In his first on-camera interview since his unexpected cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was surprisingly mum when Good Morning America host Michael Strahan, a former NFL player, asked him why he collapsed despite being young and otherwise healthy.
“You’re 24, peak physical condition, could run circles around me right now. How did doctors describe what happened to you?” Strahan asked.
It was a fair question. Certainly, by now doctors would have an explanation, a theory… anything. But, Hamlin, after saying umm, and then pausing for roughly 12 seconds, said, “That’s something I want to stay away from.”
How did doctors describe what happened to you?”
“Umm… That’s something I want to stay away from.”
— Matt Margolis (@mattmargolis) February 15, 2023
Really? Why? After Hamlin’s collapse, the most common theory for his cardiac arrest was commotio cordis, “a rare lethal disruption of heart rhythm that occurs as a result of a blow to the area directly over the heart at a critical time during the cycle of a heartbeat.”
That clearly wasn’t the case because otherwise, it seems reasonable that Hamlin would have said so — especially when so many were disputing that diagnosis after reviewing footage of the play before his collapse. Hamlin did confirm to Strahan that there were no warning signs prior to the incident. “Honestly, no,” he said. “I’ve always been a healthy, young, fit, energetic human being, so it was is something that we’re still processing and I’m still talking through with my doctors to see what everything was.”
But do they really not know? Last week, NFL Players Association medical director Thom Mayer sure sounded like he knew Hamlin’s diagnosis and expressed confidence he would play football once again. “I don’t want to get into HIPAA issues, but I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again,” Mayer said. So it sure sounds like there is an explanation for Hamlin’s collapse, and it is not commotio cordis — otherwise, that would have been revealed.
So it must have been caused by something else that Hamlin’s medical team must be aware of if Thom Mayer is guaranteeing that Hamlin will play again. Many believed Hamlin’s cardiac arrest could be related to myocarditis, a well-known side-effect of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
In October, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo reported that the Florida Department of Health conducted an analysis of the mRNA vaccines, which found “an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination.”
Studies have also shown that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are more likely to cause myocarditis in young men than natural infection from COVID. Studies suggest that there’s anywhere from a 1-in-5,000 to a 1-in-6,000 chance of myocarditis in young men who receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine. According to Doran Fink, M.D., deputy director of the clinical side of the FDA’s Division of Vaccines and Related Products Applications, “when you look at the balances of risk versus benefit, what we really start to see is risk of myocarditis being higher [than risk from COVID-19] in males under age 40.”
There could be plenty of other reasons for Hamlin’s collapse, but given how quickly rumors began that Hamlin’s collapse had been due to myocarditis, it would certainly be in the public’s best interest for Hamlin and his team to dismiss that explanation, even if they don’t want to reveal the true cause. Hamlin’s desire to “stay away from” the cause of his cardiac arrest only fuels more speculation — and justifiably so.