Twenty-four-year-old National Football League player Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, is in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital after collapsing on the field with cardiac arrest during a game against the Bengals on Jan. 2.
His medical emergency sparked a debate about the covid 19-vaccine and professional athletes, with some blaming the vaccine for his cardiac arrest.
It is unknown if Hamlin was vaccinated against covid-19, as he has never publicly stated his vaccination status. According to the NFL, nearly 95 percent of NFL players are vaccinated.
One of the first to connect his cardiac arrest to the vaccine was conservative activist Charlie Kirk, who is known for his comments fueling anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Kirk claimed that the collapse of Hamlin fits in a series of recent incidents involving “athletes dropping suddenly,” which Kirk said has become an “all too familiar sight right now.,” Newsweek reported.
Kirk is the founder of conservative youth activist organization Turning Point USA (TPUSA) and its affiliate Turning Point Action (TPA).
On Jan. 3, the Bills stated: “Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals,” the Bills announced via a statement. “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.”
Hamlin was given CPR on the field, and more than 15 minutes passed from the time Hamlin collapsed to when he was taken off the field, Yahoo reported. As of Jan. 3, it was announced by the league that his vitals are back to normal and he has a breathing tube. Tests are currently being run by doctors.
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Scientists and medical experts have been examining the effects of the vaccine. In a report published in April and entitled “Increased emergency cardiovascular events among under-40 population in Israel during vaccine rollout and third COVID-19 wave,” scientists examined the effect of the vaccine on the heart.
The study, published by Scientific Reports, was authored by Christopher L. F. Sun, a visiting assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management; Eli Jaffe, a Ph.D. student in theoretical computer science at UCLA; and Retsef Levi, a professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
The report found that cardiovascular adverse conditions are caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) infections and reported as side-effects of the covid-19 vaccines. The authors used a unique dataset from Israel National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from 2019 to 2021 and evaluated the association between the volume of cardiac arrest and acute coronary syndrome EMS calls in the 16–39-year-old population with potential factors including covid-19 infection and vaccination rates. According to the report, “An increase of over 25 percent was detected in both call types during January–May 2021, compared with the years 2019–2020.”
There has been other evidence presented about the vaccine and heart problems. Prominent London-based cardiologist Aseem Malhotra had initially been pro-vaccine, but after detailing heart problems caused by the vaccine, he has done an about-face.
“There is a strong scientific, ethical and moral case to be made that the current COVID vaccine administration must stop until all the raw data has been subjected to fully independent scrutiny,” Malhotra wrote in his second of two editorials for Journal of Insulin Resistance, as reported by CardiovascularBusiness. “Looking to the future the medical and public health professions must recognize these failings and eschew the tainted dollar of the medical-industrial complex. It will take a lot of time and effort to rebuild trust in these institutions, but the health—of both humanity and the medical profession—depends on it.”
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin (3) leaves the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Dec. 1, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)