I realize that I sometimes repeat this to the point of annoyance, but it really does need to be repeated over and over: In the age of the pandemic, everything old is new again with respect to antivaccine disinformation. The most recent example is the claims that, thanks to COVID-19 vaccines, huge numbers of people have “died suddenly,” because the vaccines are designed to result in “depopulation” (which the “global elites” apparently want for reasons that are never made coherent). This particular conspiracy theory that’s trending now about COVID-19 vaccines is an echo—hell, a rehash—of old antivax conspiracy theories. The problem is that most people, who hadn’t been paying attention in years past, don’t realize this. Coming out next month is a book pushing a similar conspiracy theory, “Cause Unknown”: The Epidemic of Sudden Deaths in 2021 & 2022. It’s written by Ed Dowd, described as a “former Wall Street analyst and BlackRock portfolio manager”—because that’s who should be doing amateur epidemiology, right?—who:
…examines the epidemic of sudden deaths in America. Throughout his stock picking career, he utilized pattern recognition to get ahead of his peers and the street before his bullish or bearish thesis became consensus. Early in 2021, he noticed a rise of news anecdotes about sudden deaths among very fit athletes and other seemingly healthy young people across the country. His question was simple: What changed in 2021?Gee, I don’t know. What changed, Mr. Dowd, besides the amplification of your confirmation bias.?
Unsurprisingly, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his antivax group Children’s Health Defense were involved in writing this book.
Back in the day, when I was learning how to counter antivax disinformation, this claim took the form of antivaxxers claiming that childhood vaccinations were killing children and causing a wave of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and that HPV vaccines (particularly Gardasil) were killing girls and young women. Nor are antivax “documentaries” making such claims new either. For example, I once described such a film entitled Sacrificial Virgins—antivaxxers aren’t subtle with their penchant for comparing vaccines to religion—that blamed Gardasil for killing young women, and the very first times I ever wrote about the antivax conspiracy theory that vaccines are causing “depopulation” was in reference to claims that Bill Gates wanted to use them for that purpose and when Jon Rappoport made the “depopulation” claim over a decade ago, linking it with germ theory denial.
I’ve discussed variations the false idea that vaccines are part of a “depopulation agenda,” be it through mass death or causing infertility (or both). Perhaps the most ridiculous version of this conspiracy theory came from—who else?—Mike Adams, who before the pandemic claimed that vaccines were bioweapons designed to depopulate the planet so that the global elite and aliens—yes, aliens!—could rule. Adams then renamed his “vaccine holocaust” as the Oblivion Agenda, in which COVID-19 vaccine took on the role of the bioweapon that would kill 90% of the global population and leave the survivors to be used by the global elite and their alien overlords as workers to exploit the earth’s resources.
Died Suddenly drops
It’s easy to laugh at the sheer over-the-top ridiculousness of Mike Adams’ conspiracy theories about global “depopulation.” (In one of my posts about it, I even included a poster for The Omega Man, the 1971 dystopian movie in which a plague has wiped out over 99% of the earth’s population and left the vast majority of the survivors photophobic mutants who come out at night to destroy the remnants of the old world, which they blame for the catastrophe that had befallen them and whom Charlton Heston hunts during the day, when they are sleeping.) However, it’s not so easy to laugh at something like Died Suddenly, a pseudodocumentary by Stew Peters that has been going trending on Twitter and going viral on other social media since it dropped a couple of days ago. The basic idea behind Died Suddenly is that COVID-19 vaccines are part of—you guessed it!—a global “depopulation agenda,” with COVID-19 designed to give governments a pretext to impose authoritarian controls. The evidence? Young people supposedly “dying suddenly” without any apparent cause, except that the filmmakers just know that it was the vaccine that caused it.
Showing how Twitter has changed for the worse since Elon Musk took it over, the filmmakers were allowed to post the entire hour-plus video directly onto Twitter:
And, of course, the documentary is on Rumble:
Perhaps the best retort to the movie was this:
Be that as it may, it’s worth looking at this movie, because you need to understand that this is absolutely nothing new for antivaxxers. The idea that vaccines are deadly to the point of causing a “holocaust” or “global depopulation” is a longstanding antivax conspiracy theory. The only people who should be surprised that it has been so effectively repurposed to produce a film like Died Suddenly are those who weren’t paying attention to the antivaccine movement. It’s understandable that most people were unaware of these sorts of antivax conspiracy theories, but unforgivable that apparently our public health leadership either was not or didn’t have messaging ready. In this post, I’ll discuss Died Suddenly and try to relate it to similar prepandemic antivax conspiracy theories.
