The climate summit was a completely different affair this time, with the entire event happening online due to the pandemic. President Joe Biden was one of the key speakers and impressed many with his proposed plans on reducing global carbon emissions by 2030.
That said, a claim has been doing the rounds since the first day of the virtual global climate summit that was attended by dozen of world leaders. On April 22, a social media post showing a screen shot of Biden along with several world leaders including Russian President Vladimir claimed that Biden was the only world leader who was wearing a mask at the virtual summit. While the shot is just a portion of the entire summit, which shows Biden as the only one to wear a mask, many have been trying to find the truth behind the claim.
The Big Photo
Earlier this week a photo started circulating on social media. The photograph shows Biden along with another 20 world leaders attending the "Leaders Summit on Climate". The summit was attended by 40 leaders but the photograph shows about half the number. The photo posted by several users including some news websites claim shows Biden wearing a mask during a video call.
Biden is shown in the image at the top of this article. Since then many have been claiming that Biden has been following the Covid-19 restrictions and even wore a mask at the summit, which was virtual, while other world leaders including Putin didn't. While many have been applauding Biden for wearing a mask and slamming others, others have been trying to find out if the claims are true.
What's the Truth
The photograph definitely is authentic and not morphed and it's true that it is from the global climate summit. However, before delving deeper it needs to be mentioned that the screenshot shows a single moment from a multi-day summit.
So, it is difficult to judge what others did. Moreover, since the entire summit was virtual, even if someone didn't wear a mask, it doesn't matter much. However, many on social media still have their doubts about Biden wearing a mask. The claim that Biden wore a mask for a "video call" is somewhat misleading.
Biden, who can be seen in the image in a mask, was actually not sitting alone in a room while attending the climate summit. Instead, he was in proximity of other members of his team and was wearing a mask for the safety of those in the room with him, not those on the video conference call.
Moreover, the screenshot doing the rounds shows a single moment from the summit. There are several other photos which show other world leaders in masks at various time of this summit and probably they all did it because there were others in the room and not for the video call, as the summit was virtual.
Argentina President Alberto Fernandez, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering also wore masks at different points during the event. On the other hand, Biden didn't wear a mask throughout the summit but only at times when there were people from his team in his room.