President Biden sparked backlash after rushing out of a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House, leaving a famous war hero awkwardly alone on stage.
Biden, 80, quickly left the East Room after bestowing the nation’s highest military honor on Larry Taylor, 81, a retired Army captain celebrated for his exploits during the Vietnam War.
But while Taylor shed a tear as the medal was pinned to his lapel, Biden seemed less moved then, as he was already heading for the door before the final blessing was read.
While many reacted with fury, some speculated that the Commander-in-Chief was trying to shine the spotlight on the veteran, which led to an awkward moment when Taylor was left alone on stage.
The gaffe came after Biden was criticized earlier for removing his mask moments before greeting Taylor, despite First Lady Jill Biden testing positive for Covid-19 the day before.
Biden’s quick flight is the latest in a long line of incidents that have led people to label him disrespectful to troops, including an infamous moment when he repeatedly checked his watch during a ceremony. in honor of soldiers killed in an ISIS-K suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2021.
President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Captain Larry Taylor, a Vietnam War army pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team that was about to be overrun by the enemy .
Moments after receiving the nation’s highest military honor, Taylor found himself awkwardly alone on stage when Biden hurriedly left
Biden was rewarding Taylor, a retired army captain, for his bravery during the Vietnam War, where he risked his life for his comrades in the jungle in June 1968.
The helicopter pilot received the honor for his role in rescuing a squadron surrounded by enemy forces, as he flew over gunfire while strafing troops on the ground for nearly an hour.
As he ran out of ammunition, Taylor descended onto the battlefield and extracted the infantry, saving them from certain death.
But while Taylor was full of emotion as he wiped away a tear when the medal was pinned to his lapel, Biden seemed less emotional in the moment.
His quick exit was condemned by veterans after the ceremony, who claimed he had shown gross disrespect to the veteran.
“Pardon my French… But what a fucking idiot,” said former Navy SEAL Shawn Ryan. “Biden’s continued disrespect for anyone is appalling.”
Ryan, a podcast host, also noted Biden’s recent appearance in wildfire-stricken Hawaii as evidence of his apparent disrespect. The incident saw the president first slammed for ‘not commenting’ on the crisis, before delivering a rambling speech and flying off on a vacation to Lake Tahoe.
His most recent display of contempt has sparked a wave of fury from military supporters online, with the daughter of a deceased colonel lying in Arlington Cemetery condemning him for “leaving (Taylor) alone on stage”.
“He hates our military,” she concluded.
“What’s with Biden? He continues to disrespect our men and women in uniform,” another stunned viewer said.
“Here, leaving a Medal of Honor recipient alone on stage as he looks to exit. Nothing honorable about this president.
While many reacted angrily, Texas Congressman Wesley Hunt, an Army veteran, shed light on the apparent disrespect by pointing out Biden’s previous mistake at the ceremony in Afghanistan in 2021, by saying, “At least he didn’t check his watch this time.
The president has come under increasing scrutiny for his advanced age in recent months as his re-election campaign heats up, with military account Military Arms also taking aim at his age on X, formerly Twitter.
“Do you think this was done on purpose or are these just more senile times? I think the guy is so self-centered that he makes mistakes like this.
“My God, this man is a huge embarrassment to our nation,” he said.
President Biden was also criticized for removing his face mask during the ceremony, despite the First Lady having tested positive for Covid-19 the day before.
President Joe Biden remains COVID-negative while Jill Biden, a teacher, missed the first day of school after testing positive.
Earlier in the ceremony, Biden raised his eyebrows when he removed his mask as he stood next to the 81-year-old war hero despite his wife Jill testing positive for Covid-19 the day before.
The president entered the room wearing a black mask, but decided to remove it before the start of the ceremony.
He then went without a mask for several minutes as he stood next to Taylor. The president remains negative after being tested on Monday evening and Tuesday morning and has no symptoms.
Ahead of the event, the White House said it would follow CDC guidelines, with press secretary Karine Hean-Pierre saying she would only remove it when she was “sufficiently” away from others.
“He will wear a mask indoors and around people, per CDC guidelines and as has been done in the past.”
“The president will remove his mask when he is far enough away from others indoors and outdoors as well,” she said on Tuesday ahead of the ceremony.
The president did not put his mask back on to exit the East Room, but gave a thumbs up when asked how his wife was doing, saying she was “fine”.
Her decision to remove the mask left viewers puzzled, with one woman remarking, “I’m amazed at her behavior. It is useless to enter masked to then unmask and put everyone in danger.
“I hope their families will sue if they get sick,” said another reviewer.
Biden escorts retired Army Capt. Larry Taylor, Medal of Honor recipient — they both wear face masks as they enter the East Room