FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Boris Johnson Giving Journalists Tea After Recovering From COVID-19?

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson serving journalists tea after recovering from COVID-19.

Verdict: False

The video was taken in August 2018 and is unrelated to Johnson’s recovery from COVID-19.

Fact Check:

Johnson announced on Twitter March 27 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. He spent a week in the hospital, including three nights in intensive care, before being discharged on April 12, according to The Guardian.

The post falsely alleges that the video shows Johnson offering journalists tea after recovering from the disease, with the caption saying, “Some reporters visited the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson who had recovered from his illness … The living room was too small so he had to hold the tea tray and entertain the reporters outdoors.”

The video, taken by The Daily Telegraph, actually comes from August 2018, long before the new coronavirus first emerged in China late last year. It shows Johnson, wearing a blue sweater and holding a tray, as he offers tea to reporters waiting outside his home and refuses to answer questions about an op-ed he wrote that month, according to the caption.

Johnson argued in that August 2018 column that burqas should not be banned but said it was “absolutely ridiculous” Muslim women chose to “go around looking like letter boxes” and “bank robbers.” He was widely criticized for the remarks. (RELATED: Did Doctors Describe Boris Johnson’s Coronavirus Symptoms Aa ‘Contrived’?)

The U.K. is among the 187 countries and regions battling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with more than 202,300 confirmed cases and some 30,100 deaths as of press time, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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