Fake vaccine quote circulates after Betty White’s death

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Betty White

FILE – Actress Betty White poses for a portrait in Los Angeles on June 9, 2010. White will turn 99 on Sunday, Jan. 17. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

(AP/KXAN) — Despite a “news” article circulating on social media after TV icon Betty White’s death on Friday, the star did not receive a COVID-19 booster three days before she died.

Posters on Twitter and Facebook shared an image containing a quote reading, “‘Eat healthy and get all your vaccines. I just got boosted today.’ – Betty White, Dec. 28th, 2021,” alongside a link to an article in Minnesota news outlet Crow River Media, titled, “Betty White: I’m lucky to still be in good health.”

One post on Twitter shared the fabricated quote with a caption that reads, “Died 3 days later! Coincidence.” Some users also shared the booster claim without the quote. 

“How much do you want to bet Betty White got the booster and bam. Done. She was just saying how she was in good health,” writes one Twitter user.

But the article does not include that quote, and archived versions of the story stored by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine also do not mention COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Crow River Media did not immediately return a request for comment.

In a fact-check, the Associated Press reports the quote stems from a Dec. 28 article in People that included quotes from White given “a few weeks” before she passed away. The People article also does not mention boosters.

White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed to the AP that the quote attribute to White is entirely false.

“Betty never said this,” Witjas said in an email. Witjas also confirmed that White did not receive a booster on Dec. 28, though he did not comment on whether she received one at all.

Fact-checking site Snopes.com also reports White may never have even publicly spoken about COVID-19 or vaccines.

The cause of White’s death has not been made public. Witjas previously told the AP that she had been staying close to her Los Angeles home during the pandemic out of caution, but had no diagnosed illness. It was unclear if she died Thursday night or Friday, he said.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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