Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday falsely claimed that the Chinese coronavirus has killed a staggering 120 million people — just moments before a live stream of his remarks went dead.
“What people drastically underestimate is the impact on the medical health of people who, now, everything is complicated,” Biden told supporters during an event on health care in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “Not only is the healthcare piece, but people don’t have a job, people don’t have anywhere to go. They don’t know what they’re going to do.”
“You have, unnecessarily, now we have over 120 million dead from COVID,” Biden added, right as the live stream appeared to glitch out. Biden’s image froze for over a minute, then the feed cut to a placeholder screen for the broadcaster, then resumed at a different venue for a prepared speech. It is unclear what, if any, correction Biden made for the inaccurate statistics.
To date, the United States has approximately 2.43 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 124,000 deaths, along with 747,000 recoveries, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Worldwide, nearly 9.5 million cases have been confirmed and 484,000 deaths, while 4.78 million have recovered.
This is not the first time Biden, known for his frequently verbal flubs, has given the incorrect figure on the number of coronavirus deaths. In May, the former vice president twice told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that 600,000 Americans have passed away from the disease. At the time, data showed that the U.S. had experienced a far smaller number of deaths, with 65,068 fatalities.
In the same interview, Biden appeared to forget the name of the Ebola virus.
“We led— Barack Obama led on the corona, I mean, excuse me, in the pandemic that occurred when we were in office. It was kept in Africa,” he told host Joe Scarborough.