Biden blasted after leaving Medal of Honor ceremony before closing prayer

The White House said Biden left so he could "minimize his close contact" with others after his wife tested positive for COVID.

Published: September 6, 2023 1:50pm

President Joe Biden was criticized online for his actions at a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam War veteran after he left before the event's closing prayer.

Although video from Medal of Honor ceremonies in 2021 and 2022 shows that Biden stayed on stage for the concluding prayer, on Tuesday the president awarded the medal to retired U.S. Army Capt. Larry Taylor and walked out of the room, leaving the veteran to stand alone during the benediction.

Several military veterans criticized Biden and argued that his decision to leave before the closing prayer showed a lack of respect. 

"Pardon my French…But what a f—ing idiot. The continuous lack of respect Biden has for anyone is appalling. Hawaii, Service members, active shooter victims, the list goes on," podcast host and former Navy SEAL Shawn Ryan posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

"At least he didn’t check his watch this time," Army veteran Rep. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, posted, referring to how the president appeared to check his watch while meeting the bodies of soldiers who died in Afghanistan during the chaotic 2021 withdrawal from the country.

White House press secretary Karine Jean Pierre said Biden walked out of the ceremony "as planned in order to minimize, to minimize his close contact with attendees." First lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, but the president has tested negative.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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