Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Quackery

Dr. Rashid Buttar had been sick for a long time before he “died suddenly”

Last month, Dr. Rashid Buttar, a prominent antivax “integrative medicine” practitioner, died suddenly. Because he hadn’t been vaccinated, antivaxxers struggled mightily to reconcile his death with their conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines. It turns out, however, that that Dr. Buttar had not been a well man since 2016 and was as much a victim of quackery as his patients had been.

Back in May, I wrote about how Dr. Rashid Buttar, one of the first antivax quacks whom I ever encountered after starting my blog, had “died suddenly” at age 57. Given that the entire antivax conspiracy theory that it is COVID-19 vaccines that are causing waves of younger (and, of course, healthy) people to “die suddenly” of clots, cardiac arrest, and the like, Dr. Buttar’s unfortunate demise presented them with a problem. He had never taken a COVID-19 vaccine of any sort, either mRNA-based variety made by Pfizer and Moderna that is the usual focus of the “died suddenly” conspiracy theory or other kinds. So how could Dr. Buttar’s admirers explain his unexpected sudden demise if such unexpected and sudden demises almost never happened before COVID-19 vaccines were unleashed upon the world? (Their narrative.)

It turns out that before his death Dr. Buttar himself had provided antivaxxers with the answer. It was either that he was poisoned or that he had fallen victim to “shedding” of the evil and deadly spike protein from people who had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Of course, I’ve written before about what utter nonsense the claim of “shedding” spike protein is from a scientific standpoint; nonsense or not, the claim was rapidly amplified by antivax friends of Dr. Buttar, such as Sayer Ji and Stew Peters, the latter being one of the foremost promoters of the “died suddenly” conspiracy theory, thanks to his movie entitled, appropriately enough, Died Suddenly. Through this retelling, we also learned that Dr. Buttar had been a sick man before his death dating back to at least September 2022. As you will see, he was not the picture of a healthy man. What is new is that it turns out that he had been sicker for longer than previously revealed. How do I know this? Thanks to Dr. Stephen Barrett, I know of an account published in an online book by “investigative medical journalist and esteemed health influencer Jonathan Otto entitled POISONED: A Deep Dive into the Mass Bioweapon & Envenomation Agenda, which promises, among other things, to tell you “the uncensored story of the late Dr. Rashid Buttar tragic story.””

I’ll start at the beginning, using Jonathan Otto’s account, specifically the chapter in his e-book about Dr. Buttar’s story. Some of what is covered in the chapter overlaps Sayer Ji’s account, specifically how Dr. Buttar’s account about how he had first started feeling ill in September 2022 at the Reawaken America tour, where he started feeling short of breath on stage, to the point where he couldn’t “properly give” his presentations and fell back on showing videos. Buttar then relates how he then also developed increasing swelling of his legs that got worse, lasted several days, resolved, and then came back. On Thanksgiving, he couldn’t get his boots on, and between Thanksgiving and January he put on 50 lbs of edema fluid. He said that by the time he was admitted to the hospital he couldn’t lie flat and still breathe and even had to stand up to breathe. These are absolutely classic symptoms of congestive heart failure, so much so that we teach them to first and second year medical students as part of cardiac physiology and pathophysiology.

Dr. Buttar was (ostensibly) a physician. He knew—or should have known—all of this. What was he doing during the months that he was putting on so much water weight and finding it increasingly difficult to breathe without being in an upright position? Why did he not see a doctor, particularly a cardiologist but at least an internist or family practice doc? He mentioned that he had thought about taking a diuretic, but apparently he never did. Did it not occur to him that his symptoms seemed consistent with right-sided heart failure, possibly biventricular failure? In any case, while he was in the ICU the doctors alternated between dosing him with Lasix and Bumex, two powerful diuretics, and got a lot of fluid off of him. He also then related having a mid-thalamic stroke confirmed by MRI that resolved. By the time he was released from the hospital, according to his account he had lost 60 lbs of fluid and then went on to lose nearly 20 lbs more after going home. At just before 1:09, he related having had elevated troponin levels, which he said were consistent with myocarditis and symptoms consistent with pericarditis. Ultimately, after his discharge from the ICU and hospital in January, Buttar blamed his illness on “secondary inoculation” by the COVID-19 vaccine shedding; indeed, he doubled down, claiming that the goal was to get half the population vaccinated, after which shedding would expose the rest of the population to the vaccines’s spike protein “toxin.” He concluded that he thinks “that’s what happened to me.” Because, of course it couldn’t possibly just have been heart disease.

