FACT FOCUS: Online reports falsely claim Biden suffered a ‘medical emergency’ on Air Force One

False reports that President Joe Biden had a “medical emergency” while traveling back to Delaware on Friday after a campaign stop in Wisconsin, spread widely on social media on Friday. They were without merit.

Here’s a look at the facts.


CLAIM: President Joe Biden had a “medical emergency” aboard Air Force One on Friday.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. There were no signs of a medical emergency on the flight, according to an Associated Press reporter who was traveling with Biden. Air Force One arrived at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, at 7:22 p.m. The president exited the plane on his own, saluted and spoke with an officer at the base of the stairs and took a question from a reporter before leaving the airport.

THE FACTS: As Biden returned to his home in Wilmington, Delaware, after a campaign stop in Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday social media users falsely claimed that the president had suffered a “medical emergency” aboard Air Force One.

Air Force One landed in New Castle, Delaware, at 7:22 p.m. about the same time posts started spreading about Biden’s alleged medical emergency.

“I just received a tip from an anonymous source,” reads one X post. “My source says that Joe Biden is currently experiencing a medical emergency on Air Force One as I type this. No further details are known.”

Another X post states: “Joe Biden is reportedly having a medical emergency on Air Force One right now. Press access has been removed.” It had received approximately 15,000 likes and 10,900 shares as of Saturday morning.

The posts presented no evidence that such an event occurred. Press access was not removed.

Video shows Biden walking down the steps of Air Force One in Delaware, speaking with an officer, answering a reporter’s question about whether he would watch a highly anticipated interview he did with ABC News’ George Stephanopolous and getting into a car, all without issue.

There were no signs of an emergency aboard Air Force One and the press was not denied access to the plane at any point, according to an AP reporter who was traveling on Air Force One with Biden during the flight from Wisconsin to Delaware. The reporter added that press was able to move about the plane as usual and that a door separating press from Biden’s top staff was open for most of the flight.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates called the claim “100% false” in an X post on Friday night.

Other posts claimed that the press did not see Biden when the presidential motorcade arrived at his home Friday night and that his campaign had canceled upcoming events as a result of the supposed emergency.

A press pool was in Biden’s motorcade when he was dropped off at his Wilmington home, according to the AP reporter who was traveling with the president. The reporter said journalists did not see him enter the house, but they routinely do not see him enter his Wilmington home because it is set back from the street and it is typical to only see the motorcade going through the gates leading to the house.

Biden had no public events planned for Saturday. He was scheduled to speak at a National Education Association convention on Sunday, but canceled after the union’s staff announced a strike on Friday.

“President Biden is a fierce supporter of unions and he won’t cross a picket line,” his campaign said in a statement. “The President is still planning to travel to Pennsylvania this weekend.”


Associated Press reporters Colleen Long and Zeke Miller contributed to this report.


Find AP Fact Checks here: https://apnews.com/APFactCheck.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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