Pictures of the White House apparently illuminated in red on Oct. 1 have spread across various social media platforms.
For example, a post on Gab, a platform similar to Twitter, set off speculation in the comment section as to possible reasons, including a claim that it is a sign of the “Red October” QAnon conspiracy, where “patriots” will take over the White House and return former President Donald Trump to power.
Others have claimed it was done to commemorate China’s National Day, which also falls on Oct. 1.
As of writing, the post has 1,221 likes, 351 comments, and 611 reposts.
A Facebook post with a similar claim of Trump’s reinstatement has accumulated more than 3,000 likes, 551 comments, and 760 shares since Oct. 2.
All these claims are misleading, however. The White House was lit up in pink, not red in fact, to launch Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the country.
On Sept 30, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a presidential proclamation marking the beginning of the annual campaign. Since 1990, every administration has signed a similar proclamation around Oct. 1.
In a Facebook post on Oct. 1, first lady Jill Biden wrote, “The White House was illuminated in pink to start #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth.”
There are also videos from NBC Chicago and Fox 5 showing the iconic symbol of the U.S. government turning pink this year, which has become customary in October more than a decade ago (see, for example, this official image in 2008 or this CBS article in 2010).
Ribbons in pink color are the symbol of breast cancer awareness.