Fact check: False claim that Bidens' visit to children's hospital on Christmas Eve was staged

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The claim: The Bidens faked a Christmas Eve children's hospital visit

Some on social media falsely claim the president and first lady's Christmas Eve visit to the Children's National Hospital was a sham.

A Dec. 26 Facebook post includes a screenshot of a tweeted Reuters video showing President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden's Dec. 24 visit to the Washington children's hospital. A red circle and arrow draw attention to a sign in the background that reads "Seacrest Studios."

"Everything Biden says or does is a lie," the post's caption says. "On Christmas Eve, the Sock Puppet and his fake doctor wife pretended to visit a 'children's hospital.' What it was instead was a film studio - Seacrest Studios - mocked up to sort of look like a children's hospital."

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The claim accumulated thousands of interactions on Twitter and Facebook. But it's wrong.

While the image isn't doctored, it doesn't indicate the Bidens' visit to the Children's National Hospital was staged. There are Seacrest Studios locations in 11 children's hospitals around the country. Numerous records confirm the Bidens visited the hospital.

USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook and Twitter users who shared the post for comment.

First lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden greet patients at Children's National Hospital in Washington on Dec. 24, 2021.
First lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden greet patients at Children's National Hospital in Washington on Dec. 24, 2021.

Bidens did visit hospital

The Bidens' visit to the Children's National Hospital was widely documented. The first couple's trip was photographed, videotaped and recorded on the president's public schedule.

Many social media users assumed the visit was staged due to a sign for Seacrest Studios in the background of the Reuters video. But there is a Seacrest Studios location in the Children's National Hospital, as well as several other hospitals around the country.

The Ryan Seacrest Foundation, a nonprofit chaired by the media personality, established the Washington Seacrest Studios location in 2015. The studio aims to give children "an interactive space to explore radio, television and social media," according to the hospital's website. Children can participate in entertainment programs that are broadcast directly to patient rooms.

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Other Seacrest Studios locations include hospitals in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas, among other cities, according to the foundation's website.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that the Bidens faked a Christmas Eve children's hospital visit. Numerous records confirm the Bidens' visit to the Children's National Hospital. The visit took place in "Seacrest Studios," a room at the hospital typically used as a media interaction space for children.

Our fact-check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Bidens visited Children's National Hospital on Dec. 24