Politics

Joe Biden Has Gone M.I.A Recently, And Now There Are A Heap Of Memes Saying He’s Dead

This is absurd, absolutely not true, and, most importantly, very funny.

There's a meme that Joe Biden is secretly dead

Remember a fortnight ago, when it was near impossible to avoid news about the US Democratic Primary election? As COVID-19 evolved into a pandemic, the election took a back seat, with leading candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders shutting down canvassing and rallies.

But where Sanders has remained present online, Biden has been more or less M.I.A, and so, conspiracy memes began to spread that he’s actually dead. Let’s get this out of the way: there’s no reason to suspect he’s dead, and the conspiracy is mostly a joke.

But Biden, who has taken the lead from Sanders and seems to likely be the Democratic nominee, has been conspicuously absent this week. Where Sanders has hosted ‘fireside chats’ on social media and appeared as a talking head for news coverage, Biden hasn’t.

It’s an odd time to go silent: while he’s likely landing the nomination, Biden hasn’t exactly acted as a leader this past week, with his campaign mostly posting without his presence.

Hence the dead jokes, amid the general confusion over what the hell he’s doing right now while Trump threatens public safety on a daily with terrible medical advice.

The joke largely began as a way to criticise Biden’s absence. For more astute analysis, this Jacobin article has you covered. We are here to talk about the memes, which, as days passed, snowballed.

After a few days of wild conspiracies, Biden appeared on Monday 23 March for a short, green-screened video. It did, uh, not sate anyone — especially as he was wearing what appeared to be the same outfit as an appearance last week.

That night, Biden went live, which should have effectively shut down the rumours. It did not, with people suggesting they were ‘pre-taped generic messages’ — again, a fine line between policy critique and batshit conspiracy.

While we’re refusing to believe this is true (and please don’t think we’re endorsing it as an actual theory), the fact remains that it is incredibly funny that Biden could easily prove he his not dead or is just practicing social distancing via a less stilted video, but for some reason, is not.

The memes, for now, live on. Our favourite so far was US comedian Jaboukie Young-White changing his Twitter account to look like CNN Breaking News, and then tweeting out that Biden is “not dead” but “just getting some dick”.

His account has currently been suspended for the joke, which has happened multiple times. Most recently, he pretended to be the CIA on MLK Day, saying they killed him but still miss him.

Last week, Florida, Illinois and Arizona all held primary elections, which were won by Biden amid controversy over the long lines and inadequate health practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

23 states have yet to hold elections, with seven states electing to postpone the elections due to COVID-19. Currently, there are moves to postpone more state elections over public safety concerns around social distancing, putting the primaries in an odd position. Almost as odd as one of the candidates being (definitely not) dead.