FactChecking Biden’s Post-Debate TV Interview

In his first televised interview since his admittedly “bad” presidential debate, President Joe Biden made a few exaggerated and misleading statements.

Here’s what Biden said in his 22-minute, primetime interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on July 5:

  • Biden exaggerated when he claimed that the U.S. share of global semiconductor — or chip — production capacity has declined to “virtually nothing.”
  • Biden, again, wrongly claimed that former President Donald Trump told the public to inject bleach as a treatment for COVID-19.
  • Biden denied that he had fallen further behind Trump in post-debate polling, saying “nothing’s changed substantially since the debate in the New York Times poll.” The Times post-debate poll showed Trump ahead by 6 percentage points — an increase of 3 points.
  • Biden repeated his misleading talking point that Trump “lost more jobs than he created.” That ignores the swift and devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Biden claimed that the U.S. share of global semiconductor — or chip — production capacity has declined to “virtually nothing.” That’s a bit of an exaggeration.

“We used to have 40% of computer chips,” the president said. “We invented the chip, the little chip, the computer chip. It’s in everything from cellphones to weapons. And so, we used to have 40%, and we’re down to virtually nothing.”

The federal government “played a central role in the development of semiconductors” and the U.S. used to account for about 40% of semiconductor fabrication capacity in 1990, according to a Congressional Research Service report published in 2020. The capacity share in North America — primarily the U.S. — had declined to 11% in 2019, which ranked fifth in the world behind South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and China, the report said.

CRS described the chips as small electronic devices that are “fundamental to nearly all modern industrial and national security activities” and “essential building blocks of other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, 5G communications, and quantum computing.”

Concerns about the competitiveness of the U.S. semiconductor industry led to Biden signing into law in August 2022 the CHIPS and Science Act, which, among other things, included $39 billion for a fund designed to boost chip manufacturing capacity in the country.

In a report released in May, the Semiconductor Industry Association, along with the Boston Consulting Group, projected that investments “facilitated by incentives under the CHIPS Act” would lead the U.S. share of global fab capacity to grow from “10% today to 14% by 2032.” Without new investments, U.S. fab capacity would have gone down to 8% by 2032, the joint report said.


Biden, again, wrongly claimed that Trump told the public to inject bleach as a treatment for COVID-19.

“This is a guy who told us to put bleach in our arms to deal with COVID, with a million — over a million people died,” Biden said, referring to U.S. deaths from the disease.

As we’ve written, Biden is twisting the words of Trump, who never told public to “put bleach” in their bodies. During an April 2020 press briefing at the White House, Trump suggested that scientists at the Department of Homeland Security test the use of “very powerful light” and “disinfectant” in the body to kill the virus that causes COVID-19. He did not tell Americans to try it themselves.

New York Times Poll

Stephanopoulos said Biden fell “further behind” Trump in national polling after the June 27 debate, including the latest New York Times/Siena College poll that showed Trump up by 6 percentage points. The president pushed back, saying the New York Times/Siena College poll showed him “behind 10 points” prior to the debate and “nothing’s changed substantially since the debate in the New York Times poll.”

But, as Stephanopoulos said, the latest Times/Siena poll shows Trump has widened his lead. The former president now leads Biden “49 percent to 43 percent among likely voters nationally, a three-point swing toward the Republican from just a week earlier, before the debate,” the Times wrote. That’s the largest lead Trump “has recorded in a Times/Siena poll since 2015,” the Times article said.

Even with independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. included, the Times/Siena poll shows Trump up by 5 points — 42% to 37% — with Kennedy receiving 8% among likely voters.

The poll’s margin of error was “plus or minus 2.9 percentage points for the likely electorate.”

In other polling, the Suffolk University/USA Today National Voter Poll found Trump “edged ahead” of Biden 41% to 38% in a poll of registered voters, while Kennedy polled 8%. The two major party candidates were tied at 37% in May.

Trump’s 3 point lead is within the Suffolk/USA Today poll’s margin of error, which is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

As Stephanopoulos noted, Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million in 2020, but it took narrow victories in a few swing states for Biden to win the Electoral College and the presidency.

Biden’s Talking Point on Jobs

As he did during the debate, and on many other occasions, Biden compared Trump to Herbert Hoover, the Depression-era president. Biden said Trump — like Hoover — “lost more jobs than he created.”

But, as we’ve written, Biden is ignoring the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. added nearly 6.7 million jobs in Trump’s first 37 months in office. But a string of 37 months of consecutive job growth ended in March 2020, when the economy lost 1.4 million jobs and bottomed out the next month when it lost nearly 20.5 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The job market started to recover in May 2020. But by the end of Trump’s four years, the U.S. had about 2.7 million fewer total jobs.

Under Biden, employment is up 6.2 million from the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020 — but the total increase since Biden took office in January 2021 is about 15.6 million, BLS data show.

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Eugene Kiely