Rumors swirling about the cause of death of TV legend Betty White were decidedly debunked by her agent who asserted her passing should “not be politicized.”
The 99-year-old award-winning actress with a decades-long entertainment career died Friday at her home. But false social media posts seemed to attempt making a connection with a COVID booster shot that White allegedly had days before she died.
Jeff Witjas, White’s agent and friend punched holes in the rumors in a statement to People magazine on Monday.
“Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home,” he said. “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.”
“She never said that regarding the booster. Betty died of natural causes. She did not have the booster three days before she died,” he added.
According to a fact-check by the Associated Press after the false stories began:
THE FACTS: Days after Betty White’s death at the age of 99 was confirmed on Friday, social media users are falsely claiming “The Golden Girls” star had received a COVID-19 vaccine booster on Dec. 28, using a bogus quote to suggest her death may have been related.
Posters on Twitter and Facebook shared an image containing a quote reading, “‘Eat healthy and get all your vaccines. I just got boosted today.’ – Betty White, Dec. 28th, 2021,” alongside a link to an article in Minnesota news outlet Crow River Media, titled, “Betty White: I’m lucky to still be in good health.”
“Betty never said this,” Witjas told AP in an email, confirming that White did not receive a booster on Dec. 28.
The actress would have turned 100 on January 17.
Betty White’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ❤️
📸: Erinn Pierce pic.twitter.com/b5CBY3gknt
— peace1 💙🇺🇸 (@peace1) January 3, 2022
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Witjas told People on Friday. “I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don’t think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again.”
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