President Joe Biden in his latest gaffe called the Grand Canyon one of the ‘nine’ wonders of the world and said it has ‘ironic’ wildlife.
Biden, 80, got the number of natural wonders wrong while delivering a speech at Red Butte Airfield in Arizona during which he signed a national monument designation for the Grand Canyon area.
‘Folks, it’s not hyperbole to suggest that there is no national treasure, none, that is grander than the Grand Canyon,’ said Biden on Tuesday.
‘The Grand Canyon – one of the earth’s nine wonders, wonders the world – literally, think of that. You know, it’s amazing. An enduring symbol of America to the entire world.’
Biden then caught his error and corrected himself.
‘The first time I saw the Grand Canyon years ago, I was a young senator. As I stood there and looked out, a phrase came to mind – it was instinctive. I said this must be – this is God’s cathedral. That’s what it reminded me of. It just is so magnificent,’ he said.
‘As a matter of fact – I said nine. It’s one of the seven wonders of the world.’
The Grand Canyon is not one of the widely accepted seven wonders, which include Machu Picchu in Peru, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, the Taj Majal in India, Petra in Jordan, the Colosseum in Italy, Chichén Itzá in Mexico and the Great Wall of China.
But the Grand Canyon is part of the list of seven natural wonders of the world named by CNN in 1997. The other six are the Great Barrier Reef, the northern lights, Mount Everest, the Harbor at Rio de Janeiro, Parícutin in Mexico and Victoria Falls between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Biden made another strange remark later in his speech, in what may have been a teleprompter reading error.
‘These lands also support a range of ecosystems and plants from savannas, to sagebrush to ponderosa pine — a haven of ironic species like bats, bison, bighorn sheep and nearly 450 kinds of birds, including the bald and golden eagles,’ he said.
He may have meant to say iconic species.
Biden’s new designation will help preserve roughly 1,500 square miles north and south of Grand Canyon National Park that includes canyons and tributaries that are the home and resource for wildlife including bison, desert bighorn sheep, elk and even a rare cactus species.
The president is on a tour of three states in the west aimed at boosting environmental protections.
Biden agreed to a sit-down interview with The Weather Channel in Arizona on Tuesday to address extreme weather across the nation and climate change. It will air on Wednesday.
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