May 6, 2020 / 2:53 PM / 24 days ago

False claim: Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson died from COVID-19

Social media users have been sharing posts online that claim American actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have died from COVID-19. This claim is false. Hanks and Wilson are safe after recovering from the disease.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Examples of the false claim can be seen here and here . Most posts include one or two screenshots from supposed news articles about the duo.

Some false claims about Hanks’ death come from a now-deleted article from March 13, 2020 ( archive.vn/saOTj ). The article comes from a website called News24 found at “the-daily-star.com”, which has a disclaimer saying it is a satirical website.

Some false claims about Wilson seem to come from a now deleted March 13 fake article ( archive.vn/piSwY ).

Another version of this claim shows a newspaper clipping with a customized headline ( here ) produced with an online tool that generates fake newspaper snippets.

The couple was in Australia earlier this year to begin filming a movie that Hanks is set to star in. Hanks tweeted on March 12 that both he and his wife had tested positive and isolated themselves ( here ).

On March 23, Hanks posted a positive message on Twitter explaining the couple were on the mend ( here ). They returned to Los Angeles on March 27 and were photographed on arrival ( here ).

Rita Wilson appeared on air with Ryan Seacrest on May 4 and spoke about surviving COVID-19. She discussed donating plasma to UCLA ( here ). Tom Hanks shared his experience donating plasma on Twitter ( here ). Both Wilson and Hanks have been active on Twitter sharing information about their illness and recovery ( twitter.com/RitaWilson, twitter.com/tomhanks ).

VERDICT

False. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson recovered from COVID-19; these claims stem from fake or satirical sites.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .​

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