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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday fumbled his figures concerning lost jobs and lost lives tied to the coronavirus pandemic -- stating at one point that only 85,000 Americans were out of work.
"We're in the middle of a pandemic that has cost us more than 85,000 jobs as of today,” he said at a COVID-19 roundtable, before following up. “Lives of millions of people, millions of people, millions of jobs."
Biden appeared to switch up the two staggering figures, as nearly 86,000 have died in the U.S. due to the coronavirus, while millions -- approximately 36 million -- have lost their jobs since the outbreak of the virus. Shortly after giving the drastically undercounted unemployment number, Biden seemed to correct himself and refer to the millions of jobless claims that have been filed since March.
It’s the latest in a series of bumbles by the former vice president, who has admitted to being a “gaffe machine.” Such errors have made easy fodder for Republicans eager to cast Biden as faltering on the virtual campaign trail.
“Seriously?” tweeted Republican National Committee national spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington.
Critics also drew attention to a clip in which he tried to interact with a voter on MSNBC -- without realizing he was speaking with a prerecorded question.
Last month, he raised eyebrows when he suggested the U.S. needs more “economic intercourse” across the globe.
“I would get much more engaged in the world, we can’t step back,” Biden said. “If in fact, for example, we solve the problem in the United States of America and you don’t solve it in other parts of the world, you know what’s going to happen?”
“You’re going to have travel bans, you’re going to not be able to do, have economic intercourse around the world,” Biden continued. “When it’s America first, it’s America alone.”