Now add to the account above an early passage from his story in Otto’s ebook:

It was 6 days before I was scheduled to meet with Bryan, and I was getting ready to fly out to Spokane, Washington, for a speaking engagement. Actually, it was a Reawaken America tour. And I remember having a conversation with Clay Clark because the air quality there, normal is between 60 to a 100. As it gets up higher, it’s bad air quality.

A 100 is supposed to be the worst air quality. And the air quality in Spokane was 150. And I was having problems with breathing at that point, and I didn’t know what it was. I’ve got an underlying cardiac disposition, had a rapid CT angiography done back in 2015 that showed I had a 75 and a 95% occlusion, which didn’t make any sense because I’ve had all sorts of preventive treatments.

And the year before, I competed at the world championships in martial arts. So I’m competing at the world level in 2014 and 2015. I can’t walk a quarter of a mile without stopping 5 times because I’m getting short of breath and having chest pain. So I had this predisposition, and I’d been doing things to get that back, and I had. I was starting to sprint again.

In case you are unfamiliar with him (I was, but should have been familiar with him), Bryan is Bryan Ardis, a retired chiropractor and one of the purveyors of the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 is due to “envenomation,” not the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and that remdesivir is what kills COVID-19 patients, not COVID. Where did he get this idea?


But the linchpin for his whole nonsensical theory is a 2017 episode of a network TV drama called “The Blacklist.”

After laying the groundwork for about half-an-hour, the video shows a clip from an episode of NBC’s “The Blacklist” in which the main character is poisoned with snake venom in a beverage.

“When I saw this, I knew,” Ardis says of watching the show, which originally aired in 2017 — almost three years before the outbreak of COVID-19. It’s now available on Netflix. “I knew I was right, I knew I was supposed to see that, because it was confirmation to me that other people knew this was planned all along, which, we’ve known this was a plan.”

One of the well-worn conspiracy theories that Ardis relies on here claims that the pandemic was planned in advance by nefarious actors — one of the most viral versions of this theory was presented in a pair of videos from 2020 called “Plandemic,” each of which we’ve written about.

As much as I’ve enjoyed James Spader’s scenery chewing portraying the fictional crime lord turned FBI informer Raymond “Red” Reddington in The Blacklist over the years, the show’s plotlines are often patently ridiculous (albeit in a very entertaining way), and obviously no source for anything resembling reliable medical information. That “Dr.” Ardis would admit that his inspiration for the idea that COVID-19 is “envenomation” tells you all you need to know about him.

Buttar’s account in Otto’s book sure doesn’t sound like that of a man who was the picture of health before he was exposed to the dreaded spike protein, which is ubiquitous and can’t be avoided thanks to the machinations of the evil big pharma cabal’s efforts to vaccinate the entire population, or who had been “poisoned” after an appearance on CNN several months ago. It sounds like a man in denial, who couldn’t believe that he had gone in a relatively short period of time from competing at a high level in the martial arts to not being able to walk a quarter of a mile without getting short of breath. He had clearly had significant heart disease diagnosed in 2015, four years before the pandemic and at least five years before COVID-19 vaccines! He admitted that he couldn’t walk more than a quarter of a mile without getting short of breath, which is not great. Even worse, though:

And so when this event was coming up, it was no different than the last 6 years. Since 2016, this has been going on. So it’s not like it’s anything new. But I was a little concerned because now the shortness of breath, over that last 6 years even though I had that cardiac history, over the last 4 years, I hadn’t had any shortness of breath or over the last 4 1/2 years, I hadn’t had any shortness of breath. I’d get the chest pain pretty regularly, but I wouldn’t get shortness of breath.

