Related topics

Video does not show Biden waving to an empty field

September 16, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Video of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden deplaning in Tampa, Florida, during a campaign stop on Tuesday shows him waving to an empty field.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. An Associated Press reporter traveling with Biden confirmed he was waving to firefighters and other ground personnel outside the frame of the video. 

THE FACTS: A video circulating widely on social media appears to show Biden waving at an empty field as he stepped out of a plane in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday.

In the viral video, which shows part of a Fox News report on Biden’s arrival in Florida, Biden can be seen pointing and waving to his right side as he descends the stairs of a plane.


A woman in the background of the video laughs and makes fun of Biden, yelling, “Who’s he waving to? There’s nobody there. He thinks he’s Trump.”

One version of the video shared on Twitter was retweeted more than 17,000 times. Versions of the same video also appeared on YouTube and various conservative blogs, and were viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook.

The video is a clip from a real news report on the “Outnumbered Overtime” program on Fox News. However, the claim that it shows Biden waving to an empty field is false. 

In reality, Biden was waving to people outside the frame of the video.

An AP reporter traveling with Biden confirmed he waved to firefighters and other ground personnel on his right side before waving to reporters on his left.

A Bloomberg News reporter’s video posted on Twitter on Tuesday provides further confirmation by showing the scene from a different angle. In his video, it’s clear Biden is waving in the direction of four people standing near a fire truck. Other ground personnel are also visible on the runway.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536