FACT CHECK: Do These Photos Show Joe Biden With A Bruise On His Forehead?
Photos shared on Facebook purport to show President Joe Biden with a bruise on his forehead while meeting with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Poland.
The photos show ashes Biden received on Ash Wednesday during a private Catholic Mass, according to The Hill.
Biden met with NATO allies in Warsaw on Feb. 22, according to Reuters. Biden’s visit was intended to reassure NATO allies that they would continue to have the U.S.’ support amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine despite nuclear threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Associated Press reported.
The post features three photos of Biden with a mark on his forehead while at the meeting. “Anyone notice President Biden showed up in Poland at the NATO meeting with a new bruise on his forehead? Jill must have delivered the mail or he fell again,” the Facebook post purports.
The claim is false. The photos do not show a bruise but rather ashes Biden received on Ash Wednesday, according to The Hill. Biden, who is Catholic, attended a private Catholic Mass in a hotel room with a Polish priest while in Warsaw, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Joe Biden Asking Aides If People ‘Bought That Bullsh**?’)
Father Wieslaw Dawidowski indicated he conducted the private Mass and had given Biden ashes via a Facebook post that was cited in the article from The Hill. The post includes photos of Dawidowski and Biden standing side by side. In the photos, a cross made of ashes can clearly be seen on Biden’s forehead.
Ash Wednesday marks the season of Lent, which focuses on prayer and fasting, according to Catholic.org. While the holy day is primarily observed by Catholics, other Christians observe it as well, according to the website.
There are no credible news reports suggesting the mark on Biden’s head was a bruise. Likewise, the purported claim neither appears on the White House’s website nor its verified social media accounts.
This is not the first time Biden has been the subject of misinformation on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video allegedly depicting the president calling for a military draft.