Now I was having shortness of breath. And I was having shortness of breath that was suffocating, where I felt like I was drowning. And it was slowly building up. And then I had this chronic cough. I had a rattling in my chest at nighttime. I felt like I was wheezing, but it wasn’t wheezing.

So anyway, there were all these little symptomologies that were going on. And so, I had my plane booked, and the next day I left to go there. And fortunately the event was outdoors. And fortunately, there was a nice wind blowing, and there was no issues with the quality of air that I felt, but I was short of breath when I was on stage. In fact, I even played more videos because I was a little short of breath.

To any physician, this sure sounds like an exacerbation of chronic heart disease and worsening congestive heart failure. What had Dr. Buttar been doing the last six years before the Reawaken America last September, given that by his own account he had had a critical occlusion of at least one of his coronary arteries, an occlusion that would normally mandate intervention? He’s fairly vague, saying only that he was “not oriented towards a pharmaceutical side.” Of course, CT-angiography is not the gold standard test to quantify the degree of coronary artery occlusion. However, in someone who is symptomatic—chest pain!—with such a test, further investigation would be mandated, and most likely cardiologists would recommend an angioplasty of the occluded vessels with stenting at minimum, a coronary artery bypass operation if too many vessels have a high degree of occlusion to stent. Again, Dr. Buttar was trained as a physician and was an ER doc for several years. He must have known this.

I facepalmed even more as I read how Dr. Buttar, experiencing not just chest pain but intermittent “suffocating” shortness of breath that made him feel as though he were “drowning,” dithered about whether to see a doctor and made plans to meet up with Ardis during the rest of his tour. “Suffocating” shortness of breath is a medical emergency. If you ever experience such severe shortness of breath, get thee hence to an ER.!Call an ambulance if you have to! Do not wait!

That is not what Dr. Buttar did, however. On the day he was going to see Ardis one afternoon when they were in the same city, this happened:

Well, I’ll tell you, when I walked out to the car to meet him, it was difficult for me to walk. And I felt like, to show you how serious it was for me, I felt like if I went to Bryan, I would be doing him a disservice because I was going to die in his house. And why would I do that, because then how is he going to be able to explain that? It would be a disservice for me to go there.

But I also knew if I went to a hospital, again, I was an ER doc for 7 years. I’m ACLS, ATTLS, Advanced Trauma Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, instructor certified. I teach doctors what to do and those things. And I knew that, if I go there, they’re not going to know what to do because I didn’t know what was going on. But I literally had a dilemma that made me stand outside the car trying to decide, do I go to the ER or do I go to Bryan?

It was like 2, 3 minutes, I just stood there. And I even remember thinking it was warm. There was a breeze blowing. I was right underneath a tree. The car’s parked. And it was a beautiful setting. And I just even thought maybe I should just go sit in the park because I really thought I was going to go. I had talked with my kids, I talked with Dr. Ashton, but never said anything to them. None of them knew. I made a call to an attorney to make sure that I had some semblance of a will, but I really felt that I was sliding. I could feel the life ebbing out of me. And I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand why.

Let me get this straight. Dr. Buttar felt so weak and short of breath that he legitimately feared that he might die in Ardis’s house if he went there? In fact, he thought he was dying as he sat in his car, to the point that he called his attorney to make sure that his will was in order? I also couldn’t help but marvel at the cognitive dissonance. Buttar was ATLS and ACLS trained, instructor certified even? And he thought that ER docs wouldn’t know what to do with him if he showed up in their facility? Of course they would! From his own story, he almost certainly had severe congestive heart failure. They’d admit him to the ICU for supportive care, begin diuresing him to get the fluid off, evaluate his heart, and recommend further interventions.

