay a higher percentage in taxes.

Topic: TaxesSource: News Conference

“Between 1917 and 1971 the filibuster existed, there were a total of 58 motions to break a filibuster that whole time. Last year alone, there were five times that many.”

Analysis: When Biden refers to a motion to “break a filibuster,” he is talking about a vote to invoke cloture — ending Senate debate on a bill or a nomination. There were 298 votes on cloture in the 2019-2020 session (which is two years, not one year), but in all but 18 cases, the debate was ended and a final vote could take place. Biden does not mention that Democrats, then in the minority, were responsible for most, if not all, of these filibusters. There were 118 cloture motions filed in 2020 alone, about double the amount filed between 1917 and 1971.

Topic: MiscellaneousSource: News Conference

“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick … deciding that you’re going to end voting at five o’clock when working people are just getting off work.”

Analysis: Biden makes an unfounded attack on an election bill pending in Georgia. Election Day hours were not changed and the opportunities to cast a ballot in early voting were expanded. The law made a modest change, replacing a vague “normal business hours” — presumed to be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — to a more specific 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. time period. (Some rural county election offices only worked part time during the week, not a full eight-hour day, so the shift to more specific times makes it clear they must be open every weekday for at least eight hours.) But that’s the minimum. Under the new law, counties have the option to extend the voting hours so voters can start casting ballots as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 7 p.m. — the same as Election Day in Georgia. Moreover, an additional mandatory day of early voting on Saturday was added and two days of early voting on Sunday were codified as an option for counties. The White House did not provide an explanation for Biden’s erroneous statement. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Four Pinocchios

Topic: ElectionSource: News Conference

Also repeated:March 31March 26

“Deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line, waiting to vote.”

Analysis: Biden’s language is very carefully phrased but it might provide a misleading impression of a new election law in Georgia. Long lines have often been experienced during Georgia’s elections, especially in majority-Black districts. Food and water would be distributed while people stood in line. But Georgia officials said such assistance has been viewed as a way to sway votes. The new Georgia law, in what was pitched as an anti-bribery statue, makes that illegal if such assistance occurs within 150 feet of the building where voting is taking place, or within 25 feet of a voting line. The law added, however, that poll workers were not prohibited from “making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in line to vote.” In other words, self-service water can be donated and provided, as long as it is not associated with political campaigns. Biden skips over this nuance by focusing on the bringing of water. Voters are also free to bring or buy food and drink for themselves. Other states, such as New York and Montana, also have a prohibition on distributing food and drink to voters.

Topic: ElectionSource: News Conference

Also repeated:March 31March 26

″….deciding that there will be no absentee ballots under the most rigid circumstances.”

Analysis: Neither of the laws being pushed by Republicans in Georgia and Iowa at the time of this comment eliminated absentee ballots, though they did tighten some rules. Iowa decided that ballots must arrive by 8 p.m. on Election Day, while Georgia dropped signature verification and instead added a requirement that absentee-ballot voters provide the number of their driver’s license or free state-provided ID, or a photocopy of the IDs given to people like members of the military or government employees. Also in Georgia, the period to apply for absentee ballots was cut in half, from nearly six months before an election to less than three, and applications must be received by election officials at least 11 days before an election. That certainly could reduce the number of people who seek absentee ballots, but it does not mean there would be “no” absentee ballots.

Topic: ElectionSource: News Conference

“I still think the majority of the American people don’t like the fact that we are now ranked, what, 85th in the world in infrastructure. … We have somewhere, in terms of infrastructure — we have — we rank 13th globally in infrastructure.”

Analysis: Biden initially misspoke, plunking the United States near the bottom of the World Economic Forum’s 2019 global infrastructure rankings. The world doesn’t even have 85 developed countries, as defined by intergovernmental organizations, with similar systems of transportation and utilities to compare. Later in his news conference, Biden got the figure right, 13th place, but it’s still a bit misleading as the number lacks context. “Of the 12 economies the WEF ranked ahead of the United States in 2019, three — Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates — are tiny coastal city-states. It’s patently spurious to compare their infrastructure challenges with those of the United States,” noted Washington Post columnist Charles Lane. “Among the 10 geographically largest countries, including Canada, Australia, China and Russia, the United States places first, based on WEF criteria. The United States is also top among the 10 most populous countries.” If one considered the European countries as a single unit, given many share infrastructure costs, the United States would rank fifth in the world.

