On Aug. 22, 2023, a dubious user on X (formerly Twitter) posted a low-quality, edited video and falsely claimed it showed that U.S. President Joe Biden had fallen asleep while meeting with victims impacted by the August 2023 Maui wildfires.
The fires that scourged the island of Maui were the deadliest U.S. wildfires in more than a century. As of Aug. 22, authorities were reporting that hundreds of people were still unaccounted for.
The video in question was recorded inside of the Lahaina Civic Center and was one of several stops for the president and the first lady, Jill Biden, during their visit to the island on Aug. 21.
The caption of the post read, "Joe Biden just fell asleep in the middle of his meeting with victims of the Maui fires." As of this writing, this post had been viewed around 6 million times.
Joe Biden just fell asleep in the middle of his meeting with victims of the Maui fires pic.twitter.com/YxDneHVuWL
— Matt Wallace (@MattWallace888) August 22, 2023
The user who made this post is known for spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the Maui wildfires and has bragged about making money on X based on promoting such false rumors.
Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted a similar video of Biden supposedly dozing off, with the caption, "Biden appears to fall asleep during a ceremony in Hawaii honoring the hundreds of Americans killed by the fires."
Biden appears to fall asleep during a ceremony in Hawaii honoring the hundreds of Americans killed by the fires pic.twitter.com/epLCJ01B0J
— Sean Hannity ?? (@seanhannity) August 22, 2023
Other users promoted the same video and rumor about Biden purportedly nodding off, such as this post that read, "Joe Biden falling asleep in Maui whilst meeting local survivors of one of the worst Human Tragedies in American History. Impeach this child sniffing corrupted criminal NOW."
Joe Biden falling asleep in Maui whilst meeting local survivors of one of the worst Human Tragedies in American History.
Impeach this child sniffing corrupted criminal NOW. pic.twitter.com/1v1GflvQ3y
— Concerned Citizen (@BGatesIsaPyscho) August 22, 2023
A quick and simple check of C-SPAN's broadcast of this gathering in Maui (full video on C-SPAN) revealed that Biden's eyes were open, not closed, during the portion of the clip that was promoted by dubious users on X. (The moment begins at around the 19:28 mark in the video.)
In other words, no, Biden had not fallen asleep while meeting with the victims, as evidenced by this high-definition clip that was captured from C-SPAN's broadcast:
We previously reported about other times users had claimed Biden fell asleep during various engagements. In those cases, we found that the rumors were either false or that they lacked enough evidence to make a firm determination of whether or not he had dozed off.