Courtesy of NNPA Newswire

SciCheck Digest

American sportswriter Grant Wahl died unexpectedly while covering the soccer World Cup in Qatar, and purveyors of vaccine misinformation have suggested that his death was caused by COVID-19 vaccination. He actually died from the rupture of an aortic aneurysm that he didn’t know he had.

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Grant Wahl, an American sportsjournalist, died of an aneurysm while covering the soccer World Cup in Qatar. He was 49.

Wahl collapsed during the quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands on Dec. 9, but his cause of death wasn’t reported until five days later, after the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office had performed an autopsy.

In the meantime, social media accounts that spread vaccine misinformation shared posts suggesting that his death was caused by the COVID-19 vaccine, despite having no evidence to support the claim.

Many of the posts referred to a long-standing, but unfounded, claim that the COVID-19 vaccines have been causing individuals — primarily young people and athletes — to die suddenly. We recently wrote about a viral video called “Died Suddenly” that relied on the same rumor to spin a wide-ranging conspiracy theory about world depopulation.

But there’s no evidence that Wahl died from a vaccine. Rather, he died from “the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium,” his wife, Dr. Céline Gounder, wrote in a post on his Substack on Dec. 14.

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