President Joe Biden appeared to leave the United Nations stage without shaking the hand of his Brazilian counterpart, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – better known as “Lula” – on Wednesday, in the latest gaffe involving the Democrat.
At the end of a speech on workers’ rights at the New York event – the United Nations General Assembly – Biden can be seen shaking hands with International Labor Organization Director-General Gilbert Houngbo, who took the podium after the two leaders, greeting the hand of the Director General of the International Labor Organization, Gilbert Houngbo. audience, then leave the stage.
Footage from the event then shows a visibly irritated Lula, who, after shaking Houngbo’s hand, looked at Biden and, seeing him leave the stage, turned away making a sliding gesture with his arm.
This is far from the first time the 46th president has been involved in an embarrassing public blunder, having once admitted to being “a gaffe machine.” The series of gaffes and misrepresentations involving Biden date back to before he was even president and have accumulated over the decades he has spent in the public eye.
Biden’s opponents have used these and other episodes to fuel a damaging narrative about the 80-year-old’s alleged cognitive problems, but independent fact-checkers have often found these claims misleading, as previously reported News week.
In December 2018, Biden identified his tendency to put himself in awkward situations as one of the potential risks of his 2020 campaign against Donald Trump. “But my God, what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can’t tell the truth,” he later told reporters.
News week contacted the White House and the Brazilian Foreign Ministry for comment on Thursday.
Despite the mistake, Biden and Lula – who shook hands with journalists in New York on at least one occasion – reached agreement on the big issues affecting Washington and Brasilia and talked about strengthening relations between the two countries.
“This meeting here, for me, is more than a bilateral meeting,” Lula said. “This is the rebirth of a new era in relations between the United States and Brazil. It is a relationship of equals.” Lula’s predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, had a strained relationship with Biden.
On the topic of workers’ rights, which was at the heart of their meeting, Lula said: “There is no democracy without strong unions.” The two leaders announced a new partnership aimed at supporting work, combating forced and child labor as well as worker exploitation and ensuring that the green transition does not leave workers behind.
“The two largest democracies in the Western Hemisphere defend human rights globally and in the hemisphere, including workers’ rights,” Biden said.
The US president is currently facing a massive strike in the auto industry – the UAW strike – as well as ongoing action by screenwriters that is impacting both the film and television industry. Despite his support for the union, he recently declined UAW leaders’ request to join the picket line.
USA News Gb2