Topic: EconomySource: News Conference

“Unfortunately, the last administration eliminated that funding [for the Northern Triangle] — did not engage in it, did not use it — even though there was over $700 million to help get this done.”

Analysis: Trump cut the budget for the program, U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America, but he did not eliminate it, according to the Congressional Research Service. Spending fell from a high of $750 million under President Barack Obama to $506 million in fiscal 2021. The Trump administration suspended most foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras while it sought agreements on migrants and asylum-seekers, but eventually the aid was restored.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: Remarks

Also repeated:March 25

“So this new surge we’re dealing with now started with the last administration, but it’s our responsibility to deal with it humanely and to — and to stop what’s happening.”

Analysis: Biden cannot pin all of the immigration surge on Trump. After Trump implemented an order in March 2020 that turned away just about everyone at the border, there was an increase in single adults who tried over and over again to enter the country. By October 2020, 40 percent of all people arrested had crossed the border multiple times that year, according to the American Immigration Council. In November, a judge ruled that the Trump administration could not fly children back to Central America, and so there was an increase in unaccompanied minors. But the floodgates really opened after Biden began to repeal Trump immigration policies. The increase in border encounters from January to March is the steepest two-month increase in at least 20 years.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: Remarks

“We’re at 535,217 dead as of yesterday, last night. … That’s more people than have died in all of World War — Americans — all of World War One, World War Two, the Vietnam War and 9/11 combined — combined — in a year. In a year.”

Analysis: The number of in-service deaths during World War I, World War II and Vietnam War combined adds up to about 580,000 deaths. When we first looked into this, a White House official told The Fact Checker that the president intended to refer to combat deaths in World War I, World War II and Vietnam, which we noted is under 400,000, but he inadvertently omitted that qualifier in his remarks. That was odd because in a similar statement in his inaugural address, Biden referred to in-service deaths. Indeed, if Biden was using only battlefield deaths, he actually could have said more people died of covid-19 than in combat during all of America’s wars against foreign enemies. Despite our fact check, Biden kept leaving off the qualifier referring to battlefield deaths and so kept making this mistake. Here, it’s even stranger for Biden to include 9/11 deaths (not in combat) and then mix that with combat deaths, especially because in-service deaths are more commonly used when referring to the military death toll in wars. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Remarks

Also repeated:March 11Feb. 25Feb. 22

“I was able to get a bipartisan bill [providing aid to Central America] passed for almost $800 billion to go to the root cause of why — why people are leaving.”

Analysis: The 2015 legislation provided up to $750 million in aid, not $800 billion.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: Interview

“They don’t like it because in fact their — their idea of a tax cut is give the Trump tax cut, where 83 percent went to the top 1 percent of the people in America.”

Analysis: This is a misleading Democratic talking point that has often earned Two Pinocchios. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that initially more than 80 percent of taxpayers would get a tax cut, with less than 5 percent getting a tax increase. The top 1 percent received 20.5 percent of the tax cut in 2018. But the individual tax cuts expire over the course of the decade. Republicans structured the tax cut this way to keep the whole package — especially the corporate tax cut — in a budget box that allowed only for a $1.5 trillion increase in the federal deficit over 10 years. The assumption — possibly a big one — is that Congress will vote to extend the tax cuts when they begin to expire, just as most of the George W. Bush tax cuts were extended, with the eventual support of Democrats who had long opposed the Bush-era cuts. So Democrats prefer to focus on the TPC estimates for 2027, when the study shows, 82.8 percent of the tax cuts will flow to the top 1 percent. But it’s not 2027 yet, so most taxpayers are still getting some kind of tax cut.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: TaxesSource: Interview

Also repeated:March 31March 25

“Sixty percent of all these tax breaks go — all these tax breaks go to the bottom 60 percent of the population.”