He went to see Ardis instead. No, seriously. That’s what Dr. Buttar did:

But he has said that to me since. And I’ve thought about those words since. And he said to me that there is no place on this planet that I would rather have you at right now than here in my living room. And he did some energetic testing. I won’t go into the details of all the stuff he did, but he did some energetic testing. And he told me that I had a poison in my heart. And I said, “A poison? You mean like a toxin?” He says, “No. A poison.”

And he told me at that time, he goes, “I don’t know what it is.” That’s what he told me. He goes, “But you’ve got a poison in your heart.” And then he told me, “There’s 4 chambers to the heart.” And so that everybody knows as the 2 atriums that are the receiving areas of the heart that receive the blood. And then the blood goes from those 2 atriums into the 2 ventricles, and the 2 ventricles pump the blood out to the rest of the body. And the 2 chambers that pump the blood out to the body are the ventricles. The ventricles are the right and left ventricle.

Ardis also told him:

And so the 2 atriums, on a scale of 0 to 12, the right atrium was functioning at a 3 on a scale of 0 to 12, with 12 being the best. And the left atrium was at a 4 on a scale of 0 to 12, with 12 being the best. And the ventricles, which are arguably the more important chambers of the heart, because they’re responsible for pumping blood either through the lungs or through the body, were both functioning at a 0 on a scale of 0 to 12, with 12 being the best. I mean, they weren’t functioning.

I was going to give Ardis a modicum of credit for having recognized that Dr. Buttar was in a bad way medically speaking until Ardis claimed that Dr. Buttar’s ventricles weren’t functioning at all. There’s a term for when the ventricles don’t function at all: Cardiac arrest. Dr. Buttar would not be conscious, much less talking, if his ventricles were truly “both functioning at a 0 on a scale of 0 to 12, with 12 being the best.” He’d be dead or well on his way to being dead within minutes.

Thanks to Otto’s book, I also now know what Dr. Buttar was doing between the time he first noticed his “suffocating” shortness of breath at Reawaken America until he was admitted to the hospital for a six day ICU stay four months later: A whole lot of quackery. As he put on more and more edema fluid due to his congestive heart failure and possibly kidney failure, to the point where his feet “really ballooned, massively ballooned, became volleyball sized.” He even claimed that he couldn’t be having congestive heart failure because the edema was non-pitting. (Pitting edema is edema where, if you push the skin with a finger, will “pit”; i.e., leave an impression that takes a while to fill back in.) And while he’s correct that pitting edema is far more associated with congestive heart failure, in particular right-sided congestive heart failure, and non-pitting edema with other conditions, edema of this magnitude is a real problem. It could be lymphatic. It could be chronic venous insufficiency, which can cause impressive nonpitting edema. It could be myxedema from hypothyroidism.

Instead of going down the differential of pitting vs. nonpitting edema, putting it into context with all his other symptoms of congestive heart failure, and getting real medical care, Dr. Buttar listened to the chiroquack:

But by that time things were already better. So why was I having all this swelling in my feet? But think about it. If the body’s got a poison, if the heart’s trying to get rid of a poison, it’s going to try to pump it the furthest away from the heart that it possibly can, the furthest away from the brain. It’s going to try to shunt it to the furthest extremities it possibly can.

And so it sent it all to the most distal area of the body, which was the feet. And the kidneys couldn’t keep up with it. And because the kidneys, again, kidneys have their own, think of it as sensors or receptors. So if something’s going to come through the kidneys that’s going to damage the kidneys, the kidneys are going to slow down their functioning because they don’t want to get damaged. And they’re trying to handle the toxicity load or the poison load or whatever that’s trying to clear. But it’s also not going to handle more than what the kidneys can handle.

And so it was almost like it was pooling in my feet and in my legs and in my thighs because it was too much for the body to clear at that time. The kidneys couldn’t handle it, so it was clearing it as it could. And what’s interesting is that once it was cleared, I thought everything was fine.

