In a factcheck published by Politfact on January 4, 2023, they employ several fallacies of logic to claim that Damar Hamlin’s cardiac event was NOT caused by the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine(s). Politifact claims that conservative social media users suggested that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines contributed to Hamlin’s cardiac arrest and that these claims are proven to be “FALSE”.
PREMISE(S) PRESENTED BY POLITIFACT
PREMISE #1 PRESENTED BY POLITIFACT
Social media users (conservatives) used the incident to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines contributed to Hamlin’s heart attack.
First, Politifact sites an Instagram post by one of millions of social media users that reads…“Pfizer kills a black man on live TV and then tell us that we are not supposed to talk about it”.
Second, Politifact connects that Instagram post to a Twitter post by Charlie Kirk (founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative) who tweeted “This is tragic and all too familiar sight right now”.
Charlie Kirk was apparently referring to the fact that there has been an increase in athletes dying recently (last 2 years). Recent studies have, indeed, shown that there has been an increase in cardiac arrest in athletes over the past two years. This statement is not necessarily false. Kirk did not explicitly blame it on the COVID-19 vaccine. The Politifact fact checker appears to be deliberately facilitating a neuro-association between the false Instagram post and Kirk. This means that the Politifact factchecker wishes her (Madison Czopek) reader’s to believe that Kirk agrees with the Instagram post. This is what is known as a Red Herring argument and is fallacy of logic. The Instagram post is clearly false for two simple reasons. First, Hamlin did not die and secondly, as of yet, there is no evidence that proves that the COVID-19 vaccines played a role in his heart attack. Kirk did not say that Hamlin died nor did Kirk state that the COVID-19 vaccines played a role in the incident. By tying the false claim on the Instagram post to Kirk’s statement on Twitter, the Politifact author attempted to infer the two posts said the same thing. In fact, they do NOT say the same thing at all. Kirk made an observation and the Instagram post made two false claims. The two posts have nothing to do with each other. The only relationship is that both are about the Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. The factcheker was attempting to tie the false claim by one social media user on Instegram to conservative social media users in order to paint a perspective that conservative media users conclusively believe that Hamlin’s heart attack was caused by Pfizer. Thus, the first premise in the Politifact factcheck is a fallacy of logic (Red Herring). Therefore, it bares NO evidence that any well known conservative social media users have suggested that the COVID-19 vaccines are the cause of the recent increase in cardiac arrests seen in young athletes. For that matter, it proves nothing except one person made two erroneous statements on Instagram. More importantly it does NOT prove the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines did not play a role in Hamlin’s heart attack.
PREMISE #2 PRESENTED BY POLITIFACT
The documentary, “Died Suddenly”, is connected to the opinion that people are “dropping suddenly” and is part of an anti-vax narrative.
There is no reference by either Kirk on Twitter nor the false Instagram post about the documentary Died Suddenly. Therefore, Politifact is employing, yet another, fallacy of logic known as a straw-man argument. The straw-man fallacy the factchecker attempts to use is as follows:
Premise #1 There is a documentary made that claims people are dropping dead as a result of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
Premise #2 There are people believe that people are dropping dead as a result of the COVID-19 vaccines.
False Conclusion: People that believe there is an increase in athletes dying suddenly because of the documentary, “Died Suddenly”.
This is a fallacy of logic and a false argument and while is a structurally sound argument, it is not true. It is a classic straw-man argument and proves nothing.
PREMISE #3 PRESENTED BY POLITIFACT
The documentary “Died Suddenly” has been “debunked” and that there is no correlation between the COVID-19 vaccines and any increase in cardiac arrests.
Politifact claims to have debunked and disproved the documentary (Died Suddenly). Politifact claims they have provided proof that there is NO possibility that the COVID-19 vaccines are causing a rise in people dying suddenly. However, the factchecker did NOT provide any evidence as such in the article. The first problem is they are attempting to prove a negative. They are attempting to prove that something “did not happen”. Although, there are cases where a negative can be proved, this is not one of them. In the Politifact factcheck “Died Suddenly repeats debunked COIVD-19 vaccine claims, promotes conspiracy theory” they offer no facts but rather claims and opinions by experts. They do not reference any facts, data or links to studies that support the claims made by the alleged experts. The simply refer to an opinion of an alleged expert as a fact. Opinions and claims are NOT facts and therefor cannot prove or disprove anything without supporting details and evidence. The experts they refer to are: Katie McCarthy, Dr Yazan Abou-Ismail, Jessica Koth, and Ben Schmidt. All of these people make claims with no reference to actual facts but rather only their opinions.