Analysis: The first part of this sentence was basically right, but then Biden paused and ramped it up to an inaccurate claim. The Tax Policy Center found that about 67 percent of the tax benefits in 2020 from the new law would go to the bottom 60 percent of households.

Topic: TaxesSource: Interview

“First of all, there was a surge the last two years. In ’19 and ’20 there was a surge as well.”

Analysis: There is sometimes a spring surge of apprehensions at the southern border, particularly in 2019, but there was no surge in 2020. In fact, apprehensions fell sharply. After the coronavirus pandemic started, the Trump administration issued an order that in effect turned away all refugees and asylum seekers.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: Interview

“The adults are being sent back, number one.”

Analysis: About 75 percent of the adults are being sent back. Mexico isn’t taking back Haitians, for instance, and other non-Spanish speakers. Some have been released while others are being transferred to ICE detention and then deported using the traditional system.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: Interview

“According to Moody’s, for example, by the end of this year, this law alone will create 7 million new jobs. Seven million.”

Analysis: A White House official acknowledged that Biden’s remarks were incorrect because a word was misplaced. Biden said, “This law alone will create 7 million new jobs.” A few weeks earlier, Biden had said the law “will help the economy create 7 million more jobs this year alone.” In the first case, Biden attributed the 7 million jobs just to passage of the law. In most other references to the Moody’s report, Biden attributed 7 million jobs being created this year with an assist from the law. The report certainly credited the Biden plan with having the potential to bolster the economy. “Assuming that Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan is enacted in full by March, the economy would receive a quick boost,” the report said. “Real GDP [gross domestic product] would jump to more than 7% annualized in the first quarter of this year, despite the intensifying pandemic, and to almost 8% for all of 2021. This is almost double the growth that would be expected without any additional fiscal support.” In remarks Feb. 5, Biden was precise enough that the actual impact of the law was clear: Moody’s “says if we pass the American Rescue Plan, it will lead to 4 million more jobs than otherwise would be created.” Read the full fact check.

Topic: JobsSource: Remarks

“I set a goal that many of you said was kind of way over the top. I said I intended to get 100 million shots in people’s arms in my first 100 days in office.”

Analysis: Vaccinations had reached a seven-day average of 980,000 by the time Biden took office — virtually the goal Biden initially set for himself. The Biden administration had by the time of these comments managed to more than double that daily total, but Biden was in the position of being assured of winning the race even before he started it. As for whether many Americans said the goal was “way over the top,” we are unaware of polling that would confirm that. Most news accounts depicted Biden’s goal as potentially difficult, but not impossible, when he announced it in early December. The New York Times called the plan “ambitious,” adding that “fulfilling it will require no hiccups in manufacturing or distributing the vaccine and a willingness by Americans to be vaccinated.” The Washington Post also called it an “ambitious target” and USA Today pegged it as a “lofty goal.” Read the full fact check.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Prepared Speech

Also repeated:Jan. 22

“When I took office 50 days ago, only 8 percent of Americans after months, only 8 percent of those over the age of 65 had gotten their first vaccination. Today, that number is 65 percent.”

Analysis: This is a misleading statistic. When Biden took office, vaccinations had only been given for about a month, not “months.” Moreover, health-care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, frontline essential workers and people over the age of 75 were in line to be the first to be vaccinated, which is why a relatively small percentage of people over 65 had been vaccinated. Biden offers various versions of this statistic; we are including statements when he specifically notes the percentage on the date he took office.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Prepared Speech

Also repeated:April 17April 6March 29

“We’re actually on track to reach this goal of 100 million shots in arms on my 60th day in office. No other country in the world has done this. None.”

Analysis: Biden is correct that the United States has vaccinated more people than any other country. But that’s a raw number that lacks context. At least a dozen countries, such as Chile, Israel and the United Kingdom, had vaccinated a greater percentage of their population at the time Biden made these comments.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Prepared Speech

“A year ago, we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked. Denials for days, weeks, then months that led to more deaths, more infections, more stress and more loneliness.”

