Fact Check: Joe Biden Did NOT Have A 'Medical Emergency Aboard Air Force One' On July 5, 2024

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Joe Biden Did NOT Have A 'Medical Emergency Aboard Air Force One' On July 5, 2024 WH: 'False'

Did Joe Biden have a medical emergency aboard Air Force One on July 5, 2024? No, that's not true: White House spokesman Andrew Bates told Lead Stories that the claim was "false." Additionally, a video of Biden arriving in Wilmington, Delaware, on the evening of July 5, 2024, shows him descending the stairs of Air Force One unaided, and a White House pool report account of his arrival described the same scene.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on X, formerly Twitter, on July 5, 2024. The post's caption said:

🚨 BREAKING: Biden is reportedly having a medical emergency aboard Air Force One

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

POWERPNT_Fg6acoqak6 Cropped.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Jul 8 14:48:37 2024 UTC)

The post provided no attribution or other evidence to substantiate its claim that Biden had a "medical emergency aboard Air Force One" on July 5, 2024, the day the post was published.

White House

In a July 8, 2024, email to Lead Stories, White House spokesman Andrew Bates called the claim "false." Additionally, Bates published (archived here) a similar response of "100% false" on his X account on July 5, 2024, to a post by Utah Sen. Mike Lee (archived here) who amplified the unsubstantiated claim of Biden's purported "medical emergency." The caption of Lee's post said:

If Biden is having a medical emergency at this moment -- on board Air Force One or otherwise -- that raises ... a lot of questions.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:


(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Jul 8 16:05:52 2024 UTC)

Lee's social media account links back to the same post on X that is the subject of this fact check.

The video

The claim that Biden suffered a medical emergency onboard Air Force One (AF1) began to circulate on the evening of July 5, 2024, as the president returned from a campaign event in Madison, Wisconsin, to his home in Delaware. A video, published by Forbes Breaking News (archived here) on YouTube that same day, shows Biden exiting the aircraft by himself and descending the stairs without assistance in Wilmington. It appears below:

The White House travel pool report from the evening of July 5, 2024, described the scene this way:

President Biden stepped onto the stairs down from AF1 at 7:34 and walked down, holding the railing. Part of the way down he stopped and pointed to something to his right.

He descended the stairs the rest of the way, and saluted, shook hands, and spoke with a greeter.

Pool shouted some questions. 'Will you watch your interview Mr. President?' The president crouched slightly and jokingly looked at the pool, pretending to be ready to jump away. A reporter repeated the question and pool was too far away to hear what the president said, but it looked like he said 'yes I will.'

There is no evidence in either the video or the travel pool report to support the claim of a "medical emergency aboard Air Force One."

Read more

Other fact check agencies have also reviewed this claim, including CBS News, The Associated Press and The Salt Lake Tribute.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks on claims involving Biden can be found here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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