Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who briefly went into cardiac arrest after taking a hit during an NFL game in January, revealed his diagnosis on Tuesday while announcing his return to the NFL. But conspiracy theorists are refusing to let go of their unfounded belief that the COVID-19 vaccine was to blame.
While announcing that he’d been cleared by doctors to once again take the field, Hamlin said that he had officially been diagnosed with commotio cordis. The condition occurs when a blow to the chest takes place during a specific part of the cardiac rhythm, often causing the heart to stop beating.
The findings are unsurprising for many medical professionals, who argued that commotio cordis was likely the culprit following Hamlin’s injury. Yet despite the diagnosis, conspiracy theorists continue to point the finger at the vaccine, which they have blamed for countless other injuries and deaths in recent months.
Some users attempted to analyze Hamlin’s remarks before baselessly claiming that his speech patterns indicated that he wasn’t being truthful about the cause of his injury.
“Here is the moment where #DamarHamlin announced his #CommotioCordis diagnosis,” one conservative user wrote. “He struggles to get it out, using ‘Uhh’” and ‘Ummm.’ He also uses qualifiers like ‘basically’ and ‘pretty much.’ And after he’s finished, his speech becomes much more fluid and natural. Thoughts?”
Others were much more adamant in their belief that the football player had been damaged by the vaccine.
Some users went several steps further by claiming that Hamlin had actually died on the field and was replaced by a clone.
“The cover up and flat out lies surrounding Damar Hamlin shows you the length Big Pharma and the government will go to hide how deadly this death shot is,” a right-wing user wrote. “If that’s even really Damar, the entire family was PAID OFF.”
Stew Peters, a notorious conspiracy theorist known for regularly spreading misinformation on Twitter, also gave credence to the clone theory.
“BREAKING: the guy who says he’s Damar Hamlin blames commotio cordis for his on-field collapse and says he’s been cleared to resume football activity,” Peters said.
Hamlin is just one of countless high-profile figures that conspiracy theorists have used to advance their anti-vaccine beliefs.