Before that, however, I feel that I should mention that Stew Peters has been featured on this blog before. Peters is a radio host and podcaster who runs the Stew Peters Network, a network of conspiracy blogs that promote conspiracy theories about COVID-19, vaccines, public health, politics, religion, and just about everything else. His appearance on this blog was related to a claim by a nurse practitioner named Jane Ruby that COVID-19 vaccines are causing massive clots (that kill people), although she is a regular on his network with standard COVID-19 disinformation, such as the false claim that COVID-19 vaccines “permanently alter your DNA.” His last film, Watch the Water, posited that COVID-19 vaccines are a synthetic version of “snake venom” and that evil forces are spreading via the vaccines, remdesivir, and drinking water to “make you a hybrid of Satan.” It’s almost as bonkers as anything Mike Adams has produced. Almost. (Think of Stew Peters as Del Bigtree with a wider range of conspiracy topics that he likes to fear monger about.)
From the advertising materials, it’s obvious that this the conspiracy theory about COVID-19 vaccines causing fatal blood clots features prominently in Died Suddenly:
Prelude: The misinformation didn’t wait for the full movie
Before Died Suddenly was released, it was obvious just how bad it would be just from the social media promotional campaign that launched about a month before its release. Indeed, the trailer alone was full of out-and-out misrepresentations, as noted in this story:
In the film’s trailer, footage of a basketball star collapsing on the court is cited as proof of the vaccine’s dangers. In reality, the footage is from 2020, long before the vaccine became available to the entire public.
As our friend The Real Truther noted:
Here are a couple of more examples from just the trailer alone:
You get the idea. It’s an old antivax technique: Blame sudden deaths on vaccines, even if there was no sudden death or, as was often the case in the past, there was not even good evidence of correlation, much less causation. There had been a long run-up to Died Suddenly in the form of conspiracy theories about healthy younger doctors supposedly “dying suddenly” (because of. the vaccine) and young people suffering Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, in which antivaxxers attributed a different name to the acronym SADS, which before the pandemic described a known uncommon syndrome in which cardiac conduction abnormalities led to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, a condition first described over 50 years ago. Basically, in the age of the pandemic, the tragic sudden and unexpected cardiac arrests and deaths of young people have been exploited by antivaxxers, who falsely blame them on vaccines, and Died Suddenly does that in spades.
As I was looking at the trailer before the movie was even released to Rumble, I was thinking: If just the trailer contains so many obvious, easily refuted lies, what the hell is the movie like? I was afraid, very afraid. Still, I decided that I had to subject myself to this movie. The things I do for you, my readers. As I watched this, I was grateful that I had written posts about nearly every conspiracy theory referenced in this movie. This post would have been close to book length if I had to write about every conspiracy in depth as I analyzed this movie. Instead, I can just briefly discuss each one and then link to my much longer discussions for interested readers who want more information.
Died Suddenly: Let the conspiracies flow!
It’s been a long time since I’ve subjected myself to such concentrated antivaccine propaganda as Died Suddenly; so I was naturally concerned if my neurons were still resistant to apoptosis from waves of burning stupid emanating from antivaxxers. I needn’t have worried. My neurons remain strong, even though they are older and have been battered as never before. Perhaps the last nearly three years of constant COVID-19 disinformation has hardened them. Even so, in making Died Suddenly, Stew Peters not infrequently approaches Mike Adams territory.
Don’t believe me? Just watch the first few minutes of the movie, which begins with text warning that the film is “not suitable for children,” with the ominous tones of the Pink Floyd song Sheep. followed by a narrator intoning that there has been an “overwhelming and unexplainable increase in all-cause mortality” and deaths among 18-49 year olds, along with an increase in miscarriages and Bell’s palsy. (Again, antivaxxers are not known for their subtlety.) Those of you familiar with the song will recognize that the sheep represent mindless people who just follow the herd and end up as veal cutlets or killed by predators like wolves. Indeed, underlying part of the song is a robotic voice parodying Psalm 23 thusly, “The Lord is my shepherd, He converteth me to lamb cutlets….”
