Stand up for the facts!
Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
- There are no new autopsy reports tying Jeffrey Epstein’s death to COVID-19.
Ever since the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier accused of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, people who don’t believe he committed suicide in his jail cell have pushed theories that he was murdered.
A recent Facebook post floated a new cause of death, though.
"Breaking news," it said above a photo of Epstein. "New autopsy reports suggest Jeffrey Epstein most likely died from COVID-19 complications."
Some people commenting on the post expressed shock.
"This can’t be real," one commenter wrote. "They can’t really be tryna say that. Are they really… I mean really?"
After someone else suggested that the coronavirus has been in the United States for longer than has been reported, the commenter said: "Wow. At least we’re still right! He didn’t kill himself."
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.)
The official ruling on Epstein’s death has been challenged before.
In August 2019, the New York City medical examiner’s office concluded that Epstein hanged himself in his jail cell, the New York Times reported.
In October, a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother claimed that the evidence suggested Epstein didn’t commit suicide and may have been strangled. The findings were disputed by the city’s chief medical examiner, who stood by her office’s report.
On Jan. 5, 2020, "60 Minutes" reported on photographs from inside Epstein’s cell that "possibly raise more questions" about his death.
But we found nothing credible tying Epstein’s death to the coronavirus.
We rate this Facebook post False.
Facebook post, April 20, 2020
PolitiFact, Explaining the Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy theories linked to Trump, Clinton, Aug. 13, 2019
The New York Times, Epstein conspiracy theories: De Blasio, and others join speculation, Aug. 12, 2019
The New York Times, Epstein’s autopsy ‘points to homicide,’ pathologist hired by brother claims, Oct. 30, 2019
60 Minutes, Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy: A closer look, Jan. 5, 2020
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.