Biden did not put medal on Vietnam veteran backwards

·2 min read

Videos shared across social media claim to show US President Joe Biden placing the Medal of Honor on a Vietnam War veteran backwards. This is false; footage from the event shows Biden correctly placed the medal around the retired Army soldier's neck.

"Biden puts medal on backwards. Just imagine if Trump had done this," says the caption on a July 6, 2022 Facebook post, which includes grainy footage that appears to show Biden awarding a man a medal.

The 19-second clip accumulated more than 1,400 views. The video's low quality makes it difficult to see the gold star hanging from the medal's blue ribbon.

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken July 11, 2022

Similar posts have spread on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, according to CrowdTangle, a social media insights tool. The claim has also circulated on pro-Donald Trump websites, as well as on social media in Bosnian, Romanian and Hungarian.

The posts come after Biden on July 5, 2022 awarded the Medal of Honor, the most prestigious decoration in the US military, to four Army veterans who fought in the Vietnam War. Retired Army Specialist Five Dwight W. Birdwell, pictured in the video circulating online, was one of the veterans who received the distinction.

But Biden did not put the medal on him backwards, as other media outlets have reported.

C-SPAN footage from the event at the White House clearly shows Biden placing the medal around Birdwell's neck with the gold star facing out. The clip circulating on social media omits the part where Biden receives the medal and approaches Birdwell from behind.

Other media footage of the ceremony also shows Biden correctly placing the Medal of Honor around Birdwell's neck. An AFP photographer covered the event and captured the moment it happened.

US President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to retired US Army Specialist Five Dwight W. Birdwell for his actions in the Vietnam War, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, July 5, 2022 ( AFP / Saul Loeb)

The claims online are part of a pattern of false and misleading claims in which social media users share altered or out-of-context footage of Biden in order to question his fitness for office. At 79, Biden is the oldest president in American history.

AFP has fact-checked other misleading footage of Biden here and here.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting