As world leaders have gathered in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate summit, US President Joe Biden is going viral for an “embarrassing” reason: ‘dozing off’.
Surrounded by many diplomats and delegates, the 78-year-old was caught on camera, with his eyes closed for a few seconds at the global warming conference. While it was not clear whether he really dozed off or took a brief moment to rest, it started doing rounds on the internet and left netizens divided online.
A video footage shared by The Washington Post journalist Zach Purser Brown created a huge buzz online, where the POTUS looked visibly tired and struggled to keep his eyes open. As he appeared to “fall asleep” as someone was addressing from the podium, a staff member was seen approaching the leader with some message.
The over 1-minute clip showed Biden applauding the speaker after the aide left, before proceeding to wipe his eyes. As the clip started doing rounds, many debated if he really fell asleep or not while others began to mock him for it.
Watch the video here:
Biden appears to fall asleep during COP26 opening speeches pic.twitter.com/az8NZTWanI
— Zach Purser Brown (@zachjourno) November 1, 2021
While most defending him argued that due to jet lag and back-to-back meetings, anyone would have a hard time not falling asleep, others thought it was ironic of him dozing off as he had previously dubbed climate change as the “greatest threat”.
I give the @POTUS a free pass on this one. Those of us in global health who make frequent trips to Geneva to attend important WHO meetings: We know exactly what that 6-7 hour time difference and difficulty falling asleep at night feels like the next day. This is a non-story. https://t.co/zvJf4FxfKa
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) November 2, 2021
When I worked in the Joint Staff and would go NATO meetings, we’d typically fly overnight then have a whole day of meetings…I’d grow my fingernails long to stick them into my palms during the meeting to keep from falling asleep. Nice work by the aide to intervene. https://t.co/nxNAtlH4nh
— Kori Schake 🌻 (@KoriSchake) November 1, 2021
The most honest response to a Conference Speech ever. https://t.co/btUIkkNQLV
— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) November 1, 2021
“The most important meeting in history,” the guy says, as Biden dozes off. https://t.co/FYHtJ5SZIM
— Sham Wow (@shamwowbaby) November 1, 2021
Joe Biden sleeping through the climate crisis is exactly where we are https://t.co/4ByUg5lT7i
— Jason Call for Congress (@CallForCongress) November 1, 2021
I just don’t think I could nod off when listening to important information about an existential crisis threatening the very survival of the human race and Planet Earth https://t.co/1S7rmneGE8
— Jerry Christmas 🎄🎅🏽 (@JerryDunleavy) November 1, 2021
Such a horrible feeling when you can’t keep your eyes open and you … know … you …….. can’t …… fall …. asleep …. [but also I’m not the President}
— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) November 1, 2021
78-year-old jet-lagged man, in closes-eyes-for-a-moment SHOCK. https://t.co/sPswfyi6L7
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) November 1, 2021
his eyes were closed for a few seconds and his head didn’t move. Hardly fell asleep
— Mike Sheridan (@Immikesheridan) November 1, 2021
He closed his eyes for a second.
This guy, on the other hand, is sound asleep. And, by the looks of it, massively hungover. pic.twitter.com/qFC3A2YuLZ
— Götz von Berlichingen #FBPE (@georgebernhard) November 1, 2021
Biden could have stayed home and saved fossil fuels if he is just sleeping through it. pic.twitter.com/hiMUq2K1lu
— Sean Shannon Collier (@ReillocNaes) November 1, 2021
Joe Biden sleeping ⬆️ at COP26 is about as realistic as this administration has ever been in the public eye. Staffers running over to wake him up, the world laughing at him. pic.twitter.com/h04ygLOgpA
— The Master Plan (@MasterPlan216) November 2, 2021
World shouldn’t expect any results from leaders summit. https://t.co/Q1ayhns8eX
— Ambassador Dr. Muhammad Shahid Amin Khan (@DrMShahidAKhan) November 2, 2021
The two-week event, from October 31 to November 12, will see leaders from more than 100 countries, thousands of negotiators, researchers and citizens coming together to set new targets for cutting emissions from burning coal, oil and gas that are heating the planet.
The summit comes six years after the Paris Agreement was signed by more than 190 countries to limit rising global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius with a target of reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius.