According to a report in The Courier-Mail, President Donald Trump nearly tweeted that actor Tom Hanks had died from coronavirus after misunderstanding reports that the actor had been “discharged” from care at an Australian hospital.
Trump had been prepared to tweet about Hanks’s death until Australia-based United States embassy officials informed Australian health authorities that Hanks was in fact still alive. An Australian health official confirmed to U.S. officials that Hanks was not only alive but recovering after contracting the coronavirus.
On March 12, Hanks confirmed that he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, had tested positive for coronavirus amid the global pandemic white shooting filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis in Queensland, Australia. They were quarantined at an area hospital, released on March 16, and are still recovering in self-isolation.
Hanks and Wilson have maintained their good humor throughout the ordeal; a recent social media update from Hanks mentioned that while “the symptoms are much the same,” he and Wilson have passed the time with writing and games of gin rummy.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) March 17, 2020
President Trump has been repeatedly derided for false or misleading statements surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in over 9,000 deaths worldwide, including 155 Americans according to the most recent count. The number of deaths has grown significantly over the last week amid heightened criticism of the federal government’s response.