Covid Fearmongering and Lies Home Page

Other Websites, Newsletters, and Books by the Director


Update on Covid Deaths

Part Five

(NFL Deaths and Scare, Death of Elvis’ Daughter)


By Gary F. Zeolla

This five-part article is continued from Update on Covid Deaths: Part Four (Both the Right and the Left Miss the Immense Disparate Covid Risk Factors)



Death of Franco Harris and Others


      Two days before the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception and three days before his number is scheduled to be retired by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris died. He was 72. No cause of death was revealed, but family friend Curtis Aiken — the former Pitt basketball star — said Harris died in his sleep.

      On Saturday [12/24/22], at halftime of the Steelers’ game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Harris will become the third player in franchise history to have his number retired. He’ll join Ernie Stautner and former teammate Joe Greene (Trib Live. Steelers great).


      What a shock is was, hearing this news the morning of December 21, 2022, just three days before Franco was to be honored on the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. But what didn’t shock me is the Covid antivaxxers immediately began to blame his death on the vaccines, before any details about the cause of his death were even available.

      Local news later reported he died of “natural causes.” But that was it. Nothing else was ever revealed about his cause of death. How then do Covid antivaxxers “know” it was a heart attack caused by the vaccines? Well, they don’t. They just say he was only 72, so it was a premature death, so it just “has to be” the vaccines. However, consider the following:


Retired NFL Players Aging Faster Than Other Men

      Former elite football players may age faster than their more average peers, a new study suggests

      NFL players, especially former linemen, had fewer disease-free years and earlier high blood pressure and diabetes diagnoses. Two age-related diseases, arthritis and dementia, were also more commonly found in former football players than in other men of the same age.

      This research was part of the ongoing Football Players Health Study at Harvard University….

      Later diagnosis and treatment for metabolic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes could have long-term effects on heart health and cognition, study senior author Dr. Aaron Baggish said in the release. He is director of in-person assessment studies at the Football Players Health Study (Newsmax. Retired NFL).


      Franco played in the NFL for ten years. Before that, he played at Penn State for four years. I am sure he also played in high school and even before that. Altogether, he probably played football for about two decades. That is a lot of abuse on the body that leads to an early death.

      We know that here in the Pittsburgh area from what happened to Franco’s teammate “Iron” Mike Webster (aka, “Muscle Mike”). He died very young due to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). His story was dramatized in the movie Concussion.


      Mike Webster, whose Hall of Fame pro football career was followed by more than a decade of physical and psychological turmoil apparently brought on by repeated blows to the head on the field, died yesterday [9/24/02] in a Pittsburgh hospital. He was 50.

      The cause of death was a heart attack, the Pittsburgh Steelers said (NYT. Mike Webster).


      It has been speculated that Webster’s ailments were due to wear and tear sustained over his playing career; some doctors estimated he had been in the equivalent of “25,000 automobile crashes” in over 25 years of playing football at the high school, college and professional levels (“IRON” Mike Webster).


      The research team also analyzed player health for different game-related aspects, such as what position the athletes played. They found that linemen, who are known to have more physical contact during games, had shorter health spans and developed age-related disease sooner than those who were not linemen  (Newsmax. Retired NFL).


      Mike was a lineman, a center, one of the best ever in fact. But note that despite head trauma being the root cause of his problems, Mike’s final cause of death was a heart attack. That relates back to Franco and is important given the following:


      Former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Uchechukwu Nwaneri passed away Friday [12/30/22] at his wife’s home in Indiana. He was 38 years old.

      Nwaneri, who had driven up to Indiana from Georgia, was found unresponsive by his wife at 1 a.m. after apparently collapsing, according to West Lafayette police and Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello.

      Costello said that the results of a Monday [1/2/23] autopsy showed no signs of foul play. At the moment, investigators believe the former player might have suffered a heart attack. Though the results of the toxicology report have not yet come in, Costello added (Breitbart. Former Jaguars).


