Andre Braugher’s Cause of Death Sparks COVID Vaccine Conspiracy

News that André Braugher has died has sparked a wave of unfounded conspiracy theories that his death was caused by a COVID-19 vaccine.

Braugher, the Emmy-winning star of such shows as Brooklyn Nine-Nine,Homicide: Life on the Street, and Men of a Certain Age, died on Tuesday at the age of 61 after a brief illness, his publicist Jennifer Allen confirmed. No further details were provided. Newsweek reached out via Allen’s website on Tuesday for comment.

Illinois native Braugher rose to fame in his role as Detective Frank Pembleton in the NBC drama Homicide: Life on the Street, which ran between 1992 and 1999. He scooped an Emmy Award for his role in 1998.

The revered actor’s storied career saw him most recently achieve immense popularity as the deadpan, no-nonsense Captain Raymond Holt in hit comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, starring alongside Andy Samberg for the show’s entire eight-season run. Braugher won two Critics Choice Awards and received four Emmy nominations for his role.

Born on July 1, 1962, in Chicago, Braugher earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and a Masters in Fine Arts from Juilliard.

In addition to his television work, Braugher also co-starred in the 2012 film Baytown Outlaws, Passengers in 2008 opposite Anne Hathaway, and in the 2007 Frank Darabont film The Mist, based on the novel by Stephen King.

Braugher leaves behind Ami Brabson—his wife of 32 years who also played his character’s wife on Homicide: Life on the Street—and their sons Michael, Isaiah, and John Wesley.

As fans flocked to social media to mourn Braugher’s death and discuss the joy he gave them through his varied roles, there was an immediate wave of cynicism from a number of vaccine skeptics.

Claims that COVID-19 vaccines cause health problems or increase the chance of death are often made by groups opposed to vaccination and used in conspiracy theories concerning supposed population control.

Many anti-vaccination activists have attempted to link deaths among athletes and other notable figures to being vaccinated—especially those who otherwise appeared healthy before having a cardiac arrest. The phrase “died suddenly” has become a dog-whistle for such assertions.

Linking Braugher to such unfounded claims, conservative TV and radio show host and conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root waded into the conversation by claiming he had seen an unprecedented number of deaths since 2021.

“Hollywood actors dropping like flies,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Does anyone bother to ask, ‘Was he vaxxed?’ It’s [a] hairless question. But like brain injuries w/NFL players, we need to know if there’s a pattern. I’ve never seen so many deaths. Ever. Only since vaxx in 2021. Pattern?”

“How many young or youngish people dying is enough before you pay attention?” another X user asked. “It’s not ghoulish to want to save other people from harm from this defective product. Rest in peace Andre Braugher.”

“André Braugher. Another vaccine victim. RIP,” one X user commented without proof, while another stated: “And another sudden young death …. good job they took the vaccine!”

“ANDRE BRAUGHER is just the latest CELEBRITY to die of MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS,” said another skeptic. “I have never seen so many People DYING like this. ONLY after COVID has it been this EPIDEMIC of Mutha****** DROPPING like FLIES. Every Week it’s a [surprise] Death!!”

“Very sad news. Andre Braugher dead after brief illness,” another wrote. “I’m sorry but the public has a right to know what these short illness are and the cause of these sudden deaths. Horrific never ending stream of people passing. This didn’t happen before not even during Covid did so many so young die.”

Amid the onslaught of unfounded speculation, a number of other X users hit back, with one commenting that they “loved Andre Braugher. May he RIP. Mention vaccines in the comments and get blocked, ghouls.”

Directly challenging one of the many X users speculating about Braugher’s death, another challenged: “Where is the proof that Andre Braugher died from the Covid vaccine? I did a quick search and couldn’t find that anywhere. So either produce proof or [be quiet].”

“My grandfather died younger than this from a ‘brief illness’ 30 years ago,” one wrote in response to another spreading speculation. “This isn’t a new term that never existed before 2020. If you think the public deserves to know what happened to him at all you are the most entitled idiot I’ve encountered today.”

Responding to media personality Root’s claims of seeing a spike in deaths in recent years, another countered: “You ever see those award shows that have a never-ending, scrolling ‘In-memoriam’ list every single year? This has been the case for decades in Hollywood, the sporting world, etc. It’s not a pattern. It’s life.”

“Sorry it doesn’t fit your sad, pitiful, indoctrinated narrative,” they added.

As of this past April, approximately 366,905,365 Pfizer vaccines had been administered in the U.S., according to Statista. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes the two mRNA vaccines—Pfizer and Moderna—as “safe and effective.”

The mRNA technology used to create the vaccines had been in development for more than 15 years before the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, and both the Pfizer and Moderna versions received full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

FactCheck.org, a nonprofit website that identifies misinformation in American politics, debunked the claims that COVID-19 vaccines have caused excessive deaths, as alleged by an anti-vaccine group, the Vaccine Damage Project.

Although there were “excess deaths”—a higher than expected number of mortalities across the population during a specific time period—in the U.S. in 2021 and 2022, these were linked to cases of COVID-19, along with increased deaths by drug overdose, alcohol and motor vehicle accidents. Many of the 1.3 million excess deaths from February 2021 to April 2023 were due to COVID-19, according to the CDC.

In May 2022, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, posted a screenshot on X from an FDA document that discussed adverse reactions to the Pfizer vaccine. She misinterpreted the page, suggesting that 1,223 people died after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

Although the reports confirm that 1,223 people died after vaccination, the cause of the death was not verified as being linked to the vaccine and was due to a number of reasons, with no “novel safety concerns or risks requiring label changes” found, according to the document.

On November 3, the FDA defended Pfizer against accusations that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was “contaminated.”

A representative told Newsweek: “With over a billion doses of the mRNA vaccines administered, no safety concerns related to the sequence of, or amount of, residual DNA have been identified.”

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This story was originally published December 13, 2023, 4:45 AM.

source: star-telegram

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