Analysis: Biden engages in some rhetorical overkill here. Whatever you may say about Trump, you can’t say he was silent. In fact, Trump gave a nationwide address on March 12, 2020, almost exactly a year earlier, in which he called the virus a “horrible infection” and announced new restrictions on travel from some European countries. It’s possible Biden meant Trump was silent about the danger posed by the virus for a number of weeks — and certainly Trump played down the possible threat because he was concerned about stock market declines. But as a rhetorical device, this phrase is exaggerated.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Prepared Speech

“In the weeks that this bill has been discussed and debated, it’s clear that an overwhelming percentage of the American people — Democrats, independents, our Republican friends — have made it clear — the people out there have made it clear they strongly support the American Rescue Plan.”

Analysis: Biden overstates his support from Republicans, according to Washington Post pollsters Scott Clement and Emily Guskin. “Polls show majorities of Republicans across the country opposed the stimulus bill, although polls show most Republicans supported some key parts of the legislation,” they wrote. “Across five national polls since late February, between 54 percent and 73 percent of Republicans opposed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The bill enjoyed majority support from the public overall — from a low of 61 percent to a high of 75 percent in polls by CNN, Monmouth University, the Pew Research Center, CBS/YouGov and YouGov/Economist.”

Topic: MiscellaneousSource: Remarks

“As of now, the total deaths in America: 527,726. That’s more deaths than in World War One, World War Two, the Vietnam War and 9/11 combined.”

Analysis: The number of in-service deaths during World War I, World War II and Vietnam War combined adds up to about 580,000 deaths. When we first looked into this, a White House official told The Fact Checker that the president intended to refer to combat deaths in World War I, World War II and Vietnam, which we noted is under 400,000, but he inadvertently omitted that qualifier in his remarks. That was odd because in a similar statement in his inaugural address, Biden referred to in-service deaths. Indeed, if Biden was using only battlefield deaths, he actually could have said more people died of covid-19 than in combat during all of America’s wars against foreign enemies. Despite our fact check, Biden kept leaving off the qualifier referring to battlefield deaths and so kept making this mistake. Here, it’s even stranger for Biden to include 9/11 deaths (not in combat) and then mix that with combat deaths, especially because in-service deaths are more commonly used when referring to the military death toll in wars. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Prepared Speech

Also repeated:March 31March 19Feb. 25Feb. 22

“As you know, the fastest-growing population in the United States is Hispanic. And 60 percent of the Hispanic population is Mexican American. They’re an integral part of our history.”

Analysis: Hispanics have been the second-fastest-growing demographic group, after Asian Americans, since around 2010, according to census figures. The two groups had been growing at similar rates since 2000. The Asian American population grew by 28.7 percent from 2010 to 2019, according to census data, while the Hispanic population came in second place, at 20 percent growth. A White House spokesperson told us the president “meant to say fastest-growing in our schools,” but Biden’s remarks, in a virtual meeting with the Mexican president, did not refer to education. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Three Pinocchios

Topic: MiscellaneousSource: Remarks

“On Monday, our nation passed a grim, grim milestone: Covid-19 has now taken over 500,000 of our fellow Americans. That’s more than died in World War One, World War Two, and the Vietnam War combined.”

Analysis: The number of in-service deaths during World War I, World War II and Vietnam War combined adds up to about 580,000 deaths. When we first looked into this, a White House official told The Fact Checker that the president intended to refer to combat deaths in World War I, World War II and Vietnam, which we noted is under 400,000, but he inadvertently omitted that qualifier in his remarks. That was odd because in a similar statement in his inaugural address, Biden referred to in-service deaths. Indeed, if Biden was using only battlefield deaths, he actually could have said more people died of covid-19 than in combat during all of America’s wars against foreign enemies. Despite our fact check, Biden kept leaving off the qualifier referring to battlefield deaths and so kept making this mistake. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Prepared Speech

Also repeated:March 31March 19March 11Feb. 22

“Today, we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone: 500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War One, World War Two and the Vietnam War combined.”

