CLAIM: There have been 6,114 U.S. military deaths from coronavirus.
VERDICT: FALSE. There have been seven.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has been attacking President Donald Trump for remarks that The Atlantic claimed he made about dead soldiers in war (and which over twenty witnesses have publicly refuted). On Wednesday, Biden commented on soldiers who had died during the coronavirus pandemic — and overstated the number by a factor of nearly one thousand.
Biden was speaking to members of the United Auto Workers in Michigan. After fumbling about for a card listing U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq, which he said he always kept with him — but which he had given to his staff — Biden read the casualty numbers for those wars, along with those for the coronavirus. Struggling to read the numbers, he said:
U.S. COVID-infected military — excuse me, U.S. COVID-infected in America: six thousand, three hundred forty-four thousand, seven hundred [sic]. U.S. COVID deaths: one thousand, one hundred eighty-nine thousand, five hundred six [sic]. Military COVID-infected: one hundred and eighteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty-four. Military COVID deaths: six thousand, one hundred and fourteen. Folks: every one of these lives matter. Every one of these lives left somebody behind, grieving.
However, the actual number of coronavirus deaths in the military is seven, according to the Pentagon.
Biden also grossly overestimated the number of military cases: the number is 40,026 rather than 118,984.
It is not clear how he came up with 6,114. The number of veterans who have died from coronavirus is over 2,500, but that number is still far different from the one Biden recited.
For someone who says he cares deeply about America’s soldiers, Biden seemed to know very little about how many have actually been infected by coronavirus, or died.
Update: The Biden campaign has clarified that the candidate meant to cite the number of dead in Michigan, not the military.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.