      Once again, Covid antivaxxers immediately jumped and claimed this death was indeed a heart attack caused by the vaccines. But again, the report of a heart attack was just a guess, and even if it was, it was still probably due to his time in the NFL as a lineman, not the vaccines.

      I would also like to know the results of that toxicology test. I wonder if it would show steroid use. If so, that would add to the risk from playing in the NFL. Steroids could also explain unexpected deaths in many other athletes and gym rats that has been discussed previously. I heard a report recently that 28 bodybuilders died prior to contests back in 2018-19. That was of course before the pandemic and the vaccines. And if anything, steroid use has increased since then and would explain a lot of the deaths among young athletes.


Damar Hamlin Scare


      Next is the well-publicized recent NFL scare: 

      Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition after he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed Monday night [1/2/23] after making a tackle during the first quarter against the Bengals in Cincinnati, team officials said Tuesday.

      Hamlin, 24, remains hospitalized in critical condition in the intensive care unit, Buffalo Bills officials said Tuesday afternoon.

      “Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals,” the team said in an earlier statement. “His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition” (ABC News. Buffalo Bills’).


      Covid antivaxxers once again immediately jumped and claimed this tragic event happened due to blood clots caused by the vaccines. A reader’s response on a Breitbart article about this event to that claim was instructive, though not quite correct:


      The player tonight seemed to have effects from the hit he took to the head, it has nothing to do with what you are spewing. There is enough bs on the internet without you adding more. Plus, a good friend of mine (who is antivax), was telling me that the medical journals he reads (he has 4 science degrees) that the real problem will be people that had covid have an 800% chance of having blood clots within 6 months of having covid. There are going to be a lot of younger people having issues from that then myocarditis.


      This relates back to what I reported in Part Two, that it is in fact Covid that is causing the alleged increase in blood clots, myocarditis, and resultant heart conditions in young athletes and others, not the vaccines. But something much different most likely occurred in this case:


      Drs. Marc Siegel and Frita Fisher said Tuesday [1/3/23] on “Fox & Friends” that Hamlin suffered from “commotio cordis,” an arrhythmia caused by blunt trauma to the chest at a precise location and time in the heartbeat cycle (Fox Business. Ex-NFL safety).


      “In younger people, it is certainly rare,” [Allegheny Health Network's Jefferson Hospital. Dr. Amish] Mehta said. Mehta can’t speculate on what exactly caused Hamlin to go into cardiac arrest but said there are a number of things that could have caused it.

      “Things such as commotio cordis, it’s the buzz word unfortunately today,” the cardiologist said. “It is a sudden impact to the chest which could cause irregular heartbeat and could cause the heart to stop” (AP. Here’s what).


      “This is a condition that we typically see in young male athletes who play baseball, hockey or lacrosse and are apt to be struck by a ball or puck. When one receives direct blunt force trauma to the chest —such as we saw with Hamlin taking a hit to the chest, it can precipitate a dangerous life-threating [sic] heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (Newsmax. What Triggered).


      Bernard Ashby MD, a vascular cardiologist based in Miami, has explained on Twitter what happened to Hamlin’s body during the impact in the tackle.

      “The video of Damar Hamlin from a cardiologist’s perspective resembled commotio cordis - a phenomenon that occurs when a sudden blunt impact to the chest causes cardiac arrest (Newsweek. What Damar).


      The preceding is just a sample of numerous reports I could cite from a wide variety of doctors all saying the same thing. Others are listed in the References. All say Hamlin’s injury was most likely caused by “commotio cordis.” It occurs from a blow to the chest at just the right spot at just the right moment in the beat of the heart. That location and timing requirement makes it very unlikely, but it does happen, and long before the vaccines became available.


      A hard hit to the chest that causes sudden cardiac death is called commotio cordis. Commotio cordis may occur in athletes who are hit hard in the chest by sports equipment or by another player. This condition doesn’t damage the heart muscle. Instead, it changes the heart’s electrical signaling. The blow to the chest can trigger ventricular fibrillation if it strikes at a specific time in the signaling cycle (Mayo Clinic. Sudden death).


