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President Donald Trump listens a meeting with nurses in the White House on March 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP/Brandon) President Donald Trump listens a meeting with nurses in the White House on March 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP/Brandon)

President Donald Trump listens a meeting with nurses in the White House on March 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP/Brandon)

Bill McCarthy
By Bill McCarthy March 19, 2020

No, Trump didn’t say, ‘People are dying who have never died before’

If Your Time is short

  • We searched a number of databases and found no evidence that Trump, on March 18, said, “People are dying who have never died before.”

The spread of the novel coronavirus has put President Donald Trump on TV screens across the nation as the White House task force gives regular press briefings on the U.S. response.

We’ve documented many of his remarks. But Trump never said that "people are dying who have never died before," despite what a number of social media posts have claimed.

One Facebook post, which said Trump made the comment on March 18, was flagged as part Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We searched Google, Nexis and Factba.se, an interactive transcript website that tracks Trump’s public comments. We found no mention that "people are dying who have never died before."

We also checked the official White House and C-Span transcripts for Trump’s midday press briefing with the White House task force and his afternoon press briefing following a meeting with nurses, both of which occurred March 18. We saw nothing there, either.

Finally, we found no tweets on the president’s account that included the made-up quote in question. Nor did we find any deleted Trump tweets on Politwoops, a database of deleted political tweets maintained by ProPublica, a nonprofit journalism organization.

Other fact-checkers also found no proof that Trump made the comment.

We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire!

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No, Trump didn’t say, ‘People are dying who have never died before’

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