Joe Biden made a fatal error while describing the coronavirus death toll.
The likely Democratic candidate for president said that 600,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus — a number 10 times larger than the nearly 70,000 who have actually perished, the Washington Examiner reported. It’s just the latest slip-up from the embattled former vice president, whose candidacy has come under scrutiny over allegations of sexual assault despite having the backing of the establishment.
Biden botches death toll
Biden has repeatedly criticized Donald Trump’s coronavirus response as inadequate, but the Democrat is still raising doubts about his own capacity to lead after a series of embarrassing mix-ups. The Democrat had another brain freeze on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday while lamenting the devastation wrought by COVID-19.
“Over 600,000 dead, many of them are people who are those workers, those nurses, doctors, some of them, because they have put themselves in a position to save other people’s lives, protect the rest of society,” Biden. “And we talk about that number like 600 plus thousand people …” Biden said.
When Joe Scarborough jumped in to correct him, Biden said, “Yeah, 60,000. I misspoke … over 60,000 dead.”
As of Monday, nearly 70,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, and Trump has predicted that the toll could rise to 100,000, according to NBC News. While tragic, such a tally is nowhere close to Biden’s figure.
This isn’t the first time Biden has dramatically overstated mass casualties. In February, he notably said that 150 million Americans have died due to the use of firearms since 2007 — a figure representing more than a third of the current U.S. population — while railing against gun rights during a primary debate.
Controversies continue to mount
Despite his obvious flaws, Biden has all but consolidated his party’s nomination, the backing of the mainstream media, and the support of Democratic Party elites. Having elbowed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders out of the race, he is almost certain to face Trump in November, barring some surprise play from the powers that be.
For the most part, Democrats and the media have ignored Biden’s episodes of confusion, and a recent sexual assault allegation against him from a former Senate staffer, Tara Reade, has been met with side-eyed skepticism from Biden’s allies. Still, there is no doubt that the scandal has divided the left, and speculation that the party might substitute another candidate for Biden has gained steam, according to The Hill.
Biden was back on Morning Joe Friday to address the assault allegation in a tense interview with Scarborough’s wife and co-host, Mika Brzezinski. The Democratic candidate forcefully denied the claim, but Brzezinski pressed Biden on his contradictory 2018 appeal for Americans to automatically believe accusations of assault made against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“No, it is not true. I am saying unequivocally it never, never happened, and it didn’t. It never happened,” Biden told Brzezinski when asked to respond directly to Reade’s claim.
Trump has mocked Biden’s apparent cognitive issues, sometimes suggesting that the Democrat’s campaign is being micromanaged by staffers. “Joe Biden didn’t write that,” Trump said of a Biden tweet Sunday, according to Fox News. “That was written by a young man who got very good grades at a very good school,” the president added.