Former American Idol contestant C.J. Harris died on Jan.15 of what has been reported as a sudden heart attack. He was just 31. His death has reignited the debate about the covid-19 vaccine and potential heart problems that might be caused by it.
Harris died in Jasper, Alabama. According to the county’s coroner, Joey Vick, Harris arrived at the Walker Baptist Medical Center suffering from health distress. He died shortly after CPR was performed on him, Newsweek reported. Harris’ family members told TMZ that he died of a heart attack.
Born on Jan. 28, 1991, Harris auditioned in 2014 in Salt Lake City for American Idol, singing “Soulshine” by The Allman Brothers. All three judges on the panel–Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr.–voted “yes,” moving him to the next round. Harris finished in sixth place during the 13th season of the competition show.
Some on social media suggested that Harris died because of the vaccine. His cause of death has yet to be confirmed. Nor has it been confirmed that he was vaccinated.
“All these young people dying of heart problems and we got grown ass adults acting like it isn’t the vaccine. The weirdos think the climate is doing this. RIP brother, society failed you,” Prince Carlton, author of “Black Masculinity: The 40 Lessons,” tweeted.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a possible connection between Pfizer’s bivalent booster shots and ischemic strokes in people who are 65 years and older. However, health officials said that an investigation revealed that it is “very unlikely” that the shots pose any clinical risks of such strokes, Newsweek reported.
An ischemic stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.
And, heart attack deaths have increased sharply among young U.S. adults during the second year of pandemic, The Press Herald reported. Research from scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that while the number of covid-19 infections surged during the pandemic, deaths from heart attacks rose sharply as well, with adults ages 25-44 experiencing the most significant increases.
“The dramatic rise in heart attacks during the pandemic has reversed what was a prior decade-ong steady improvement in cardiac deaths,” said Dr. Yee Hui Yeo, first author of the study and a Cedars-Sinai physician-scientist. “We are still learning the many ways by which COVID-19 affects the body, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or race.”
Another study, this one by the Smidt Heart Institute, found a link between a debilitating heart condition commonly called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS, and covid-19, and, to a lesser extent, a novel link between the same condition and COVID-19 vaccination.
The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Cardiovascular Research. The study noted that a small percentage of patients vaccinated against covid-19 may develop postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS. Additionally, the investigators also found that people diagnosed with covid-19 are five times more likely to develop the same cardiac condition after infection than after vaccination, emphasizing the importance of the vaccine, Cedars Sinai reported.
C.J. Harris attends FOX’s “American Idol XIII” finalists party at Fig & Olive Melrose Place on February 20, 2014 in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)