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Fact-checking Biden on Covid-19 and the economy

During his speech last night, Joe Biden highlighted the coronavirus pandemic, claiming it “is getting more worrisome all across the country”, and pointing to the rising number of cases.

Biden is certainly correct to say that confirmed cases nationally are rising significantly.

There were 117,998 confirmed cases on 5 November, according to the CDC.

That’s the highest number recorded since the pandemic began (although a lack of testing in the initial months of the outbreak means cases were under-reported then). A month ago, daily confirmed cases were around 40,000.

And a seven-day rolling average of cases shows an upward trend.

The CDC “predicts that 450,000 to 960,000 new cases will likely be reported during the week ending November 28, 2020.”

Cases are on the increase in nearly every state, and the current death toll is 236,099, according to John Hopkins University.

Biden also mentioned the economy and said “more than 20 million people are on unemployment.”

That actually slightly understates the case. According to the latest figures from the US Department of Labor, about 21.5 million Americans are claiming some sort of unemployment benefit.

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