      It is most common in baseball and hockey from getting hit in the chest by a ball or puck, respectively. Consider, for instance, the following:


      Five players in the NHL over the past 25 years who collapsed during a game — terrifying scenes that stopped play while people scrambled to help — were diagnosed with a heart-related issue of some kind.

      Big defenseman Chris Pronger went down after taking a puck to the chest. Jiri Fischer, Rich Peverley and Jay Bouwmeester all collapsed on the bench. Ondrej Pavelec went down on the ice.

      All recovered — a couple of them went on to play for years — and the incidents prompted the NHL to adjust procedures to prepare for and handle cardiac events, rare as they may be….

      The Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League in 2008 saw 19-year-old New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov die of heart failure during a game. At the time, there was no ambulance on site and no working defibrillator. Afterward, the league took steps to mandate not only those changes but require comprehensive physicals for players and more (Newsmax. Cardiac Events).


      All of these events happened long before the Covid vaccines became available. Note especially the mention of Chris Pronger, “in 1998. “He took a slap shot to the chest, continued to play for another couple of seconds until the whistle blew, and then took a couple of halting strides before he lost consciousness and collapsed” (KSDK. Remembering). This description parallels what happened to Hamlin:


      On the play the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin was injured, Higgins led with his right shoulder, which hit the defensive back in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to drag him down. Hamlin quickly got to his feet, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, and then fell backward about three seconds later and lay motionless (AP. Pittsburgh).


      A couple of comments on the Breitbart article on Hamlin adds more evidence:


      There are many cases of kids in little league going into cardiac arrest after being hit directly in the chest by a baseball. Because of this my kids needed to wear heart guards to play baseball. This was all Pre-covid stuff so it wasn’t the vaccine to blame for these occurrences. This can absolutely be a healthy person who got hit at precisely the wrong time in the heart.


      I saw it happen at a softball game where a guy got hit in the chest and looked like he was gonna run then dropped like he was shot. It has something to do with if you get hit at just the right spot at just the right time (wrong time) it can mess up the timing of your heart and stop it. I guess like the opposite of shocking it to start.


      Dr. Marc Siegal, in an appearance on Fox News Channel, related that he saw this happen at a Little League game he attended 14 years ago. He said it was good he was there to render immediate aid.

      CBS Evening News on January 10 and 11, 2023 reported about a foundation that was started by a lady who lost her son in a hockey game back in 2014. But in that case, it was due to a congenital defect:


      Could what happened to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin happen to other young athletes too? A Minnesota family started a foundation, Play for Patrick, that offers heart screenings to young people after their son died during a hockey game (CBS News Foundation).


      About 60 million kids in the U.S. participate in organized sports, and cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among young athletes (CBS News.  Cardiac arrest).


      The report stated a child dies every five days while playing sports from a heart issue. But this is not something new. It has been occurring for years and is due to genetic or congenital conditions, which could not possibly be from the vaccines.


      Thickened heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). The most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young people is this genetic condition that causes the heart muscle to grow too thick. The thickening makes it hard for the heart to pump blood and can cause fast heartbeats.

      Heart rhythm disorders. Long QT syndrome is a heart rhythm condition that can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. It’s linked to unexplained fainting and sudden death, especially in young people. Long QT syndrome may be present at birth (congenital long QT syndrome) or caused by an underlying medical condition or medication (acquired long QT syndrome)….

      Heart structure problem present at birth (congenital heart defect). Some people are born with changes in the heart and blood vessels that can reduce blood flow and lead to sudden cardiac death.

      Other heart rhythm disorders that can cause sudden cardiac death include Brugada syndrome and Wolfe-Parkinson-White syndrome (Mayo Clinic. Sudden death).