Then the film cuts to a man claiming that there were all these “anomalies” and “abnormalities” in the blood in people who died, going on to say that he feels as though he is seeing something that could be causing their deaths and that “no one will see what I see,” which is, of course, what all conspiracy theorists say. He then speculates that perhaps COVID-19 caused this; that is, until he realized that many of these people had never had COVID-19 and that—of course!—they had been vaccinated. My first guess was that this was Richard Hirschman, perhaps the most famous of the embalmers and morticians who have made misleading claims about finding huge clots in vaccinated people who died, his claims that they are “unnatural” having led people like Mike Adams and Jane Ruby to speculate wildly that the clots are “self-assembling nanostructures.”
Sure enough, later in the movie, he’s identified as Richard Hirschman and portrayed looking at vials containing clots on a table with skeletons arrayed in “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” poses as he intones about carotid artery clots and clots from veins. I’m not going to discuss the segment featuring Hirschmann much, given that I’ve written about Hirschman’s conspiracy theories in depth and his inability to tell the difference between postmortem and antemortem clots. That a series of other embalmers echo his conspiracy theories doesn’t persuade me in the least, the images of embalmers pulling clots out of corpses notwithstanding. One wonders if any of these embalmers had permission from the loved ones of the deceased to video the embalming process and take pictures. I suspect not. Yet, by 50:30 in the movie, there’s extensive video of an embalmer working on a corpse.
That diversion to further into the movie aside, next the film cuts to the opening credits, as Roger Waters vocals and Pink Floyd’s music swell. (What I wonder is where Peters got the money to afford the royalties for using Pink Floyd music in his soundtrack. That couldn’t have been cheap!) As the credits roll, we’re treated to a montage of images ranging from Big Foot to UFOs to Jeffrey Epstein to President George Bush claiming “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, interspersed with images from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as children undergoing nasal swabs, and recent news, such as an image of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. They even include the killing of John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby while he was in police custody. (More subtlety.) There are also images of Elvis Presley getting vaccinated against polio juxtaposed with President Joe Biden getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Amusingly, a shaky graphic of the words “conspiracy theory” precedes an image of Alex Jones followed by images of the World Trade Towers falling and astronauts driving the lunar rover on the Moon. Truly, Peters checks all the conspiracy boxes. I will, however, admit to some surprise at seeing a clip of Tom Hanks being interviewed on The Today Show about his movie Inferno and discussing Malthusian theory, triage, and overpopulation.
And the was just the first four minutes! Truly Peters knows his audience, especially given that the Dan Brown novels whose movie adaptations star Hanks are some of the most amazing conspiracy-fests I’ve ever seen.
Here come the clots, here come the clots!
What follows is a discussion of Malthusian theory about what happens when there are more people on the planet than the earth can support, including famines, plagues, and shortages. This segment is all very ominous, with frequent references to dire consequences of overpopulation portrayed through video clips of people ranging from Bill Maher to Bill Gates discussing it, and of course the clip of Gates is the famous clip in which he points out that population growth could be slowed through providing better healthcare including vaccines. It’s a clip that antivaxxers love because they misrepresent it as Gates “confessing” in a TED Talk that vaccines are part of a global “depopulation” plot when in reality it’s just Gates pointing out the obvious, namely that populations with access to better health care, including vaccines, and more wealth tend to delay childbearing, not produce as many children, and therefore not grow as fast, as is the case in older, more established wealthy countries such as the US and those in Europe.
Enter a funeral director named Chad Whisnat, whom, oddly enough, I had never heard of before this movie, going on about, “What does that mean?” with respect to decreasing the rate of population growth by 15% “using vaccines,” saying:
Well, common sense would tell you, if you have a man standing in front of you say … he’s going to reduce the world’s population by 10 or 15% using vaccines. What does that mean to you? It means somebody’s gonna die because you put a vaccine in them. It doesn’t mean you’re going to save people. That’s pretty much common sense in my brain.
Let’s just say that Whisnat’s “common sense” is not really “sense.” I gathered right away that he must be one of those conspiracy mongering morticians who have been claiming that vaccines are killing people based on his anecdotal experience as a funeral home director.
Hilariously, he invokes an “argument by Google” by voicing over a montage of Google searches how Googling “died suddenly” brings up a list of stories and web pages about people who—surprise! surprise!—died suddenly! (Google is nothing if not literal that way. when it does a search for a phrase.) There’s even what looks to me like a shot of Hank Aaron getting the vaccine. Of course, Aaron was 86; so his death two weeks later could easily have been coincidence, and, indeed, was attributed to natural causes. (That’s part of the conspiracy in these narratives, of course.) Of course, to the conspiracy theorists making this film, they must have died from the vaccine. However, as Lead Stories noted over three weeks ago:
The montage flashes an article from October 16, 2022, headlined “Dad of two, 46, dies suddenly in his sleep.”
