Friday, July 23, 2021

'The experts say we know that this virus is, in fact, uh, um, uh, it's going to be, or excuse me': Biden loses his thoughts on vaccines, flubs answer on his foreign policy work and falsely tells town hall you WON'T get COVID if you have the shot


Joe Biden overinflated the efficiency of vaccines, especially against the Delta variant, during his gaffe-filled town hall on Wednesday where he claimed the jab will prevent Americans from contracting coronavirus

'We're not in the position where we think that any virus, including the Delta virus, which is much more transmissible and more deadly in terms of unvaccinated people, the – the various shots that people are getting now cover that,' Biden said during a CNN town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio on Wednesday.

'You're OK,' he assured. 'You're not going to – you're not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.'

This statement is false considering vaccinated Americans have still contracted or have been hospitalized with the virus and breakthrough cases are increasing with the rapid spread of the Delta variant. 

'If you're vaccinated, you're not going to be hospitalized, you're not going to be in the IC unit, and you're not going to die,' the president told host Don Lemon on stage at Mount St. Joseph University.

'So it's gigantically important that ... we all act like Americans who care about our fellow Americans,' he added. 

Biden struggled at some points during his town hall to complete statements coherently as he lost his train of thought on multiple occasions.

Republicans were quick to jump on the president's gaffes. 'Is this for real?' Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik tweeted on Wednesday. 

'And the media will continue to fawn and look the other way,' the New York Republican added. 

At one point, when talking about getting vaccinations approved for children under the age of 12, the president said: 'That's underway, just like the other question that's illogical. And I've heard you speak about it because you always – I'm not being solicitous – but you're always straight up about what you're doing.'

'And the question is whether or not we should be in a position where you uh, um, are – why can't the, the, the experts say we know that this virus is, in fact, uh, um, uh, it's going to be – or, excuse me, we, we, we know why all the drugs approved are not temporarily approved by permanently approved. That's underway too. I expect that to occur quickly,' Biden continued as he fumbled over his words. 

'You mean for the FDA,' Lemon clarified.

Biden replied: 'For the FDA' 

Here, the president got off track on his answer about getting emergency use authorization for vaccines in children under 12 years of age.

He went on to discuss that the Food and Drug Administration is working on getting full authorization for the use of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines – the three administered in the U.S.

Currently all three shots are only under emergency use authorization, which is a special provision for vaccinations and medicines to be given the go ahead for use in the U.S. before they gain full FDA approval. 

Grabien Media founder Tom Elliott posted a video of Biden's interaction with Lemon about vaccines and sarcastically wrote: 'Crushing it.' 

Another user asked for a translation, claiming: 'I did not understand a single sentence.' 

Many posted images of the mostly-empty auditorium, questioning why CNN and Biden weren't able to fill all of the seats.

The network, however, insists that the audience of around 300 on Wednesday evening was the typical size for pre-pandemic CNN town halls. 

When speaking about national security, Biden also lost his words when declaring his qualifications to speak on the matter.

'And I'll say one last thing: You're going to – I've had a lot of experience internationally and – I mean, not good or bad, just I have – I chaired the Foreign Relations Committee, I've been deeply involved,' he said.

'I did national security for our last – the administration with Barack,' he said. 'But folks, the rest of the world's wondering about us. Those of you who travel abroad, it's not a joke. Not a joke.'

He continued to ramble in saying: 'Ask — you know, when I went to this G7, all the major democracies. I walked in and go, 'America's back.' I'm serious, heads of state. I give you my word as a Biden. They said, 'Are you really back?' 

Biden said during the town hall that unvaccinated students, including those 12 and under who are not eligible for the shot, will have to wear masks in school. He revealed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will issue new guidance.

The president said tackling misinformation online was one of his top priorities and said he welcomed the way vaccine skeptics on Fox News had made a U-turn in recent days. 

The first questioner of the night, a member of a school board, asked for Biden's message to parents worried about protecting children too young for vaccines.

He said he was optimistic that children under 12 would be approved for vaccination in the coming months before unveiling future guidelines.

'The CDC is going to say that what we should do is, everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing a mask in school, that's probably what's going to happen,' he said 

'Secondly, those over the age of 12, who are able to get vaccinated if you're vaccinated, you shouldn't wear a mask if you aren't vaccinated, you should be wearing a mask.' 

That will come with responsibilities for parents, he added.

'So it's going to get a little bit tight in terms of well, are mom or dad being honest that... Johnny did or did not get vaccinated,' he said. 'That's gonna raise questions.'

COVID-19 cases have nearly tripled across the U.S. as doctors battle the Delta variant and a pandemic of misinformation that is being spread online. Deaths and hospitalizations are nearly all among the unvaccinated. 

While the vast majority of hospitalizations – around 97 per cent – are among those who are not vaccinated, many who did get inoculated are contracting the virus as the Delta variant surges across the country. 

A pediatrician who voted Republican said at the town hall she was worried about the impact of misinformation on social media. Only 12 people, the president said in repeating a White House talking point, are responsible for most of the misinformation online.  

'They're killing people those 12 individuals,' he said. 'That misinformation is going to kill people, not a joke, not a joke.'

Then he delivered some good news about 'one of those other networks that is not a big fan of mine' - a clear reference to Fox News.  

'If you notice, as they say, in the southern part of my state, they've had an altar call some of those guys,' he said.

All of a sudden they are out there saying let's get vaccinated. The very people who before this were saying...'

He cut himself off with a smile. 

'But I shouldn't make fun,' he said. 'It's good, it's good.

Sean Hannity, one of Fox's primetime stars, has been urging viewers to get vaccinated.

And this week, during a discussion about deaths of unvaccinated people, the Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy also told viewers: 'Get the shot, it will save your life.'

The audience - which Lemon said had all been vaccinated - responded warmly when Biden appeared on stage, even in an apparently heavily pro-Trump area. 

Questions included what was he doing to tackle gun violence and his plans for replacing crumbling infrastructure, a hot topic in Cincinnati where the ageing Brent Spence Bridge is frequently shut to traffic.

He also took the chance to repeat talking points that are familiar to anyone tuning in to one of his video addresses but may not have been seen by busy, working families.

A surge in consumer prices would be temporary, he promised, adding that his economic plan would drive down inflation in the long term. 

'The vast majority of the experts, including Wall Street, are suggesting that it's highly unlikely that it's going to be long-term inflation that's going to get out of hand,' he said.

Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure plan suffered a setback on Wednesday, as Republicans rejected his proposals in a vote. The bipartisan group of senators who negotiated the package said they were close to reaching a new deal in a statement after the vote. 

The president insisted he remained confident. 'It's a good thing and I think we're going to get it done,' he said.

Ohio was once a key swing state that could deliver the White House to one candidate to another. But in recent years it has moved firmly into the red column.

Biden's visit reflects his enduring belief that he can cross America's political divides by appealing directly to voters.  

No comments: