Did President Trump Say ‘People Are Dying Today That Have Never Died Before’?

A number of hoaxes have circulated amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Published 18 March 2020

Claim

Referring to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. President Donald Trump said, "People are dying today that have never died before."

Rating

Origin

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As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in countries around the world, U.S. President Donald Trump began holding regular press briefings to provide updates on the U.S. government’s response to the crisis. And in mid-March 2020, social media users claimed that during one of these public sessions Trump said, “People are dying that have never died before.” 


This does not appear to reference a real quote uttered by Trump, but instead a long-standing internet joke.

Noticeably, none of the social media posts claiming Trump made this statement included a video clip or other proof he said it, and that’s because there was none to show. We found no evidence that Trump said this during any recent public announcements about the coronavirus disease.

However, we did find that this quote has appeared on Twitter as far back as 2008:

We found no documentation proving Trump made this comment. (Nor any evidence that former Alabama Gov. George Wallace said it either.) We therefore rate this claim “False.”