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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero August 22, 2023

Video doesn’t show President Joe Biden dozing during event with Maui, Hawaii, wildfire survivors

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  • Social media posts claimed President Joe Biden fell asleep during a recent event with survivors of wildfires in Maui, Hawaii. But a closer look at a video clip showed the president was blinking and nodding as a speaker spoke. Biden wasn't sleeping.

President Joe Biden’s critics often inspect his public appearances for signs that he is unfit to lead. A common false claim is that he falls asleep during important events. The latest iteration is no different. 

Posting a clip on X, formerly Twitter, from an event with survivors of the recent Maui, Hawaii, wildfires, Fox News host Sean Hannity wrote Aug. 22, "Biden appears to fall asleep during a ceremony in Hawaii honoring the hundreds of Americans killed by the fires."

Another X user posted the same video and wrote, "Joe Biden appears to be sleeping while listening to survivors speak about their homes burning to the ground."

Featured Fact-check

At first glance, it seems Biden might have dozed off. But a closer look at the full video showed that this wasn’t so. 

At the 5:13 mark of a video of the event uploaded by KITV, a Honolulu ABC News affiliate, Biden bowed his head. Zooming into the video shows that he was still blinking. After about 10 seconds, Biden nods as the speaker says, "We are a community that relies on family, on ohana, whether by blood or by friendship." (Ohana is a Hawaiian word for family.)

We rate the claim that Biden fell asleep during an event with the Maui wildfire survivors False.

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Video doesn’t show President Joe Biden dozing during event with Maui, Hawaii, wildfire survivors

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