WASHINGTON — After Buffalo Bills lifeguard Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field during a game in Cincinnati, rumors circulated that the COVID-19 vaccine contributed to his collapse. now deleted tweet.
On Monday, Rep. Colin Allred, Dallas-Dallas, tweeted a screenshot of a tweet from conservative actor Kevin Sorbo that read: “It’s weird how these healthy athletes started falling erratically… it must be climate change.” In the screenshot, Ted Cruz quoted Sorbo’s tweet with a thoughtful emoji.
As of Tuesday, the tweet had not appeared on Cruz’s twitter.
Hints that Damar Hamlin’s injury was caused by a vaccine are a new low even for Ted Cruz. I’m not surprised he removed it.
Damar’s injury and recovery has shown the athletic ability to bring us together and our capacity for compassion. Something Ted Cruz will never understand. pic.twitter.com/R6yQAfMOOe
— Colin Allred (@ColinAllredTX) January 9, 2023
“The hint that Damar Hamlin’s injury was caused by a vaccine is a new low even for Ted Cruz. I’m not surprised he deleted it,” Allred wrote on Monday. “Damar’s injury and recovery has demonstrated the athletic ability to bring us together and our capacity for compassion. Something Ted Cruz will never understand.”
Cruz has long been a vocal critic of COVID-19 vaccines and the mandatory use of masks.
“They had no scientific basis, no data to back it up,” Cruz said in the October episode of his podcast The Verdict, referring to vaccine recommendations from federal officials and mandates to the military, federal employees and contractors. “It was politics. It wasn’t science. It wasn’t a cure.”
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2023, which Biden signed into law in late December, included ending the military’s mandate for a COVID-19 vaccine. Cruz also introduced a proposal to reinstate and pay wages to military personnel discharged by the military for refusing to vaccinate, but the proposal fell through in the Senate.
Cruz’s spokesman said Tuesday the senator fought to ensure that health care decisions are not made by individuals and their doctors, rather than by government bureaucrats. The spokesman said Cruz is proud to have led the fight against vaccine mandates in the military and will continue to fight for the reinstatement of any member of the military who has been punished for not receiving a vaccine for COVID-19.
Allred, a former linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, told CNN Sunday that every NFL player goes to every game “praying to go through this game well because we know it’s a brutal game.”
“These are big, fast, strong men. And there was a strange accident that I think shook the country, shook the world. It’s the other side of football,” Allred said, according to CNN’s transcript of the interview.
After Hamlin collapsed, some social media users speculated that the COVID-19 vaccine contributed to his cardiac arrest.
Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative non-profit Turning Point USA, tweeted: “It’s a tragic and all too familiar sight now: Athletes suddenly fall.”
Now it is a tragic and all too familiar sight: athletes suddenly fall.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 3, 2023
Liz Wheeler, a conservative political commentator, tweeted a series of statistics, writing that since January 2021, there have been “1,598 cardiac arrests in athletes. 69% of them are fatal. (The average rate of heart disease in athletes prior to vaccination was 29 per year.) “Science” ignores this. That’s why people ask questions.”
1 in 5,000 young men have heart problems due to COVID-vax.
Annual cases of commotia cordis? ~ 15. (RARE over 20 years).
Since January 2021, 1,598 athletes have experienced cardiac arrest. 69% are fatal.
(The average rate of heart disease in athletes prior to vaccination was 29 per year.)
“Science” ignores this.
That’s why people ask questions.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) January 3, 2023
As of Tuesday, the official cause of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest has not been released to the public, and while the NFL has reported that 95% of its players have been vaccinated as of February 2022, Hamlin’s vaccination status is unknown, according to Politifact. No one close to the Hamlin case suggested that vaccines were to blame.
In June, Cruz fought back when Sesame Street’s Elmo, the beloved 3.5-year-old Muppet, received a COVID vaccine.
“Thank you, @Sesame Street for saying that parents are allowed to ask questions!” Cruz tweeted. “Then you have @elmo actively advocate for the vaccination of children UNDER 5 years of age. But you don’t provide ANY scientific evidence for that.”