FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show 3 Democrats Not Socially Distancing At Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Hearing?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows three Democratic senators not wearing face masks or practicing social distancing at the Oct. 14 confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Verdict: False

The photo, taken in 2018, shows the senators speaking at a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Fact Check:

The fourth and final day of Barrett’s confirmation hearings started Thursday morning, according to USA Today. The Senate Judiciary Committee vote on her Supreme Court nomination is scheduled for Oct. 22, CNN reported.

Social media users on Wednesday shared a photo that purportedly shows Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Corey Booker and Sheldon Whitehouse during the Oct. 14 proceedings. In the picture, they appear to be huddled close together while speaking.

“Today at the ACB confirmation hearing,” text inside the image reads. “3 Dems, no social distance, no masks. I’ll wait patiently for Jim Acosta to freak out and call them murderers.” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims There Have Been 29 Supreme Court Vacancies ‘Within 3 Months Of A Presidential Election’)

In reality, the photo shows the Democratic senators conferring “as Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee appeal to Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to delay the confirmation hearing of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh,” according to the caption. Photographer J. Scott Applewhite took the picture for The Associated Press on Sept. 4, 2018.

Despite the photo predating both Barrett’s confirmation hearings and the COVID-19 pandemic, social media users have erroneously shared it as if the photo was recent. Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn, for example, quote tweeted an instance of the claim on Wednesday but has since deleted it.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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