After the devastating wildfires in Maui that killed hundreds of people this month, Republicans have used it to fuel their own agenda against president Joe Biden. Here’s how they did it.
President Joe Biden faces criticism from conservatives over his response to the devastating wildfires in Maui, with claims that his behaviour following the disaster has been inadequate.
The Sound of Silence
Biden’s “no comment” response upon being questioned about the death toll received backlash, setting the tone for further scrutiny.
An Ill-Timed Joke
At a community event, Biden’s attempt at humour raised eyebrows as it appeared to draw a comparison between the deadly blaze and his vintage ’67 Corvette.
Accusations of Dozing Off
Footage from the same event circulated on social media, causing conservatives on Twitter to accuse Biden of falling asleep during speeches by community leaders.
Social Media Outcry
Several posts on Twitter fueled the narrative that Biden had nodded off during an engagement event in Lahaina, Hawaii while addressing the recent wildfires.
Fake News Spreads Online
A tweet by DC_Draino, viewed over 400,000 times, stated Biden “just fell asleep during a ceremony in Hawaii honoring the hundreds of Americans killed by the fires.”
Amplifying the Claim
Trending Politics’ Collin Rugg, with over 560,000 views, claimed, “Biden appears to briefly fall asleep during a ceremony in Maui honoring the hundreds of people who died.”
A Fox News Perspective
Fox News host Sean Hannity’s post, with over 102,000 views, alleged, “Biden appears to fall asleep during a ceremony in Hawaii honoring the hundreds of Americans killed by the fires.”
Examining the Footage
However, the accuracy of these claims is brought into question as the clips circulated on social media are low-quality and make it difficult to determine if Biden was truly sleeping.
Analysing the Evidence
A full, high-quality video from C-SPAN offered clarity, showing Biden maintained an upright posture, bowed his head while he listened, blinked, and eventually returned his gaze to the stage.
Don’t Believe Everything You See
The shorter clips on social media do not include the full context of the event, leading to fake news being spread online.
Past Instances of Fake News
This incident is not the first time a video of Biden has been edited to imply that he was falling asleep during an important event.
Misleading Claims Busted
In July, a clip suggesting Biden fell asleep during a meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog was debunked when the full video demonstrated that Biden had only paused during his remarks.
The Reality of the Event
In the community event in Lahaina, Biden did not fall asleep. The clear and unedited footage shows him bowing his head with his eyes open before returning his attention to the stage.
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