President Joe Biden appears on 'The Tonight Show' to talk approval ratings, COVID: 'There's a lot of anxiety'

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President Joe Biden appeared in a virtual appearance on 'The Tonight Show  Starring Jimmy Fallon' on Friday evening. (Photo by: Ralph Bavaro/NBC)
President Joe Biden appeared in a virtual appearance on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' on Friday evening. (Photo by: Ralph Bavaro/NBC)

President Joe Biden has a few things to say to Jimmy Fallon regarding his low approval ratings.

On Friday evening, Biden appeared virtually on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. When Fallon asked if Biden pays attention to his low approval ratings, the Commander-in-chief replied, "Well, not anymore," in a deadpan manner, before adding, "I'm joking."

Biden said that he pays attention when the ratings are in the "mid-60s, but in the mid-40s I don't pay attention anymore."

"I appreciate the honesty," Fallon replied, laughing.

"Well look, here's the deal," Biden replied in earnest. "We've been at it less than a year. A lot has happened. Look — people are afraid. People are worried. And people are getting so much inaccurate information" about their lives, “being told that Armageddon’s on the way.”

The President also shared his economic optimism.

"The truth is the economy’s grown more than it has any time in close to 60 years, the unemployment rate is down to 4.2%. It’s going to go lower, in my view."

He also noted that "we do have inflation" on issues that affect people's lives, like the prices at the gas pump," also stating that “it’s going to come down."

He also explained why he believes anxieties are so high for many Americans.

"People are worried and they’re worried about whether or not, you know, they have a brother or sister, uncle or aunt who has gotten COVID and they don’t know what to do about it," he said. "There’s a lot of anxiety and my job is to be straightforward, shoot from the shoulder, let people know exactly what the truth is and lay out how I’m going to try to make life better for them.”

In addition to discussing his approval ratings, Biden also stressed the importance of getting your COVID-19 vaccine booster when eligible.

"The way to avoid this virus is to get two shots, and then get the booster shot. It's available, we have the medicines available. It will make a gigantic difference," he told Fallon. "It's patriotic to get this done. Not a joke."

Biden's appearance served as the first time a sitting US president has appeared on late night TV since 2016. While former President Donald Trump did appear on Fallon, it was during his 2016 presidential campaign, not during his presidency from 2016 to 2020. Fallon playfully messed up Trump’s hair during the appearance, and was widely criticized. He later expressed regret about having Trump on the show.

“I didn’t do it to humanize him. I almost did it to minimize him," Fallon interview with the New York Times. "I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we all wanted to do.’”

Trump later criticized Fallon's statements, tweeting the late-night hotel and instructing him to “be a man!”

Former President Barack Obama made several appearances on the late-night circuit while in office, and made his first official visit to The Tonight Show with Fallon in 2016. He previously made headlines by "slow-jamming the news" with Fallon in 2012, during which the talk show host referred to him as “Preezy of the United Steezy."