FACT CHECK: Did Tom Hanks Die From COVID-19?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Instagram claims actor Tom Hanks died from COVID-19.

Verdict: False

Hanks did not die from COVID-19. The inaccurate claim previously circulated on social media after Hanks’ COVID-19 diagnosis last year.

Fact Check:

Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted COVID-19 in Australia in March 2020 as Hanks was filming a movie, according to The New York Times. The two quarantined in the country after they were diagnosed with the illness.

A March 17 Instagram post features a screen grab of a March 2020 article claiming Hanks died from the coronavirus while in Australia. The article purports a Queensland spokesperson confirmed Hanks death to “News 24.” (RELATED: No, Tom Hanks Was Not Arrested For Pedophilia In Australia)

There is no evidence, however, that Hanks died from the coronavirus. Had the famous actor died, media outlets would have certainly reported on it, yet searches on DuckDuckGo and Google turned up no news reporting of Hanks’ alleged death.

Hanks was active on his verified social media accounts in May 2020, two months after the article claimed he died. More recently, he was quoted in a March 15, 2021 Major League Baseball column, calling baseball a “game to be loved,” further adding to the Instagram post’s dubiousness.

Hanks and Wilson returned to the U.S. March 27, 2020 after quarantining in Australia for two weeks, USA Today reported. Both were vocal on Twitter about their recovery and donating plasma in April 2020.

The claim, which was originally debunked in 2020, appears to be recirculating on social media a year after Hanks’ diagnosis. The screen grabbed article in the Instagram post was originally published on The Daily Star. At the bottom of the web page is a disclaimer reading, “This is satire.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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