St. Thomas 𑁋 A rumor stating that former Governor Roy Lester Scheider passed this weekend began circulating and was swiftly debunked by friends and family. Scheider, who served the U.S. Virgin Islands as the fifth elected governor from January 5, 1995, to January 4, 1999.
He was the fifth elected governor of that territory and the 26th overall, serving during a time when the territory had just begun self-governing. While the source of the rumor remains unconfirmed, it’s highly likely it began circulating in a WhatsApp group chat as casual melee among residents.
Friends and family on social media took offense to the rumor, saying that the former governor was alive and well. Senator Sarauw took to social media to scold residents for spreading the rumor and specifically called out those who refused to remove the post after they were corrected about the hoax.
“Don’t post RIP to the former Governor and when you are corrected, you still keep the post up,” Sarauw wrote. “It’s irresponsible and tasteless to all including his family. Point. Blank. Period.” As the rumor made its way to social media, residents quickly learned that Schneider was in fact, alive and well. Residents sharing the information were encouraged to remove posts and retract comments that could keep the hoax circulating.
The Roy Lester Schneider Regional Medical Center was named in his honor based on his accomplishments as a physician in the territory. Schieder was born on St. Thomas on May 13, 1939, now 80 years old — he is a member of the Independent Citizens Movement.