Anti-vaccine activists have spent the past few days spreading lies about Betty White, the beloved actress who passed away at 99 years old on Dec. 31. But contrary to internet rumours, Betty White didn’t die after getting a COVID-19 booster shot.
“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,” White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, told Yahoo Entertainment.
“She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicized — that is not the life she lived,” Witjas continued.
And while Witjas confirmed White died of natural causes, he did not comment to the Associated Press on whether White had ever gotten a booster shot. Either way, the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be both safe and effective.
Anti-vaccine scumbags started the conspiracy theories almost immediately after she died, claiming White got a COVID-19 booster shot on Dec. 28, just a few days before her death. Screenshots circulating on Facebook include a link to something called “Crow River Media,” where the claim appears, but there’s no evidence the original article included the claim about a booster.
The Facebook claim included a fake quote from White that reads, “Eat healthy and get all your vaccines. I just got boosted today.”
COVID-19 vaccine booster shots do seem to be making a big difference in whether people who contract the disease become seriously ill from the newly emerged omicron variant. People who received a Moderna booster, for example, saw a 37-fold increase in neutralising antibody levels.
The U.S. reported a record number of new infections on Monday, with over a million cases seen for the first time in history. The U.S. saw 1,045,968 cases to be precise, a number that’s likely artificially high due to a backlog of cases piled up over the New Year holiday.
The seven-day average for new cases, an arguably more accurate way to track infections is currently at 494,660 — still an astonishingly high number. The country also reported 1,343 new deaths from the disease on Monday.