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Biden foot injury kicks up unfounded speculation on social media

Conspiracy theories are circulating about Joe Biden following reports he broke his foot. The president-elect’s doctor said on November 30 that the 78-year-old suffered a hairline fracture while playing with his dog the day before. The timing of the announcement prompted some to claim the delay was an effort to conceal information about Biden’s health.

Jack Posobiec tweeted, “Sorry but the media just spent 4 years telling me it was their job to protect democracy by holding government to account so they don’t get to cover up Biden breaking his foot for 24 hours,” in a post shared over 2,800 times. Others speculated about Biden’s condition, including one unverified user with over 109,000 followers who posted a tweet that read in part, “This sounds like a fall from Parkinson’s.”

The conspiracy theories about Biden’s injury — which will require the use of a walking boot for several weeks as he recovers — went further. QAnon-linked accounts baselessly claimed that the boot is a ruse to conceal an ankle monitor issued to Biden after his arrest for election fraud and other crimes. Other users, such as @LATiffani1, drew a parallel with the late US Senator John McCain, who after tearing a tendon also wore a walking boot that became the subject of conspiracy theories. — Keenan Chen