In addition, Politifact attempts to “debunk” the documentary by discrediting a few other random individuals who are in the film. Politifact reference one person, Colette Baine, whom “may” have died of epilepsy. Again, with no supporting facts that she had epilepsy but rather just a claim. In addition, the Politifact factchecker points to a random unnamed person in the documentary that is shown fainting on a train. The clip lasts about 3 seconds and is placed there for effect and not as an example or proof that the COVID-19 vaccines are causing people to die suddenly. This is another Red Herring because even if Politifact was successful in discrediting some of the people in the documentary it does NOT prove the mRNA vaccines are NOT causing a rise in cardiac arrests.
RELEVANT FACTS PRESENTED BY FACTTREKER
RELEVANT FACT #1. The overall death rates are up on average by 20% around the world.
The graph above was published by the CDC and clearly demonstrates that the overall death rates have increased since the vaccine was distributed. The information contained within the CDC publications indicate that the “all cause death” rates have increased by about 15-20% of those seen before the vaccine was administered.
RELEVANT FACT #2 On December 17, 2022 an article was published by the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology entitled “Rational harm-benefit assessments by age group are required for continued COVID-19 vaccination.”
The article states that “From January 2021 to the time of writing, 1598 athletes suffered cardiac arrest, 1101 of which with deadly outcome. Notably, in a 38-years timespan (1966- 2004), 1101 athletes under the age of 35 died (~29/years) due to various heart-related conditions, 50% of whom had congenital anatomical heart disease and cardiomy- opathies and 10% had atherosclerotic heart disease with early onset.”
This means that as many or more athletes, under the age of 35, died in the last 2 years (2021, 2022) then did the previous 38 years combined. This would indicate a 15 fold increase in cardiac related deaths in the past 2 years. The vaccine began distribution in November 2020 (2 years ago).
This fact was checked by Facttreker on January 12, 2023, click here.
RELEVANT FACT #3 Pfizer has admitted that there are side effects were reported and that they often include heart issues as well as others.
In a press release dated November 19, 2021 the following side effects were reported by the Pharmaceutical company (Pfizer), as follows;
Side effects reported with the vaccine include:
- There is a remote chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction
- A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to 1 hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. For this reason, vaccination providers may ask individuals to stay at the place where they received the vaccine for monitoring after vaccination
- Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over the body, dizziness, and weakness
- If an individual experiences a severe allergic reaction, they should call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital
- Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart) have occurred in some people who have received the vaccine, more commonly in males under 40 years of age than among females and older males. In most of these people, symptoms began within a few days following receipt of the second dose of the vaccine. The chance of having this occur is very low. Individuals should seek medical attention right away if they have any of the following symptoms after receiving the vaccine:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart
- Additional side effects that have been reported with the vaccine include:
- severe allergic reactions; non-severe allergic reactions such as rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the face; myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle); pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart); injection site pain; tiredness; headache; muscle pain; chills; joint pain; fever; injection site swelling; injection site redness; nausea; feeling unwell; swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy); decreased appetite;diarrhea; vomiting; arm pain; fainting in association with injection of the vaccine
- These may not be all the possible side effects of the vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. The possible side effects of the vaccine are still being studied in clinical trials. Call the vaccination provider or healthcare provider about bothersome side effects or side effects that do not go away
RELEVANT FACT #4 Kirk did not say anything about COVID in the statement referenced by Politifact on Twitter.
RELEVANT FACT #5 Kirk did not mention anything about the documentary “Died Suddenly” in the Twitter post.
RELEVANT FACT #6 Kirk has no relationship the Instagram post and does not make any of the same claims.
It is the opinion of this author that Politifact has NOT proved that the vaccines did not play a role in Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. In addition, no one has proven that the COVID-19 vaccines did have a role in the cardiac arrest, either. In other words, the verdict is still out and the COVID-19 vaccines may or may not have played a role in the incident. What Mr. Eugene (this author) believes, is that Kirk was trying to convey that because it is a fact that over all death rates are up around the world combined with publications that seem to indicate athletes under 35 are experiencing a 15 fold increase in cardiac incidents since the vaccines began being administered, perhaps there should be open debate and more investigations. Politfact did NOT prove that the vaccines did NOT play a role in Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. In fact, they proved nothing at all. The entire piece is filled with fallacies of logic and misrepresentations. We are going to have to wait and see what the medical community has to say and we may never be able to prove one way or the other what happened to Hamlin. In short, there is not enough factual information to determine whether the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines played a role in Hamlin’s heart attack or not.