Fact check: Marjorie Taylor Greene didn’t say ‘people are dying who have never died before’

The claim: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said, ‘people are dying who have never died before’ 

A popular quote about people dying, often misattributed to politicians, is now being credited by social media users to U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has faced criticism from other lawmakers over some of her past remarks. 

Greene, R-Ga., has promoted the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, compared COVID-19 safety guidelines to the Holocaust and claimed the Parkland, Florida, school shooting was staged.

However, the freshman congresswoman didn’t say “people are dying who have never died before,” despite what is being shared on social media. 

That was the claim in a June 4 Facebook post with more than 1,700 shares. Another user attributed the quote to Greene in a June 4 tweet with more than 16,000 likes. 

Similar versions of the claim have made their way to different Facebook group pages. But there is no evidence Greene ever made the statement. It traces back to 20th century writer Ernest Hemingway and is frequently misattributed. 

TODAY reached out to the social media users for comment. 

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No evidence of statement

There is no evidence Greene publicly said “people are dying who have never died before.” Greene’s communications director Nick Dyer told USA TODAY in an email that the claim is “totally fake.” 

The comment does not appear on Greene’s personal Twitter account or on her official Twitter page. It also does not show up on ProPublica’s Politwoops database, which tracks deleted tweets by elected officials. 

There is no record of the phrase in any of Greene’s releases, her website or in the Congressional Record. 

This is not the first time Greene has been misquoted in social media posts. In February, USA TODAY debunked social media users who misattributed a decades-old quote about Jesus speaking English to Greene. 

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Phrase is frequently misattributed

Similar variations of the phrase have been previously attributed to politicians, including President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and former Alabama Gov. George Wallace. 

But none of them ever made the statement. The quote dates to the 1930s, when it appeared in a letter from Hemingway to his friend Strater. 

In his biography of literary figure Glenway Wescott, author Jerry Rosco writes that Hemingway frequently repeated the phrase, and it “greatly annoyed” his wife. Hemingway is also quoted saying “people are dying that never died before” in Mary Hemingway’s autobiography, “How It Was.” 

Hemingway jokingly used this phrase after observing how many of his friends died, according to Nancy W. Sindelar, author of “Influencing Hemingway.” 

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Our rating: False

The claim that Greene said “people are dying who have never died before,” is FALSE, based on our research. There is no record of Greene making the comment, and her office confirmed that the claim is not true. The phrase traces back to Hemingway and has been previously misattributed to other politicians. 

Our fact-check sources: 

  • Nick Dyer, June 9, email exchange with USA TODAY
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, accessed June 10, personal Twitter page
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, accessed June 10, official Twitter page
  • ProPublica Politwoops, Jan. 2, Deleted Tweets From Marjorie Greene, R-Ga. 
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, accessed June 10, Press Releases
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, accessed June 10, congressional website
  • Congress.gov, accessed June 10, Congressional Record advanced search
  • USA TODAY, Feb. 5, Fact check: Decades-old quote misattributed to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
  • USA TODAY, Sept. 6, 2020, Fact check: Ernest Hemingway quote falsely attributed to Joe Biden
  • FactCheck.org, March 20, 2020, Death Quote Wrongly Attributed to Trump
  • Carlos Baker, June 3, 2003, “Ernest Hemingway Selected Letters” 
  • Jerry Rosco, March 23, 2010, “Glenway Wescott Personally: A Biography” 
  • Mary Hemingway, Aug. 12, 1976, “How It Was” 
  • Nancy W. Sindelar, May 8, 2014, “Influencing Hemingway” 

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