President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, making various claims about the nation. But fact-checkers have found that many of his statements were not entirely accurate.
Even liberal outlets called out the Democratic president for not having all of his facts straight.
The Washington Post provided what it called a “round-up of a few dubious claims” by Biden.
“Some of his statements didn’t square with the facts,” FactCheck.org said.
To start off, Biden noted there is a plan to release 60 million barrels of oil from the global reserve, with 30 million specifically from the United States. He said this “will help blunt gas prices here at home.”
But FactCheck.org reported that energy experts said that this measure won’t really have an impact.
The president also talked about the COVID-19 pandemic, declaring, “Severe cases are down to a level not seen since July of last year.”
But a fact check by The Associated Press said he “overstated the improvement.” Hospitalizations may be down, it said, but deaths still remain high.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID tracker shows 289 deaths on July 1, 2021,” the AP said. “This past Monday the CDC tracker reported 1,985 deaths.”
Biden went on to address the economy.
He mentioned that about 369,000 manufacturing jobs were added last year.
The number is correct, but the manufacturing sector has by no means recovered from the job losses caused by the pandemic, FactCheck.org reported. Manufacturing job growth is at 3.1 percent which is slower than the overall job growth, it said.
Next, the president said that “our economy created over 6.5 million new jobs just last year, more jobs in one year than ever before.”
FactCheck.org pointed out that this is misleading because the claim does not acknowledge the unusual circumstances of COVID-19. Also, it said, on a percentage basis, that’s not the most jobs created in one year.
Biden continued in the economic vein by saying he would be the first president to cut the annual deficit by $1 trillion in a single year.
FactCheck.org called this a premature claim and said, “Even if it happens at the end of this fiscal year, the deficit would still be among the highest in history.”
The Post called the job and deficit statements “misleading because of the context — the impact the once-in-a-century pandemic had on jobs and federal finances.”
Biden moved on to other topics, including taxes and veterans’ health.
He said the tax cuts instituted under former President Donald Trump benefited only “the top 1 percent of Americans” and not the “working people.”
But the Tax Policy Center evaluated the Trump tax cuts and reported that in 2018, 82 percent of the middle class would receive a tax cut.
That same year, the Treasury Department reported that 90 percent of wage earners had an increase in take-home pay.
The president also brought up the dangers of toxic waste to our troops, saying one soldier developed lung cancer “from prolonged exposure to burn pits.”
“A scientific review by the National Academies, however, found there is not enough evidence to conclude such exposure is associated with cancer,” FactCheck.org reported.
Biden also made false claims about gun manufacturing.
“Look, repeal the liability shield. It makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued,” he said.
But his language was “too sweeping,” the Post reported.
While gun manufacturers may be shielded from some civil lawsuits, there are exceptions.
“Gun manufacturers can certainly be sued — and some other industries have some liability protections,” the Post reported.
The president also made a broad statement about his infrastructure bill, calling it “the single biggest investment in history.”
But the AP fact check pointed out that this was wholly false.
It said the $550 billion plan “is slightly below the 1.36% of the nation’s gross domestic product that was spent on infrastructure, on average, during the first four years of the New Deal, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institution.”
“It is even further below the roughly 2% spent on infrastructure in the late 1970s and early 1980s,” the AP said.
Between Biden’s sweeping statements and out-of-context numbers and statistics, his State of the Union address was not entirely accurate in its depictions of the state of the nation.