FACT CHECK: 4 Claims From Biden’s 2022 State Of The Union Address
President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.
Here are four checks on his claims.
Claim 1: “Our economy created over 6.5 million new jobs just last year, more jobs created in one year than ever before in the history of America.”
Employers added 6.6 million jobs during Biden’s first 12 months in office, according to CNN, which labeled the figure as “the strongest record of any president’s first year in office.” The figure exceeds the previous record of 3.9 million jobs added by former President Jimmy Carter in 1977, the outlet reported.
However, the context of this growth in jobs is notable. The historic figure is at least partly due to the ongoing economic recovery from damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Washington Post. A constantly growing U.S. population also skews certain comparisons to the past in favor of the present. When put into relative terms, Biden’s 2021 job number represents a 4.5 percent increase in the workforce, the largest since 1979, but not the largest percentage increase in American history, The Washington Post reported.
Claim 2: “Look at insulin. One in 10 Americans has diabetes.”
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) put the number of Americans with diabetes at 37.3 million Americans, or 11.3 percent of the population, with the CDC suggesting the number had doubled over the last 20 years. Approximately 1.4 million Americans are newly diagnosed with diabetes each year, according to the ADA. Though about one in 10 Americans have diabetes, approximately 8.5 million of those with diabetes do not have an official diagnosis, the organization estimates.
As of 2019, 96 million Americans who are 18 years or older had developed prediabetes, the ADA suggests. Diabetes is listed as the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and is the number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations and adult blindness, according to the CDC. While insulin treatment is vital for those with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes may be able to find other treatments to keep their glucose levels within a safe range, the Mayo Clinic reports.
Claim 3: “That’s why the American Rescue Plan that you all provided $350 billion that cities, states and counties can use to hire more police, invest in proven strategies.”
The American Rescue Plan (ARP), a bill Biden signed into law in March 2021, did provide $350 billion to state, local and tribal governments, according to the Treasury Department. The department notes these funds were to be used “to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency.”
However, Biden has urged the recipient governments to use some of the funds to hire more police officers as a means to combat a surge in violent crime, according to Newsweek. A fact sheet released by the White House in June 2021 explains the money can also be used to invest in other measures intended to stem violent crime, such as investing in “evidence-based community violence interventions” and expanding “summer programming, employment opportunities, and other services and supports, especially for teenagers and young adults.”
Claim 4: “Look, repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued. The only one.”
The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act prohibits lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers for damage caused by third parties committing crimes with their products or otherwise misusing them. However, gun manufacturers are not the only industry with a degree of legal immunity.
Vaccine manufacturers, for example, are not legally allowed to be held liable for unavoidable vaccine-related injury or death, according to codified U.S. law. Most Fortune 100 companies also legally preclude customers from filing federal suits against them, using language in customer agreements that effectively consign such disputes to small claims court or arbitration, according to research published by the U.C. Davis Law Review.
Notably, gun manufacturers can still be held liable for damages in certain scenarios, such as “actions alleging breach of contract or warranty” and “product liability actions stemming from design or manufacture defects,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
Trevor Schakohl, Elias Atienza, Hannah Hudnall and Kenia Mazariegos contributed to this report.