Viral Video: Did Joe Biden Fall Asleep While Listening To COP26 Speech?

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Joe Biden is attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow

A video that shows US President Joe Biden sitting with his eyes closed during the COP26 climate change summit on Monday is doing the rounds of the Internet. Mr Biden is among the world leaders who have travelled to Glasgow for the climate summit. In the clip, first shared on Twitter by a reporter for The Washington Post, he is initially seen listening to a speaker. A few seconds later, however, the US President shuts his eyes – and keeps them closed as the speech continues. 

The video shows an aide approaching Mr Biden after a few seconds. He then opens his eyes and continues listening to the speech, applauding after it concluded. 

According to several media reports, the incident occurred after an hour of opening speeches. Mr Biden, 78, was listening to a pre-recorded message from South African disability rights activist Eddie Ndopu when he shut his eyes for around 20 seconds, promoting outrage from a section of the Internet.

“Biden appears to fall asleep during COP26 opening speeches,” wrote The Washington Post reporter Zach Purser Brown while sharing the video on Twitter.

The footage has racked up over 4.5 million views within a day of being shared online. 

Joe Biden is the oldest person to serve as president of the United States. He will turn 79 this month. Critics have often used his age to blame the US president of being mentally and physically unfit for the role. Among the most vociferous of these critics is former US President Donald Trump, who nicknamed Mr Biden “Sleepy Joe” during the 2020 presidential campaign. 

According to the New York Post, Donald Trump blasted Joe Biden after the footage went viral. “Biden went to Europe saying Global Warming is his highest priority, and then promptly fell asleep, for all the world to see, at the Conference itself. Nobody that has true enthusiasm and belief in a subject will ever fall asleep!” Mr Trump said in an email blast.

However, not everyone who saw the video bought into the “sleeping” explanation – many said Mr Biden was simply resting his eyes for a few seconds. 

COP26, which is taking place in Glasgow, is the latest in a series of meetings through which the world’s governments attempt to deal with climate change. US President Joe Biden told the COP26 climate summit Monday that the massive response needed to stop the climate crisis should be seen as an opportunity for the world’s economies.

“Within the growing catastrophe I believe there’s an incredible opportunity — not just for the United States, but for all of us,” he said in his speech to the summit.
 

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