Joe Biden Says 350 Million Americans Have Been Vaxinated – That’s 20 Million More Than the Entire Population
By Helen Elfer
President Joe Biden made quite the numerical error during a speech, as he told listeners 350 million Americans had already been vaccinated.
According to the latest census, released in April this year, the entire population of the United States is 331 million.
Mr Biden was delivering remarks about the July Jobs report from the White House when he made the comment on Friday.
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. So we have to get more people vaccinated,” he said. Mr Biden paused briefly to check his notes, saying: “Well over – what’s the number again, I’ll remind myself – 350 million Americans have already been vaccinated. They’re doing fine.”
It’s possible Mr Biden had mistakenly referred to the number of vaccine doses administered in the United States, which is almost 350 million. The actual number of fully vaccinated Americans is 166 million, i.e. approximately half the population.
Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with Mr Biden’s career will know he is prone to verbal slip-ups. The president has even referred to himself in the past as “a gaffe machine”.
Just last week Mr Biden confused former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama in a speech to Mack Trucks assembly plant in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. He caught his own error, saying it had been a Freudian slip.
Mr Biden said: “Back in 2009, during the so-called Great Recession, the president asked me to be in charge of managing that piece, then-President Trump. Excuse me, Freudian slip, that was the last president. He caused the … anyway, President Obama, when I was vice president.”
Commentators on social media speculated that Mr Biden might not know what a Freudian slip is.
Some of Mr Biden’s most infamous gaffes have been race-related.
Ahead of the 2020 election, he told Black radio host Charlamagne tha God “Well I’m telling you, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” a remark that offended many on both sides of the aisle.
“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Mr Biden later apologised: “I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki revealed recently that the president’s team encourages him to avoid answering reporters off-the-cuff or making unscripted remarks.
“A lot of times we say, ‘Don’t take questions,’” Ms Psaki said, adding: “He’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.”
Mr Biden’s gaffes covfefe in comparison to those of former President Trump, whose spelling mistakes and strange remarks both on and off Twitter are well documented.