If CNN won’t go to bat for Joe Biden on a fact-checking run, things must be really bad.
This, keep in mind, is the network that reported earlier in the week that the new president had received no plan to deal with the coronavirus outbreak despite Dr. Anthony Fauci — dear, beloved Dr. Anthony Fauci, unimpeachable head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — saying it wasn’t so. The reporter who broke that story tweeted that Fauci, hardly beloved of the last president, was a “Trump holdover.”
When you get that kind of love from CNN, it’s difficult to imagine where the line gets drawn. “Fact check: Leaving the record player on at night can help end racism, as Biden claimed in debate.” “Fact check: Hunter Biden’s laptop isn’t a story, and what laptop are you talking about, anyway? We haven’t heard about any laptop. Moving on.” “Fact check: Republicans deride Biden’s claim he can walk on water, but they haven’t proved he can’t, either.”
We found out where the line got drawn on his first full day in office Thursday, when Biden snapped at a reporter who questioned him on his COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans and whether the target of 1 million vaccines a day administered over 100 days was ambitious enough.
President Biden replies “give me a break, man” to a reporter asking about vaccine rollout pic.twitter.com/o3SGC1UxBk
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 21, 2021
“When I announced it, you all said it’s not possible,” Biden shot back.
“C’mon, give me a break, man. It’s a good start — 100 million.”
The clip was widely circulated, and not just because it marked the re-emergence of the “lying dog-faced pony soldier” adversarial side of Biden we saw on the campaign trail before the shift into full-on Unity and Healing™.
It’s also a complete lie.
In the past week, CNN noted on Friday, the United States is at 914,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered each day. This isn’t that short of the target of 1 million a day — and since CNN wants us to think the Trump administration didn’t have any vaccine plan, imagine what Biden can do.
The Daily Caller replied to its own video by calling shenanigans on this claim:
This already aged well ?https://t.co/da7no6HgVD
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 21, 2021
CNN — in a more diplomatic way — was forced to admit Biden was lying when he said this, too.
In a fact-check article, the network said that while he “delivered a factually accurate Thursday speech,” this answer, well, wasn’t.
“Biden’s claim is false; it’s not true that there was an initial media consensus that the 100 million goal was impossible. Some of the early news coverage of the goal did not even question whether it was plausible,” CNN’s article read.
“Some experts featured in the early coverage, including CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, said the goal was achievable. And while some journalists and experts were more skeptical, cautioning that the goal was ambitious, they did not go so far as to say it was impossible.”
In fact, it’s worth noting that some thought he was aiming low, with Bloomberg reporting the Trump administration said Biden should be able to inoculate 170 million people through April.
Internal projections show 484 million doses of coronavirus vaccine will likely be produced by end of June, meaning 280 million people vaccinated by then.
Estimate assumes 100 million doses from Johnson & Johnson, 165 million from Pfizer, 200 million from Moderna, aides said.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 17, 2021
Yes, that’s the Trump administration talking, but the fact that Biden’s people still seem to believe this is going to be a Herculean effort isn’t borne out by what the media or the outgoing administration says.
“We have looked carefully, and we are confident that we have enough vaccines for the 100 million doses over the next 100 days,” Rochelle Walensky, the incoming director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Bloomberg. “That’s what the president-elect has promised. It will be a hefty lift, but we have it in us to do that.”
“There might well be someone at some media outlet who did say that administering 100 million doses in 100 days was not possible,” CNN’s fact-check read. “But Biden told the journalists in the State Dining Room that ‘you all said’ it was impossible, and that’s clearly not true.”
If he had said there was skepticism involving the goal, CNN noted, he’d have been factually accurate. However, there were some who thought they were aiming too low, including The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf:
.@JoeBiden‘s “100 million doses in the first 100 days” pledge isn’t aiming high enough.
— Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) December 8, 2020
In short, this apparently is where the line gets drawn. There’s a lot of other smudging that CNN can do, including about whether the Biden administration came into office with no vaccination plan from the Trump administration. (Despite what that “Trump holdover” Fauci might say.) However, if Biden’s exaggerations are this blatant, even they have to admit it.
As for whether he can walk on water — well, when and if he says it, the ball’s in your court, Mitch McConnell.
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