CLAIM: A photo from this week shows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi huddled with other members of Congress and none are wearing masks.
THE FACTS: Social media users making the false claim shared a December photo from The Associated Press to suggest Pelosi and other members of Congress are not following current guidelines for wearing masks and social distancing when meeting.
“This photo is from this week. They are in private and don’t know they are being photographed. SOMETHING IS MISSING. WHAT IS IT??( And ask yourself WHY?),” stated posts being shared Wednesday on Facebook. A Twitter account that supports QAnon, a conspiracy theory centered on the baseless belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the ‘deep state,’ first made the false claim, which was shared as a screenshot and posted on Facebook. The AP photo being misrepresented was taken on Dec. 18, 2019, and shows Pelosi speaking to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal in a private room after the House voted to impeach Trump. AP photographer Andrew Harnik captured the photo of the four huddled in conversation reflected in a mirror. “Do as I say, not as I do,” said one Facebook page sharing the photo with the false caption. The photo was shot months before the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic in March and before China had reported its first death from COVID-19 in January. Pelosi and House members have since been photographed wearing masks.