FACT CHECK: Did Joe Biden Visit Ralph Northam Before Northam Tested Positive For COVID-19?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post shared over 3,400 times claims Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam three days before Northam tested positive for COVID-19.

Verdict: False

Check Your Fact found no evidence to support the post’s claim. A spokesperson for Northam’s office confirmed the governor had not “had any contact with either Jill or Joe Biden for several weeks prior to their diagnosis.”

Fact Check:

The Sept. 26 post made the claim in an attempt to suggest that Biden would use the alleged exposure to bow out of the Sept. 29 debate against President Donald Trump. Biden participated in the debate.

“Virginia Governor just announced he has COVID,” reads the post. “I READ where Biden visited with him just 3 days ago… Debate is next week. Coincidence?” (RELATED: Did Joe Biden Say That If He Were President, There Would Have Been Zero COVID-19 Deaths?)

While Northam and his wife did announce that they tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 25, there is no evidence Biden met with Northam a few days prior. If he or his wife, Jill, had been seen with Northam, it likely would have garnered media attention, yet no outlets have reported it. Biden has not visited Virginia since his campaign resumed limited travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, per the Washington Post.

“Neither the Governor nor the First Lady had any contact with either Jill or Joe Biden for several weeks prior to their diagnosis,” Alena Yarmosky, Northam’s press secretary, confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact.

The claim may have stemmed from Biden’s wife visiting Richmond, Virginia’s capital, on Sept. 23 to campaign on his behalf. She attended an event near the Richmond Voter Registrar’s new office and discussed early voting, according to local affiliate NBC 12.

Biden campaigned with Northam in 2017 while he was running for governor, the Washington Post reported. However, he called for Northam’s resignation in 2019 after a racist photo from his medical school yearbook page surfaced, per NPR.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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