Analysis: The number of in-service deaths during World War I, World War II and Vietnam War combined adds up to about 580,000 deaths. When we first looked into this, a White House official told The Fact Checker that the president intended to refer to combat deaths in World War I, World War II and Vietnam, which we noted is under 400,000, but he inadvertently omitted that qualifier in his remarks. That was odd because in a similar statement in his inaugural address, Biden referred to in-service deaths. Indeed, if Biden was using only battlefield deaths, he actually could have said more people died of covid-19 than in combat during all of America’s wars against foreign enemies. Despite our fact check, Biden kept leaving off the qualifier referring to battlefield deaths and so kept making this mistake. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Prepared Speech

Also repeated:March 31March 19March 11Feb. 25

“Just over four weeks ago, America had no real plan to vaccinate most of the country. My predecessor — as my mother would say, ‘God love him’ — failed to order enough vaccines, failed to mobilize the effort to administer the shots, failed to set up vaccine centers. That changed the moment we took office.”

Analysis: Biden is pushing the envelope here. While Biden increased the supply of vaccines, the Trump administration had options in place to order more from Moderna and Pfizer. As for “no real plan,” we gave Vice President Harris Two Pinocchios for a similar statement. Harris said that there was “no national strategy or plan” to deliver vaccinations across the country and that the effort had been left to state and local officials. The Trump administration approach was more state-centric, less top-down federal oversight, even to the point of not providing funding. To some extent, that reflects a philosophical difference between the two administrations. The Biden administration appears to have had to fill in the blanks of the Trump plan and certainly did speed up the tempo of what the Trump administration envisioned. It has added a federal component and pushed for funding for states. In other words, it has built on an existing structure left behind by the Trump team. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Remarks

Also repeated:Feb. 11

“We’re now at a point where we’ve seen the average daily number of people vaccinated nearly double, from the week before I took office, to about 1.7 million average per day getting a shot.”

Analysis: When Biden spoke, the seven-day daily average had increased about 30 percent since he took office, not nearly double.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Remarks

“For example, if it went — if we gradually increased it — when we indexed it at $7.20, if we kept it indexed by — to inflation, people would be making 20 bucks an hour right now. That’s what it would be.”

Analysis: Biden flubbed a talking point here. The minimum wage was last raised in July 2009, to $7.25, and indexed to inflation it would be $8.85 in February 2021. The White House said Biden meant to refer to a study that calculated the minimum wage would be $24 in 2020 if it had kept pace with worker productivity since 1968.

Topic: EconomySource: Interview

“That’s why last week I opened up, I met with the Black Caucus in the United States Congress and agreed that I would — all of the — all of community health centers now, which take care of the toughest of the toughest neighborhoods in terms of illness, they are going to get a million doses, you know, a week, and how we’re going to move forward because they’re in the neighborhood.”

Analysis: Biden incorrectly said Federally Qualified Health Centers would receive 1 million vaccines a week. That’s the total they will receive.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Interview

“Everyone should be able to go to community college for free, for free. That costs $9 billion. And we should pay for it. And the tax policies we have now, we should be able to pay for you. You spend almost that much money as a break for people who own racehorses.”

Analysis: Biden’s comment left tax experts puzzled. The Education Department says it would cost about $9 billion to provide free tuition at the two-year colleges. While there was a relatively minor tax benefit regarding racehorses in a bill signed by Trump in late 2020, it was too small to even merit a calculation of the revenue loss by the Joint Committee in Taxation. The total sales figures for horses at public auction is only around $1 billion, making it impossible to raise $9 billion from those sales.

Topic: EducationSource: Interview

“We used to allow refugees, 125,000 refugees, into the United States on a yearly basis. It was as high as 250,000. Trump cut it to 5,000. Come with me into Sierra Leone. Come to me into parts of Lebanon. Come with me around the world and see people piled up in camps, kids dying, no way out, refugees fleeing from persecution. We, the United States, used to do our part.”

Analysis: Trump set the refugee limit in 2021 at 15,000, not 5,000. The highest annual ceiling since enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980 was 231,700, in 1980, not 250,000. The annual ceiling through most of the Obama administration was around 80,000, not 125,000. It is worth noting that Trump’s 15,000 was highly restricted, with 5,000 reserved for people persecuted for religion, 4,000 Iraqis, and so forth, so in effect virtually no refugees from the Middle East or Africa would qualify. Notwithstanding Biden’s rhetoric, two months later the White House indicated it would fall well short of an initial pledge to accept 62,500 refugees in the fiscal year that ends in September.

