There is zero evidence that Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was caused by a COVID jab. But that hasn’t stopped the Internet from saying otherwise.
By: Michelle G. Sullivan
ANTI-VAXXERS HAVE HAD a field day cranking up the COVID-19 conspiracy machine with Damar Hamlin’s in-game cardiac arrest.
Within an hour of the tragic incident—which millions watched unfold on January 2 in real time on Monday Night Football—an avalanche of unfounded claims was already gaining momentum. The most common theme: Hamlin’s shocking collapse was caused by myocarditis—inflammation of the heart that can develop from various viral infections—with social media fearmongers pointing digital fingers at the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the BBC, the Center for Countering Digital Hate reported that online mentions of the anti-vax film Died Suddenly, which falsely blames the COVID vaccines for the deaths of young people, had quadrupled by January 4. Anti-vaxxers with broad platforms, including FOX News commentator Tucker Carlson, hinted at dark forces behind COVID vaccination on his January 3 program, calling those who endorsed its efficacy “witch doctors” who saw Hamlin’s injury as an opportunity to spread propaganda. “’It could not have been the shot,’ they told you,” Carlson said during the broadcast as he discussed the then-hospitalized athlete, before adding: “They’re lying.”
Carlson may comment on COVID vaccine safety without ever having earned a medical degree—he’s certainly not alone on that—yet top infectious disease doctors see it differently. “The COVID vaccine does work,” says Paul V. Williams, M.D., a retired immunologist from Seattle, WA., who is the newly appointed president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), who also chairs the organization’s COVID-19 Resource Task Force “It reduces the risk of getting infected, reduces how contagious vaccinated people are when they get it, and markedly reduces the risk of developing severe disease.”
So, let’s get the ball to the end zone here: Is there any indication that Hamlin suffered a reaction to the COVID vax that harmed his heart? We’ll share what’s known to date about his frightening health scare and encouraging recovery, examine the myocarditis rumor, and ask top experts to tackle other big league COVID vaccine myths…