President Joe Biden, 80, on Tuesday wandered out of a room in the White House before the end of a ceremony in which he awarded a Vietnam veteran the Medal of Honor.
The president received backlash for immediately leaving after he returned the salute of 81-year-old former Army captain Larry Taylor, who braved enemy gunfire to rescue an American patrol group with his helicopter in a 1968 battle during the Vietnam War. Biden ducked out of the ceremony before military chaplain Brig. Gen. William Green Jr. concluded it with a prayer, according to the New York Post.
"At least he didn’t check his watch this time," Rep. Wesley Hunt (R., Texas) said on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, referencing the time Biden looked at his watch during a ceremony for 13 American service members who died in a bombing amid his bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Biden also did not wear a mask while putting the medal around Taylor's neck, even though White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said he would wear one around others after first lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19. The president has tested negative for the virus, according to Jean-Pierre.
Biden's awkward exit is the latest incident that could cast doubt on his ability to perform his leadership duties.
Published under: Joe Biden