AP FACT CHECK: Biden on virus deaths, Kerry’s local weather disaster


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and his workforce are getting the numbers mistaken after they speak in regards to the enormity of the mounting COVID-19 demise toll and the looming local weather change risk.

A take a look at the claims:

BIDEN: “Each day, I receive a small card in my pocket that I carry with me in my schedule. It shows the number of Americans who have been infected by or died from COVID-19. Today, we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone: 500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War One, World War Two and the Vietnam War combined.” — remarks Monday.

BIDEN: “As of yesterday, there are 500,071 people who have died from this — 500. That’s more people that died in World War One, World War Two and Vietnam combined, in a year — in a year.” — remarks Tuesday in roundtable with Black important employees.

THE FACTS: His listing of three wars is mistaken. Based on typical measures, coronavirus deaths within the U.S. presently don’t exceed these from World War I, World War II and the Vietnam battle.

According to the Congressional Research Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs, there have been 116,516 U.S. deaths in World War I, 405,399 in World War II — which incorporates each battle deaths and different deaths in service however not in theater — and 58,220 within the Vietnam battle. That provides as much as about 580,000, exceeding the half million COVID-19 deaths as of Monday.

The virus demise toll as a substitute all however matched the variety of Americans killed in World War II, Korea and Vietnam mixed. With 36,574 deaths within the Korean War, the full variety of casualties from these navy conflicts was 500,193.

Asked for Biden’s accounting, a White House official stated Biden had meant in his speeches to say “combat” deaths in World War I, World War II and Vietnam — which totaled a extra modest 390,000.


JOHN KERRY, Biden’s local weather envoy: “Well, the scientists told us three years ago we had 12 years to avert the worst consequences of climate crisis. We are now three years gone, so we have nine years left.” — interview with CBS News on Feb. 19.

KERRY: “Three years ago, scientists gave us a stark warning. They said we have 12 years to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.” — digital local weather adaptation summit, hosted by the Netherlands on Jan. 25.

THE FACTS: He’s incorrect that 2030 is a drop-dead date to avert the “worst consequences” of local weather change, although it is true that the planet will get progressively worse with every passing 12 months. It’s not an all-or-nothing kind of scenario that his feedback indicate, based on local weather scientists.

A report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, drawn from the work of a whole lot of scientists, makes use of 2030 as a outstanding benchmark as a result of signatories to the Paris local weather change settlement have pledged voluntary emission cuts by then. The date just isn’t a last-chance, onerous deadline for motion.

The report “did not ever say we had ’12 years left’ in 2018,” stated Jim Skea, an IPCC co-chair and one of many report’s lead authors. He stated Kerry and others are wrongly decoding references to the 12 months 2030 within the report, which was used as a aim put up “for no other reason than it marked the transition from one decade to the next” and was when authorities pledges to chop emissions aimed to behave.

Climate scientists actually see the need for broad and quick motion to handle world warming, however they don’t agree that 2030 is a degree of no return.

The 2018 report had scientists detailing the variations between the 2 world warming-fighting targets agreed upon within the Paris local weather settlement. The two targets are limiting warming to 1.5 levels Celsius (2.7 levels Fahrenheit) and a pair of levels Celsius (3.6 levels Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial instances. The targets had been set by diplomats based mostly on scientific reviews.

“Every bit of warming had consequences and there will be significant differences in impacts between 1.5 and 2 degrees warming,” Skea, an power professor at Imperial College in London, stated in an electronic mail.

“That being said, we do not ‘fall off a cliff’ at 1.5 degrees — it just gets progressively worse.”

Duke University Earth scientist Drew Shindell, one other report co-author, stated “Kerry isn’t wildly wrong, but is a bit overly focused on specific numbers.” He said there is “nothing special about 12 years or 2030. If we cut emissions by 2029 or 2031 the necessary cuts would be similar, but we only had years that were even multiples of 10 to look at.”


Yen reported from Austin, Texas.


EDITOR’S NOTE — A take a look at the veracity of claims by political figures.


Find AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactVerify

Follow @APFactVerify on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactVerify

Yahoo News