While Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has long been associated with bizarre public statements and gaffes, his behavior throughout the 2020 presidential race has fueled speculation that he is experiencing significant cognitive decline.
His most recent flub came during a campaign event on Sunday during which he inflated the number reported coronavirus-related deaths by a factor of 1,000, as reported by Breitbart.
“By the time I finish this talk”
Instead of the 200,000 Americans cited in the most recent death toll, the former vice president placed that number at more than two-thirds of the nation’s population before correcting himself a few moments later.
“It’s estimated 200 million people have died probably by the time I finish this talk,” he said.
While such a mistake could easily be explained away as a momentary lapse during a busy campaign, it was hardly the first example of Biden exaggerating this count and other statistics.
In June, he apparently made the same mistake in attempting to state the latest national toll.
“People don’t have a job, people don’t know where to go, they don’t know what to do,” Biden said at the time. “Now we have over 120 million dead from COVID.”
“He couldn’t do well”
During a debate in February, he claimed that 150 million Americans had been killed by gun violence since 2007. He has also had trouble with visual aids, particularly as he appeared to read from a script during an interview earlier this month.
Biden’s struggles have led some in his own party to question how he will perform in a debate against President Donald Trump. For his part, though, the incumbent is not taking anything for granted ahead of a first debate set to be moderated by Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace.
“I think he’s a professional,” the president said of his rival during a recent Fox & Friends appearance. “I don’t know if he’s all there, but I think he’s a professional. I have to assume that he’s a professional and that he can debate.”
Nevertheless, Trump said that Biden “doesn’t seem to be answering questions and he can’t answer questions and much worse, a little while ago when he was on the stage with Democrats, he couldn’t do well.”
It remains to be seen whether Biden’s first debate appearance against Trump will also be marked by flubs and gaffes — but his recent performances likely do little to instill confidence among Democrats.