FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Joe Biden And Others Violating COVID-19 Guidelines At His Birthday Party Last Week?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows President-elect Joe Biden and others not wearing masks or practicing social distancing while celebrating his 78th birthday last week.

Verdict: False

The video was taken in November 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fact Check:

In the video, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and other individuals sing happy birthday to the former vice president. Multiple Facebook users shared the video along with claims it was taken at Biden’s birthday last week. He turned 78 on Nov. 20, according to The Associated Press.

“Joe Biden’s birthday and not a single mask or social distancing,” one Facebook user captioned the video on Nov. 20. “People are morons.” (RELATED: Does This Image Show Joe Biden In D.C. ‘Last Night’ Without A Mask?)

Though Bottoms tweeted the video on Nov. 20 to wish the president-elect a “VERY Happy Birthday,” it was actually taken in 2019. She clarified in a follow-up tweet that the video was “Pre-Covid.”

“Pre-Covid!” Bottoms tweeted. “This was in the @TPStudios White House following the @DNC @msnbc debate on 11/20/19.”

The dress Bottoms wears in the video she tweeted matches the one she wore on Biden’s birthday last year. It can be seen in an interview the Atlanta mayor did with 11 Alive News on Nov. 20, 2019, the same day as the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate jointly held by MSNBC and the Washington Post. The debate, which occurred on Biden’s 77th birthday, was held at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, according to the Washington Post.

The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 first emerged in China in late 2019, according to The New York Times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn’t confirm the U.S.’s first case of COVID-19 until late January, about two months after the video was taken.

Biden spent his birthday this year in Wilmington, Delaware, where he met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to NBC News. Biden on Nov. 20 tweeted a photo that showed him, Pelosi, Schumer and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris wearing masks and practicing social distancing at that meeting.

“This afternoon, @KamalaHarris and I met with @SpeakerPelosi and @SenSchumer to discuss how we’ll get this virus under control, deliver much-needed relief, and build back better than before,” he tweeted. “We’re getting right to work for the American people.”

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Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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