Betty White’s agent debunks bogus anti-vaxxer claims that she had a COVID booster shot 3 days before her death
Since her death at the age of 99 on December 31, 2021, Betty White has been the subject of a nonsense conspiracy theory by far-right anti-vaxxers — who have claimed or implied that the famous television actress/comedian died from a COVID-19 booster shot she received only three days before her death. But the bogus conspiracy theory has been totally debunked by The Dispatch.
White, born in the Chicago suburbs on January 17, 1922, was famous for her roles on popular television sitcoms like “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” — and she was less than a month away from what would have been her 100th birthday. The conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers who have been implying or claiming that a COVID-19 booster shot played a role in her death have been posting a screenshot of White that reads, “Eat healthy and get your vaccines. I got my booster today.”
The Dispatch’s Alec Dent explains, “The quote is allegedly from an article published on the website of CrowRiverMedia, which was based on an interview White did with People Magazine. Neither piece includes a reference to White getting her booster shot, and there’s no record of her ever saying the quote in question.”
Written by journalists Liz McNeil and Dory Jackson, the People Magazine article was published on December 28, 2021— which was three days before White’s death. People had interviewed White only a few weeks before she died, and she told the publication, “I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age. It’s amazing.”
Asked about her diet, White jokingly told People, “I try to avoid anything green. I think it's working.”
As Dent noted, there is no mention of White getting a COVID-19 booster shot in the People article.
White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, spoke to The Dispatch and discussed the posts claiming or implying that a COVID-19 booster shot played a role in her death. Witjas told The Dispatch that the posts are “totally false” and that she “did not have a booster three days prior to passing.”
Witjas also spoke to Yahoo Entertainment, saying, “Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home. People are saying her death was related to getting a booster shot three days earlier but that is not true. She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicized; that is not the life she lived.”
White’s career in television spanned more than 70 years, starting with the variety show “Hollywood on Television” in 1949. Her own variety show, “The Betty White Show,” aired on NBC from 1952-1953.
Following White’s death, President Joe Biden issued a statement describing her as a “cultural icon who will be sorely missed.”
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