President Joe Biden claimed during his speech before Congress on Wednesday that he inherited “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
This claim is misleading at best, if not outright false.
“I stand here tonight, one day shy of the 100th day of my administration,” Biden said.
“One hundred days since I took the oath of office — lifted my hand off our family Bible — and inherited a nation … in crisis,” he added.
President Joe Biden refers to the January 6 Capitol riot as the worst attack on American democracy since the Civil War. pic.twitter.com/I4PXNbAm2p
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 29, 2021
“The worst pandemic in a century. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
While it may be fair to claim the coronavirus pandemic is the worst pandemic the world has faced in more than a century, Biden’s remarks suggest he inherited the presidency during the worst of the pandemic.
In fact, at the time Biden first took office, COVID infections were already falling.
The number of daily new coronavirus cases had fallen from 300,669 on Jan. 8, to 186,916 on Jan. 20, the day he was sworn in, according to The New York Times.
Moreover, at the time Biden inherited the office of the presidency, the nation — under the leadership of then-President Donald Trump — was well on the road to recovering from the crisis.
Even The Washington Post admitted as much in a Jan. 22 report.
“Even with vaccine shortages and bottlenecks in delivery, the pace needed to meet the new administration’s goal — 1 million doses administered per day — was already achieved Friday and four other days of the previous eight, according to Washington Post data,” The Post said.
“The accelerating speed of the program undercuts assertions by some Biden advisers that they were left no plan by the Trump administration and suggests they need only to keep their feet on the pedal to clear the bar they set for themselves.”
Additionally, according to a National Review fact check of Biden’s claim, the economy had already been recovering by the time Biden entered office.
“Had Biden taken office in April of 2020, he may have been able to claim the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But claiming the economy was the worst in 90 years at the time he was sworn in has no basis in reality,” National Review noted.
“It’s true that last spring, the unemployment rate had hit 13.3 percent. But in January 2021, it had been cut in half, and was 6.3 percent.”
“You don’t have to go back to the 1930s to find that kind of joblessness — the unemployment rate was higher than 6.3 percent for the first five years of the Obama-Biden administration.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.