But the article makes no mention of a COVID vaccine. “Edward died in his sleep in the early hours of September 27, having spent some time in hospital while struggling with his mental health,” the article states.
Another article in the montage is headlined: “Actor’s sudden death aged 33,” but the piece itself explains that the actor died as a result of a “tragic fall” and does not mention vaccination.
Another article, the first-person essay of a mother who lost a son, is about his death in a car crash.
This segment then leads into Hirschman’s claims and several conspiracy mongering embalmers and funeral directors, including some with their faces and voices obscured, because, of course, they are “afraid” to identify themselves. Personally, I myself could tell that most of the clots shown look like postmortem clots, but I’d love my readers who are pathologists to take a look. Several close-up images are shown at around 14:20, and the whole segment starts around 8:10 and continues for several minutes, with embalmer after embalmer demonstrating confirmation bias. Of note, none of these embalmers could say whether the corpses that they had embalmed had been vaccinated, had COVID-19, or had an asymptomatic case of COVID-19. In any event, if you’re squeamish, this segment might gross you out, but I’d love pathologists to watch it, especially ones who have a lot of experience doing autopsies.
There are, however, people debunking this nonsense on Twitter:
Seriously, I see only two possibilities. Either these embalmers and some of the doctors parroting these claims about clots don’t understand the difference between postmortem and antemortem clots, or they do and are lying. My take is that, depending on the specific person, one or the other is true.
In any event, by around 17:30, the film shifts to stories of young people who “died suddenly,” the film’s view being, of course, that it must be the COVID-19 vaccines that caused these deaths. Again, almost none of these stories mention whether these people had been vaccinated, and this entire segment consists of, in essence, an appeal to personal incredulity. Just because these people were unaware, for example, that young people sometimes suffer sudden and unexpected cardiac arrest, to the point that they syndrome was described in the 1970s and 1980s, does not mean that vaccines did it.
During a montage of various “whistleblowers” testifying about people who “died suddenly,” there was a recounting of the claim that a military database had shown a huge increase in cancers since the vaccines had started being required for military personnel. I won’t discuss that one in much detail, given that I did so in great detail before in February other than to say this. It is biologically implausible in the extreme that we would see a huge increase in cancers less than two years after the vaccines rolled out because even after exposure to large doses of ionizing radiation from the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the earliest that cancers started appearing was two years later, and that was just leukemias. Solid cancers like colon and breast cancers, didn’t show up until ten years later. Of course, Dr. Ryan Cole, whose claims about COVID-19 vaccines and cancer I’ve discussed before, makes an appearance blathering about oncogenes and cancer biology that he clearly doesn’t understand while appealing to “nefarious actors” behind this plot, including, of course, Bill Gates.
Unsurprisingly, the film also invokes Event 201, an October 2019 exercise simulating a pandemic, to imply—no, to say outright—that the subsequent coronavirus crisis as evidence that it was all part of a plan. It’s a conspiracy theory that dates back to the days of Plandemic and Plandemic 2, two conspiracy movies claiming that the pandemic was a plot to cause depopulation and impose absolute authoritarian rule. To bolster this, there’s a montage of pro-vaccine messages and songs from podcasters and TV personalities like Stephen Colbert, followed by people claiming that they will “destroy your life” if you don’t take the vaccine and that we are in a “war,” followed by a montage of conspiracy images of glaciers melting, the World Trade Center, Sean Penn with Volodymyr Zelenskyy (gee, pro-Russian propaganda slipped in?), and more.
Then came Steve Kirsch at about the halfway point, and I nearly had to stop watching. Seriously, Kirsch is about as nutty a COVID-19 conspiracy theorist and antivaxxer as there is out there, as evidenced by his claims that “no one wants to know what’s in the vaccines” and that “no mainstream media” reporter has ever asked “what’s in the vial,” which is nonsense so pure that I really, really questioned whether I could make it through the rest of the movie, particularly his claim that “people don’t want to know what’s in the vaccines” either. What follows is a montage of arguments by package insert, with the risible claim that there are still pages in the package inserts intentionally left blank. If that’s true, I couldn’t find them. Kirsch even invokes VAERS and his “promise” to pay any scientist $1 million to come on his show for a debate. Hilariously, he expresses anger that the CDC is ignoring him. Personally, given his history I’d ignore him too if I were a high-ranking CDC official or the chair of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), so much so that he clearly provided video to the filmmakers of a police officer telling him to leave the chair’s house. It never occurred to Peters or Kirsch that his footage makes him look like a stalker. It really does!
