Federal stimulus checks were sent out twice in 2020 and again in 2021, as the government sought to deal with the continuing pandemic. However, no further rounds of stimulus checks followed after last spring’s American Rescue Plan Act, and despite petitions from the general public and some support from members of Congress, it’s clear that neither the White House or the leadership in Congress has prioritized any other rounds of checks.
Now, a viral Facebook video is claiming another round is coming, but it’s been widely and accurately debunked. One version of the video, from a Facebook account called Care First Homes, features an extremely crude video of President Joe Biden giving a speech over footage of him signing a bill. In a voice that sounds like that of an unskilled impersonator, Biden states that “some people in the country will start seeing those direct deposits in their bank accounts this weekend, and payments to eligible Americans will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks.” The words in the video don’t particularly match the way Biden’s lips are moving.
Alas, the video has been debunked, by Politifact, among other fact-checking outlets. “Americans expecting any such payment will be left disappointed, because the video is a fake and didn’t appear on any recent newscast,” Politifact said. The site also found that the video used in the Facebook post comes from a speech Biden delivered last November in Glasgow, Scotland, although it was about climate change, not stimulus checks. The clip of Biden signing something is from an executive order he signed in released to the chip shortage last February.
It’s also clear from watching the videos that Biden is wearing neither the same color suit, nor the same tie. Politifact also found that the words attributed in the video to Biden were actually said by White House press secretary Jen Psaki in March 2021 after the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.
Did Stimulus Lead to a Rise in Opioid Deaths?
This week, Ohio’s attorney general, Dave Yost, touted a study finding a link between stimulus checks and opioid deaths. The peer-reviewed study will be published in the International Journal of Drug Policy in April. “Nobody knew that this correlation would exist. We know now. So as we think about emergency responses, it's important for us to ask how we design these programs, for example, what if it was spread out over time?” Yost said. That same attorney general, last spring, had sued the Biden Administration over the “tax mandate” in the American Rescue Plan Act. One local reporter, however, noted that the study’s conclusions are “much less definitive.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.