Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 12, 2020

No, this video doesn’t show a man dropping dead from COVID-19 in New York City

If Your Time is short

  • New York City Police say a man was taken to the hospital after falling and hitting his head. 
  • He was in stable condition and it was unrelated to coronavirus, according to police.

As the death toll from COVID-19 clears 4,000 people globally, a scary blog post claims that a man in New York City collapsed on the street and died because of the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

"NYC man drops dead in middle of street — suspected coronavirus!" the headline says. 

It shows an image of someone lying flat on their back on a sidewalk with a mask covering their mouth and nose. Another image shows what looks like a medic leaning over the person. A 15-second video clip shows the same scene. 

The post goes on to say that an Asian man wearing a surgical mask passed out in the middle of a crowded street in Flushing Queens before he was "rushed to the hospital" and "believed to have died."

"According to reports, the man was walking down the street, when he was suddenly overcome with a bout of coughing. He collapsed onto the floor, and after a few seconds, he stopped moving," it says. "Officers quickly arrived on the scene, but seemed unwilling to physically assist the man, perhaps out of fear."

Featured Fact-check

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

"This is not true at all," the New York City Police Department told PolitiFact in a statement. 

Though the blog post is undated, the department was able to identify the incident from the description and images. 

On March 3, officers responded to a 911 call to help a man in the department’s 109th precinct, which serves a northeast portion of Queens, including downtown Flushing and East Flushing. When officers arrived, they found a 25-year-old man who had lost consciousness and hit his head on the sidewalk. Medics brought him NewYork-Presbyterian hospital in stable condition. 

It was unrelated to the coronavirus, according to police. 

We rate this blog post False.


Our Sources

Blog post, visited March 11, 2020

New York City Police Department, 109th precinct, visited March 11, 2020

New York State Department of Health, Novel coronavirus (COVID-10), visited March 11, 2020

NYC Health, Coronavirus, visited March 11, 2020

Email from New York City Police Department, March 11, 2020


Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

No, this video doesn’t show a man dropping dead from COVID-19 in New York City

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up