President Joe Biden has repeatedly touted his administration’s role in facilitating vaccine distribution throughout the United States, using — or misusing — data to put his actions in the most positive light possible.
During a recent speech, Biden once again declared that his administration’s vaccine program “led the world,” The Daily Wire reported, but critics are pointing out that however good the U.S. system has been, it is not accurate to portray it as better than every other nation.
Biden made the remarks while celebrating the news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally acknowledged what many Americans already suspected: Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or practice social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings.
Speaking from the Rose Garden at the White House, he called the CDC’s revision a “great milestone” and a “great day” that he chalked up to “the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly.”
The president then proceeded to rattle off a number of other COVID-related numbers as evidence of that success.
“As I said in my joint address to the Congress, this vaccination effort has been a historic logistical achievement for the United States of America,” he said. “Over these past 114 days, our vaccination program has led the world.”
The Daily Wire, however, noted that while U.S. vaccination numbers stack up nicely against most other nations around the globe, it could be seen as misleading to assert that America has “led the world” in that regard.
The evidence is clear
In fact, even The New York Times reported in its interactive coverage of vaccine-related figures compiled as part of a University of Oxford special project that the U.S. ranks high, but not at the top of the list for any of the major metrics being measured. As an example, America ranks 8th in terms of vaccine doses administered per 100 people with a number of around 80 doses.
Of course, America is a leader in total doses administered — more than 264 million — if one dismisses China’s claims that it has administered more than 354 million doses.
With about 35% of the population having received at least one dose, the U.S. ranks 6th in the world. When combined to account for the overall share of the population that has been partially or fully vaccinated, that ranking drops to 9th place.
To be sure, the nation has performed quite well in manufacturing, distributing, and administering multiple vaccine drugs, and Biden has every right to tout those successes publicly. Nevertheless, Biden should not rely on hyperbole to make things seem better or bigger than they truly are — and the media should hold him accountable when he does.
After all, many in the media just spent four years feverishly claiming insistence on factual accuracy from the White House under President Donald Trump.