In the wake of the tragic passing of Friend’s star Matthew Perry, prominent right-wing figures have made bizarre claims linking the incident to the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s the story.
A Terrible Tragedy
In a news story that shocked TV lovers around the world, American-Canadian actor Matthew Perry was found dead in the jacuzzi at his Los Angeles home on Saturday.
And in the wake of his passing, some bizarre claims have begun circulating in right-wing online spaces.
Bizarre, Unsubstantiated Claims
A number of right-wing anti-vax accounts on X, formerly known as Twitter, have tried to link the Friend’s stars passing to his COVID-19 vaccinations, with no evidence for their claims.
“Was He Vaccinated?”
One such person was Kandiss Taylor, the GOP chair of Georgia’s first congressional district, and former candidate for the state governorship.
She made a post reacting to the news of Perry’s death, asking “What??? Was he vaccinated?”
Taylor Digs Deeper
After receiving considerable backlash for the insensitive post, she hit back claiming that her post was “not a conspiracy when it is TRUTH. Correlation doesn’t lie.
That’s what ALL research does to find significance. Stop being offended and get on your knees and pray for healing! Find Jesus.”
Laura Loomer Chimes In
Far-right political activist Laura Loomer, who was elected to Florida’s 21st Congressional District in 2020, also bolstered these unfounded claims.
“Matthew Perry is dead at 54. Sounds like he drowned in the Jacuzzi,” she wrote. “Wonder if it’s COVID ‘vaccine’ related. He often talked about how he was proud to be extremely vaccinated.”
Yet Another Person?
Former Republican candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, Robbie Starbuck, also took to X to share his thoughts.
Many will point out that Matthew was a big supporter of the COVID vaccines and even sold shirts saying, ‘Could I be any more vaccinated?’ he wrote.
“So I think it’s fair to ask that it be investigated as a potential cause of any cardiac issues.”
Wikipedia Edits Too
To make matters worse, anti-vaxxers have allegedly edited Perry’s Wikipedia page, adding that “It is unclear whether the drowning was due to complications from the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The amendment has since been deleted from the site, according to Rolling Stone, who first reported the claims.
Not the Only One.
This isn’t the first time online anti-vaxxers have made unsubstantiated links between celebrity deaths and the COVID-19 vaccines.
Lisa Marie Presley
When Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Rock n Roll icon Elvis Presley, passed away from a cardiac arrest in January, the same conspiracy theorists pointed to her vaccination status.
The Public Aren’t Buying It
But other users were quick to dismiss the claims. “Anyone attributing Lisa Marie Presley dying to the Covid vaccine is a ******g moron,” one X user snapped.
For the most part, these claims concerning Perry and Presley have been dismissed as fringe beliefs.
An Unlikely Occurrence
While vaccines have been linked to myocarditis, a heart condition that causes inflammation of the muscles, the occurrence of Myocarditis is extremely rare.
CDC Refutes It
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that approximately 0.01 percent of vaccinated men between the ages of 18 and 29 were affected by the condition.
Those who contracted COVID-19 were at higher risk of contracting the condition than vaccinated people.
No Cause Yet
These concerning claims and insinuations about Perry have come about as investigators have yet to declare a cause of death for the 54-year-old actor.
The first post-mortem came back as “inconclusive,” which has only served to further inflame speculation.
A Big Terrible Battle
While the cause of death is still unknown, other online speculators suspect that Perry’s long battle with substance abuse may have been involved.
In his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry opened up about his decades-long struggle with alcoholism and drugs including Vicodin, OxyContin, and Xanax.
Friends and Co-Stars Pay Respect
Tributes to the actor have poured in from celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria, and Adele, as well as the co-stars and creators of Friends.
Canadian Prime Minister and former schoolmate Justin Trudeau also paid tribute, calling his passing “shocking and saddening”.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / s_bukley. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.