By: Ishita Goel
July 24 2023
The full video of the meeting shows that the U.S. President was reading from a paper on his lap during a meeting with Israel President Isaac Herzog.
On July 18 Israel President Isaac Herzog met U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House amid the ongoing tensions between the two countries over Jewish settlement and civil rights. According to a readout of the meeting made available by the White House, Biden and Herzog spoke about several issues of mutual interest and the U.S.-Israel relationship. During his two-day visit to the U.S., Herzog also addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress to commemorate Israel's 75th anniversary on July 19.
A video clip of the Biden-Herzog meeting has gone viral, alleging that the U.S. President fell asleep during the interaction. Several social media users shared a video that shows Biden’s head pointed down, and eyes purportedly closed, claiming that the video shows Biden mumbling in his sleep. Several used the clip to troll and criticize him.
"WAKE UP, JOE," one Instagram post featuring a tweet with a clip of the meeting read. "What kind of world leader falls asleep while in a meeting?" "NEWS ALERT: JOE BIDEN FALLS ASLEEP MOMENTS AGO IN THE MIDDLE OF IMPORTANT MEETING AT THE WHITE HOUSE," a viral tweet claimed.
However, the viral clip is incomplete footage of the meeting, a longer version of which clearly shows that Biden did not fall asleep.
We tracked down the full video of the meeting published by C-Span on July 18, which is around five minutes long. At the beginning of the video, we noticed that Biden has a piece of paper in his hand. At approximately the 1:15 mark, we can see Biden place the paper on his lap and begin reading from it. At the 1:42 mark of the C-Span footage, we can match Biden’s comments to those heard in the viral video; he is also looking down at his notes, and his hands are folded. Moments later, at the 1:58 mark, Biden raises his head up and continues to speak, which the viral clip omits. After this, Biden raises his head several times and looks up at Herzog while reading from his notes, also omitted from the video.
Several images of the meeting held in the Oval Office of the White House also capture the piece of paper in Biden’s lap. We found at least two such published on EPA and Shutterstock.
CBS News also published the footage of the meeting on their YouTube channel. This video also confirms that Biden was reading from the paper on his lap and was not sleeping.
The viral video omits footage of Biden placing a paper on his lap and reading from it. It also leaves out evidence of him looking up from the paper and at Herzog in several instances, even after he begins reading. Complete footage of the meeting available publicly shows him awake during the entire meeting and conversing with Herzog. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.