FACT CHECK: Viral Post Claims To Show Joe Biden And Hillary Clinton Not Wearing Masks During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton forgoing face masks in private during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Verdict: False

The photo was taken in 2016, several years before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Fact Check: 

Featured in the photo is Biden and his wife, Jill, along with Clinton and members of her family. No one in the picture wears a face mask. The Facebook post’s caption seemingly suggests that it was taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “Everyone in masks for the cameras – nobody in masks for the private celebrations. All you need to know.”

In a Jan. 20 tweet congratulating Biden on his inauguration, Clinton shared the photo of her, her family and Biden, which may have led some social media users to erroneously believe it was taken recently. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image actually dates back to 2016, years before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The picture can be found on the Flickr account of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Hillary for America. According to its caption, the photo was taken in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016, the date that the third night of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) was held that year. Clinton can be seen wearing the same blue jacket in an Associated Press photo taken that night at the 2016 DNC.

On Jan. 20, Biden signed an executive order mandating that face masks be worn on federal property, the Wall Street Journal reported. He and some of his family members were seen without face masks during the “Celebrating America” concert at the Lincoln Memorial after his inauguration, according to The New York Times.

When asked by a reporter about Biden being photographed not wearing a face mask on federal property, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained at a press briefing, “He was celebrating an evening of a historic day in our country.” (RELATED: Does This Image Show Joe Biden In D.C. ‘Last Night’ Without A Mask?)

“And certainly he signed the mask mandate because it’s a way to send a message to the American public about the importance of wearing masks, how it can save tens of thousands of lives,” she said, according to the White House transcript. “We take a number of COVID precautions, as you know here, in terms of testing, social distancing, mask wearing ourselves, as we do every single day.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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