Fact Check-Claims that a ‘body double’ got COVID-19 booster instead of Biden are false, use digitally altered photo

Posts claiming that a “body double” or an “actor” received a COVID-19 booster shot instead of U.S. President Joe Biden himself use baseless evidence.

Most posts feature the screenshot of a Facebook post ( here ). Its original description reads: “For those who have any doubts we have been seeing a body double in play… can you explain where the tattoo is and how he suddenly has ape like hairy arms now?” Other iterations are viewable here, here, here, here.

Comments include “Yeap Biden has an actor pretending to be him (sic)” and “It’s probably the face of uncle Joe on the body of another ..Green screen technology Deep fakes (sic)”

Reuters has previously debunked several social media posts resembling the false narrative that TV interviews showed a “body double” instead of Biden or that he used CGI (computer-generated imagery) ( here , here, here). Other baseless claims have suggested the White House is a “movie set” ( here , here , here).

Biden got his third COVID-19 shot on Sept. 27, hoping to demonstrate clearly to the American public the need to get the extra shot, even as millions go without their first ( here ). Footage of the moment is visible: , here here.


Posts point to an image that appears to show Biden has a tattoo on his left arm ( here , here) and that this is not visible in the footage of his booster.

The photograph with the tattoo, however, which shows him shirtless and wearing sandals while washing a white car outside the White House, was created by satire site The Onion; it was first included in a 2009 article here here).

The same image was featured as the cover of a book by The Onion entitled “The President of Vice: The Autobiography of Joe Biden,” viewable here. The image has also been attributed to the satire website in articles by The Guardian ( here ) and Business Insider ( ).

Footage of his first and second doses further prove he does not have a tattoo on his left arm ( , ).

Users point to there being no hair on Biden’s arm in previous vaccine videos compared to that from his booster.

This is likely a visual effect caused by the color adjustment of the image (see a similar shot by Reuters here). Other footage ( , ) clearly shows his arms were not hairless during his previous doses.

Reuters addressed another false claim about Biden’s booster shot here .


False. Posts claiming a “body double” received a third COVID-19 shot instead of U.S. president Joe Biden are false.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.