Teen singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo visited the White House on July 14 to encourage younger Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccination. During her visit, she recorded videos for a social media push, met with President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci, and dropped in on a White House press briefing.
Rodrigo’s White House appearance sparked plenty of news headlines, fashion analysis and memes. But one manipulated photo on social media gave us déjà vu, because it was altered to make Biden look creepy.
The photo came from Rodrigo’s drop-in at a White House press briefing with press secretary Jen Psaki, which lasted just a few minutes.
In reality, Biden wasn’t there. But someone out there decided to photoshop Biden into the picture behind Rodrigo, squeezing her shoulders as Psaki looked on.
“Psaki face says it all,” a Facebook user wrote July 15.
The photo was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
After a quick intro by Psaki, Rodrigo walked up the mic and told reporters how she was honored to speak up for the COVID-19 vaccines. “I’m in awe of the work President Biden and Dr. Fauci have done and was happy to help lend my support to this important initiative,” Rodrigo said.
Biden wasn’t in the room. The “Drivers License” singer and the president met in a closed setting, later releasing this image from the Oval Office putting on aviators.
“Thanks for stopping by, Olivia, and for using your voice to urge young people to get vaccinated,” reads the caption from the POTUS Instagram account.
The photo of Biden in the manipulated image appears to be lifted from a swearing-in ceremony for former Defense Secretary Ash Carter in 2015. His wife, Stephanie Carter, said Biden was squeezing her shoulders in support because she was “uncharacteristically nervous,” and the photo had been misconstrued.
We rate this viral image Pants on Fire!
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PolitiFact – Joe Biden, Olivia Rodrigo did not appear in press briefing together with Jen Psaki