Fact check: White House tweet falsely claims ‘there was no vaccine available’ when Biden took office


“When President Biden took office, millions of people were unemployed and there was no vaccine available,” the tweet read.

The White House could accurately say that vaccine availability was limit when Biden took office. It wasn’t until April 2021, about three months into Biden’s presidency, that all adults in every state were eligible for the vaccine. Early state rollouts generally limited the vaccine to healthcare and other essential workers, residents of long-term care facilities and the elderly. At the time of Biden’s inauguration, it was often difficult even for people in eligible groups to get an appointment.

But to say “there was no vaccine available” when he took office, period, is going too far – falsely giving the impression that the whole vaccine rollout began under Biden.

And while this fact check focuses on the tweet’s claim about vaccine availability, it’s also worth briefly touching on the economic claims.

Biden is free to tout the significant drop in the unemployment rate during his tenure — it fell from 6.4% in January 2021 to 3.6% in April 2022 — but, as usual, the president’s role in improvement is debated. . And although the tweet said that “when President Biden took office, millions of people were unemployed”, there are still millions of people unemployed today despite the improvement in the situation of the job. There were about 5.9 million unemployed in April 2022, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Biden made more specific statements

Biden himself has made more specific statements about immunization progress during his presidency. He has repeatedly said, including at least three times this month alone, that there were only 2 million fully immunized people when he took office, compared to 220 million fully immunized people today. today.
Although the actual number of fully vaccinated people by the time he took office was over 3 million – Biden could have relied on preliminary initial data that put the number at around 2 million – the figure of “2 million is certainly much closer to the truth than the White House’s tweeted claim that “there was no vaccine available.”
Biden also said in an April 2021 speech that 8% of people over 65 had received an injection when he took office. (He noted that this figure had since risen to 75 percent.)

The White House declined to comment on Friday.


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