Topic: ImmigrationSource: Interview

“My point was that when I came back from meeting with him and traveling 17,000 miles with him when I was vice president and he was the vice president — that’s how I got to know him so well.”

Analysis: This was a strange claim — and it was a comment Biden also made during the campaign. But it did not add up. During the Obama administration, it became clear that Xi Jinping, then the vice president, was in line to become the next leader of China. He was largely a mystery to U.S. officials, so Biden was assigned the task of getting to know him. In 2011, Biden traveled to China and over the course of three days met with Xi in various settings. They had a bilateral meeting and formal dinner in Beijing on Aug. 18, co-hosted a business dialogue on Aug. 19 and then visited the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province, along with a high school about 50 miles away in an area where a 2008 earthquake had left 86,000 people dead or missing. They also had a lengthy dinner together in Chengdu. Afterward, Biden flew on to Mongolia. In 2012, Xi visited the United States. On Feb. 14, Biden and Xi gathered at the White House for meetings, including with President Barack Obama, had lunch at the State Department, conducted a business roundtable and finally had dinner at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory. Xi then traveled elsewhere in the United States, including Iowa, before arriving in Los Angeles. Biden flew to Los Angeles to meet Xi there on Feb. 17; they had dinner, among other events. A White House official conceded that Biden’s line of “traveling with” Xi is not accurate. “This was a reference to the total travel back and forth — both internally in the U.S. and China, and as well as internationally — for meetings they held together,” he said. “Some travel was in parallel, some was separately to joint destinations.” But try as we could, however, we still could not get the travel to add up to anything close to 17,000 miles. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Three Pinocchios

Topic: Foreign policySource: Interview

Also repeated:Feb. 5

“The vast majority of the people, the 11 million undocumented, they’re not Hispanics. They’re people who came on a visa, [were] able to buy a ticket to get on a plane and didn’t go home. They didn’t come across the Rio Grande swimming.”

Analysis: Because of the uncertain nature of counting the undocumented population, no definitive estimates exist of how many reside in the United States or their racial or ethnic breakdown. The widely accepted ballpark is between 10 million and 14 million. None of the available estimates supports Biden’s claim, and the best research indicates his statement is false because Hispanics predominate among the undocumented population. Using census data, the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute estimated an undocumented population of nearly 11 million as of 2018. Of those, 75 percent hailed from Mexico or Central or South America, the group said. The White House did not respond to a question on this point. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Three Pinocchios

Topic: ImmigrationSource: Interview

“When I took office three weeks ago, America didn’t have a plan or enough supplies to vaccinate most of the country.”

Analysis: Biden is pushing the envelope here. While Biden increased the supply of vaccines, the Trump administration had options in place to order more from Moderna and Pfizer. As for no “plan,” we gave Vice President Harris Two Pinocchios for a similar statement. Harris said that there was “no national strategy or plan” to deliver vaccinations across the country and that the effort had been left to state and local officials. The Trump administration approach was more state-centric, less top-down federal oversight, even to the point of not providing funding. To some extent, that reflects a philosophical difference between the two administrations. The Biden administration appears to have had to fill in the blanks of the Trump plan and certainly did speed up the tempo of what the Trump administration envisioned. It has added a federal component and pushed for funding for states. In other words, it has built on an existing structure left behind by the Trump team. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Twitter

Also repeated:Feb. 19

“I do think that we should have a minimum wage, stand by itself, $15 an hour and work your way up to the fifteen — it doesn’t have to be boom. And all the economics show, if you do that, the whole economy rises.”

