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Fact check: Video does not show Joe Biden ‘caught off guard’ without a mask when he ‘thought cameras were off’

A video viewed tens of thousands of times shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden talking to a group of people without a mask after a campaign rally. Posts misleadingly claim Biden didn’t wear a mask because “he thought he wasn’t on camera” but the clip itself shows journalists with cameras walking beside and in front of him. The video has also been misleadingly cropped, as longer footage shows Biden put his mask on seconds after the clip circulating on social media ends.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden attend a drive-in campaign event at Dallas High School in Dallas, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 24, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The 15-second clip was posted by the Trump campaign on Twitter and YouTube on Oct. 24 ( here  and  here ) and has been viewed over 826,200 and 558,728 times, respectively, as of this article’s publication.   

It was also posted by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza on Rumble, a video sharing site  here . Other posts are visible  here ,  here  and  here .  

The video in this claim appears to be extracted from Yahoo Finance’s streaming of Biden’s drive-in campaign event at a high school in Dallas, Pennsylvania on Oct. 24 ( youtu.be/AnNzysItM68?t=7793 ).  

The clip shows Biden without a mask and his wife Jill Biden walking down the stage towards their car, where they encounter a group of people. The video circulating on social media fails to show Biden put his mask on seconds after the cropped clip ends. The exact moment is visible  youtu.be/AnNzysItM68?t=7809  . 

The claim that the former vice president thought he was off camera is demonstratively false. The video shows a man with a camera walking next to Biden ( youtu.be/AnNzysItM68?t=7794 ) and a woman with a phone that appears to be capturing the scene as well ( youtu.be/AnNzysItM68?t=7797 ).

Before putting on his mask, Biden was photographed greeting a man with an elbow bump  here  .  

Reuters debunked another false claim about Biden’s rally in Dallas, Pennsylvania  here  . 

VERDICT

Missing context. While Joe Biden did not wear a mask in the moments he walks toward a group of people, he was not secretly caught off-guard when he thought cameras were off, as the posts imply.

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

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