      Note the phrases “genetic condition”  and “present at birth.”  But these conditions are often undetected, hence the screenings by the Play for Patrick Foundation. At one such screening covered in the CBS report, a teenage girl found out she has just such a heart condition that was previously undetected. That screening probably saved her life.

      Covid antivaxxers might want to latch onto the line “an underlying medical condition or medication.” But that is in reference to “fast, chaotic heartbeats” not blood clots and myocarditis that antivaxxers claim the vaccines cause. But it is a cause of sudden deaths among young people that would be unrelated to the vaccines.

      What is the reaction to all such information by Covid antivaxxers? Consider the following comments on Breitbart's comments board where the article explained such as the above:


      what a bunch of lying propaganda! He died from the CLOT SHOT and you people are nothing more than LYING SHILL for Big Pharma.......








      And so it goes. No matter how much evidence you provide to the contrary, Covid antivaxxers “just know” all such tragedies are due to the “clot shot.” That is the case with another death of a famous person.


Death of Lisa Marie Presley


      Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died Thursday [1/12/23] at the age of 54. A representative for Priscilla Presley confirmed her daughter’s death to CBS News. 

      “Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie,” a publicist for Priscilla Presley told CBS News in a statement. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

      The announcement of Presley’s death came just hours after she was rushed to a hospital after experiencing cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, California (CBS News. Lisa Marie Presley, daughter).


      As soon as it was reported Lisa Marie had been taken to the hospital with cardiac arrest, Covid antivaxxers were all over the Internet declaring her heart attack was due to the Covid vaccines. Then they ramped up that claim when news of her death was reported.

      However, in none of the news article I have read and are listed in the References is a very important fact mentioned—she struggled with opioid addiction much of her life. I documented in Part Three that opioid use and especially abuse is a know cause of cardiac problems.

      Her addiction to opioids was mentioned on the BBC World News podcast and my local ABC TV affiliate WTAE, both of which I listen to and watch, respectively, every day. But it was not mentioned on CBS Evening News, which I also watch every day. It is probably out of respect for the dead that most news outlets did not mention this fact. But they should have, as it is the most likely reason for her cardiac problems. But later, the New York Post reported the following:


      Lisa Marie Presley was reportedly taking opioids and lost a large amount of weight two months prior to her death, according to a new report. Sources told TMZ on Monday [1/30/23] that she was also on a strict diet regimen, underwent the knife to get plastic surgery and took weight loss pills to help feel her best during awards season. An insider told TMZ that the singer dropped 40 to 50 pounds in the six weeks before the Golden Globes on Jan. 10, where she appeared frail and gaunt (NYP. Lisa Marie).


      In addition, Lisa Marie had a rough life, with her father dying when she was only nine, she was married four times, and her son committed suicide in 2020. She was still grieving his death when she died:


      Presley’s son, Benjamin Keough died in 2020, and in her final Instagram post before her death, she spoke about grief.

      Keough died by suicide at age 27 and in August, Presley penned an essay for People magazine in honor of National Grief Awareness Day. In August, she shared the essay on Instagram, writing: “Hi. In honor of it being National Grief Awareness Day, I wrote an essay about grief... I thought I’d post it here in the hopes that anyone who needs to hear all of this it helps in some way.”

      In the essay, Presley wrote that grief is an uncomfortable subject, but “has to get talked about.” 

      “Death is part of life whether we like it or not — and so is grieving,” she wrote. “There is so much to learn and understand on the subject, but here’s what I know so far: One is that grief does not stop or go away in any sense, a year, or years after the loss. Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life, in spite of what certain people or our culture wants us to believe. You do not ‘get over it,’ you do not ‘move on,’ period.”

      “I’ve dealt with death, grief and loss since the age of 9 years old,” writes Presley, referring to her age when her father died. “I’ve had more than anyone’s fair share of it in my lifetime and somehow, I’ve made it this far” (Lisa Marie Presley wrote).