Analysis: Biden suggested there was universal consensus on the impact of a minimum-wage hike, with virtually no downside, resulting in a booming economy. Apparently that was not his intention, according to White House officials, but it certainly sounded like that. There is one side of the economic academy that might support such a bullish view, but there are other economists who dispute it strenuously — and who say their views are confirmed in scores of economic studies during the past 30 years. Biden failed to acknowledge that a rising tide may not lift all boats. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Two Pinocchios

Topic: EconomySource: Interview

“I am prepared, as president of the United States on a separate negotiation on minimum wage, to work my way up from what it is now, which is — look, no one should work 40 hours a week and live below the poverty wage. And if you’re making less than $15 an hour, you’re living below the poverty wage.”

Analysis: This is an exaggeration, according to calculations by factcheck.org, which found that those earning $14 an hour — $28,000 a year — would be above the federal poverty level of $26,500 for a family of four. Biden worded his claim more accurately in remarks on Jan. 22. He said: “No one in America should work 40 hours a week making below the poverty line. Fifteen dollars gets people above the poverty line. We have so many millions of people working 40 hours a week — working — and some with two jobs, and they’re still below the poverty line.”

Topic: EconomySource: Interview

“I had 24, 25 hours of private meetings with him when I was vice president, traveled 17,000 miles with him. I know him pretty well.”

Analysis: This was a strange claim — and it was a comment Biden also made during the campaign. But it did not add up. During the Obama administration, it became clear that Xi Jinping, then the vice president, was in line to become the next leader of China. He was largely a mystery to U.S. officials, so Biden was assigned the task of getting to know him. In 2011, Biden traveled to China and over the course of three days met with Xi in various settings. They had a bilateral meeting and formal dinner in Beijing on Aug. 18, co-hosted a business dialogue on Aug. 19 and then visited the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province, along with a high school about 50 miles away in an area where a 2008 earthquake had left 86,000 people dead or missing. They also had a lengthy dinner together in Chengdu. Afterward, Biden flew on to Mongolia. In 2012, Xi visited the United States. On Feb. 14, Biden and Xi gathered at the White House for meetings, including with President Barack Obama, had lunch at the State Department, conducted a business roundtable and finally had dinner at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory. Xi then traveled elsewhere in the United States, including Iowa, before arriving in Los Angeles. Biden flew to Los Angeles to meet Xi there on Feb. 17; they had dinner, among other events. A White House official conceded that Biden’s line of “traveling with” Xi is not accurate. “This was a reference to the total travel back and forth — both internally in the U.S. and China, and as well as internationally — for meetings they held together,” he said. “Some travel was in parallel, some was separately to joint destinations.” But try as we could, however, we still could not get the travel to add up to anything close to 17,000 miles. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Three Pinocchios

Topic: Foreign policySource: Interview

Also repeated:Feb. 16

“Under the previous administration, the federal government contracts awarded directly to foreign companies went up 30 percent. That is going to change on our watch.”

Analysis: A White House official explained that this was a number calculated during Biden’s 2020 campaign. But it turned out to be wildly off base. The Pulse of GovCon, a firm that advises on government contracting, crunched the numbers for The Fact Checker and came up with only an 11 percent increase in foreign-contract spending from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2019 — and just an 8.4 percent increase if you include fiscal 2020, when spending on such contracts declined. That’s an average annual growth rate of 3 percent over three years. Overall government spending went up 20 percent in that period, so the percentage of spending on foreign contracts actually decreased under Trump. Read the full fact check.

Fact Checker rating:Four Pinocchios

Topic: TradeSource: Remarks

“I found it fascinating — yesterday the press asked the question: Is, you know, 100 million enough? A week before, they were saying, ‘Biden, are you crazy? You can’t do 100 million in a hundred days.’ Well, we’re going to, God willing, not only do 100 million, we’re going to do more than that.”

Analysis: Biden exaggerates here. No reporter called his goal of 100 million vaccine doses in 100 days crazy. Most news accounts depicted Biden’s goal as potentially difficult, but not impossible, when he announced it in early December. The New York Times called the plan “ambitious,” adding that “fulfilling it will require no hiccups in manufacturing or distributing the vaccine and a willingness by Americans to be vaccinated.” The Washington Post also called it an “ambitious target” and USA Today pegged it as a “lofty goal.” Read the full fact check.

Topic: CoronavirusSource: Remarks

Also repeated:March 11

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