It’s at about this point at the 45:00 mark that there’s the montage debunked above of security camera and smartphone videos showing people fainting, the implication being that they had all “died suddenly,” even though most had not. There were images of some people fainting near moving subway trains and falling into the trains or onto the tracks, where, in the latter case it’s possible that the fainting person was killed by the train. Even if there were any fatalities in these images, these could just be cases of tragically bad timing and locations for fainting. The montage goes on and on, with some people appearing to have seizures and some just fainting and falling. For none of them is it shown that they had had a COVID-19 vaccine, and most did not die.
In fact, as this article shows, most of the people shown fainting in the montage collapsed for reasons unrelated to the vaccine; for example some suffered syncope after not having eaten and drunk anything for a long time. Even more deceptive, at least two of the clips date back to before COVID-19 vaccines were even available (for example, Florida Gators basketball star Keyontae Johnson, who fainted in the middle of a game on December 12, 2020, before the vaccines were even available) and one dates back to 2019, before the first cases of the novel coronavirus disease had even been reported in Wuhan, China (Austrian journalist Rosa Lyon, who collapsed on her show). Apparently, the vaccine is so powerful that it can go back in time to kill people—or at least make them faint.
Then there’s this example, which is even worse, as it shows Peters and crew blatantly misrepresenting the cause of a child’s death to promote their ghoulish message:
There are also shots of speculative stories about people who died within days of being vaccinated—or even of people who just died, with no reference to whether they had been recently vaccinated or not—followed by a segment at 50:30 of embalmers working on actual cadavers, again, likely without permission from the family to feature their deceased loved ones in a movie. At one point, they claimed that they weren’t getting “any drainage” over a scene of a clot measuring a few inches (at most) in length being pulled out of a vein. Once the clot is out, fluid literally squirted out of the hole in the vein rather belying the claim that the clot was so extensive. Then there’s an image of a beating heart, followed by a picture of the heart stopped and a surgeon (apparently) incising the pulmonary artery to remove a clot. This is an operation called a saddle embolectomy, a seldom-required surgery to remove a pulmonary embolus (a blood clot that goes to the blood vessels of the lung and that can be fatal) that’s so large that it’s blocking the bifurcation of the pulmonary artery to the right and left and compromising the heart’s function by blocking its pulmonary outflow. No mention is made of whether this patient had been vaccinated, nor is anything else said about him.
In fact, the video in that segment looked suspiciously familiar to several docs on Twitter, including Dr. Eric Burnett, who posted this brief video to Tik Tok and Twitter, in which he not only compares the images of clots from Died Suddenly to images of postmortem clots but also shows a clip from the YouTube video of a saddle embolectomy that the filmmakers appear to have misappropriated for their film and misrepresented as a clot caused by the vaccines:
In case you’re curious, I found a YouTube video of a saddle embolectomy that appears to have been used by Peters and company. At first glance the video appeared to me to be at the very least incredibly similar to the video in Died Suddenly. (Unfortunately, the video’s settings don’t allow me to embed it here; so here’s the link.)
It turns out that you can scratch “at the very least incredibly similar” and just say it’s the same video. The Real Truther did us all a solid and made it very clear that the Died Suddenly director cribbed the footage directly from the YouTube video:
As an aside, it’s also amusing to point out that one of the “experts” in Died Suddenly, Dr. Ryan Cole, was very unhappy at Dr. Burnett’s debunking of his conspiracy theory about the vaccines causing clots and voiced his unhappiness on Steve Kirsch’s Substack. His “rebuttal” just boiled down to an appeal to authority—his own—coupled with, “Trust me, I’m an expert.” Certainly there was no evidence there. Moreover, Dr. Jonathan Laxton even points out a reason why embalmers might have been seeing more postmortem clots than they did normally prepandemic:
I have to mention another segment with someone named Dr. Gene Posca, an internal medicine specialist, who is shown seeing someone named John, who is stated to have been “injured” by two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. His complaint was leg swelling from a deep venous thrombosis, which is described as “extremely rare.” (Hint: DVTs are not rare.) Dr. Posca did thermography on this patient to claim to show “heat” in the neck lymph node chains and in the involved leg, leading Dr. Posca to recommend bilateral Doppler ultrasounds. Here’s a hint for this quack: If you suspect DVT, just order the Doppler ultrasound. The thermography is completely unnecessary, as I wrote about when I described another quack who advocates thermography for “clotting” from COVID-19 vaccines. It also turns out that Dr. Posca is an antivax conspiracy theorist who is based at the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital in Florida who has testified before that the vaccines are a “dangerous and experimental drug” being imposed by “fascists from D.C.” and that their: “blitzkrieg against our freedom will continue.”
