Hammerin’ Hank’s COVID-19 Vaccination: A “Double-Edged Sword”?

Hammerin’ Hank’s COVID-19 Vaccination: A “Double-Edged Sword”?

When baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron was given a COVID-19 vaccination at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 5, 2021, it came across as an event meant to encourage other people, particularly African-Americans, to also get vaccinated. Shortly after getting Moderna’s experimental mRNA-1273 vaccine, Aaron told The Associated Press, “[Getting vaccinated] makes me feel wonderful. I don’t have any qualms about it at all, you know. I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this. It’s just a small thing that can help zillions of people in this country.”1 2

Aaron also tweeted:

I was proud to get the COVID-19 vaccine earlier today at Morehouse School of Medicine. I hope you do the same!1

Legacy of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments

Many within the African-American community are reportedly wary of the COVID-19 vaccines as a result of a history of abuse against people of color by the U.S. government, notably the Tuskegee syphilis experiments. As part of these experiments, conducted during 1932-1972, doctors from the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) injected hundreds of African-American men with syphilis and left them untreated without their informed consent. Among the participants in those experiments on humans, 128 of the men died directly from syphilis or from associated complications.3 4 5 6

The Tuskegee syphilis study has been described as a “metaphor for the abuse of Blacks within biomedical research.” It has been cited as “arguably the most infamous biomedical research study in U.S. history.”5 A 2006 study published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved recognized:

Today, there is wide-spread belief that a major legacy of that unethical research study is a strong reluctance among many African-Americans to participate in clinical research studies as a result of the abuses for fear of further abuses.6

Former Mayor of Atlanta, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and civil rights leader Andrew Young recently described the Tuskegee experiments as “something crazy and murderous and evil.” He acknowledged, “[We’re] still thinking about that.” But Young also went on to say, “We’ve got to get over that.”1

After Getting COVID-19 Vaccine, Hank Aaron Died

Having someone as famous and respected as Hank Aaron (known around the world for being the first to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record) get vaccinated for COVID-19 was, no doubt, seen as an opportunity to inspire African-Americans to get over their inherent mistrust of government-sponsored experimentation. The problem with that is that Aaron died on Jan. 25—just 17 days after he got the COVID-19 vaccine.7

As might have been expected, Aaron’s death has led to speculation about a possible link to the vaccine. According to FactCheck.org, “That sequence of events has led some social media users to suggest there was a direct link between his getting the shot and then dying several days later. But there is no evidence that is the case.”8

Ultimately, the cause of Aaron’s death was attributed to “natural causes.” News outlets reported that Aaron “passed away peacefully in his sleep.”7 8 End of story.

Regardless, there is no getting around the fact that the move to make Aaron’s vaccination a highly publicized event may have backfired. As Carlos del Rio, MD, the executive associate dean at the Emory University School of Medicine, told NBC News, that decision has proven to be a “double-edged sword.”9 Dr. del Rio said…

We make his vaccination public so it would be used to increase vaccination. Unfortunately, because his vaccination was made public and then he died, now we have a little bit of a boomerang effect in which it’s coming to haunt us because he died.9 

Aaron’s Death Ruled Not Vaccine-Related

“My fear is people will act emotionally and not get vaccinated,” said Walter Orenstein, MD, professor of medicine and associate director of the Vaccine Center at Emory University and former director of the National Immunization Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “My fear is that people misinterpret this and say, ‘Aha, see the vaccine is dangerous,’ when in fact there’s no science data to support that hypothesis at all.”10 

Essentially, what Professor Orenstein and other doctors and public health officials are saying about Hank Aaron’s death is that the COVID-19 vaccine had nothing to do with it, that it was purely coincidental he died so soon after vaccination. And perhaps it was. There’s no way to know for sure. All that has been reported is that Aaron died “peacefully in his sleep” of “natural causes.”

But what exactly does that mean?

