Fact check: Tom Brady’s post on suicide and COVID-19 deaths is false, experts say

TJ Macias
·2 min read

Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady took time out of his busy NFL schedule on Tuesday to post a controversial story on Instagram. The story, claimed that death by suicide has caused more deaths than COVID-19 in the past two months.

More suicide deaths than coronavirus deaths last two months,” Brady wrote. “So wash your hands and wear your masks but don’t forget to be nice to people and look after yourself.”

While the post has either since expired or was deleted, according to Yahoo Sports, multiple people on social media and outlets were able to take screen grabs of the quote.

It was PolitiFact, a website that calls out misinformation that’s operated by the Poynter Institute, labeled Brady’s claim as false.

“No, suicides have not out paced COVID-19 deaths,” the website said. “In an average month, about 4,000 people die from suicide. In the month of June, over 19,000 people died from the coronavirus. In the past 30 days, nearly 22,000 people died. Researchers say there is no way that the rate of suicide could increase so rapidly.”

PolitiFact said they reached out to Brady to ask where his information came from, but have yet to hear back.

In March, President Donald Trump stated that “tremendous death” of depressed individuals losing their jobs would occur if the economic shutdown continued, ABC reported.

According to the Washington Post, suicide rates did not change during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Suicide rates did not budge during the stay-at-home advisory period (March 23 until a phased reopening began in late May) in Massachusetts, which had one of the longest such periods of any state in the nation,” physician and Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. Jeremy Samuel Faust wrote in the Post recently.

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2018, with more than 48,000 deaths, according to the National Institute of Health.

As of Tuesday, at least 226,982 people in the U.S. have died this year of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Who to call

If you or someone you know is thinking about self harm, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It’s available 24/7.