In the meantime, he was doing “energetic healing,” medication, various woo prescribed to him by Ardis. He also underwent some sort of electrodermal testing that led him to be told:

And then I had another friend of mine, Dr. Group, had a test done for me and finds that I have a snake venom. I have a 2nd snake venom, I have a 3rd snake venom, I have an ant venom, and I have a spider venom. So it’s the polypus. I think that’s how you pronounce it. Spider, a wood ant venom, and then I had cobra venom, sorry, no, I had a rattlesnake venom and copperhead venom. And then later we found that I had cobra venom, too. But that’s what the test found. And I’m like, “What the hell? How did I get this stuff?”

He also noted how his symptoms were waxing and waning and that he was also taking a diuretic. He seems to have taken a diuretic for a while, until his symptoms got better, at which point he stopped it. Then—surprise! surprise!—eventually his symptoms would return.

I will say at this point that this interview recorded in Otto’s book must have occurred before mid-January, which is when Dr. Buttar wound up in the ICU, because no mention is made of that. He did, however, give a lengthy account of how he had come to conclude that, despite his never having been vaccinated against COVID-19, it must still have been the vaccines. First, he relates how he learned of 113 people who were having the same symptoms as he was (“shortness of breath, feeling of drowning, swelling in the legs, a dry, hacky cough”) but had not been vaccinated, which, among other things, convinced him that it must have been the shedding of spike protein from the vaccinated that had made him ill. (Never mind that he had had at the time a six or seven year history of diagnosed coronary artery disease.) As a result, Dr. Buttar concluded:

But it’s there, and it’s been orchestrated to be disseminated in a manner that is everywhere. There’s going to be no place that’s safe, unless you’re in a bunker underground 300 feet with an independent filtered water source and an independent filtered air source. It could be also be just through contact, and that’s been also postulated. Just things that we’re touching.


People that have gotten exposed to shedding, which means that you don’t get the vaccine itself, but you’re in close proximity to other people that have gotten the so-called vaccine, the messenger RNA modified genetic experimentation that is introducing this spike protein into you. So people that have been close proximity with other people are experiencing symptomology that’s similar. And that’s because they’ve gotten what they call the shedding. The shedding is exposure of that spike protein that they have been exposed to. That’s exactly what happened to me because I haven’t had the jab, and I’d refused to take the jab, but I have had 2 specific exposures.

Which led Dr. Buttar to conclude:

And the 2nd time was when I gave a CNN interview, and they’d given me some water to drink. And I remember as I’m guzzling down the water, I’m thinking to myself, was that lid already open? I remember thinking I’m paranoid. And I got sick right after that; within half an hour I started getting sick.

So those are the 2 times that I could have been targeted or poisoned, if you will. Or it could have been just because I was sitting in a plane in close proximity to other people that had the vaccine or in some other type of public space. So I don’t know how I’d gotten it, but many people have experienced this viral shedding. And we call it viral shedding because nobody knew, really, what it was, but it’s actually shedding off this spike protein following the normal phenomena of viral shedding. But this is actually the spike protein that’s shedding, not a virus that’s shedding. And that spike protein is, again, that synthetic analog of these various types of poisons. Once they get into your system, then they are designed by design to elicit a response in the system. It’s targeting the heart cells, it’s targeting the cells of the reproductive system. So testicles in males and the ovaries in females, they have found an increased preponderance of the spike protein accumulating in those areas.

Sadly, a far more likely explanation for Dr. Buttar’s illness is that he had developed congestive heart failure, most likely from chronic ischemia due to cardiovascular disease, and that’s what caused him to develop the edema and difficulty breathing. He might also have had some venous insufficiency or other reason for his edema to be nonpitting. Who knows? Alternatively, maybe he had a silent myocardial infarction (or one with only mild symptoms that he ignored) and developed progressive heart failure afteward. He might even have had COVID-19, which caused a case of myocarditis. Again, who knows? The story as related by him and his followers lacks sufficient detail to allow for more than educated speculation about what happened to him.

