Fact check: White House tweet falsely claims ‘no vaccine was available’ when Biden took office

Fact check: White House tweet falsely claims ‘no vaccine was available’ when Biden took office

“When President Biden took office, millions were unemployed and there was no vaccine,” the tweet said.

The White House could accurately say that vaccine availability was limited when Biden took office. It wasn’t until April 2021, about three months into Biden’s presidency, that all adults in every state were eligible for the vaccine. Early state rollouts generally limited the vaccine to medical workers and other essential workers, residents of long-term care facilities, and the elderly. At the time of Biden’s inauguration, even for those in eligible groups, it was often difficult to get an appointment.

But to say “there was no vaccine available” when he took office is going too far — it falsely sounds like the entire vaccine rollout started under Biden.

And while this fact check focuses on the tweet’s claim about vaccine availability, it’s worth briefly addressing the economic claims as well.

Biden is free to tout the sharp decline in the unemployment rate during his tenure — it fell from 6.4 percent in January 2021 to 3.6 percent in April 2022 — but as usual, the president’s role in improving it is a matter of debate . And although the tweet said that “millions were unemployed when President Biden took office,” despite the improved employment situation, there are still millions of people out of work today. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 5.9 million unemployed as of April 2022.

Biden has made more accurate claims

Biden himself has provided more accurate claims about vaccination progress during his presidency. He has said repeatedly, including at least three times this month alone, that only 2 million people were fully vaccinated when he took office, compared to 220 million people who are fully vaccinated today.
Although the actual number of fully vaccinated people at the time he took office was more than 3 million — Biden may have relied on preliminary initial data that put the figure at around 2 million — Biden’s “2 million” number is certainly much closer to that Truth as the White House’s tweeted claim that “no vaccine was available.”
Biden also said in an April 2021 speech that 8 percent of people over the age of 65 had received an injection by the time he took office. (He noted that number had since risen to 75 percent.)

The White House declined to comment on Friday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.