FACT CHECK: Was Joe Biden A War Hero, Rhodes Scholar And Instrumental In Creating NASA, As This Image Claims?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook lists a number of achievements allegedly accomplished by President-elect Joe Biden.


Verdict: False

This list does not reflect actual accomplishments of Biden, as he never served in the military, did not go to Harvard Law School and was too young to be involved in the creation of organizations such as NASA and the Peace Corps.

Fact Check:

The Associated Press projected on Nov. 7 that Biden had won the 2020 presidential election. In the weeks since, social media has become replete with inaccurate claims about the president-elect.

“Joe Biden was a war hero,” this particular Facebook post alleges. “He rescued his whole regiment and capture 3000 enemy soldiers. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery. He was a Rhodes Scholar , graduating top of his Harvard Law School Class and went on to build a multi million dollar law firm in Boston. He then ran for Congress and was instrumental in creating NASA, the Peace CORP, The Dept. of Homeland Security and passed 11 balanced budgets.”

Contrary to the post’s claims, Biden did not serve in the military, making the first three claims of the post – that he was a war hero, captured 3,000 enemy soldiers and received the Medal of Honor – impossible. A search of the Medal of Honor database turns up no matches for Biden’s name. Biden received five student draft deferments during the Vietnam War before receiving a medical exemption in 1968, USA Today reported.

Biden received his law degree from Syracuse University, where he ranked 76th out of 85th in his class, according to The Washington Post. The Rhodes Scholar database does not list Biden as a recipient of the award. Biden did found a law firm, formerly known as Biden and Walsh, but it was in Delaware, Fox News reported.

NASA was founded in 1958, according to the organization’s website, while the Peace Corps was created in 1961 by John F. Kennedy, according to its website. Biden was born in November 1942, meaning he was a teenager at the time of the organizations’ respective starts.

Biden was elected to Congress in 1972 and served until 2009, when he was elected vice president. Though he was in office when Congress passed the Homeland Security Act — which created the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 — he was not a sponsor of the act. (RELATED: Does Joe Biden’s Brother In Law Own Dominion Voting Systems?)

The Facebook post further claims Biden passed a balanced budget 11 times during his time in Congress, but that does not hold up either. Historical budget data from the Congressional Budget Office shows there was a total surplus for four fiscal years while Biden served in Congress: 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. Discounting Social Security for those four years still leaves an “on-budget” surplus for fiscal years 1999 and 2000, according to the data.

In some iterations of the image, there is additional text at the bottom that acknowledges “NONE of this is true.” It reads in part, “I made it all up.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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