Weeks after blaming NFL safety Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on COVID-19 vaccines, right-wing media personalities decided to train their latest anti-vaxx conspiracy theories on an MSNBC anchor who just returned to work following a health scare.
After being “out of commission” for a month, Yasmin Vossoughian returned to the air this weekend and informed MSNBC viewers that she’d suffered from myocarditis after battling a cold—resulting in a lengthy hospital stay.
The 44-year-old host, who said she runs regularly and maintains a healthy lifestyle, described the “nightmare” of dealing with inflammation around her heart, which was brought on by “a literal common cold.”
During the Jan. 28 broadcast, Vossoughian interviewed her cardiologist Dr. Greg Katz, who went into more detail about the causes of myocarditis and how the rare condition can develop from a mild viral disease. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns over myocarditis and pericarditis have been on the rise, especially among younger patients.
“Myocarditis is rare, but when it occurs, it is most commonly caused by an infection in the body. Infections from viruses (most common, including those that cause the common cold, influenza or COVID-19), bacteria, fungus or parasites can lead to myocardial inflammation,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Nevertheless, anti-vaxxers and right-wing media personalities immediately jumped on Vossoughian’s case to suggest she got sick from the vaccine.
“Fully healthy MSNBC host, who has received all her covid shots despite covid offering her zero risk, tells MSNBC viewers she got a very serious case of myocarditis from a common cold,” conservative radio host Clay Travis tweeted on Tuesday.
Travis, who sold his right-wing sports website Outkick to Fox in 2021, has long been a leading figure in the COVID truther movement. Unsurprisingly, he also helped lead the misinformation campaign of baselessly claiming Hamlin’s on-field collapse was tied to COVID vaccines.
We know what’s happening
— Lisa Boothe 🇺🇸 (@LisaMarieBoothe) January 31, 2023
Self-described “classical liberal” podcaster Dave Rubin, who’s repeatedly boasted about being unvaccinated in his never-ending quest for MAGA acceptance, asserted that Vossoughian was deliberately lying about her condition to push a narrative.
“Absolutely incredible. Vaxxed MSNBC host now has myocarditis, but blames it on the common cold,” he wrote on Twitter. “I wish her well, but this is seriously insane gaslighting.”
Other social-media influencers who’ve accumulated tens of thousands of followers by peddling vaccine alarmism and disinformation also jumped at the opportunity to mock the MSNBC host, suggesting she was in the pocket of Big Pharma.
“MSNBC Host Yasmin Vossoughian Develops Myocarditis and blames it on the common cold,” far-right account The Dirty Truth tweeted. “Do you think @yasminv is really this dumb or is she just dedicated to MSNBC sponsor Pfizer?”
“It’s my belief that within 3-5 years the people who took the poison will be gone, or will be bed ridden from a common cold,” Huff declared. “I don’t say this to be mean…but the elites don’t hide the fact they want population control. And what better way than a shot that slowly kills.”
MSNBC and reps for Vossoughian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Anti-vaxxers have long glommed onto the fact that a small number of myocarditis cases have been reported after mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations. For more than a year now, the anti-vaccine community—using the hashtag #DiedSuddenly—has tried to link the deaths of young athletes (or just about anybody) to the shots—despite the fact that there’s no surge of athletes dying.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though, have noted that vaccines are a very rare cause of this heart condition.
“Data from multiple studies show a rare risk for myocarditis and/or pericarditis following receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines,” according to the CDC’s website. “These rare cases of myocarditis or pericarditis have occurred most frequently in adolescent and young adult males, ages 16 years and older, within 7 days after receiving the second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).”
And the American Heart Association conducted an extensive study last year that found COVID-19 infections cause a far greater risk for myocarditis than vaccinations.
Of course, none of this has ever stopped the anti-vaxx grift machine from churning.