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Joe Biden was greeting a part of the public, not a “invisible Man“. Against the backdrop of accusations of senility against the current president of the United States, several publications shared several thousand times claim that the head of state would have greeted his audience from the wrong side and would have gotten lost on stage after a speech But the close-up video on which these posts are based does not show the small group of people behind the stage and greeted by Joe Biden, yet clearly visible in the photos taken from a wider angle. of the president at the end of the video also seems due to the two outputs present on the platform.
Weeks before the November 8 midterm elections, after traveling to Pennsylvania on October 20 in support of Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, Joe Biden was once again mocked for allegedly greeting his audience in a vacuum before getting lost on stage during a speech in Pittsburgh.
“After finishing his remarks, Biden exchanged a few words with the invisible man who has followed him everywhere since his election.“, mocks in particular a tweet shared more than 2000 times, while a other shared 700 times mocks the president for having “hello[é] the construction crane” and be “totally lost” on the scene. “Don’t tell me that this man runs the United States, impossible!“.
In the United States, the host of Fox News, Sean Hannity, also expressed himself on the subject in a mocking tweet with regard to the Democratic president on October 21: “Joe Biden wanders off again and does a 180 degree turn trying to leave the stage “.
All these publications, also shared in Spanish or Arabic, are based on a video in close-up of the President of the United States at the end of this speech in Pittsburgh, in which he seems to salute in the void for some or the crane in background for others. The president then seems lost to leave the platform.
A group of workers at the foot of the crane
While this video zooming in on Joe Biden is real and has not been edited, several other images taken during the event indicate that Joe Biden was greeting a bunch of people well and didn’t “lost” on the scene.
For this speech which put forward its plan for financing infrastructures in the United States, nearly a year after the fall of the Fern Hallow bridge in the city of Pittsburgh, several workers were indeed present behind the scene, next to the yellow crane in the background.
This is particularly what is shown in the photo posted by the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf posted on his Twitter account the same day.
An observation shared by AFP photographer Mandel Ngan, present at the campaign event that day. The latter explained to AFP Factual: “I haven’t seen anything that looked like this [Biden faisant signe à la grue]. There was a group of workers, so it is possible that he greeted them. The tow truck was behind him, further to his right.”
In the images taken by the journalist, the group of workers can also be seen to the right of the construction machine.
Two stairs to leave the stage
This plan is also visible at the beginning of the video of several Anglo-Saxon media, such as on the Youtube channel of the NowThis News media or The Independent. Joe Biden is filmed there greeting these workers before going on stage. At the end of his speech, the president will also return to see this group located behind the stage (around the 22nd minute of the video).
But how to explain his difficult exit from the scene, which shows in the videos shared online a president seeming to be disoriented?
In the images taken by AFP, it is possible to distinguish two staircases on either side of the stage. An installation that may have caused the president’s hesitation. In the available videos, we observe Joe Biden entering from the right at the start of his speech, then exiting from the left after hesitating to come out from the right.
A president accused of senility
This is not the first time that the 79-year-old Democratic president has been wrongly decried about his supposed senility. In October, AFP had already verified a video in which Joe Biden appeared to be guided by a blind person during a visit to Kansas City in December 2021.
Other videos purporting to show the president becoming senile have also been verified by other media in recent months, such as here.
On the Republican side, many personalities – and in the first place former President Donald Trump, who did not recognize his defeat in 2020 and is approaching a candidacy for the primaries for 2024 – also portray an almost senile, incompetent Joe Biden and manipulated by left wing Democrats.
Ronny Jackson, a former White House doctor under Trump who had hinted the billionaire could live to be 200, told Fox News that the current president suffers from “cognitive disorders“.
The latest accusation, Republican congresswoman Claudia Tenney told Fox News on October 25 that Joe Biden was “completely incapableto continue to fulfill his role as president and had called for him to undergo a cognitive examination.
In November 2021, a comprehensive medical examination concluded that Joe Biden was “robust” and “apt“to perform his duties.
At the end of September, an intervention by the Democratic president had however raised many questions, when the latter had addressed in a speech to the Republican parliamentarian Jackie Walorski, who died in early August 2022. “Where’s Jackie?” he had asked.
A request that had generated many requests from the press to find out if Joe Biden had forgotten that the parliamentarian was dead, while the White House had published a statement after the death of the elected official in which the American president said to himself “shocked and saddened“.
At the time, spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden had made a mistake, believing that she did not find this question “disturbing“. Joe Biden, however, went to apologize to the family a few days later.