On the sudden death of Grant Wahl and the fury and hypocrisy of vaccine advocates
We will probably never know the underlying cause of the aneurysm that killed him - and the media and public health bureaucrats would rather we do not ask at all.
Grant Wahl died suddenly and tragically last week.
That’s all anyone is supposed to say.
Wahl was a prominent soccer journalist with over 850,000 Twitter followers and a growing Substack account. As you may have heard, he collapsed and died while covering a World Cup match in Qatar late on December 9.
His death became the subject of international controversy after his brother briefly suggested that someone in Qatar might have murdered Wahl because of his left-learning political views. In reality, an autopsy has now found that Wahl died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.
Died suddenly. A fraught phrase in the mRNA vaccine era.
For Wahl’s family, including his wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, Wahl’s death is awful and tragic.
But as much as they or anyone might wish it to be, it cannot be entirely a private matter - and not only because Wahl was a public figure who died in public.
At the time of his death, Wahl was an apparently healthy 48-year-old. His brother’s unfortunate accusations reflect the reality that unexplained sudden deaths of people under 50 are rare.
But Wahl was not murdered.
As Dr. Gounder disclosed on Wednesday, an autopsy conducted by the New York Medical Examiner’s office revealed he died of an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm that had been developed over time. An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulging in the wall of an artery. If it bursts, blood can burst out, destroying tissue around the tear and leading to blood loss and serious injury or death.
Aortic aneurysms are rare, especially in people under 50. The overall rate per year is roughly 1 in 10,000 or less, but the mean age at which aneurysms are diagnosed is about 70.
Their underlying cause is often unknown, but one condition that raises the risk for them is giant cell arteritis - an inflammation of the lining of the arteries.
In turn, cases of giant cell arteritis have emerged following Covid vaccination.
To be clear: there are many uncertainties here. Aneurysms can take years to develop and have many potential underlying conditions. Grant Wahl’s family has not released his autopsy report, so we do not know if he suffered from giant-cell arteritis - which is a very uncommon condition AND CAN GO UNDIAGNOSED IN MILD CASES (POST-PUBLICATION EDIT) - or that even if he did, mRNA jabs were the underlying cause. We also do not know if the mRNA shots could have caused other cardiovascular problems for Wahl that may have raised his risk of aneurysm. German pathologists have just reported finding infiltration by CD4 T-cells, which the body produces in response to mRNA vaccination, in the heart cells of some people who had suffered myocarditis and died following vaccination.
But we do know Wahl was vaccinated and had received at least one booster.
Grant Wahl was a strong advocate for the Covid vaccines. He used his public platform to press Covid vaccines and insult the unvaccinated.
He reported being vaccinated with the Pfizer jab in April 2021 and boosted in December 2021.
Did he receive a “bivalent” booster this fall? He didn’t say so publicly, and uptake of the bivalents has been slow.
But he is more likely than most people to have done so. His wife, Dr. Gounder, is an infectious diseases expert who served on the board that advised President Biden on Covid measures after his election.
She promoted Covid jabs and vaccine passports and mandates. In August 2021, she backed New York City’s decision to ban unvaccinated people from workplaces and public amenities like restaurants and gyms.
On November 22, she tweeted “The only boosters available now are the updated bivalent boosters. If you’re 50+ or immunocompromised or pregnant, get a COVID booster ASAP.”
Wahl was 47 at the time, so he was just outside the categories Gounder had recommended.
To sum up: last week, the mRNA vaccine-promoting husband of a leading Covid vaccine advocate died suddenly and publicly from an aneurysm, a condition that has as an underlying risk factor an illness that physicians have reported as mRNA vaccine-related.
The vaccine advocate then released a statement announcing that his death could not have been related to the vaccine.
As far as the media and public health advocates are concerned, the story should end there. In fact, one should be allowed even to point out these potential connections, and they will attack and try to shame anyone who does.
The tweet that infuriated Dr. Reiner was the first of three. These were the next two:
I hate - HATE - having to talk about this with this death so fresh, but the stakes are too high not to be honest about what we know and don’t know. Governments STILL press these shots; colleges still mandate them; and overall deaths in mRNA nations are still well above normal.
This fight is not for grins and giggles, and to turn away because of one family’s pain at the risk of allowing others to suffer helps no one.
I don’t think anything in those tweets is disrespectful to Wahl’s family. But vaccine advocates seem to view nearly all questions about vaccine risk as out of bounds.
Many of the same advocates and media outlets spent much of last year reporting on the death from Covid of seemingly every unvaccinated person they could find - and the stories often contained open schadenfreude.
In perhaps the most stunning example, a Los Angeles Times columnist named Michael Hiltzik encouraged public humiliation of unvaccinated people who died from Covid in a story headlined:
"Mocking anti-vaxxers’ COVID deaths is ghoulish, yes — but may be necessary"
Yes, that was the actual headline.
The double standard here is obvious - and worsened by vaccine advocates’ willful ignorance of the reality that Covid deaths have occurred overwhelmingly among vaccinated people throughout 2022 (at least in countries with more accurate data than the United States, such as Australia).
The advocates are even more blind to the fact that all-cause deaths have run well above normal in most mRNA countries all year. And they are still pressing the shots, even on college students who are at essentially no risk from Covid and face a clear risk of vaccine-linked myocarditis.
I wouldn’t wish what happened to Grant Wahl’s family on anyone.
And I have tried to be as respectful as possible both on Twitter and in this column.
But as I wrote last year about the sudden death of Dan Kaminsky, another man under 50 who had publicly advocated for the vaccines:
When people die, refusing to ask hard questions about what might have killed them is not heroic. It's the opposite.
With excess deaths continuing month after month in the mRNA countries, those words are more true than ever.