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Video of Nancy Pelosi's Gestures During State of the Union Viewed 1.5M Times

Newsweek 3/2/2022 Gerrard Kaonga
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gavels in prior to U.S. President Joe Biden delivering his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. Pelosi caused confusion after a peculiar reaction during Biden's speech. © Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gavels in prior to U.S. President Joe Biden delivering his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. Pelosi caused confusion after a peculiar reaction during Biden's speech.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has caused confusion with her reaction to a moment during President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

Biden was speaking about the dangers soldiers faced in Afghanistan and Iraq when Pelosi's response to this topic sparked debate on social media. Biden said one of the dangers was soldiers breathing in toxic smoke from burn pits while at their bases.

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At this moment, Pelosi began to rise to her feet while rubbing her knuckles together and smiling. Applause can also be heard from the crowd.

This moment has been viewed over 1.5 million times after being posted on multiple Twitter accounts. Some people in the comments questioned whether it was an appropriate response while other people chose to mock the House Speaker.

Senior Digital Strategist Greg Price posted one of the videos circulating on Twitter. He captioned it: "What the hell is this reaction from Nancy Pelosi to Biden talking about soldiers breathing in toxic smoke from burn pits."

Biden received a loud applause during his speech as he said he and his administration were dedicated to supporting war veterans.

"Veterans are the backbone and the spine of this country, they are the best of us," Biden said in his address.

"I have always believed that we have a sacred obligation to equip all those we send to war and care for them and their families when they come home. My administration is providing assistance with job training and housing, and now helping lower-income veterans get VA care debt-free.

"Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan faced many dangers. One was stationed at bases and breathing in toxic smoke from "burn pits".

At this point Biden received a weaker round of applause and Pelosi can be seen standing while rubbing her knuckles.

He continued: "I have been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan over 40 times. These "burn pits" that incinerated wastes of war, medical and hazard material, jet fuel and so much more.

[Then they come home] many of the world's fittest and best-trained warriors in the world, never the same. Headaches, numbness, dizziness. A cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin."

At this point, Republican Representative Lauren Boebert heckled the president and seemingly made a reference to the troops who died during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Boebert shouted, "You put them in. Thirteen of them," which resulted in light booing and Biden pausing before continuing his speech.

Undeterred, Biden began speaking about his son, Major Beau Biden who died of cancer on May 30, 2015, at 46. He said he did not know if it was a burn pit that cause his son's cancer but added he was determined to find out everything he could.

Newsweek has contacted the Pelosi's Office for comment.

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