The reality is that not every death or serious health problem that occurs hours, days or weeks after vaccination is caused by a recently administered vaccine, and it is also true that not every serious health problem that occurs after vaccination, including death, is coincidental. All pharmaceutical products come with risks, and vaccines are no exception. As noted by Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), “Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that come with risks that can be greater for some people. No vaccine is safe for everyone.”11

There are also risks when health officials do not acknowledge a vaccine’s known and unknown risks openly but, rather, quickly and consistently deny that a vaccine could have played any role in a person’s unexplained deterioration in health or death.

Hank Aaron appeared to be a healthy 86-year-old man before he died a couple of weeks after receiving an experimental mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. His death is now part of an effort in damage control by the media, aided by doctors and public health officials, who are conducting a PR campaign to reassure people, notably African-Americans, that Aaron’s death was not caused by Moderna’s vaccine. An NBC News headline reads, “‘A boomerang effect’: Hank Aaron’s death is falsely linked to Covid vaccine.”9 

A headline in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reads, “Former HHS leader says no link between Hank Aaron’s death and COVID vaccine.” Another headline in Inside Edition reads, “Baseball Legend Hank Aaron Died of Natural Causes, Not the COVID-19 Vaccine.” Newspapers, magazines and websites abound with these type of headlines, stating that Aaron was not harmed by the vaccine and that it was an unfortunate coincidence.12 13 

It is hard to gauge the impact of the slew of articles that seek to disassociate Aaron’s death from the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it’s reasonable to speculate, that, at least among African-Americans, this case has probably led to more questions than anything else. Health officials continually protesting that there is no link between the COVID-19 vaccine and Hank Aaron’s death may simply serve to highlight the possibility of a link, especially within an already skeptical community.


Click here to view References:

1 Bowman M. Proud’ Aaron receives COVID-19 vaccine. Major League Baseball Jan. 5, 2021.
2 CBS Newspath. Baseball legend Hank Aaron got virus vaccine earlier in January. WKRG Jan. 22, 2021.
3 Hauser N. African American distrust in COVID-19 vaccine rooted in history. Jan. 18, 2021.
4 Nix E. Tuskegee Experiment: The Infamous Syphilis Study. History Dec. 15, 2020.
5 Wikipedia. Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
6 Katz RV, et al. The Tuskegee Legacy Project: Willingness of Minorities to Participate in Biomedical Researcha. J Health Care Poor Underserved November 2006; 17(4): 698–715.
7 Sanchez R, Close D, Sterling W, Christensen J. Hank Aaron, baseball legend and former home run king, dies at 86. CNN Jan. 22, 2021.
8 Gore D. Hank Aaron’s Death Attributed to Natural Causes. FactCheck.org Jan. 28, 2021.
9 Griffith J. ‘A boomerang effect’: Hank Aaron’s death is falsely linked to Covid vaccine. NBC News Jan. 26, 2021.
10 Crowley J. Health Professionals Hope Hank Aaron’s Death Won’t Deter People From Getting Vaccinated. Newsweek Jan. 23, 2021.
11 Fisher BL. If You Vaccinate, Ask 8! NVIC Newsletter Aug. 14, 2017.
12 Stirgus E. Former HHS leader says no link between Hank Aaron’s death and COVID vaccine. Atlanta Journal-Constitution Jan. 27, 2021.
13 Inside Edition Staff. Baseball Legend Hank Aaron Died of Natural Causes, Not the COVID-19 Vaccine. Inside Edition Jan. 27, 2021.

Note: This commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers.  The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.

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30 Responses to "Hammerin’ Hank’s COVID-19 Vaccination: A “Double-Edged Sword”?"

  1. Redpill   January 31, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    It was reported in USA today:

    MLB Hall of Famer and baseball’s former home run king Hank Aaron dies at 86

    “According to a person with knowledge, Aaron died Friday morning after suffering a massive stroke. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2021/01/22/hank-aaron-baseball-hall-of-famer-dies/437341002/

    An article released on: Children’s Health Defense®
    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/surgeon-warns-fda-pfizer-immunological-danger-covid-vaccines-convalescent-asymptomatic-carriers/

    Cardiothoracic Surgeon Warns FDA, Pfizer on Immunological Danger of COVID Vaccines in Recently Convalescent and Asymptomatic Carriers

    Dr. Hooman Noorchashm says FDA, Pfizer and Moderna must consider the danger COVID vaccines pose to the recently convalescent or asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2 — especially the elderly, frail or anyone with significant cardiovascular risk factor.

