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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 8, 2022

No, Biden didn’t give his used face mask to Justice Stephen Breyer

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  • A video taken out of context doesn’t show Joe Biden giving his used face mask to Stephen Breyer, as some social media posts have claimed. Biden was wearing a black mask. He handed Breyer a white one. 

On Jan. 27, President Joe Biden and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer both spoke at the White House about Breyer’s plans to retire.

A clip from that joint appearance is being shared on social media with an inaccurate claim that Biden passed his used face mask to Breyer. 

"Confused Biden hands Justice Breyer HIS mask, walks away maskless," reads the title of Jan. 27 Rumble post sharing the clip, which shows Biden handing a white mask to Breyer, who is wearing another white mask. Breyer then puts the mask that Biden handed him in his pocket. 

"Folks, Joe Biden is not OK," the Rumble post says. 

"Dementia?" reads a blog post about the incident. "Biden takes off his mask and hands it to Justice Breyer." 

But reviewing footage of what happened before and after that moment makes clear that these posts distort reality. 

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They were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

In a video of the appearance posted on YouTube by CBS News, Biden and Breyer can be seen walking into the room together. Biden is wearing a black mask and Breyer is wearing a white one. Biden removes his black mask to speak at a podium. He yields the microphone to Breyer, who removes his white mask. At one point, Breyer removes a copy of the Constitution from inside his suit jacket. When he finishes his remarks, he walks away from the podium without his mask and slips the Constitution he was carrying back inside his jacket.


Biden then returns to the podium, again removes his black mask, and makes some final remarks. He can be seen picking a white mask up from the podium and handing it to Breyer around the 15:25 mark and says that he is giving Breyer his "mask back." 

In another video of the appearance posted on YouTube by the White House, Breyer can be seen removing a white mask from his pocket and putting it on after he speaks and before Biden hands him a white mask from the podium. 

We don’t know if both masks were Breyer’s, or if the white mask Biden passed to Breyer was left by someone else. But what is clear is that Biden didn’t hand Breyer his own used mask. 

Throughout this moment, Biden can be seen holding the black mask he removed from his own face. He did not give it to Breyer, and we rate posts that claim otherwise False. 


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No, Biden didn’t give his used face mask to Justice Stephen Breyer

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