Biden says 600k Americans died of COVID-19 in latest gaffe while actual death toll is over 60k

Biden says 600k Americans died of COVID-19 in latest gaffe while actual death toll is over 60k
(Getty Images)

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is known for his embarrassing slip of tongues and he erred once again last week while speaking on the death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. The 77-year-old, who is running his campaign virtually from the confines of his home studio in Delaware, said over 600,000 people have died from the virus, adding one zero extra to the actual toll of 67,000-plus. The global death toll in the pandemic is around 248,000.

Biden, who is set to take on President Donald Trump in the November 3 election, has been seen less on the ground after the pandemic broke out but that has not hurt him much so far. Trump, on the contrary, has found himself more at the receiving end, thanks to the allegations that his administration has been late and without a proper plan to fight the pandemic that has hit more than 1.1 million in the US. 

“Over 600,000 dead, many of them are people who are those workers, those nurses, doctors, some of them, because they have put themselves in a position to save other people's lives, protect the rest of society,” Biden told on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe'. “And we talk about that number like 600 plus thousand people …”


The US has seen the most number of deaths because of the pandemic. (Getty Images)

It was then that host Joe Scarborough corrected the Democratic presidential candidate, saying “60,000”. The veteran was quick to rectify himself, stuttering: “Yeah, 60,000. I misspoke ... over 60,000 dead.”

Biden is having a less-than-perfect campaign this electoral season with several gaffes and confrontation with voters and media personalities. At one instance, he called the Chinese city of Wuhan where the virus originated as “Luhan”, inviting public ridicule. He once called an elderly voter during a campaign a “damn liar” after the latter asked him uncomfortable questions. 


Rape accusation by former aide

At the moment, Biden is facing a rape accusation by one of his former aides in the Senate named Tara Reade. According to Reade, Biden penetrated her with his fingers in 1993 after she went to give him some stuff. Last Friday, May 1, Biden broke his silence on the matter to say it “never happened”. 

Biden started off the primaries on a disappointing note but turned the tables around after winning South Carolina handsomely in late February. He went on dominating all the Super Tuesdays in March to take a decisive lead over his last remaining opponent Bernie Sanders who eventually pulled out in early April. Subsequently, a number of top Democrats, including former president Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, endorsed Biden for president.

The former vice president has seen himself in a better position vis-a-vis Trump in pre-election polls recently. It is believed that his partnership with Obama at the White House that pulled the US out of the 2008 recession has improved public faith in him at a time when the economy has been badly hit by the pandemic.


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