Social media users are circulating a photo appearing to show President Joe Biden asleep on the Oval Desk in his office, criticizing him for not being able to stay awake on the job.
The photo seemingly shows Biden, who assumed office three weeks ago, at his desk with his eyes closed. The picture was accompanied with a lengthy caption.
"AMERICA IN DECLINE," the description of the image reads. "This decrepit old grifter works MAYBE five hours a day. We traded in a work horse, for someone that belonged out to pasture or sent to the glue factory a long time ago. Nothing says we threw in the towel better than this nauseating image, the 'commander-in-chief' can't even stay awake. Here is the photo:
The photo appears to be doctored according to fact-checking website PolitiFact, which has flagged the claim as "false." As evidence, the website shared the original photo that was used by multiple news outlets reporting on the executive orders signed by Biden on his first day in office on Jan. 20.
The original version shows Biden's hands on the desk as they do in the fake photo. A stack of executive orders are also visible alongside him and he is wearing the same suit and tie. In the original, the president is also wearing a black face mask and looking up with his eyes open.
Video footage from that day shows a masked Biden signing orders and speaking to reporters as multiple cameras can be heard clicking in the background.
There is no evidence to support the claim that Biden was caught sleeping on his desk. As far as claims that he works a five-hour shift is concerned, Biden's public schedule for Jan. 20 revealed that his day began with an 8:45 a.m. church service and ended with a 9:55 p.m. appearance by Biden and the first lady on the Blue Room Balcony.
Biden Targeted By Similar 'False' Claims in the Past
The false claim is part of a wider effort by the right-wing to push the narrative of Biden's apparent cognitive decline following a White House run blemished by repeated gaffes and other instances of the 78-year-old either becoming confused or tongue-tied.
This is not the first time Biden has been targeted by claims that he struggles to stay awake. In September, social media users started circulating video footage appearing to show the 78-year-old dozing off during a live TV interview. The clip shows Biden with his eyes shut and a snoring noise can be heard in the background as the TV presenter asks him to "wake up."
The claim was later flagged as "false" after Reuters pointed out that the clip was taken from 2011, when then 84-year-old singer Harry Belafonte appeared to fall asleep live on air on KBAK, a California TV station.