Rumors swirled on Twitter Thursday night about the passing of Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). The congressman's chief of staff, Michael Collins, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the rumors were false, that Lewis is fine.
“It’s only rumors,” Collins told The AJC. “He is resting comfortably at home.”
Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC), however, had taken to Twitter to memorialize Lewis.
"Words cannot do John Lewis Justice because everything he did was in the service of Justice," Adams said in a now-deleted tweet, The Daily Wire reported. "He gave everything – including his blood and his body – to the Movement. It was an honor to make ‘good trouble’ with John in the House, and I will miss both my friend and the man himself.”
Once it was confirmed that Lewis is still alive, Adams deleted her tribute tweet and issued an apology.
We deeply regret a previous tweet based on a false news report. https://t.co/na2nYmPScf— Alma S. Adams (@RepAdams) July 11, 2020
The rumor caused quite the stir with figures on the left.
One of the sad artifacts of this wretched era: out here hoping the president of the United States makes no comments about national hero John Lewis as we pray for him, because God only knows what he’d say. Even if his staff managed to craft a serviceable statement, he has Twitter.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 11, 2020
Congressman Lewis has not passed. Please stop sharing this and continue to keep him in your prayers. While he is battling so much he remains on the frontlines for us. In our gratitude, let’s keep him lifted & our words true ????— brittany packnett cunningham does not do remixes. (@MsPackyetti) July 11, 2020
Love y’all. https://t.co/T8NuEjIBcT
A top Democratic aide tells me that reports that Congressman John Lewis has died are FALSE.— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) July 11, 2020
Some CBC members have tweeted that John Lewis has passed, but his office says that is not true and he’s resting at home— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 11, 2020
It's unclear how the rumors started, but HBCUBuzz, a blog focused on historically black colleges and universities, and Adams had both shared the rumor that Lewis was dead. HBCUBuzz went back and deleted their article and tweets.
The 80-year-old has been voting by proxy since he's at home battling advanced-stage pancreatic cancer.