FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Joe Biden And Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Violating Social Distancing Guidelines?

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows former Vice President Joe Biden and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violating social distancing guidelines on April 9.

Verdict: False

The photos, taken in September 2018, show the two politicians at a gubernatorial campaign event for Whitmer.

Fact Check:

Whitmer has faced criticism from President Donald Trump and Michiganders for instituting some of the nation’s strictest stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to NBC News.

The Facebook post uses two photos – one of Biden and Whitmer standing side-by-side and one of them walking in a parking lot with Garlin Gilchrist, Michigan’s lieutenant governor – to criticize and question Whitmer’s orders. It claims that the pictures, purportedly taken on April 9, show Biden and Whitmer violating social distancing guidelines.

“HERE’S..why we shouldn’t believe her..for one minute.. and why follow her demands either,” remarks the Facebook user. “She herself should be ticketed and arrested for violating a Executive order.. This is known as.. ‘Do as I say’ but not ‘Do as I Do’ .. by our Governor.”

The photos, however, were actually taken in September 2018, when Biden was campaigning for Whitmer and Gilchrist, her then-running mate. (RELATED: Viral Video Claims To Show Joe Biden Endorsing Donald Trump)

Photographer Kathleen Galligan took the picture of Biden, Whitmer and Gilchrist walking in a parking lot for the Detroit Free Press. It shows them arriving “at Leo’s Coney Island in Southfield on Wednesday, September 12, 2018,” according to its caption.

Whitmer tweeted on March 5 the photo of just her and Biden to announce her endorsement of Biden and her new role as a co-chair on his campaign. In the photo, she and Biden appear to be wearing the same clothes shown in the Detroit Free Press photo. Her office confirmed to The Associated Press that it was also taken at that event.

Biden has been campaigning from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, since March 12, according to CBS News. Before that, he visited Michigan while campaigning for the state’s March 10 Democratic presidential primary.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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