After President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump confirmed their COVID-19 diagnosis early Friday, many began sharing a purported photo from “The Simpsons” which features the current POTUS. The image in question circulating on social media shows a cartoon version of the president lying in a coffin.
The problem is it’s fake.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
The true origin of the image reveals it never appeared on an episode of the animated TV program, which has been known to often predict future events. Snopes confirmed that the image of Trump was fan-made and was never a storyline on the Fox series despite “Simpsons” and the image trending on Twitter on Friday.
The Simpson’s have NOT lied to us YET… _ pic.twitter.com/EWrl3661F6
— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) October 2, 2020
The fake image first began circulating in 2017, Distractify reported. It is believed to have originated from a thread in a 4chan.org forum, though the original creator of the image is unknown. The photo has also been wrongly credited to The Huffington Post in the past due to a watermark featuring the outlet’s name, but the report indicated that this is also untrue.
While the current trending image is not from the show, “The Simpsons” has been credited with predicting historical events in the past. A 1993 episode shows many Springfield residents contracting a flu-like virus, similar to the coronavirus, after someone in Japan coughs into a shipping box that is sent to Homer, Distractify reported. The episode also featured riots and murder hornets.
“The Simpsons” co-writer Bill Oakley told The Hollywood Reporter back in March that the comparison of the episode to the coronavirus was “nefarious.” He claimed the episode was based on the Hong Kong flu of 1968.
“It was meant to be absurd that someone could cough into a box and the virus would survive for six to eight weeks in the box. It is cartoonish. We intentionally made it cartoonish because we wanted it to be silly and not scary, and not carry any of these bad associations along with it…” Oakley said.
“The idea that anyone misappropriates it to make coronavirus seem like an Asian plot is terrible. In terms of trying to place blame on Asia — I think that is gross.”