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Most Americans won’t have a problem remembering the pandemic-plagued year of 2020. Most Americans aren’t named Joseph Robinette Biden. The 46th president, a man whose verbal discipline has always left a lot to be desired, outdid himself on Wednesday while discussing coronavirus cases in a way that had to have even his strongest supporters worried, and the White House transcript writers making instant corrections. “Since January 20, we’re talking now about 15 months ago, the average daily cases are down from 184,000 to 19,000,” Biden said. There’s no doubt that’s laudable against COVID-19, and no doubt it’s largely due to former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed vaccination program. There’s also no doubt it’s one of the most disturbing gaffes in Biden’s long history of mangled sentences. In fact, it’s tough to even understand without a look at the transcript, since a normal person would assume at first that Biden was referring to his inauguration date of Jan. 20, but the “15 months ago” reference would have put it — roughly — in January 2020, a time when Biden was not only not the president, but talk of coronavirus cases was not even on most Americans’ horizon.

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