On July 21, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden announced he tested positive for COVID-19. Shortly after that news broke, an image supposedly showing a statement from former President Donald Trump about Biden’s health status started to circulate on social media.
The line “No one wants Kamala!” was apparently a reference to the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris taking over the Oval Office if Biden’s condition worsened. (So far, the White House said Biden was experiencing “mild symptoms” from the coronavirus.)
Despite the the virality of the statement — the Twitter account for actor Kevin Sorbo shared a screenshot of it, and the phrase “Disney Hercules” emerged as a trending phrase on that platform — this was not a genuine message from Trump. For that reason, we have rated this claim “False.”
Fake Trump statements remain quite popular on social media, as of this writing. We’ve previously covered fake statements that supposedly showed Trump calling his former Vice President Mike Pence a “dog,” insulting podcast host Joe Rogan, and criticizing Liz Cheney in a Father’s Day message.
Trump typically releases statements to members of the media via email. These statements are then posted to Twitter, a social media platform that the former president is no longer allowed to access. (Trump was banned from many social media platforms in the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.) In other words, many people encounter real statements by the former president from secondary sources (for example, journalists’ tweets), giving opportunity for digital fabrications like the one displayed above to successfully convince people that the former president said something he didn’t.
We receive Trump’s emails, and we have not received any messages in which he wished Biden a speedy recovery because “no one wants Kamala [Harris]” as president. We also searched Trump’s Truth Social account for similar commentary, and came up short. As of this writing, it doesn’t appear that Trump has said anything about Biden’s COVID-19 diagnosis.