Skip to content

Correcting this week’s misinformation: week of January 5, 2023

Athlete cardiac events

The Claim:

Even before Damar Hamlin experienced a cardiac event during the Bills versus Bengals football game, a new article had been circulating claiming that cardiac events in athletes had increased markedly in 2022, and those deaths could only be attributed to vaccination.

The Facts:

Sudden Cardiac Death in athletes is a rare but serious event, even in the times before COVID and the COVID vaccine. Since COVID, there has been an increase in the awareness of these types of deaths, with much of the blame being falsely put to vaccines. But these deaths did occur prior to COVID vaccines, and COVID itself can cause heart complications among athletes.

The “Good Sciencing” article (which we would argue does not employ good science, but rather any number of logical fallacies), lists a number of people who have died in the past year, including someone who died after crashing through a window and was found 30 meters from his home, and a former basketball player who had been living with limited functionality in his heart the last few years after surviving heart attack that left him in a weeks-long coma. How Good Sciencing came to conclude that these deaths are clearly indicative of vaccine injury is anybody’s guess.

In the same vein, Damar Hamlin experienced a cardiac event after receiving a blow to the chest. While the cause has not yet been determined, experts believe it is likely something called commotio cordis, a very rare disruption of the heart rhythm caused by an impact to the chest, which can be fatal without immediate medical intervention. Athletes with perfectly healthy hearts can suffer because it happens due to the blow to the chest that disrupts the electric signals regulating the heart’s rhythm.

New variants

The Claim:

“Are vaccines fueling new COVID variants?” asks the Wall Street Journal.

The Facts:

Viruses mutate by their very nature. Some mutate faster than others, but they all mutate. Suggesting that vaccines cause mutations, however, demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of viral mutation in the first place.

The opinion piece in the WSJ opens, “The virus appears to be evolving in ways that evade immunity.” While the premise is accurate –that the virus is evolving to evade immunity– the conclusion does not follow that vaccines are causing the virus to mutate. As the article points out, a research paper in Nature states COVID’s “rapid and simultaneous emergence of multiple variants with enormous growth advantages is unprecedented,” meaning that COVID itself mutates rapidly, and has displayed the propensity to do so even before vaccines were ever released.

The virus doesn’t mutate because we are vaccinated, the virus mutates because that is its nature, and those mutations that end up with an advantage are the ones that will be able to infect human cells and replicate there. The successful variants are the ones that develop to evade immunity — and that’s any immunity, not just vaccine-induced immunity.

Safety signals

The Claim:

A new document making the rounds claims to show hundreds of “safety signals” found but hidden by the CDC.

The Facts:

This article, published by the Epoch Times (a publication rated “Unreliable, Problematic” by ad fontes media) is trying to claim that they uncovered hidden data identifying hundreds of safety signals to show that the mRNA COVID vaccines are unsafe.

First, they use VAERS data to make claims that the vaccine is dangerous. As they concede, VAERS data “passive reporting system that accepts reports from anybody,” and that many are “healthcare professionals, who were told during the pandemic they were required to lodge reports if post-vaccination issues cropped up.”

Anybody can make a report, regardless of their understanding of their situation and whether the event resulted from the vaccine or was just a coincidence. Likewise, healthcare professionals were told to report any severe adverse event, which by definition is any event that occurs after a vaccine regardless of causation. Because the authors conceded these points, their use of the data anyhow shows that they make their argument in bad faith.

To fuel the idea that this data was damning, they claim the CDC his the results of statistical analysis. However, all raw VAERS data is readily available on the VAERS website. That’s where they found it.

Just the Facts Newsletter:

Correcting this week's disinformation

Sign up to get a weekly look at the latest vaccination facts as we debunk the latest false vaccination claims making the rounds on the internet.

Back To Top