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Fact check: Biden’s comments about ‘doomed’ United States taken out of context

Social media users have been sharing a video clip from a Zoom call where President Joe Biden seems to say that the United States is “doomed” because the country will be “minority white European” by 2040. Biden’s words have been taken out of context. In the call then President-elect Biden held with civil rights leaders, the statistic was mentioned as a reason why “significant progress on racial equity” was so important.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples featuring the out-of-context clip, or a transcript of it, can be seen  here  ,  here  ,  here  and  here  .

The posts source a quotation to “Joe Biden 12/22/2020 Leaked ZOOM call” that reads: “This country is doomed, it is doomed. Not just because of African Americans, but because by 2040 this country is going to be minority white European – you hear me? Minority white European. And Blacks are going to have to start working more with Hispanics, who make a larger portion of population than y’all do.”

Comments on the posts include: “I watched that Zoom call — I could NOT believe my ears. If there was ever a racist...”, “They’ve proclaimed POTUS 45 to be a racist for four years now and refuse to accept that “Uncle Joe” is the real racist...yeah I said it!!!” and “Can we add racist, and lunacy, to his list of accolades?”

The full video of the Zoom call can be seen here , obtained and published by news website The Intercept. According to its story here , the Zoom call took place on Dec. 8, 2020.

A quotation close to the one used in the posts starts at 1:14:37 and listening to what Biden says before helps provide clarity to the statement.

At the 1:14:17 mark, Biden can be heard saying: “I’ve been around doing this for a long, long time. I don’t always get it right, but I always take responsibility. When I get it wrong, I acknowledge I got it wrong but my overarching objective [is] if we cannot make significant progress on racial equity, this country is doomed.”

At 1:14:38, Biden goes on to use words similar to those that appear in the posts: “It is doomed not just because of African Americans but because by 2040, this country is going to be minority White European. Hear me, minority White European. And you guys are going to have to start working with Hispanics, who make up a larger portion of population than y’all do.”

Biden then continues, around 1:15:02: “In terms of raw numbers, we’re going to have to be working with a whole group of people that are in fact are the single most diverse democracy in American history and anywhere in the world. And we’ve got to figure out how to unify this country. And you’ve been the leaders of being able to do that, not a joke.”

The Biden team did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

VERDICT

Missing context. The video clip has been shortened to make Biden sound as if he is saying the U.S. will be “doomed” as White Europeans become the minority. Put in context, it is clear he is not saying this.

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

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