The President again blamed the pandemic and Russia for everything from inflation to his poor approval ratings, but says he’s “confident” in the direction of the country and that Americans need to “be confident” as well.

In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press, Biden became defensive when the potential causes of inflation were brought up, including the extraordinary amount of stimulus his administration issued via a $1.7 trillion spending bill.

“If it’s my fault, why is it the case in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher? You ask yourself that? I’m not being a wise guy,” he said.

He was also dismissive toward economist predictions that a recession is coming.

“First of all, it’s not inevitable,” he said. “Secondly, we’re in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation.”

While inflation is rising globally, the dramatic increase in annual inflation currently seen in the US is unmatched. For example, Japan’s rate of inflation has risen but is still at a yearly rate of just 2.4% according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Despite similar pandemic circumstances and a much larger impact from Russian war supply chain issues, European countries’ inflation rates are either on-par with or lower than the US rate. The Euro area as a whole set a new record in May 2022 at 8.1%, still lower than the US’ record 8.6% in the same month.

Despite the economic turmoil impacting the vast majority of Americans, Biden blamed the pandemic for the poor mental state of the public which he claims contributes to his record low approval ratings.

“Their need for mental health in America has skyrocketed because people have seen everything upset,” Biden said. “Everything they’ve counted on upset. But most of it’s the consequence of what happened, what happened as a consequence of the, the COVID crisis.”

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