FACT CHECK: Was Joe Biden The Only World Leader To Wear A Mask During A Recent Video Conference?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims President Joe Biden was “the only world leader wearing a mask” during a recent video conference.

Verdict: False

Other images from the virtual summit show leaders from different countries also wore face masks at various points.

Fact Check:

The White House announced in March that Biden invited 40 world leaders to attend a virtual summit to discuss climate change in April. The virtual summit, which took place April 22 and 23, was live-streamed for public viewing.

In the days following the climate change summit, Facebook users shared a screen grab from a livestream of the event that appears to show Biden as the only world leader donning a face mask. Similar claims also circulated on Twitter.

“Biden was the only world leader wearing a mask on a Zoom call. Jeez,” one such Facebook post alleges. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Joe Biden In D.C. ‘Last Night’ Without A Mask?)

While Biden is the only leader visible wearing a face mask in that particular screen grab, other images from the summit show he was not the only leader to wear one. Other images from the event published by media outlets show world leaders, such as Argentinian President Alberto Fernández, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering, donned face masks at various points.

It’s worth noting that the image being shared in the Facebook post only shows the screens of 17 world leaders, less than half of the total attendants.

Biden did not wear his mask for the entirety of the two-day summit, a review of footage and pictures shows. In a video shared on the White House’s YouTube page, Biden can be seen taking off his mask to deliver remarks during a session with other world leaders, for instance. The State Department also published pictures showing Biden not wearing a mask at different points while socially distanced from others in the room.

Members of Biden’s cabinet, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, were in the room with Biden at times during the summit, according to the State Department website.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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