An anonymous testimony from someone claiming to be a funeral director in the UK has been used online to claim that according to funeral homes, “the only ones dying” are those receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Reuters found no evidence to back up this allegation.
The article features an audio interview of someone identified only as “John”, who describes himself as a person in his 50’s and says he has been a UK-based funeral director for 15 years. This video has also been posted on Bitchute ( here ) and Facebook ( here ).
Reuters found no further news reports with similar statements attributed to funeral directors and was unable to identify the man in the video.
“I am not aware of any funeral director anywhere making claims that the only people dying are those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.” said Jessica Koth, Director of Public Relations at the U.S. National Funeral Directors Association ( here ) in an emailed statement to Reuters.
The NFDA also told Reuters in February 2021 ( here ) that the sheer number of coronavirus deaths has overwhelmed many U.S. funeral homes, with some family-owned businesses seeing the same number of deaths in a couple of months as they would normally handle in a year.
2020 UK DEATH TOLL
The interviewee also falsely says the death toll in the UK only started rising after the vaccination roll-out.
Provisional figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which registers information from England and Wales (not the whole UK) showed that 608,002 deaths were recorded in 2020 ( here ), the highest registry since at least 1990. Reuters previously addressed similar misleading claims here , here .
As Reuters explained here, COVID-19 cases in the UK were steadily rising when the COVID-19 vaccination program was initiated on Dec. 8, 2020 and deaths, which lag cases by a number of weeks, peaked later.
FUNERAL HOMES AROUND THE WORLD
The article also alleges that funeral homes “in many countries” did not see a rise in deaths or funerals until the first months of 2021. Reuters reporting at different stages of the pandemic in 2020 shows this is untrue.
Funeral homes, crematoriums, morgues and cemeteries were overwhelmed around the world as death tolls increased with COVID-19. Articles about Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Spain evidencing this can be seen here , here , here , here , here .
A Reuters graphic here documents how burial grounds and crematoriums in India massively increased their services during the country’s second wave of contagion early this year.
False. There is no evidence that funeral homes are saying “the only ones dying” are those taking the COVID-19 vaccine. In an interview, an unidentified person makes this and other false claims about the pandemic.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.