Fact Check: Joe Biden Lied to Seniors About What Trump Said on Coronavirus, Troops
CLAIM: President Donald Trump called seniors “virtually nobody,” and called troops “losers” and “suckers.”
VERDICT: FALSE: Trump was talking about coronavirus and young people, and claims about his comments on troops have been debunked.
Former Vice President Joe Biden told an audience of seniors in Florida on Tuesday that President Trump considered seniors to be “virtually nobody.” He specifically cited a speech by Trump last month, saying that Trump said the coronavirus “affects virtually nobody,” and hurt “just elderly people with heart and other problems.”
He went on to say that Trump was talking specifically about seniors.
Joe Biden recalls how President Trump last month said COVID affects "virtually nobody."
"'Nobody.' Think about that. Who was he talking about when he says it affects 'virtually nobody?' He was talking about America's seniors. He was talking about you."
— Joey Garrison (@joeygarrison) October 13, 2020
Here is what Trump actually said.
On November 3rd, Ohio will decide whether we end the pandemic and return to record prosperity, or whether we allow “Sleepy Joe Biden” and his group of incompetents to delay the vaccine, shut down the country. He actually suggested that he would shut down the country. [Boos] We now know the disease. We didn’t know it. Now we know it affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. That’s it. You know, in some states, thousands of people, nobody young below the age of 18 — like, nobody. They have a strong immune system. Who knows? Take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system, but it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.
Trump was specifically talking about whom it affects among young people under 18 — and the answer was “virtually nobody.”
At no time did he suggest that seniors were “virtually nobody,” and Trump specifically singled out the risks to seniors.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also noted in a Sep. 22 press briefing that the president has been talking about young people. (Indeed, even the journalist who asked her about the quote presumed the president was talking about the young.)
Biden himself has acknowledged that coronavirus is less of a risk to children. In a speech about the coronavirus vaccine that issuing developed under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, Biden said: “Children are less likely to die, although they can. And it’s more likely that their teachers and the elderly grandparents, et cetera, would be exposed. So the first [vaccine doses] would go to the people most susceptible.”
Biden also repeated the debunked claims by the Atlantic that Trump had called American soldiers buried in a World War I cemetery “suckers and losers.” The website cited four anonymous sources.
Those claims have never been corroborated — and have been disputed by more than a dozen current and former administration officials who were with Trump at the time. Biden went even further than the Atlantic article, claiming that Trump was talking about troops in general, not in a specific cemetery.
Breitbart News has fact-checked Biden’s false claim numerous times, and Trump disputed it to Biden’s face at the first debate.
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). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. 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.