      It is possible to die of a broken heart. We saw that after the Uvalde school shooting when the husband of a slain teacher died of a heart attack days after that tragedy. But that time at least, I didn’t see Covid antivaxxers blaming it on the vaccines. But that is about the only time a recent untimely death was not attributed to the vaccines by them.

    There is also the following: 

      Elvis’ mother Gladys Love Presley also died at the early age of 46 of heart failure in 1958. And Vernon Presley, Lisa Marie’s grandfather, died of cardiac arrest at 63 in 1979.

      While heart failure and cardiac arrest are not the same, both can be fatal. Heart failure indicates that the heart is not pumping as much blood as the body needs, while cardiac arrest means the heart stops beating.

      Having a history of heart disease in your family makes you more likely to develop a heart ailment in the future, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

      Many types of heart disease can be passed down in families. According to the Mayo Clinic, family history of a heart disease increases the risk of coronary artery disease especially if a parent developed it at an early age (People. Lisa Marie).


      Between her opioid use and abuse, her overzealous attempt to lose weight, her recent plastic surgery, her many heartbreaks, and her family history, it is no surprise Lisa Marie died so young. But rather than grieving her death and offering prayers for the family, Covid antivaxxers just could not resist jumping at one more chance to spread their Covid vaccine misinformation. When all of this was pointed out to them in the online debates, it was just dismissed, as they “just know” the vaccines caused her death.




      Lisa Marie was correct when she wrote, “Death is part of life whether we like it or not.” It has been so since the beginning of time and will be until the end of time.

      People die every day. People die every day from a wide variety of causes and sometimes for no apparent reason at all. That has always been the case. But maybe Covid antivaxxers just cannot accept that fact, so they need to blame something, and that something is currently the Covid vaccines.

      I think that is their coping mechanism for dealing with the “uncomfortable subject” (as Lisa Marie put it) of death and grief. But a much better way is to trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Knowing you are forgiven of your sins and will be going to a better place when you die will enable you to accept death as being a part of life, without having to find something to blame.


            50Now this I say, brothers [and sisters], that flesh and blood is not able to inherit [the] kingdom of God, nor does the corruption inherit the incorruption. 51Listen! I tell you* a secret [or, mystery]. We indeed will not all sleep [fig., die], but we will all be changed [or, be transformed], 52in a moment, in a blinking of an eye, in the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible [or, imperishable], and we will be changed [or, transformed]!

      53For it is necessary [for] this corruptible to put on incorruption, and this mortal to put on immortality. 54Now when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, then will happen the word, the one having been written, “Death was swallowed up into victory.” [Isaiah 25:8, LXX] 55“O Death, where [is] your sting? O realm of the dead [Gr., hades], where [is] your victory?” [Hosea 13:14]

            56Now the sting of death [is] sin, but the power of sin [is] the Law. 57But thanks [be] to God, the One giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58So then, my beloved brothers [and sisters], continue becoming steadfast, unmovable, abounding in the work of the Lord at all times, knowing that your* labor is not empty [fig., not without results] in [the] Lord (1 Corinthians 15:50-58; ALT3).


God-given Foods Eating Plan
For Lifelong Health, Optimization of Hormones, Improved Athletic Performance

    The approach of this book is to study different foods and food groups, with a chapter devoted to each major classification of foods. First the Biblical evidence is considered, then the modern-day scientific research is reviewed. Foods are then classified as “God-given foods” and “non-God-given foods.” The main point will be a healthy eating plan is composed of a variety of God-given foods and avoids non-God-given foods.



      See Update on Covid Deaths (Refuting Covid Lies by the Right and Fearmongering by the Left): References.

Update on Covid Deaths: Part Five (NFL Death and Scare, Death of Elvis’ Daughter). Copyright 2023 by Gary F. Zeolla (

The above article was posted on this website January 14, 2023.
It was last updated January 30, 2023.

Text Search     Alphabetical List of Pages

Contact Information     2023 Articles and Commentaries

Covid Fearmongering and Lies Home Page

Other Websites, Newsletters, and Books by the Director