Facts Matter: Biden, not stand-in, received COVID-19 booster shot

  • President Joe Biden -- not a decoy -- receives a COVID-19 booster shot during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus Sept. 27 in Washington.

    President Joe Biden -- not a decoy -- receives a COVID-19 booster shot during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus Sept. 27 in Washington. Associated Press

Posted10/10/2021 5:30 AM

President Joe Biden, late last month, received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. But some social media users made false claims that the event was staged.

One Instagram post showed Biden receiving the shot with the caption, "Fake president, in a fake White House, receiving fake booster."


But it was all real, according to PolitiFact.

The backdrop was the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex. That location, larger than the White House press room, is used for events such as bill signings and a spot for the president to meet with world and local leaders or deliver televised remarks to American citizens. It was where five days earlier Biden participated in a global coronavirus summit.

Other social media posts claimed it was a "body double," not Biden, who received the vaccine booster, asking, "Can you explain where the tattoo is?"

The post showed Biden receiving the shot in his left arm, free from any tattoos, and an image of the shirtless person, purportedly Biden with a prominent tattoo on his left arm, washing a car outside the White House.

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One of these images is fake, according to Reuters, but it's not the photo of Biden getting the shot.

The fake image of the president washing a car in the White House driveway was created by satirical website The Onion. It was used with a fake story that said Biden was washing his 1981 Trans Am and included the fake quote, "Gotta get her looking good so I can impress the chicks when I'm cruising down Pennsylvania (Avenue)."

Vaccinated don't have more virus

Recent internet posts falsely claim vaccinated people, if infected with the coronavirus, carry more of the virus than those who are unvaccinated.

"Dr. Leana Wen, one of the MSM's biggest lap dogs, is confirming what has been said by us all along. The vaccinated carry a heavier viral load," an Instagram user wrote.

But this information is false and it misrepresents comments by Wen, <URL destination="https://apnews.com/article/fact-checking-548293260707">according to The Associated Press.


</URL>The post includes a short video clip from an interview with Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner, discussing the delta variant.

During the interview, Wen said, "We know that a person infected with the delta variant carries a thousand times the viral load than someone infected with the previous variant. What that means is the person can transmit a lot more virus."

But that was not included in the misleading post. It only has a statement by Wen as she explained how the delta variant is more contagious than previous variants and can be spread by those vaccinated.

"Those who are vaccinated, we now know based on the CDC, are now able with the delta variant, because they carry so much more virus, they could transmit it to their unvaccinated family members," Wen said.

Previously, it was thought vaccinated people had low levels of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its findings to say the vaccinated can carry as much of the virus as the unvaccinated, but unvaccinated people are more likely to get infected and transmit the virus.

Lightfoot comment misrepresented

A recent viral video shows Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot calling for leaders who are "pledging allegiance to the new world order," a term connected to conspiracy theories. The 40-second clip was viewed more than 80,000 times and received more than 4,400 comments.

"We need to have her and other radical politicians who are trying to force our country into the 'New World Order' and send them all to GITMO to have their world order there," one social media user wrote.

The post is misleading, according to USA Today. Lightfoot wasn't talking about conspiracies or world domination, she was referring to aldermanic prerogative, a practice that allows just one city council member to block a proposal during a vote.

Lightfoot is using an idiom to refer to eliminating that prerogative.

"The way that aldermanic prerogative works is there's got to be compliance with the executive branch, because otherwise it doesn't work," she said. "So, you've got to eliminate that compliance, and you make it a mandate. And then you do training, particularly in the city licensing departments whether it's zoning, buildings, housing, planning, and you pick the people who run those agencies and the deputies that are pledging allegiance to the new world order and good governance."

Richards photo altered

A photo making the rounds on social media shows Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards holding a sign disparaging former President Donald Trump.

An image of Richards, with a sign reading, "Donald Trump is a piece of (expletive)," got more than 15,000 likes and 3,700 shares this month.

But the photo is fake, according to Reuters. It was digitally altered from an actual photo that appeared on the band's Facebook page in 2012.

In the original image, Richards is holding a sign that reads, "9,000,000 Stones fans," referring to the Rolling Stones receiving 9 million likes on its Facebook page.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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