President Biden generally adhered to verified scripts and verified facts during his first week in office – a departure from the free-running and fact-free rhetorical style of his predecessor.
Overall, Mr Biden used the presidential podium to promote his political priorities. His Comments were welcome and light on empirical claims. Of 20 factual allegations that the New York Times analyzed January 20-26, all but three were largely, if not completely, correct. One claim was an overly optimistic projection, another falsely criticized former President Donald J. Trump, and a third, Mr Biden, corrected almost immediately.
Here is a review.
The president correctly understood basic facts about the toll and the racial differences of the pandemic.
Mr Biden most often used statistics from government agencies and think tanks to highlight the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
Its claims that 900,000 Americans registered for unemployment the week before his inauguration and that nearly 16 million continued to apply for that almost 10 percent of black Americans and just over 9 percent of Hispanic Americans are unemployed, and that 600,000 workers in local education lost their jobs are all backed up by the latest reports from the Department of Labor.
His claims that one in seven households and more than one in five black and Latin American households “does not have enough to eat” come from a Survey by the Census Bureau since December. (One day after Mr. Biden made these claims The Census Bureau signed Executive Orders to Promote Racial Justice published a recent poll shows that the situation improved slightly in January; One in ten households and one in six black and Latin American households reported food insecurity.)
He was also right that black and Latin American Americans are dying from the coronavirus and being hospitalized almost three times as often as white Americans because of the coronavirus. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Research by left-wing think tanks at the Center for Budget and Political Priorities and the Center for Economic and Political Research supports Mr Biden’s claims 14 million people have stayed behind in renting and 40 percent of the front line workers are black and Latinos.
And it was true, as he first claimed during his inauguration, that more Americans died from the coronavirus (406,194 on Jan. 20) than in all of World War II (405,399according to the Department of Veterans Affairs).
He often quoted exactly positive analyzes of his plans and sometimes left out the less flattering ones.
In promoting his political priorities, Mr. Biden was armed with favorable quotes.
He cited Kevin Hassett, a former top Mr. Trump economic advisor, as exactly “absolutely” in favor of the $ 1.9 trillion tax rescue package proposed by the Biden government.
It would lift 12 million Americans out of poverty, said Mr Biden, referring to a Studied at Columbia University. And he referred to estimates from Moody’s Analytics that the package would produce 7.5 million jobs this yearand that its wider economic plan would create about 18.6 million over four years when fully enacted.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Biden failed to mention other analyzes of his economic plan that predicted a lesser impact on employment. The England-based research institution Oxford Economics, appreciated that would make it two million more jobs in four years. The President also did not quote Mr Hassetts October newspaper, written with another economist at the Conservative Hoover Institution, who estimates that this would result in 4.9 million fewer jobs in a decade.
The plan’s requirement for a minimum wage of $ 15, said Biden, would lift people out of poverty. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2019 that a minimum wage of $ 15 would put 1.3 million people above the poverty line – and place 1.3 million people unemployed.
The president also repeatedly urged masking, claiming twice that “wearing masks between now and April would save 50,000 lives”. That is consistent with A study found around 130,000 lives was saved If 95 percent of people wore masks in the 160 days from September 22, 2020 to February 28, 2021, that equates to about 52,000 lives saved in 70 days.
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He moved away from the facts when he sold his own policies and criticized his predecessor.
During the 2020 Democratic primary and general election, Mr Biden was more prone to factual error when speaking of the cuff, especially when attacking political opponents or when defending or embellishing his own record. The three imprecise statements made during his first week in office showed these tendencies.
While signing an ordinance to strengthen domestic manufacturing, Mr Biden suggested on Monday that his predecessor paid lip service to support for American businesses but “did not take it seriously enough”.
“Under the previous administration, federal government contracts that were placed directly with foreign companies rose 30 percent,” Biden said.
That was wrong.A White House spokesman said Mr Biden was referring to contractual obligations that increased from 2017 to 2019 a database of government contracts shows that the value given to foreign companies went from around $ 11.9 million in fiscal 2017 to around $ 13.2 million in fiscal 2019 (up 11 percent) and to around $ 12.9 million in fiscal year 2020 (plus $ 8.4 million) has increased percent).
In addition, raw dollars do not take into account increased government spending or inflation. The same database shows that the proportion of foreign contracts has actually decreased under Mr. Trump to 1.9 percent of all contracts in the 2020 financial year from around 2.3 percent in the 2017 financial year.
At the same time, Mr. Biden was revising the implications of one of his clean energy policies, claiming that replacing all federal government cars and trucks with electric vehicles would create “one million clean energy auto-worker jobs.”
It is doubtful that the federal fleet will be electrified by 645,000 cars and trucks would create a million auto jobs, even on the rosiest of projections. After all, the entire automotive sector only employs under three million people in manufacturing and trading professions, while 15 million to 20 million cars are sold a year.
Existing research also shows a far more moderate impact on employment than Mr Biden claims. For example a 2010 study estimated 1.9 million jobs created when 123 million vehicles run on electricity, while a paper from 2009 projects 129,000 to 351,000 new jobs if two thirds of the vehicles sold by 2030 are electric.
The president also targeted some critics of his goal of delivering 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine in 100 days.
“I found it fascinating – yesterday the press asked: is 100 million enough? A week ago they said, “Biden, are you crazy? You can’t make 100 million in a hundred days, ”he said last week. “Well, God willing, we’re not going to just do 100 million, we’re going to do more than that.”
Mr Biden believes some were skeptical the government could meet that benchmark when he first made the promise in early December, days before the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine. Experts at the time told The Times that the goal was achievable but optimistic. Mr. Biden himself Listed at the end of December – When the country was administration About 200,000 doses of vaccine a day – it would take the United States years to adequately vaccinate the public.
But in the week before he took office, the number of shots administered daily reached nearly a million. That is the pace it will take to reach the 100 million can target, which has led to criticism that such a target is no longer ambitious enough.
The president admitted in a comment earlier this week that the 100 million figure is a floor, not a ceiling.
“I’m pretty confident that in the next three weeks we’ll be able to vaccinate people in the range of a million a day or more,” he said. “I think we can maybe bring that to 1.5 million a day instead of a million a day. But we have to reach that goal of one million a day. “
After a reporter pointed out that the country had already passed the one million mark, Mr Biden willingly corrected himself in two words from his predecessor practically never expressed: “I wrote incorrectly.”