FALSE: DO NOT SHARE
Pope Francis and two aides have tested positive for COVID-19.
False. Tests were carried out in Vatican City, but the Pope and his closest aides did not test positive.
The website Making Comments Meaningful (MCM) published an article claiming that the Pope and two of his aides had tested positive for coronavirus: “The Vatican has confirmed in a statement that Pope Francis and two of his aides have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.”
Speculations arose when Pope Francis was seen coughing and blowing his nose at the Ash Wednesday service on 26 February 2020. A YouTube contributor shared the claim, and referred to the MCM article in his video.
This is false. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni has refuted the claims, stating on 28 March 2020 that when tests were conducted on 170 people in Vatican City, six showed positive, and that “neither the Holy Father nor his closest aides are among these”.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni in Reuters ‘Pope and closest aides do not have coronavirus – Vatican’
Origins of Claim
FULL TEXT OF CLAIM
“I don’t know if MCM News is bull crap or not, it probably is, but the chances are that the pope probably does have the virus cause he was very sick and they’re not saying anything around it other than that he’s in a slight indisposition”.