    (..) As you also know it appears that the ACE-2 receptor on endothelium is the portal for viral entry into endothelial cells — and it seems that endothelial injury from the virus or from the inflammatory reaction it incites, is the reason why many COVID-19 patients experience thromboembolic complications.

    Most pertinently, when viral antigens are present in the vascular endothelium, and especially in elderly and frail with cardiovascular disease, the antigen specific immune response incited by the vaccine is almost certain to do damage to the vascular endothelium. Such vaccine directed endothelial inflammation is certain to cause blood clot formation with the potential for major thromboembolic complications, at least in a subset of such patients. If a majority of younger more robust patients might tolerate such vascular injury from a vaccine immune response, many elderly and frail patients with cardiovascular disease will not.

    Is it know if Mr. Aaron was being treated for any know chronic illness such as high blood pressure etc? It is know if he had been taking any medication for anything that may have an impact on his vascular system? The media has been very quiet on his actual state of health, only saying he was healthy which can be defined many ways. This is a statement in the USA Today article that got my attention:

    “According to a person with knowledge, Aaron died Friday morning after suffering a massive stroke. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”

    “sensitivity of the matter” What exactly does that mean?

    If Mr. Aaron was being treated for a chronic illness that affected his cardio vascular system than I would say according to Dr. Hooman Noorchashm report the vaccine causing his death is very much in play. I don’t think his death was death by coincidence.

    Reply
  2. Kathleen   February 1, 2021 at 7:45 am

    It should be most logical to say they CAN’T KNOW whether the vaccine contributed to Mr. Aaron’s death or not. It would be nearly impossible to believe a person could reach the age of 86 without any cardiovascular compromise. Even assuming Mr. Aaron had zero cardiovascular compromise, and knowing how the spike protein reacts with vascular tissues, it would be logical to think there was @ a 50/50 chance of vaccine involvement with his death. If he had known cardiovascular compromise, or was an asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carrier, it would be logical to think the risk of vaccine involvement would be greater that 50%. In any case, to say his death was COINCIDENCE has to be a LIE.

    Reply
  3. Patti   February 1, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Info to consider re: FactCheck.org – links below:

    “Who will fact check the fact checkers”
    https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-381-who-will-fact-check-the-fact-checkers/

    also: https://freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2923825/posts

    Reply
  4. Sal   February 1, 2021 at 8:25 am

    Thank you Red Pill!

    Reply
  5. David M. Augenstein   February 1, 2021 at 8:56 am

    He died of “natural causes” but they are certain it was not from the vaccine (but perhaps from the complications from the vaccine.)

    Reply
  6. April Johnson   February 1, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Die within 28 days of testing positive for sars Cov 2 = Covid death, regardless of cause. Die within 2 weeks of receiving Covid “vaccine”= not a vaccine death, regardless of symptoms.

    Reply
  7. JoAnn H Hendrickson   February 1, 2021 at 10:07 am

    They can call his death whatever they want to, but they will NEVER convince most of us that it wasn’t vaccine related. RIP Mr. Aaron.

    Reply
  8. Steve Biliter   February 1, 2021 at 10:46 am

    “Dr. Hooman Noorchashm says FDA, Pfizer and Moderna must consider the danger COVID vaccines pose to the recently convalescent or asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2 — especially the elderly, frail or anyone with significant cardiovascular risk factor.”

