Fact Check Friday: President Biden's Tri-State visit

A caucasian man in a gray suit stands next to President Joe Biden, wearing a navy blue suit and striped shirt, next to a blue and yellow sign that reads "Build Back Better: Cincinnati, OH."
Posted at 8:33 AM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 09:53:15-04

CINCINNATI — President Joe Biden visited the Tri-State Wednesday to talk about infrastructure and the economy among other things, but a few of the president's statements were outright wrong or factually false.

One of the things the president discussed was gun violence in the Tri-State.

Biden said, "You've had a lot of gun violence here in Cincinnati. I think it's up to what, how many dead? Five hundred over a period? Don't hold me to the number whatever it was."

However, according to Cincy Insights, there haven't been 500 shootings in Cincinnati so far in 2021. There have been 191 reported shootings in the city, and 39 of them were deadly. Even if the time frame is extended to the last five years, the data shows there have been 278 deadly shootings.

While one deadly shooting is too many, the president saying there have been 500 deadly shootings is wrong.

The president also said, "We're not in a position where we think that any virus, including the delta virus, which is much more transmissible and more deadly in terms of non- unvaccinated people... the various shots that people are getting now cover that. They're, you're okay. You're not going to, you're not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations."

That's false. Vaccinated people can still get COVID-19. A couple from the Tri-State were both vaccinated, but they both contracted the delta variant.

"A lot of folks I know got the vaccine, and they're like, 'OK. It's all over,' but, clearly it's not," Rachelle Caplan said. "We still should be being cautious for ourselves and other people."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in July that 5,492 people who died or were hospitalized with COVID-19 were vaccinated. However, the CDC also said more than a quarter of hospitalizations were asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19, and about a quarter of those who died were found to be the same.

Finally, Biden commented on bridges and infrastructure.

"Take a look at Ohio and Kentucky," Biden said. "Combined, there's well over, there are thousands of bridges that need repair."

According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are about 42,000 bridges in Ohio and Kentucky and 2,400 of them are in "poor condition." The maligned Brent Spence Bridge actually falls into the "fair" category per the administration.