Then-Vice President Joe Biden and Stephanie Carter in the viral image. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden, facing scrutiny for his public displays of affection with women after an allegation of inappropriate conduct, was defended Sunday by a woman whose image with him went viral.

In a Medium post titled "'The #MeToo Story That Wasn’t Me," Stephanie Carter said the image of Biden's embrace of her from behind as she watched her husband, Ash Carter, being sworn in as then-President Barack Obama's defense secretary in 2015 was "misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends."

Details: Referring to the image that went viral again this week in her post as "that picture," Carter wrote, " The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful." She explained she had slipped on snow that day and was feeling nervous at the swearing-in ceremony:

By the time then-Vice President Biden had arrived, he could sense I was uncharacteristically nervous- and quickly gave me a hug. After the swearing in, as Ash was giving remarks, he leaned in to tell me “thank you for letting him do this” and kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support. But a still shot taken from a video — misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends — sent out in a snarky tweet — came to be the lasting image of that day.

The backdrop: Nevada Democrat Lucy Flores alleged that Biden leaned in to smell her hair at a campaign event and kissed her on the head at a campaign event in 2014. Biden said in response he did not believe he had acted inappropriately.

The latest: Flores said in an interview on MSNBC with host Kasie Hunt was not alleging Biden sexually assaulted her. "It is an invasion of my personal space," Flores said. "It is a clear a clear invasion of my bodily autonomy to not be touched, unless I give you permission to touch it."

Go deeper: Joe Biden addresses inappropriate touching allegations

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Mary Trump book: How she leaked Trump financials to NYT

Simon & Schuster

In her new memoir, President Trump's niece reveals how she leaked hordes of confidential Trump family financial documents to the New York Times in an effort to expose her uncle, whom she portrays as a dangerous sociopath.

Why it matters: Trump was furious when he found out recently that Mary Trump, a trained psychologist, would be publishing a tell-all memoir. And Trump's younger brother, Robert, tried and failed to block the publication of "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man."

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 11,691,068 — Total deaths: 540,062 — Total recoveries — 6,349,542Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 2,963,244 — Total deaths: 130,813 — Total recoveries: 924,148 — Total tested: 36,225,015Map.
  3. 2020: Biden releases plan to strengthen coronavirus supply chain.
  4. Congress: Trump administration notifies Congress of intent to withdraw from WHO.
  5. Public health: Fauci says it's a "false narrative" to take comfort in lower coronavirus death rate.
  6. World: Brazil's President Bolsonaro tests positive— India reports third-highest case count in the world.
41 mins ago - Health

Fauci: "False narrative" to take comfort in lower coronavirus death rate

Anthony Fauci testifies in Washington, D.C., on June 30. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci said at an event with Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Tuesday "that it's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death" from the coronavirus in the U.S., warning: "There’s so many other things that are dangerous and bad about the virus. Don’t get into false complacency."

The big picture: The mean age of Americans currently being infected by the virus has declined by 15 years compared to where it stood several months ago. This has been one contributing factor in the lower death rate the U.S. has experienced during the recent surge in cases, since "the younger you are, the better you do, and the less likely you're gonna get seriously ill and die," Fauci said.