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Betty White did not say “I just got boosted today” days before she died. The quote circulating on social media is fake, her agent confirmed to PolitiFact.
Betty White, the Emmy-winning star of "The Golden Girls" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" whose career and celebrity extended into old age, died Dec. 31, 2021. She was just weeks away from turning 100.
White’s death inspired countless tributes. But on social media, it also prompted a familiar anti-vaccine narrative that falsely linked her death and the COVID-19 vaccines — much like the baseless rumors that took off after the deaths of baseball legend Hank Aaron, boxer Marvin Hagler, rapper DMX and other celebrities.
The purported White quote is fabricated.
"Totally false statement," Jeff Witjas, White’s agent, said in an email to PolitiFact.
Facebook posts sharing the quote were flagged as part of the platform’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
This image, shared widely on Facebook Jan. 1, featured a fake Betty White quote about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Some of the Facebook posts included a link to an article on crowrivermedia.com, a website operated by MediaNews Group, a Denver-based newspaper publisher.
But the crowrivermedia.com article does not quote White as saying she had just received the COVID-19 booster shot. Neither does the Dec. 28 People magazine cover story about White on which the crowrivermedia.com article was based.
The cause and manner of White’s death had not been made public as of Jan. 3. Witjas previously told People she "died peacefully in her sleep at her home early this morning."
Unsupported and false claims blaming the COVID-19 vaccines have routinely cropped up in the wake of celebrity deaths, even though the vaccines have proven to be safe.
"You can get a COVID vaccine and still die from something else," Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, previously told PolitiFact.
Since the quote is fabricated, we rate these Facebook posts Pants on Fire!
NewsGuard, "MediaNews Group Newspaper Network," accessed Jan. 3, 2022
The Associated Press, "Fake vaccine quote circulates after Betty White’s death," Jan. 3, 2022
Snopes, "Did Betty White Say She Got COVID Booster 3 Days Before She Died?" Jan. 2, 2022
LAPD PIO on Twitter, Dec. 31, 2021
People, "Betty White Dies: The Golden Girls and Mary Tyler Moore Show Star Was 99," Dec. 31, 2021
US Weekly, "Betty White’s Cause of Death Appears to Be Natural Causes," Dec. 31, 2021
Crowrivermedia.com, "Betty White: I'm lucky to still be in good health," Dec. 28, 2021
PolitiFact, "Fact-checking unproven claims that rapper DMX suffered heart attack after getting COVID-19 vaccine," April 12, 2021
Email correspondence with Jeff Witjas, agent for Betty White, Jan. 3, 2022
Phone correspondence with the Los Angeles Police Department, Jan. 3, 2022
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