“He’s Saying Congratulations to One of the Divers” Says White House, Debunking Claims of Biden Wandering at G7 Summit

 “He’s Saying Congratulations to One of the Divers” Says White House, Debunking Claims of Biden Wandering at G7 Summit

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An image published Thursday by the New York Post purported to show President Joe Biden appearing to “wander off” at the G7 summit announcing a closer security partnership with Ukraine, and having to be “pulled back” by other officials. This incident was used by conservative media to characterize Biden as mentally diminished by age and unable to focus on his duties.

However, according to White House Senior Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates, this portrayal was deceptive and taken out of context. Bates clarified that Biden wasn’t “wandering” at all.

“The Murdoch outlets are so desperate to distract from @POTUS’s record that they just lie,” wrote Bates. “Here, they use an artificially narrow frame to hide from viewers that he just saw a skydiving demonstration. He’s saying congratulations to one of the divers and giving a thumbs up.”

Bates provided a complete video of the interaction, showing Biden focused on the skydiving. “The right has now ingeniously attacked Joe Biden with videos of him: Petting hero dogs; Eating ice cream; Respectfully waiting for his wife to get into their vehicle before boarding himself; Liking sky diving,” continued Bates. “In other words, being a human.”

Voters routinely cite Biden’s age and concerns about his fitness for office as a concern for a second term. Republicans and their sympathetic figures in the media have leaned into this issue, highlighting any instances they can find of Biden stumbling over his words or showing unfocused posture.

This scrutiny comes as former President Donald Trump himself faces questions over his own mental fitness, particularly due to his rambling and wandering speeches at rallies. Most recently, at a rally in Las Vegas, Trump confused even his supporters with a bizarre stream-of-consciousness about whether he’d rather be eaten by a shark or electrocuted by the battery of an electric boat.

The contrast between the media coverage of Biden and Trump highlights the intense focus on the mental acuity of the 2024 presidential candidates. While Biden’s moments are often portrayed as signs of decline, his supporters argue that these instances are human and relatable. Meanwhile, Trump’s erratic speeches continue to raise concerns about his own ability to remain focused and coherent.

As the campaign season progresses, both candidates will likely face increased scrutiny over their mental and physical fitness, shaping the narrative of their respective bids for the presidency. The portrayal of these moments, whether accurate or taken out of context, will continue to influence public perception and voter confidence in their leadership capabilities.

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