The claim: CNN reported Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was due to COVID-19 booster
“Doctor of Damar Hamlin confirms Cardiac Arrest was due to the 4th Booster Vaccine,” reads the purported CNN headline.
The post garnered more than 80 likes in a day and was also posted on Facebook.
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Our rating: Altered
The image in the post is fabricated. A CNN spokesperson confirmed the headline is not authentic. While Hamlin did suffer cardiac arrest, there is no evidence it was related to a COVID-19 vaccine or booster – a claim his agent has said is “ridiculous.”
CNN headline altered
The headline shown in the Instagram post was not published by the outlet, CNN spokesperson Sydney Baldwin told USA TODAY in an email.
“This is a fabricated image,” she said.
USA TODAY found no evidence of an article bearing the purported headline on the CNN website.
However, the photograph, byline and timestamp shown in the altered image match an actual CNN article about Hamlin being discharged from the hospital. The article says the 24-year-old football player spent more than a week in the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game.
“No cause of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest has been publicly announced,” reads the article, which does not mention COVID-19 vaccines or boosters.
USA TODAY has previously reported that there is no known link between the COVID-19 vaccine and Hamlin’s cardiac event. Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, told USA TODAY claims linking the two are “ridiculous.”
USA TODAY reached out to the Instagram user who shared the post for comment.
Our fact-check sources:
- Sydney Baldwin, Jan. 19, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- CNN, Jan. 11, Damar Hamlin discharged after spending more than a week hospitalized due to a cardiac arrest
- USA TODAY, Jan. 12, Fact check: No proof of link between Bills player Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, COVID-19 vaccine
- Associated Press, Jan. 18, CNN didn’t publish story linking Damar Hamlin collapse to vaccine
- Reuters, Jan. 18, Fact Check-Fabricated CNN headline reports Hamlin’s cardiac arrest caused by COVID-19 booster
- PolitiFact, Jan. 19, Headline about Damar Hamlin’s doctor connecting cardiac arrest to COVID-19 vaccine is fake
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: CNN headline about Damar Hamlin cardiac arrest was digitally altered