May 6, 2021

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Facts Checker on Biden’s Speech: The Truth Behind the President’s Speech to Congress

Facts Checker on Biden's Speech: The Truth Behind the President's Speech to Congress

In a speech that remained largely true to the facts, there were however a few points raised by the president in his remarks at the joint session of Congress that were not entirely accurate.

Xi Jinping

Joe Biden’s love of turning off script and adlibbing saw him repeat a false claim about traveling with the Chinese premier.

Speaking about his relationship with Xi Jinping, the president said: “I have traveled 17,000 miles” with him.

This is a claim that Mr Biden has already made and which has previously been proven to be inaccurate by The Washington Post.

A fact-check from the newspaper notes that she hasn’t traveled anywhere near 17,000 miles “with” him. He spent many hours with Xi during his time as vice president, but “often they haven’t even traveled parallel paths to their meetings, let alone physically together.”

A White House official told CNN in the past that Biden was making a reference to the total amount of travel back and forth in China and internally, as well as to the United States for the meetings the couple attended.


Elsewhere, Biden said the economy created 1.3 million new jobs in 100 days: “More jobs in the first 100 days than any registered president.”

While vaccine delivery and the opening up of the economy have led to a faster economic recovery than many expected, there are still just under 8.5 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic. coronavirus.

Mr. Biden can take credit for an effective introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine that boosted economic confidence, it is unclear how much of the rebound in employment can be directly attributed to him.

Human rights

Mr. Biden said America will not back down from its commitment to “human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

The Biden administration has been very energetic in condemning the actions of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, as well as the coup in Myanmar and the Chinese repression of the Uighurs.

However, many will feel that this was an exaggerated piece of rhetoric given the current threat to women’s rights in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US troops and past US actions in other parts of the world.

Health care

Progressive Representative Ilhan Omar thought of Biden saying, “Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege in America.”

She tweeted: “If you say you believe health care is a right and not a privilege, [then] Medicare 4 All support. “

Gun control

Another exaggeration noted by The New York Times Concerned about Mr. Biden’s claim about universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in 1994. The president said that in the years since, mass shootings and gun violence have declined.

Although there is research that banning high-capacity magazines has reduced the number and mortality of mass shootings, the overall impact of such bans is unclear and the available evidence is inconclusive, according to the RAND Corporation.


CNN’s Daniel Dale notes that Biden was wrong in saying that the “overwhelming majority” of the 11 million undocumented immigrants to the United States stayed beyond their visas.

Most of the new undocumented people remained beyond their visas, but the overall majority are still people who crossed the border illegally.

Mr Dale points out that this was an adlib and is not in the prepared text.

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