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False claims about Biden’s mental health are once again flooding social media

President Joe Biden arrives for a campaign event with former President Barack Obama moderated by Jimmy Kimmel at the Peacock Theater, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Los Angeles.
President Joe Biden arrives for a campaign event with former President Barack Obama moderated by Jimmy Kimmel at the Peacock Theater, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Los Angeles. Copyright Alex Brandon/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Alex Brandon/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By James Thomas
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As the US presidential election draws closer, swathes of posts ridiculing President Joe Biden’s fitness to serve another term are being shared widely, but the pictures are usually either manipulated or taken out of context.

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Criticism of Joe Biden’s mental health and 81 years of age have dogged him throughout his presidency, with allegations of him being too old and senile for office coming in hard and fast in the run-up to the presidential elections this year.

Many of these claims are supposedly backed up by video evidence of the US president acting strangely, but they’re usually either manipulated or taken out of context.

Take the video below for example, which appears to show Biden wandering off or otherwise being distracted at a G7 summit in June. 

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni seemingly has to lead him back to the rest of the group.

However, the video has actually been cropped and shortened.

The video has actually been cropped and shortened.
The video has actually been cropped and shortened.Euronews

In the full video easily found on YouTube, Biden clearly watches and interacts with participants in a skydiving demonstration rather than looking off into the distance.

Some of the other world leaders can also be seen looking in the same direction.

Did Biden fall asleep live on air?

In a separate incident, this YouTube Short purports to show Biden sleeping during a live interview.

But it’s been completely fabricated — it’s actually two unrelated videos spliced together.

One comes from 2011 and is taken from an Eyewitness News interview with Harry Belafonte, in which the actor and singer appears to be sleeping.

At the time, Belafonte’s spokesperson said he wasn’t sleeping but meditating and that his earpiece wasn’t working.

The images of Biden, on the other hand, are actually taken from a 2020 video in which he is endorsed by Hillary Clinton.

While Clinton speaks, Biden often looks down and it might look like he closes his eyes at times, but there’s no evidence that he falls asleep.

Biden's eyes may briefly close during the video, yet there’s no evidence that he falls asleep.
Biden's eyes may briefly close during the video, yet there’s no evidence that he falls asleep.Euronews

Fake claims from D-Day anniversary

More false assumptions came from the 80th D-Day landings anniversary in Normandy.

Some claim that this footage shows Biden trying to sit down on a non-existent chair.

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But in the full, unedited video, you can see the chair at various points.

At the moment in question, he looks over his shoulder, pauses while the next speaker is announced, and then sits down.

Others claim that another video from later on in the ceremony shows Biden randomly turning around and looking the wrong way.

This supposedly prompts his wife Jill and Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron to turn around too, to cover for him.

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Again, if we look at the full video shot from a different angle, we can see that Biden turned to salute veterans as the Last Post — a well-known military bugle call — was played.

Biden’s physician said in February that the president “continues to be fit for duty and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations.”

The full video shows Biden turning to salute veterans
The full video shows Biden turning to salute veteransEuronews

The debate surrounding whether there should be a cap on serving politicians’ age is a valid one, but it’s worth remembering that there’s no evidence that 81-year-old Biden is impeded by how old he is.

It should also be noted that his main rival in the presidential race, Donald Trump, is not too far behind him at 78 years old.

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Either way, Europe will be following November’s election closely due to the strong ties that the EU and individual European states have with the US — not only economically but through NATO and mutual support of Ukraine against the Russian invasion, to name a few ways.

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