Outgoing Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger called conservative activist Charlie Kirk "human garbage" for suggesting that the COVID-19 vaccine is to blame for football player Damar Hamlin's sudden cardiac arrest during the first quarter of a match against the Cincinnati Bengals this week.
Kirk—the founder of Turning Point USA which advocates for conservative politics on high school, college and university campuses—said on Twitter that Hamlin's collapse is just the latest example of "a tragic and all too familiar sight right now" that can be attributed to COVID-19 vaccines.
Hamlin is currently in critical condition and had to be resuscitated twice the night of the incident, facts that have prompted far-right anti-vaxxers like Kirk to claim without evidence that Hamlin's cardiac arrest was caused by the vaccine and speculate that he would die as a result of getting the shot.
You can see Kirk's tweet below.
A short while afterward, Kinzinger slammed Kirk for fueling fears and concerns over COVID-19 vaccinations making people sick, which anti-vaxxers have seized on since vaccines became widely available and largely tempered the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"You are absolutely the biggest piece of human garbage that can possibly exist right now. I literally think you are done now."
"Using this tragedy for your BS lies is sick."
You can see Kinzinger's tweet below.
Kirk's bogus claim has been echoed by other far-right activists like media personality Stu Peters, who directed Died Suddenly, a "documentary" whose main narrative is that COVID-19 vaccines have supposedly caused otherwise healthy individuals to "die suddenly" en masse from excessive blood clotting caused by the spike protein produced by the mRNA vaccine.
Kinzinger took note of other conservatives who have spread baseless conspiracies about Hamlin—whose vaccine status is unknown—and condemned for their "heartless, cold, evil" claims.
Many have joined Kinzinger in criticizing Kirk and others who have sowed fear and distrust in the wake of Hamlin's sudden health emergency.
The National Football League (NFL) and its players have offered their support to Hamlin and his family since the incident, with tributes pouring in across Cincinnati, Ohio—where Hamlin's team, the Buffalo Bills, played his fateful game—and around the country.
As of yesterday, Hamlin remained at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center while sedated and on a ventilator.
Hamlin's uncle told reporters that his nephew's condition is "trending upwards" and noted that Hamlin's cardiac arrest was a complete surprise to the rest of the family because Hamlin was “healthy as an ox.”