Basically, being in the ICU with congestive heart failure, for whatever reason, tells me that (1) you are not healthy, regardless of how healthy you might think you are, and (2) you are at high risk of sudden cardiac death, which is very likely what happened to Dr. Buttar in May. Again, we can’t know for sure. Even adding the account in Otto’s book to the videos that I’ve examined, there is insufficient detail in all these accounts, even taken together, to make a more definitive assessment.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

20 replies on “Dr. Rashid Buttar had been sick for a long time before he “died suddenly””

What a clown. A doctor?? Of what?
“And then he said there are four chambers to the heart”.
Did he not know that? Makes you wonder how much harm he must have caused over his career to any poor patient that unfortunately came his way.

He is also a fan of Alex Jones and provides the supplements that Jones sells on Infowars.

So because Dr. Buttar didn’t trust doctors on an ER, because they would have had the same training he had and he didn’t know what was happening to him, so he thought they wouldn’t know it either, he decided to go to some quack?
Yes, that makes sense. /s

This kind of thing always cracks me up. Huge difference between training (4 years of medical school) and experience (decades in an ER, or whatever.) still, I hear this nonsense from medical folks all the time.

Yeah, like the heart has four chambers?

Isn’t that just for frogs and stuff? Gotta see what my naturopath says.

Doctor Energy appears to understand about as much about the heart as a middle school student. And he’s explaining this to a physician with years of cardiac experience? Good grief!

CHF, indeed. I notice he leaves out the swelling I’m sure he had; lest anyone contradict his foo with the obvious.

From Wikipedia: “ Buttar had made the claim of being board certified by several entities, all of which are listed as “questionable organizations” by Quackwatch, including the American Academy of Preventative Medicine, American Academy of Integrative Medicine, and American College for Advancement in Medicine; the latter’s primary purpose is the promotion of chelation therapy.”

Worse, he was a DO making us all look bad. My guess? He never matched anywhere and turned to quackery out of spite. I don’t know when he graduated but, if it was before say-2000, he probably got a mediocre clinical education; this was a common problem at DO schools in the past (NOT currently.)

As irony would have it, countless primates have died suddenly because antivaxxers have been shedding their spiked bullshit with high-velocity strategies during a global pandemic.

It’s nature’s way, it’s nature’s way. Of telling you something’s wrong.

When these guys heard hoofbeats, they didn’t even think “zebras”, they thought “snake venom”.

Doesn’t some of what you’re describing him as thinking sound like a revival ideas about humors and purging the body of humors?

Revival? Those ideas have never gone away. They are embedded in a lot of alternative medicine thinking even to this day.

“So anyway, there were all these little symptomologies that were going on…”

With these symptomologies being labeled little, I guess the only big symptomology is death.

What a waste of a medical education.

A very interesting story.

I occasionally have this pitting edema of my right foot and right calf. (especially on days when I stand too much)

The left foot is fine. I broke my right foot last fall and had surgery, but I wonder why this edema of the CALF when the surgery was on the FOOT.

The left foot and calf are fine

I wonder if Igor ever considered the edema and the surgery were never connected to begin with?
Nah, of course he didn’t. Of course he shouldn’t get the edema checked out. Has nothing to do with potential diabetes or heart failure. nada.


If the body’s got a poison, if the heart’s trying to get rid of a poison, it’s going to try to pump it the furthest away from the heart that it possibly can, the furthest away from the brain. It’s going to try to shunt it to the furthest extremities it possibly can.

And so it sent it all to the most distal area of the body, which was the feet.

Sweet spirits of nitre! Has Doctor Nick been teaching anatomy? Can the heart now opt to bypass the aorta and send blood directly to the femoral arteries?

De ventricle connected to de thigh tubes.
De thigh tubes connected to de foot tubes

Maybe that what the microchips are for. Once the toxins get far enough away from the heart, the microchips shut the valves and bypass the area. Thank you Bill Gates. You are much misunderstood.

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