President Joe Biden recently participated in his second CNN town hall, where he took questions from local residents in Cincinnati and anchor Don Lemon. However, he made several misleading or false claims regarding Covid-19. Calling on Americans to opt for vaccinations against Covid-19, Biden said, “If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in the ICU unit and you’re not going to die.” Just a few moments later, in his second exchange, Biden mentioned that even if people who are vaccinated happen to catch the virus, they will likely not fall sick.
But, during his next exchange, he said vaccines provide protection against the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus. He added, “You’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations.”
While Biden’s second claim is, in fact, accurate, the blanket promises in his first and third exchanges are not. Covid-19 vaccines are extremely effective, and they reduce the possibility of infection, serious illness, and even death. But, contrary to what the President said, they do not guarantee that people who are vaccinated will not be hospitalized or pass away.
Even officials in the Biden administration who are vaccinated have been infected. The CDC also does not endorse the kind of definitive language that Biden used. On its website, the CDC notes that “vaccine breakthrough cases will occur, even though the vaccines are working as expected” and “there will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized or die from Covid-19.”
As of July 12, the CDC stated it had received reports of a total of 1,063 deaths among people who were vaccinated. However, it mentioned that about 26% of these deaths were not related to Covid-19 or that the individuals were asymptomatic. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, attempted to clarify Biden’s statement by mentioning, “Well, what the science says is that 97% of hospitalizations are people who were unvaccinated.”