VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Actor Chuck Norris did NOT die of COVID-19

American actor and martial artist Chuck Norris has been made a victim of another death hoax, this time claiming he died of COVID-19.

This is not true. There are no news reports supporting the claim that the veteran actor has tested positive for the disease, or that he has died.

A Filipino netizen published the fabricated post on June 28, which has gained 81 reactions, 30 comments and 153 shares, with most of its viewers believing the false claim.

One of the earliest copies of the post could be traced to India-based Facebook (FB) page நம்ம ஊரு கோபிசெட்டிபாளையம் as early as June 23. It used a 2003 photo of Norris from Getty Images, carrying a warning that read: “If a strong man can died (sic) of the disease what more us? Stay home, stay safe.”

Fact-checking organizations Politifact, Snopes and Lead Stories also debunked similar claims of Norris’ “death” in May and early June, but it turned out that the posts were only a joke.

The 80-year-old actor is no stranger to death hoaxes. In 2012, a scam made the rounds on social media and claimed the “Walker, Texas Ranger” star died at 71. It was fact-checked by NBC News, which found out that the link to the fabricated story tried to phish personal information from readers.

The fake post by the Filipino netizen, who described himself in his profile as a source of “updated news - for TRUTH SEEKERS,” surfaced less than a month after the hoax on Norris made the rounds in other countries.

One reader shared the fabricated post to five public FB groups: We Love You Philippine Air Force…, PAF Flying School, IMPINOY, TEAM BBM UNITED - Negros Occidental Chapter, and bbm pag asa ng bayan (BBMPB).

The page நம்ம ஊரு கோபிசெட்டிபாளையம் was created on April 13, 2018.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)


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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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