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Fact-checking Biden's first prime-time address

March 12, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 26.3%. 2 min read.

President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic during a prime-time address from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Joe Biden delivered the first prime-time address of his term on Thursday night, lamenting the devastation caused by Covid-19 over the past year and touting his plans to help the country recover.

Biden touted the number of people vaccinated in the US during his speech noting that the country is "on track to reach this goal of 100 million shots in arms on my 60th day in office. "

"When I took office 50 days ago, only 8% of Americans -- after months -- only 8% of those over the age of 65 had gotten their first vaccination," Biden said.

In the US, the first person received a vaccination dose outside of a clinical trial on December 14 and Biden took office on January 20 -- so the vaccine was not available for "months" beforehand as the President implied, though that may have been a reference to the length of the pandemic.

As for Biden's claim that 65% of Americans over the age of 65 having received their first shot, it's unclear if Biden was citing different data, but according to data from the CDC, as of Thursday 62. 4% of those 65 and older had received at least one does of the vaccine, not 65%.

Previously, as the Associated Press reported, an adviser on the administration's virus task force had incorrectly claimed on Wednesday that 60% of this age group had been fully vaccinated, whereas Biden correctly noted that this number only refers to those who have received at least one dose.

Describing his administration's efforts to respond to the pandemic, Biden claimed, "Two months ago, this country didn't have nearly enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all or even near all of the American public.

According to the CDC, as of March 11, 131,131,470 vaccine doses have been delivered, which is more than when Biden took office two months ago but only enough for about 40% of the US population or a little more than half the amount of all American adults to receive one dose.

Biden said the new law "will cut child poverty in this country in half, according to the experts. "

Facts First: Biden's vague claim -- that "many of you" said his goal was "kind of way over the top" -- is, at least, a more defensible assertion than his inaccurate January assertion that "you all said" his goal was "not possible. " It's worth noting, though, that much of the media coverage of Biden's goal quoted experts who said the goal was achievable, although ambitious.

by summa-bot

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