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Four Pinocchios: WaPo Fact Checker Calls Out Biden's 'Nonsensical' Alzheimer's Claim

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Biden has repeatedly claimed that in the not-too-distant future hospital beds in America will be full of Alzheimer’s patients. He first spoke about this issue in March while visiting a cancer hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and repeated it in more detail last week during a speech in Cleveland, Ohio.

"You know, if we don’t do something about Alzheimer’s in America, every single, solitary hospital bed that exists in America—as the nurses can tell you—every single one will be occupied in the next 15 years with an Alzheimer’s patient—every one," Biden said in his speech on May 27.

The claim was so outrageous The Washington Post gave it “four Pinocchios” and called it a “Biden original.”

"Normally when a politician makes a detailed claim like this, we can quickly find a possible source—a report in an academic journal or from a think tank, a congressional hearing or an expert’s speech—from which the factoid was plucked (and possibly twisted)," noted fact-checker Glenn Kessler. "But we could not find anything. We consulted with many experts on Alzheimer’s disease, but they were stumped, too. This seems to be a Biden original."

While he praised the president for the “laudable aspiration” of tackling Alzheimer’s and other diseases, Kessler said the president “shouldn’t gild the lily with figures that seem plucked from thin air—which might also explain why they change depending on the day.

“Contrary to his claim, our calculations show that in 2040 there would still be plenty of hospital beds even with the anticipated increase in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The president earns Four Pinocchios,” he concluded. 

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