    Statements like this make no sense to me, because there is no test that detects SARS Cov-2. The widespread use of PCR to test everyone possible has been debunked by the scientific community because it cannot detect any virus at all. Prof. Christian Drosten of Germany wrote a paper in Dec 2019 that said it could, and the criminal WHO used the PCR “test” recommending 45 cycles so to create massive numbers of false positives. The pandemic is a hoax as well as the vaccine which I believe is designed to kill.

    file:///C:/Users/Steve%20Billiter/Downloads/Corman_Drosten_Paper_Review%20_Final_Version_10-3-Public_final.pdf

    Reply
  9. Annamaria   February 1, 2021 at 11:40 am

    We are in the age of (in your face) government deception.
    Why should we believe anything they say?

    Reply
    • Mary J Nelson   February 8, 2021 at 5:10 pm

      Read AND then check if that email is accurate, no matter who it is from.

      Reply
  10. David   February 1, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Conduct and autopsy. Let’s find out, and reveal the results.

    Reply
  11. Frances B.Tencza   February 1, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    I think the “vaccine” is not a vaccine but has The Messenger RNA which is still in an experimental stage. Mr Hank Aaron May have had a vitamin D deficiency due to his dark skin, and the dosage to compensate may have caused him to have a stroke which killed him!

    Reply
    • Mary J Nelson   February 8, 2021 at 5:12 pm

      You are correct. Mr. Aaron very likely had a Vitamin D deficiency and maybe others.

      Reply
  12. KIRK PRESTON   February 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    How can we be so certain that there is apparently no link between the vaccine and death? Ultimately, we cannot know for certain, but the experts just assume that all is well in vaccine land.

    Reply
  13. Tom   February 1, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    And cowpies smell like roses. Believe it because the experts say it’s so. If Mr. Aaron had previous medical conditions he was being treated for, then in no way should he have been given this vaccine. It was never tested or trialed to work with anyone but the healthiest and youngest of people. Except, that anyone by accepting the risks of taking this gene therapy protocol is now enrolled in the next phase of the vaccine study that will last at least another 2 years. Informed consent? Is that even being told to people as part of the agreement to get the shots?

    Reply
  14. Vijay Gupta   February 1, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    If Aaron had tested positive for Coronavirus on Jan 5 and died on Jan 22, the automatic conclusion would have been that he died from Covid-19. Correlation here means causation. No questions asked. No investigation required. The virus is accused, indicted, and convicted in an instant.

    But since Aaron was vaccinated on Jan 5 and died on Jan 22, correlation does not mean causation. Every possible excuse is used to exonerate the vaccine.

    Why? Because virus is made by nature. It has no lawyers to defend it. But the vaccines are made by companies with lots of money and lots of lawyers. They will defend their money-making product at any cost.

    Reply
  15. Melinda G. Gladstone   February 1, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Did anyone expect there to be an admittance of a causal relationship to the vaccine! Of course the pharmaceutical industry must say there is no connection, just like there is no connecting the MMR vaccine to autism, seizures, autoimmune disorders, skin disorders. Just ask yourself this question if you are over 60 years old. Do YOU remember all those kids in school when we were young that had all these ‘disorders”? Neither do I!!! Melinda MSN RN CNS

    Reply
  16. Melinda   February 1, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    I have been thinking this exact same thing. You laid it out so beautifully.

    Reply
  17. Melinda   February 1, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Redhill right on. I have been thinking this myself.

    Reply
  18. Michael   February 1, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    This is just the beginning. They are injecting people with a dangerous, experimental, biochemical substance that was fast-tracked without the usual animal trials and time protocols to ensure efficacy, safety, and short-long term effects.

    The vaccine/pharmaceutical companies are protected by law from any deaths or side-effects that may occur so there is no accountability or concern for those injected. They will never admit to any wrong-doing or harm from “their” vaccines, rather, they will blame other health factors, a new mutant strain, not following safety protocols (masks, distancing, etc.) for any deaths or horrible side-effects that might occur. This is a population-reducing, sterilization, money-making, control seeking, fear-inducing, submission enforcing protocol ladies and gentlemen. Do your part and refuse testing and vaccination. It’s YOUR body. NO ONE has the right to ever force you into any medical procedure.

