Fact-Checking Biden's CNN Town Hall

Headline Roundup February 18th, 2021

President Joe Biden did a town hall event with CNN Tuesday night in Milwaukee, taking questions in his first public appearance as president outside of Washington D.C. According to fact-checkers, the president made several false, misleading or conflicting statements during the event, about subjects such as school reopening, the COVID-19 vaccine and the minimum wage. These became a focus of media coverage across the spectrum, but more for right-rated media outlets.

Many right-rated fact-checkers focused on Biden's remark during the town hall that "we didn't have" a COVID-19 vaccine when he took office, a false sentiment echoed earlier in the week by others in the Biden administration. Many on the right framed this as a clear lie worthy of scrutiny. Left-rated fact-checkers attempted to place this remark in context with some of Biden's other comments from earlier in the night about the vaccine, framing his statement as a blunder instead of an intentional falsehood. Some right-rated voices then accused left-rated outlets of media bias, comparing their scrutiny of former President Donald Trump to their scrutiny of Biden, and alleging that they covered for Biden by explaining his remarks as "gaffes" instead of purely fact-checking them.

Fact-Checking Biden's CNN Town Hall

From the Center
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FACT CHECK

President Joe Biden got some facts wrong and spun others in a Feb. 16 town hall that aired on CNN.

He said it was “not true” that he had revised his 100-day school reopening goal, saying it “was reported” that he meant a majority of schools only need to be open one day a week. That’s exactly what his press secretary had said.

Biden left the false impression that the preceding administration had contracted for fewer COVID-19 vaccines than it actually had.

The president wrongly claimed that Federally Qualified Health...

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From the Right
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ANALYSIS

On Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to participate in a CNN Presidential Town Hall — his first as President of the United States. Speaking with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, Biden fielded questions from audience members, some of whom voted for him and some of whom did not.

In a similar fashion to Biden’s television appearances while on the campaign trail, and the first days of his administration, the town hall event was dripping with falsehoods and misleading arguments.

Here is a breakdown of some such statements...

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From the Left
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FACT CHECK

President Joe Biden took questions from Wisconsin residents and from Anderson Cooper at a CNN town hall event in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.

We're still looking into some of the claims Biden made, so this article is not comprehensive. But we can tell you now that he made at least four false claims -- all of them involving statistics -- about the minimum wage, undocumented immigrants, China's economy and Covid-19 vaccinations.

Biden also made claims that could have benefited from some additional context, that he acknowledged he might not have...

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