Donald Trump misunderstood the word “discharged” and thought Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson died of Coronavirus

It's said that White House officials had to stop the President from tweeting his condolences

US President Donald Trump reportedly believed that Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson had died from coronavirus.

According to a new report in The Courier-Mail, Trump mistook the meaning of the word “discharged” when Hanks and Wilson announced that they’d left hospital in Queensland, Australia after being diagnosed with Covid-19, believing that they had in fact passed away.

The report states that officials in the White House informed Trump that Hanks and Wilson had been “discharged” from the hospital, and feared that he was about to send a tweet offering his condolences to their family.


An Australian-based US embassy official then clarified with health authorities in Australia to confirm that Hanks and his wife were indeed alive.

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson arrives at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Hanks and Wilson are “feeling better every day” following their coronavirus diagnosis, Hanks’ sister Sandra has revealed in a new interview.

Talking to People, Sandra said: “Tom and Rita are doing very well and continue to recover. Their recovery is very much on course for healthy adults with this virus. They are feeling better each day.”

Last week, Hanks revealed the news that he and his wife had tested positive for Covid-19 while in Australia, where Hanks was working on his new film, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.


“We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” Hanks wrote at the time, announcing the diagnosis. “Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive.”

Elvis is one of a host of films having their release dates and production plans postponed due to the continued pandemic – see the full ongoing list here.