Fact Check

Bernie Sanders Naps at Memorial Day Event

A photograph that appears to show the Democratic presidential candidate napping at a Memorial Day event is unclear in context.

Published May 31, 2016

Image courtesy of Instagram
Bernie Sanders was photographed napping at a Memorial Day ceremony in 2016.

On 30 May 2016, activist and military veteran Zoe Dunning published a photograph on Facebook purportedly showing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders napping during a Memorial Day ceremony:

bernie sanders napping maybe

Attending the Memorial Day Ceremony honoring the over 1 million Americans who have lost their lives serving our country, and watching Bernie Sanders fall asleep during it. There is nothing I can really add here. ‪#‎imwithher‬

The man featured in the above-displayed photograph is indeed Bernie Sanders, but there is little evidence (other than his slouched pose) to prove that he was sleeping during the event Dunning only provided a single photograph, making it difficult to determine if Sanders briefly nodded off during the ceremony, momentarily lowered his head and closed his eyes to fight off a bout of fatigue or pain, was
bowing his head in respect, or something else.

A collection of images from the event taken by Ed Caspersen show that the Democratic candidate was clearly awake throughout other portions of the ceremony and was not asleep for its duration, although he may have briefly "rested his eyes" at one point:

bernie sanders sleeping

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.