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FactChecking Biden’s Town Hall

President Joe Biden got some facts wrong and spun others in a Feb. 16 town hall that aired on CNN.

  • He said it was “not true” that he had revised his 100-day school reopening goal, saying it “was reported” that he meant a majority of schools only need to be open one day a week. That’s exactly what his press secretary had said.
  • Biden left the false impression that the preceding administration had contracted for fewer COVID-19 vaccines than it actually had.
  • The president wrongly claimed that Federally Qualified Health Centers would now receive 1 million vaccines per week. That’s the total number of vaccines that they will receive, not the weekly amount.
  • He claimed, without evidence, that racehorse owners receive tax breaks worth almost $9 billion.
  • Regarding his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, Biden said there is “consensus among economists left, right, and center” that “we can’t spend too much.” But some center-left economists say the plan may be too large.
  • The president wrongly said the federal minimum wage of $7.25 would be $20 if it had been indexed for inflation; he instead meant if it had been indexed for worker productivity.
  • Biden wrongly claimed the “vast majority” of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally are not “Hispanics,” but “people who came on a visa … and didn’t go home.” Most of the unauthorized population came to the U.S. illegally from Mexico and other Latin American nations.

The town hall was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Biden Clarifies School Reopening Goal

Biden said it was “not true” that he had revised his 100-day school reopening goal to mean a majority of schools only need to be open one day a week, claiming that was “what was reported.”

It’s what was reported because that’s exactly what White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

As we noted in our story “Biden’s Underwhelming School Reopening,” two studies that looked at random samples of school districts around the country estimated that a majority of schools were already offering in-person school at least one day a week, and had been doing so before Biden took office.

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