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FACT CHECK: Biden Falsely Claims Coronavirus Deaths Exceed War, 9/11 Deaths

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VERDICT: MOSTLY FALSE. The total number of deaths in those conflicts, including non-combat deaths, is higher.

In his address to the nation from the White House on the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus shutdowns, President Joe Biden claimed:

I’ve told you before, I carry a card in my pocket with the number of Americans who have died from COVID to date. It’s on the back of my schedule. As of now, total deaths in America, 527,726. That’s more deaths than in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam war and 9/11 combined. They were husbands, wives, sons, and daughters, grandparents, friends, neighbors, young and old.

While the number of coronavirus deaths is to be mourned, Biden’s figures are simply incorrect.

Several mainstream media organizations debunked Biden’s claim. Newsweek, for example, noted:

As noted by the Congressional Research Service dataset, service deaths for the three wars combined–including fatalities not directly from battle–totals to 580,135. Adding 9/11 terror attack deaths brings the total to 583,112–more than COVID deaths.

  • World War I: 116,516
  • World War II: 405,399
  • Vietnam: 58,220
  • 9/11: 2,977

After fact checking the war-time statistics last month, a White House spokesperson told The Washington Post that Biden had been referring to in-combat deaths. The president did not specifically make that point during his address to the nation this week.

If battle deaths remains the methodology, it is unclear why the 9/11 terrorist attack was included in the numbers.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Biden’s false claim during Friday’s press briefing. She grew testy, telling the reporter: “I’m glad you’re focused on the important business.”

Apparently, American deaths do not qualify.

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). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent 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.

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Poll: Solid Majority of Capitol Hill Aides Believe Republicans Will Retake House Majority in 2022

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The survey was conducted anonymously between April 13 and 19 online, through Locust Street Group in partnership with Punchbowl News. The survey asked 171 senior Capitol Hill aides.

“Members of Congress are the ones with the election certificates, but, in many cases, their aides hold outsized power. Senior staffers are the gatekeepers and, in many cases, the decision-makers,” Punchbowl News said.

The survey also asked whether the aides on the Hill believed some of the top issues on Capitol Hill would pass in the current 117th Congress. Seventy-four percent believe an infrastructure plan will pass, along with 48 percent saying a tax plan, while 42 percent said legislation to deal with prescription drug costs.

Recently, the Republican campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), expanded their list of offensive seats by ten seats, adding more vulnerable Democrats they hope to pick off in the midterm election. This now brings NRCC’s initial 47-member list of offensive targets to a full list of 57 vulnerable House Democrat members.

Additionally, three former chairs of the Democrat’s campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), sounded the alarm. They see Pelosi’s extremely slim majority starting to slip away as more members are starting to retire or look for higher office.

Former Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), who led the DCCC in 2012 and 2014, told the New York Times, “The two biggest headaches of any cycle are redistricting and retirements, and when you have both in one cycle, it’s a migraine.”

Rep. Martin Frost (D-TX) said to Politico that, when it comes to redistricting and retiring, “It’s very early in the game, but retirements are a concern.”

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), the previous DCCC chairwoman and a top lieutenant of Pelosi’s, announced that she would not be seeking reelection last week, throwing in the towel.

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Poll: One of Four Americans Say It Is ‘Safe’ for Them to Go Out in Public Without a Mask

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Respondents were asked, “When do you think it will be safe for YOU to go out in public without a mask on?”

Twenty-six percent, said it is “safe right now.” Another six percent said it will be safe by spring of 2021, 13 percent said summer of 2021, and 16 percent said the end of 2021. Nineteen percent said 2022 or later, and another nineteen percent said they were not sure.

The survey also asked respondents how often they have worn a mask in the last seven days when outside of their home. A plurality, 49 percent, said “always,” followed by 21 percent who said “most of the time,” 19 percent who said “some of the time,” and 12 percent who said “never.”

Additionally, the survey asked respondents to rate the safeness of certain activities for vaccinated people. While the majority believe it is either “completely” or “somewhat” safe for vaccinated individuals to socialize outdoors without wearing a mask or socialize indoors with other vaccinated people without a mask, just 40 percent believe it is “completely” or “somewhat” safe for fully vaccinated people to socialize indoors with unvaccinated people without a face covering. Forty-nine percent believe it is “completely” or “somewhat” unsafe.

Notably, 49 percent believe it is “somewhat” or “completely” unsafe for unvaccinated people to even socialize outdoors without a mask, and 63 percent believe it is unsafe for unvaccinated individuals to socialize indoors with other unvaccinated people without wearing a mask.

The survey, taken May 1-4, among 1,500 U.S. adults has a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent.

U.S. health officials have refused to say when U.S. health agencies will no longer recommend Americans to wear masks in public. In February, Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested masks could continue to be around into 2022.

“You know, I think that’s possible that’s the case. It depends on what you mean by normality,” he said in response to a question on if Americans will still be wearing masks into the new year.

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Gallup Poll: Fewer Americans Citing Coronavirus as the Most Important Problem Facing the U.S.

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While the survey found the virus remaining the top problem, there has been a relatively steady decline in the percentage of Americans who identify it as the most important problem.

Currently, 20 percent name the coronavirus the most important issue, down from the 45 percent who said the same one year ago, in April 2020. In February, the percentage stood at 26 percent.

In March, 25 percent of respondents identified “coronavirus/diseases” as the “most important problem facing this country today,” followed by “the government” (20 percent), and immigration, race relations, and the economy, all of which garnered 8 percent. The coronavirus remained the top issue in April but dipped five points to 20 percent, followed by the government and immigration which garnered 14 percent, race relations which saw 12 percent, and the economy which saw 4 percent.

According to Gallup, the changes are “largely reflective of recent public opinion on these issues,” as Americans are “largely satisfied with the vaccine rollout and are less worried about contracting COVID-19 [coronavirus] than they have been since the beginning of the pandemic.”

However, even though fewer Americans across the board are choosing coronavirus as the most important issue, there is a significant partisan divide when it comes to identifying the top issue facing the country.

One-quarter of Republicans and Republican leaners, for example, identify immigration as the top issue, followed by 20 percent who say it is the government and 13 percent who say it is the coronavirus. All the while, 27 percent of Democrats and Democrat leaners chose the coronavirus as the most important issue facing the country, followed by race relations (19 percent), and the government and unifying the country, both of which garnered 7 percent.

The survey, taken April 1-21, 2021 among 961 U.S. adults, has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

The survey comes as the U.S. continues with vaccine rollout, fully vaccinating over 96 million people, or 29.1 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) April 27 data. However, U.S. health officials still will not say when Americans can truly return to a state of pre-pandemic normalcy, with the CDC continuing to recommend vaccinated people to wear masks in certain social settings.

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