WTF, Cleveland Clinic?
By the time I reached the end of this film, I was exhausted, so much so that I think I will take the Thanksgiving Day weekend off from blogging and not post anything new until Monday.. It’s basically a repository of every conspiracy theory out there about COVID-19 vaccines causing clots, miscarriages, and “sudden deaths.” It’s all anecdotes, with no data. For instance, near the end of the movie, there’s a nurse named Michelle Gershon who claims that she is seeing more intrauterine fetal demises than ever before since the vaccines followed by video one of the embalmers saying he had a “run of that” in his funeral home, with five of the six having been vaccinated and the other having had remdesivir. (Cherry picking and confirmation bias, anyone?) Another of these embalmers notes that he has more “fetuses in the refrigerator” than he’s ever seen before. An OB/GYN named Dr. James A. Thorp claims that he’s seeing more “death and destruction” than he’s ever seen before on ultrasound.
This is followed by a highly deceptive graph:
Does anyone see the problem with this graph, even if it’s accurate? (And I can’t find any evidence for a phenomenon like this elsewhere.) Look at where the uptick in still births starts. It starts in 2020. Note that COVID-19 vaccines did not get an EUA and start rolling out until December 2020, and they weren’t recommended for pregnant people until well into 2021. This graph is far more consistent with COVID-19 itself causing still births, not the vaccine. Again, this graph just looks made-up. The data that exist show that there is no detectable association between COVID-19 vaccination and still birth. In fact, if anything, COVID-19 vaccines reduce, not increase, the risk of still birth, with a meta-analysis finding that vaccination reduces the risk by 15%, likely due to the decreased risk of the vaccinated catching COVID-19. It also turns out that the story of the “whistleblower” nurse originated in The Epoch Times, an antivax conspiracy site and that Dr. Thorp is full of crap. If you doubt me on this, just look at this one claim by him:
None of this stops another interviewee from describing COVID-19 vaccines as this “evil that is destroying” infants and still another describing the vaccines as a “pure evil in this world.”
The grand finale of the movie features conspiracy theorists calling the vaccine a “bioweapon” being used to depopulate and control the world, because of course it does. This is followed by a stirring call to arms to fight back and a warning that if you don’t resist you are complicit in the atrocities and a counter of how many billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered and more images of political leaders, entertainers, and celebrities urging people to get vaccinated and characterizing the unvaccinated, as Howard Stern once did.
Everything old is new again
The idea that vaccines are causing “depopulation” and killing young people is not new at all. I like to refer again to the antivax movie about Gardasil, Sacrificial Virgins. Oddly enough, though, the unfortunate young women who “died suddenly” and whose deaths the filmmakers blamed on Gardasil presented more convincing anecdotal evidence than anything in Died Suddenly, and their stories were not convincing, with their deaths all occurring weeks after the last of a series of three doses of Gardasil and only related to the vaccine by the filmmakers’ imagination. Similarly, The Greater Good promoted a similar narrative, just for infants and children. There are more examples of antivaxxers blaming vaccines for sudden death of infants, children, and young adults than I can easily recount.
The odd thing is, as these films go Died Suddenly is actually remarkably data-free. I had expected way more graphs and appeals to “excess mortality” than I got. What this movie is turns out to be pretty much just interviews with conspiracy theorists, who use cherry picked anecdotes and selective memory to make their cases. Unfortunately, the moviemaking is pretty slick, and if you don’t recognize the fallacious arguments I can see how it might be persuasive to those predisposed to believe COVID-19 vaccines are harmful.
After subjecting myself to Died Suddenly and the tsunami of firehosed misleading anecdotes and imagery it contains, I don’t know if I have the wherewithal to read Cause Unknown. I do know that this movie is pure disinformation in the way that it portrays COVID-19 vaccines as pure evil.
Note: This post has been periodically updated as I learn new information and/or find more examples of lies in the movie. The latest update was 11/28/2022.