Fact Check

No, This Video Doesn't Show Biden's Body Being Wheeled Out of the White House

A conspiracy theory went viral after a video claimed to show a body bag leaving the White House.

Published July 3, 2023

 (@iluminatibot/Twitter)
Image Via @iluminatibot/Twitter
Claim:
A video that circulated in early July 2023 authentically showed the dead body of U.S. President Joe Biden being wheeled out of the White House.
Context

While it was undetermined what, exactly, the CCTV footage documented in front of the White House, it did not show someone wheeling out the body of the president. Biden was alive, as of July 3, 2023.

On July 2, 2023, a video purportedly showing at least one body bag or casket being wheeled out of the White House went viral. Among posts that shared the video, some conspiracy theorists claimed that it showed the dead body of U.S. President Joe Biden being wheeled out of the federal building.

While it was unknown what, exactly, the video showed being moved out of the White House, it was false to claim the objects contained the body of the president. Biden was alive, as of July 3, 2023.

We reached out to the White House asking what the video showed being moved, seemingly on wheels, and we will update this post when, or if, we receive a response.

The full origin story of the video was unknown — that is, we don't know who, or what agency, recorded it or posted it online first. It appeared to show footage from a security camera directed at the White House's front lawn, positioned somewhere high in front of the entrance's gate. There were no signs of digital manipulation.

At the very beginning, viewers can see the video's timestamp: June 23, 2022. An unidentified person can then be seen rolling out a long, black object (what conspiracy theories claim to be a body bag). Another figure follows, pushing a similar-looking black object. After that, a nearby black car can be seen driving away.

Shortly after the date in the video's timestamp, it appeared on social media. We found TikTok videos sharing the same footage in June 2022. Those videos also circulated with captions speculating whether the footage showed a body bag leaving the White House. 

For several reasons, it was impossible that the video showed Biden's body leaving the White House. Firstly, Biden was alive, as of this writing, and he made numerous public appearances since June 2022 (when the footage was seemingly recorded). Per his publicly available calendar, he participated in the G7 Summit  soon after the video's timestamp of June 23, 2022, and the NATO Summit in Spain after that. 

Secondly, if Biden were to die while in office, it would be highly unlikely that his body would be quietly rolled out in a casket, or body bag, from a door that appears to be near the White House's front entrance, without any spectacle. After former or current presidents die, it is common procedure for them to lie in state for mourners to pay respects. For example, John F. Kennedy's body was temporarily kept in a coffin in the East Room of the White House, where officials paid respects. Then, the next day, officials moved his body to the Capitol Rotunda for the public to visit. (Abraham Lincoln's funeral proceedings followed a similar routine.) Franklin D. Roosevelt lay in state in the East Room for a few hours, mourners gathered there, and then his body was taken to New York to be buried.

And, lastly, the death of a sitting president would be eminently newsworthy, and the public would be aware of such an event via reports by credible news publications. That had not happened.

In addition to the Biden-body-bag conspiracy, other posts online claimed at least one of the objects being removed was the president's "body double."

The Biden "clone" or "body-double" conspiracy theory has circulated since at least 2020. We've covered such theories numerous times in the past. 

Biden, who is 80 years old and the oldest serving president, has long faced criticism regarding his physical and mental fitness for the role. In February 2023, Kevin O' Connor, the president's physician, described Biden as a "healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old male" who is "fit to execute the duties of the Presidency."

Given that the in-question video had been posted online more than a year before claims surfaced about it allegedly showing Biden's body, and we know Biden was alive after the footage was seemingly recorded, we rated this claim as "Miscaptioned."

Sources

Baker, Peter, et al. "Inside the Complicated Reality of Being America's Oldest President." The New York Times, 4 June 2023. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/04/us/politics/biden-president-age-2024.html. Accessed 3 July 2023.

"Factba.Se: Daily White House - Schedule." Factbase. https://calendar.google.com/calendar/u/0/embed?src=cantymedia.com_62fqfmv1eejqs9hntbr6hof5kc@group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York. Accessed 3 July 2023.

"FACT SHEET: The 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid." The White House, 29 June 2022, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/29/fact-sheet-the-2022-nato-summit-in-madrid/. Accessed 3 July 2023.

"Franklin D. Roosevelt Funeral." WHHA (En-US), https://www.whitehousehistory.org/franklin-d-roosevelt-funeral. Accessed 3 July 2023.

Gangitano, Alex. "Biden's Age Is Stumbling Block to Reelection." The Hill, 2 July 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/4076137-bidens-age-is-stumbling-block-to-reelection/. Accessed 3 July 2023.

"John F. Kennedy Funeral." WHHA (En-US), https://www.whitehousehistory.org/john-f-kennedy-funeral. Accessed 3 July 2023.

Lee, Jessica. "Does Joe Biden Have a Body Double?" Snopes, 17 Dec. 2020, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/earlobes-biden-body-double/. Accessed 3 July 2023.

O' Connor, Kevin. 'President Biden's Current Health Summary." White House, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Health-Summary-2.16.pdf. Accessed 3 July 2023.

Palma, Bethania. "No, TikTok Video Doesn't Show a Joe Biden 'Double.'" Snopes, 7 June 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tiktok-video-joe-biden-body-double/. Accessed 3 July 2023.

"Sudden Death, Assassination Attempts, and Mourning." National Museum of American History, 26 May 2021, https://americanhistory.si.edu/american-presidency/life-and-death-white-house/death. Accessed 3 July 2023.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.