Billionaire Elon Musk appears to have removed a Community Note from his own tweet on Tuesday that promoted anti-vax beliefs.
In response to the news that NBA superstar LeBron James’ 18-year-old son suffered a cardiac arrest, Musk suggested that the COVID-19 shot could be responsible. James’ son, Bronny, was at basketball practice at USC and was rushed to the hospital before being declared in stable condition.
“We cannot ascribe everything to the vaccine, but, by the same token, we cannot ascribe nothing,” Musk tweeted. “Myocarditis is a known side-effect. The only question is whether it is rare or common.”
A Community Note was quickly placed under Musk’s tweet to correctly note that “the risk of myocarditis is significantly higher after an actual Covid infection than with the vaccine,” according to the Yale School of Medicine
“Among adolescent boys, the risk of myocarditis following a Covid infection was approximately twice of the risk following the second vaccine dose,” the note continued.
Bronny’s vaccination status and medical history regarding COVID are unknown. Doctors have not said that Bronny had been suffering from myocarditis either. But Musk’s immediate suggestion that the vaccine was likely responsible speaks to the billionaire’s conspiratorial leanings.
Not long after the Community Note appeared, however, it was removed from Musk’s tweet. X, the new name for Twitter, has not released a statement on the removal. Musk has not commented on the removal either.
Musk’s remarks were quickly picked up by right-wing outlets including Fox News, who similarly made a connection between Bronny’s medical incident and the vaccine.
Fox News host Martha McCallum likewise stated that “myocarditis is a side effect of the vaccine” while fellow host Laura Ingraham claimed that myocarditis seemed to be on the rise.
Studies have found no association between out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, which is what Bronny suffered, and the COVID vaccine. Again, neither the James family nor any medical professionals have stated that Bronny had ever been diagnosed with myocarditis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that vaccine-induced myocarditis affects no more than 0.01% of men between the ages of 18 and 29.