Vaccine critic Rashid Buttar did not die from ‘vaccine shedding’

By: John Faerseth
August 9 2023

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Vaccine critic Rashid Buttar did not die from ‘vaccine shedding’


The Verdict False

There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine caused Rashid Buttar's death.

Claim ID 6637b841


According to a current TikTok video, vaccine critic and COVID-19 conspiracy theorist Rashid Buttar, who died in May 2023, may have died from spike proteins “shedded” from vaccinated people he was in contact with. The video includes clips from an October 2021 CNN interview where Buttar referred to COVID-19 vaccines as “a mass genocide” comparable to World War II and claimed that they killed more people than COVID-19. 

It also includes raw footage where reporter Drew Griffin asked whether Buttar thought he had a “time bomb” within him and was going to die. Buttar answered that he thought that was “probable.” The video ends with the caption, “Drew Griffith dies 14 months after interview with Dr. Buttar.”

It has also been claimed that Buttar was poisoned, and his death has been linked to other alternative medicine doctors who died under mysterious circumstances. 

In fact

Osteopath Rashid Buttar was known for using an alternative treatment called “chelation” on his patients for several medical conditions, from autism to cancer. Chelation is the chemical removal of metals from the body, based on a theory that patients also have high levels of heavy metals, such as mercury, and other toxins. The method is connected to the false theory that autism is caused by mercury from vaccines. It has no proven therapeutic effects. 

In 2007, the North Carolina medical board officially reprimanded Buttar for treating cancer patients with various useless treatments with no known value for the treatment of cancer. Although his license was not revoked, he was charged up to tens of thousands of dollars. A 2021 report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) named Buttar as one of the “Disinformation Dozen,” twelve anti-vaxxers who played leading roles in spreading digital misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. CCDH found that the group was responsible for 65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on Twitter and Facebook between February 1, 2021, and March 16, 2021.

Buttar died in May 2023 at the age of 57. His family stated that he died at home and didn’t cite the vaccine as a cause. Still, his death has been used to fuel existing conspiracy theories that “holistic” doctors who oppose the mainstream medical establishment are being killed by mysterious forces. One of those who have claimed this is the well-known conspiracy theorist David Icke. 

In February 2022, Buttar told a fellow alternative medicine advocate that he had recently been hospitalized due to a stroke and myocarditis. He attributed this to the effects of COVID-19 vaccines. Though unvaccinated, Buttar claimed to be a victim of “shedding” of spike proteins from vaccinated people. This is where the body releases viral particles from a vaccine, and in some very rare cases, may create a risk of infection to others. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDS), COVID-19 vaccines do not use a weakened virus as their basis and thus have no hypothetical risk of shedding. 

A few days before his death,  Buttar claimed he had been poisoned with “200 times of what is in the vaccine.” He did not explain or elaborate further on what kind of poison he was referring to or whether he had been given a vaccine without knowing. This encouraged other anti-vaccine activists to repeat the claim that his death was related to vaccines, linking this to the “died suddenly” conspiracy theory. This conspiracy claims that healthy people “die suddenly” due to COVID-19 vaccines. 

Symptoms of shedding described by Buttar include shortness of breath and water weight gain. These are also symptoms of congestive heart failure due to cardiovascular disease. In a book by alternative health influencer Jonathan Otto, Buttar described other symptoms consistent with chronic heart disease beginning in 2015 and said he had an “underlying cardiac condition” with a CT-angiography having previously shown heart blockages consistent with a higher risk of stroke. 

Regarding senior CNN reporter Drew Griffin’s death 14 months later, Griffin died at 60 in December 2022, following a long battle with cancer. There is no evidence that this was connected to COVID-19 vaccines.

The verdict

There is no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine caused Rashid Buttar’s death, nor is there evidence of Covid vaccine causing Drew Griffin's death. We have therefore rated this claim as false. 

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