On Thursday, the official White House Twitter account posted about the significant drop in the unemployment rate that has occurred during President Joe Biden’s tenure. However, the tweet began with a misleading claim concerning immunizations for the Covid-19 virus.
According to the tweet, during the time that President Biden started office, there were millions of people without jobs and there was no vaccination accessible.
On Friday afternoon, approximately four hours after the initial version of this fact check was published, the White House admitted on Twitter that the post from Thursday contained false information.
First, the facts: It is simply not accurate to say that “there was no vaccination available” when Joe Biden was running for office. According to the statistics that were published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States on the day of Vice President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, approximately 3.5 million people were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and approximately 19 million people had received at least one vaccine dose. At that time, the United States was already giving out an average of more than one million doses each and every day. The first dosages to be given to patients outside of clinical studies were done so on December 14, 2020, while Donald Trump was still serving as President of the United States. And Biden got his own second dose of the drug nine days before he was sworn in as Vice President.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was administered to Biden. On December 11, 2020, under Trump’s administration, the US Food and Drug Administration granted authorization for the vaccine’s usage in an emergency setting. On December 18, 2020, the vaccine developed by Moderna received approval for use in an emergency setting.
The following is what the White House said in its clarification on Friday: “In a previous version of this article, we incorrectly indicated that vaccines will not be accessible in January of 2021. We had to have clarified that they were not easily accessible to the general public. Vaccines were made readily available just in time for the incoming administration of the President. Since that time, he is accountable for the successful vaccination of nearly 200 million individuals.”
It is true, as stated by the White House, that there was a restricted supply of vaccines when Biden was in office. The vaccination was not made available to all people in every state until April 2021, when Vice President Joe Biden had already been in office for approximately three months. Early distributions of the vaccine in the states were typically confined to people working in the health care industry and other critical jobs, as well as older citizens and inhabitants of long-term care facilities. During the time that Biden was inaugurated, it was frequently challenging for even persons who belonged to groups that were qualified to obtain an appointment.
But to assert that “there was no vaccine available” when he took office, period, was an overreach that gave the impression, incorrectly, that Biden was responsible for the beginning of the entire deployment of the vaccine.
Even though the focus of this particular fact check is on the tweet’s claim concerning the availability of vaccines, it is important to briefly discuss the economic statements that were made in the first tweet.
Biden is free to brag about the significant drop in the unemployment rate that occurred during his presidency (it went from 6.4 percent in January 2021 to 3.6 percent in April 2022), but as is customary, the President’s role in the improvement is being contested. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.4 percent in January 2021 to 3.6 percent in April 2022. Even while the employment climate has improved significantly since the tweet stated that “when President Biden entered office, millions were unemployed,” the reality is that there are still millions of individuals who are without jobs today. According to the data provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in April 2022 was approximately 5.9 million.
Biden has made more accurate assertions
The comments that Biden himself has made about the progress that has been made in vaccinations throughout the time of the Obama administration are more accurate. He has stated this on multiple occasions, including at least three times in this month alone, that there were only 2 million people who were fully vaccinated when he assumed office, whereas there are currently 220 million people who are fully vaccinated.
Biden may have been relying on preliminary initial data that put the number around 2 million; however, his “2 million” figure is certainly much closer to the truth than the White House’s initial claim that “there was no vaccine available.” The real number of fully vaccinated people at the time he took office was more than 3 million; however, Biden may have been relying on preliminary initial data that put the number around 2 million.
In the same address that Biden gave in April of 2021, he mentioned that at the time that he started office, only 8% of persons over the age of 65 had received a vaccination. (He was making a point of pointing out that this figure had since climbed to 75%.)