CLAIM: A video clip shows President Joe Biden stating that individuals should get vaccinated to protect themselves against hurricanes.
THE FACTS: Biden didn’t say getting vaccinated would protect against hurricanes.
The video clip, first posted on TikTok, was edited to remove key portions of his comments. A review of his full statement shows that he said getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a vital step in hurricane preparedness, necessary to protect people should they have to evacuate or stay in shelters.
Biden spoke Aug. 10, before a White House briefing by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell, representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and COVID-19 response teams. The briefing was in anticipation of what Biden called the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean region.
On Tuesday, an Instagram user shared a clip of Biden’s comments in which he says, “Let me be clear: If you’re in a state where hurricanes often strike — like Florida or the Gulf Coast or into Texas — a vital part of preparing for hurricane season is to get vaccinated now.” The video then cuts to insulting comments from the movie “Billy Madison.”
Underneath the video, text also was added.
“Get vaccinated to protect yourselves from hurricanes y’all,” the post said, adding a laughing emoji. But, the caption mischaracterizes Biden’s comments, which looked at the importance of vaccines in reducing risks in the event of a natural disaster. He highlighted how crises can compound one another as the delta variant spreads, with wildfires in the West and peak Atlantic hurricane season approaching.
“Everything is more complicated if you’re not vaccinated and a hurricane or a natural disaster hits,” Biden said after encouraging individuals to get vaccinated. “If you wind up having to evacuate, if you wind up having to stay in a shelter, you don’t want to add COVID-19 to the list of dangers that you’re going to be confronting.”