Fact Check

No, President Trump Wasn't 'Pronounced Dead'

Turns out presidents aren't exempt from celebrity death hoaxes.

Published June 29, 2020

 (Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
U.S. President Donald Trump was "pronounced dead" on June 27, 2020, and the media is covering it up.

In late June 2020, social media users shared an apparent celebrity death hoax targeting U.S. President Donald Trump. The post originated on the mobile video app TikTok and features a fake New York Times article claiming that Trump died of a drug overdose on June 27, 2020.

The following screenshot from that post also circulated on other social media platforms:

trump death hoax

Trump is not dead, and The New York Times did not report that he was.

For starters, if the president of the United States had died it would be a major news event. Notably, there are no credible news outlets reporting it. Trump is also more personally active on social media than any of his predecessors and, as of this writing, Trump is still posting to his Twitter account.

Furthermore, Paul Krugman, whose byline is on the fake article, is an economist, and though he pens regular opinion columns for The New York Times, he isn't a breaking news reporter. It is highly unlikely Krugman would be assigned this sort of breaking news story.

Celebrity death hoaxes are frequent fixtures online. Other targets have included actor Chuck Norris, WWE wrestler Big Show, and singer Demi Lovato.


Palma, Bethania. "Did COVID-19 Kill Chuck Norris?"   Snopes.com. 18 May 2020.

Palma, Bethania. "Celebrity Death Hoax: WWE’s ‘Big Show.’"   Snopes.com. 26 December 2016.

Mikkelson, David. "Demi Lovato Death Hoax."   Snopes.com. 2 August 2018.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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