Speaking in Warren, Mich., Biden cited the number of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 in Michigan as being the numbers for the military, saying the armed forces had seen 118,984 cases and 6,114 deaths.
Shortly after the event, Biden’s campaign quickly clarified that Biden had mixed up the numbers for Michigan with those from military. As of Wednesday, only seven members of the military had died from COVID-19.
“Vice President Biden has the utmost respect for the men and women of the armed services and believes it’s the sacred duty of our country to properly equip them, look after their families when they’re deployed, and care for them when they return,” Biden’s Deputy Rapid Response Director Michael Gwin said in a statement to Fox News.
Gwin added: “To honor their service, the Vice President carries with him each day a card detailing the number of Americans who have given their lives for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, and frequently cites that number to recognize their sacrifice.”
Biden has taken criticism before for confusing statistics when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.
In June, Biden incorrectly said 120 million people had died from the contagion in the U.S.
“People don’t have a job, people don’t know where to go, they don’t know what to do,” Biden said at the time. “Now we have over 120 million dead from COVID.”
As of Wednesday, the U.S. has recorded just over 190,000 deaths from the virus — the highest total in the world.
While Biden appeared to immediately to catch himself after his gaffe in June — the pool video of Biden’s comments cuts off after he made the remark – President Trump’s campaign was quick to jump on the former vice president’s comment.
“Joe Biden is very confused,” the campaign tweeted out. “He’s not playing with a full deck, folks. #BarelyThereBiden.”
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Biden’s verbal slip-ups have plagued him throughout his 2020 presidential bid, with the Trump campaign using them as fodder to argue that the presumptive Democratic nominee is unfit for the Oval Office, as well as to draw attention away from Trump’s own mistakes.
The president himself has been hammered by pundits and Democrats for false or misleading claims he’s made regarding the coronavirus pandemic – from his now infamous March 6 declaration that “anybody that wants a test can get a test” to claiming that the Obama administration had left him with bad or old tests for COVID-19 even though there could not have been a test until Trump’s presidency.
Despite Biden’s slip-ups on the stump, he still holds a national advantage in the polls over Trump with the Real Clear Politics average showing the former vice president holding close to a seven point lead over the current White House occupant with the general election less than two months away.
Fox News’ Patrick Ward and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.
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