    Reply
  19. gb   February 1, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    I wonder who was at his bedside to say “he died peacefully in his sleep”, all media BS that stinks. Applying whatever while taking a DEEP nasal swab – when you are to wear a mask because you could spread the virus while talking, coughing…. what virus any way? Never been isolated, just patented, like ebola, measels, etc I’d name it the gatesvirus, it spreads fear and useless, even harmful “safety measures” while making a few very rich and more power hungry than they already are. No vaccine is safe! This one is not even a vaccine under the common definition.

    Reply
  20. Kent Wainwright   February 1, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    If side effects of this experimental vaccine remain unknown, how is the authoritative contention of ‘coincidence’ established?

    Reply
  21. Nat Jeffery   February 1, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    No proof that the “vaccine” caused his death and no proof that it didn’t.

    Reply
  22. Stephen   February 1, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    The million dollar question, how did Hammerin’ Hank die? Rather than getting so caught up in that, I’m going to accept the fact that he died of natural causes & all the joy he brought to us by playing the sport he loved the most. Those memories of his career & the many, many achievements he accomplished brings a smile to my face! R.I.P. Hank, may your final resting place in the H.O.F. touch the thousands of fans that loved you.

    Reply
  23. Smuthe   February 2, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    RIP Hank Aaron.

    It’s not possible to prove a negative. Ergo, it’s dishonest to definitively assert that the vaccine had nothing to do with his death.

    On the flip side, what evidence would it take to definitively say that someone DID die either directly or indirectly from the vaccine?

    Reply
  24. MD   February 3, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Health officials will continue to claim “deaths aren’t ruled vaccine related.” Nothing is news. Keep in mind that all pharmaceutical products including vaccines carry risks. My heart goes out to those who knew Hank Aaron.

    Reply
  25. JENNYM   February 6, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    They probably also selected Mr. Aaron because he was old- if they had selected a black person who was middle aged or young and this happened, it would look even worse. That is one reason they are giving this to older people, they can kill them off and it doesn’t look suspicious.
    And correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t the ‘vaccine’ they’re using, isn’t it devoid of the alleged ‘covid 19 virus’?
    And nobody is mentioning the fact that they’re putting up 5G towers like hotcakes!

    Reply
    • Redpill   February 9, 2021 at 12:34 am

      “They probably also selected Mr. Aaron because he was old”

      My Understanding of the articles, that have been limited in information is Mr. Aaron volunteered along with Former U.N. Ambassador and civil rights leader Andrew Young to get the COVID shot to set an example for the POC community.

      1 of 9
      Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron waits to receive his COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Aaron and others received their vaccinations in an effort to highlight the importance of getting vaccinated for Black Americans who might be hesitant to do so. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

      ATLANTA (AP) — Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, former U.N. Ambassador and civil rights leader Andrew Young and former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan got vaccinated against COVID-19 in Georgia on Tuesday, hoping to send a message to Black Americans that the shots are safe.

      Getting vaccinated “makes me feel wonderful,” Aaron told The Associated Press. “I don’t have any qualms about it at all, you know. I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this. … It’s just a small thing that can help zillions of people in this country.”

      More at this link:
      https://apnews.com/article/georgia-andrew-young-hank-aaron-coronavirus-pandemic-atlanta-2f32ea8b2067d85202b2d22665fde739

      Reply
      • JennyM   February 17, 2021 at 5:21 pm

        Hi Redpill! : )
        They made sure to put Mr. Aaron in the spotlight to get minorities to get the jab, yes. But what I meant was that since he was older, if he died from (the vaccine?) after getting it, then people wouldn’t suspect it was the vaccine that did him in, they’d assume it was old age or whatever. Like if it was a younger person and they keeled over after the vaccine, it wouldn’t look so good, that’s what I was meaning. : )

        Reply
  26. Jay Brody   February 24, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    We need to know what exactly these people including hank Aaron died of? If the vaccines are dangerous, please be honest and tell us! What about pregnant ladies? Big questions about the safety of these pharmaceutical products?

    Reply

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