Why anti-COVID vaccine rhetoric is on rise after American football star’s sudden collapse on field



It has develop into fairly widespread for conspiracy theorists to solid doubts on any sudden superstar deaths or accidents. The same state of affairs is being performed out after American football star Damar Hamlin immediately collapsed on the field on Monday evening (2 January).

Cincinnati Bengals broad receiver Tee Higgins’ helmet had hit Hamlin within the head and chest space, however the Buffalo Bills security was capable of arise after the deal with. However, he collapsed quickly, as per Vice News.

Informing in regards to the incident, the Bills stated in an announcement on Twitter that Hamlin “suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition”.

In a well being replace offered by his docs on Thursday, the 24-year-old NFL security is now awake and speaking along with his medical staff, Reuters reported.

Even although the supply of Hamlin’s sickness stays unknown, anti-vaxxers have grabbed the chance to hyperlink his collapse to COVID-19 vaccines.

Why has misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines unfold after Damar Hamlin’s collapse? What are consultants saying in regards to the anti-vaxxers’ claims? Let’s take a more in-depth look.

COVID misinformation surges

Soon after the football star’s collapse, social media was flooded with anti-vaccine rhetoric.

Charlie Kirk and Rogan O’Handley, who Rolling Stone describes as “far-right conspiracy theorists”, have been fast to fan flames of anti-vaccine theories.

“This is a tragic and all too familiar sight right now: Athletes dropping suddenly,” Charlie Kirk, who leads the youth group Turning Point USA, stated in a tweet, which has garnered 11.9 million views as of Friday.

Claiming he acquired a textual content from a “former NFL player” who drew an affiliation between COVID-19 inoculation and sudden coronary heart assaults, O’Handley wrote on Twitter, “So many current & former players are scared of what this vax is doing to their friends & they’re not allowed to discuss it publicly… This is horrible”.

His tweet has 2.Four million views as of Friday.

“Everybody knows what happened to Damar Hamlin because it’s happened to too many athletes around the world since COVID vaccination was required in sports,” former Newsmax correspondent Emerald Robinson tweeted.

Promoting anti-vaccination sentiments, Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote on Twitter: “Before the covid vaccines we didn’t see athletes dropping dead on the playing field like we do now… Time to investigate the covid vaccines.”

The verified Twitter deal with of the documentary Died Suddenly, which was launched in November final yr, additionally commented on Hamlin’s collapse, claiming such incidents involving athletes have been uncommon earlier than 2021.

“This is becoming an undeniable (and an extremely concerning) pattern,” the movie’s account stated, including a sequence of syringe emojis.

How anti-vaccine rumours started?

Dr Esther Choo, an emergency drugs doctor, wrote for MSNBC that the narrative of a spike in athletes collapsing most likely started after it was discovered that there is “a real, but small, increased risk of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, particularly among young men, after mRNA vaccines”.

These anti-COVID vaccine rumours skyrocketed after the collapse of Danish football star Christian Eriksen through the European football championships in June 2021.

Soon after, influential accounts began blaming COVID vaccines.

After misinformation and hypothesis in regards to the collapse unfold like wildfire, it was revealed that the midfielder was not vaccinated in opposition to COVID on the time of the incident.

Moreover, the declare that younger and wholesome athletes by no means collapsed immediately earlier than COVID vaccines has been debunked earlier.

A US examine that noticed athletes over 4 years found that many unexplained deaths have been attributable to cardiac arrest, and this was extra widespread in male and African-American gamers, BBC reported.

Around 100 to 150 sudden cardiac deaths are reported in America every year throughout aggressive sports activities, one other examine from 2016 claims.

Explained Why antiCOVID vaccine rhetoric is on rise after American football stars sudden collapse on field

Damar Hamlin collapsed throughout a sport on Monday evening. AP

ALSO READ: Why do super-fit, younger athletes undergo cardiac arrests?

What do consultants say?

Public well being consultants have warned that the widespread misinformation on COVID vaccines has come at a time when the an infection is as soon as once more excessive within the US and the federal government has urged folks to take booster photographs.

Notably, Elon Musk-owned Twitter ended its COVID misinformation coverage in November final yr.

COVID-19 misinformation “does actually kill people who take it seriously,” Naomi Smith, a sociologist at Federation University Australia, was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.

“It is a problem that has a ripple effect in society,” she added.

Imran Ahmed of the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) – a non-profit marketing campaign group primarily based in London and Washington – advised BBC, “Anti-vax lies are deadly and platforms must stop allowing dedicated spreaders of disinformation from abusing their platforms and the trust of other users”.

Dr Paula Cannon, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology on the University of Southern California, says the conspiracy theories proceed to multiply, though COVID vaccines have been confirmed “extraordinarily safe.”

“What is it with these feeble-minded people who cannot hold unpleasant truths in life in their head for one minute, who have to turn everything into some magical alternative explanation?” Cannon advised Rolling Stone.

“Of course, it’s not the vaccine. It’s the fact that he was hit in a football game,” the professor added.

As per Rolling Stone, Cannon additionally asserted that myocarditis doesn’t trigger cardiac arrest, including that “it’s massively more common for people who have COVID than for people who have the COVID vaccine.”

Experts advised CNN and NBC News that Hamlin’s collapse may have occurred from commotio cordis.

Choo defined within the MSNBC article that commotio cordis is a phenomenon whereby “ventricular fibrillation — an irregular heart rhythm that prevents life-sustaining blood flow — is provoked by a blunt blow to the sternum”.

In a sequence of tweets, heart specialist Khalid Aljabri elaborated how the blow to Hamlin’s chest could have “triggered ventricular fibrillation”, resulting in his collapse.

Jeanine Guidry, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor who researches well being misinformation and vaccine hesitancy, stated that for folks looking for faults with COVID vaccines, Hamlin’s sudden collapse labored to justify their beliefs.

“This happened to a person in the prime of their life, on primetime television, and the people watching didn’t immediately know why,” she advised Associated Press (AP).

“We like to have clear answers that make us feel safer. Especially after the last three years, I think this is coming from fear and uncertainty,” Guidry said.

With inputs from companies

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