Wild theory about ‘dead’ COVID nurse
A sneaky bit of edited footage has whipped anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists into a frenzy, convincing many that a nurse who fainted after receiving the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine is dead.
Tiffany Dover, a 30-year-old nurse manager at CHI Memorial Hospital in Tennessee, became the subject of wild conspiracy theories after receiving the jab in a live video recording in December.
The footage shows her grabbing her forehead and apologising to a camera crew for feeling "dizzy". Moments later she falls from a chair into the arms of two nurses.
A video shared widely on social media does not include the nurse's recovery, which happened within minutes. She explained that she has "an overactive vagal response", which means that she can faint easily when she experiences pain from something as simple as a stubbed toe.
Vaccine sceptics have taken the footage and run with it, creating entire pages dedicated to her death and sharing the wildest of unfounded theories that include the use of a body double.
One video, seen by news.com.au, includes a "skeletal analysis" of Ms Dover before and after fainting. The video's author claims "fake Tiffany" has the wrong hair and the wrong eyebrows.
"I don't know what is going on here … see how different that looks," he says. "I don't know who this woman is or what this is."
For weeks since the incident, Ms Dover's Facebook page has been littered with messages of condolence for the nurse manager's family.
Ms Dover told WRCB Channel 3 News that she had a "sinkable episode".
"I have a history of having an overactive vagal response. If I have pain from anything … I can just pass out.
"I get a feeling of being weak, dizzy, disoriented but I'm fine now. The pain in my arm is very minimal but it doesn't take much."
She said she has "passed out six times in the past six weeks" and "it's very common for me".
"I could feel it coming on and I was trying to push through," Ms Dover said.
2) Here was how all the above sorta started. Someone deceptively edited a video... pic.twitter.com/g8XpdizbNm— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) February 1, 2021
Efforts to put an end to the theories include several fact checks and an evaluation of the footage from Reuters which declared the claims are false but Ms Dover's family is still being harassed.
A Facebook analysis showed there were more than 400 posts about Ms Dover still available as of February 1, despite the platform actively trying to hide them.
The story is part of a wider push to discredit vaccine research. It follows a report that showed more than half of those living in the United States will either delay or refuse to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
The non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that just 41 per cent of respondents would happy take the vaccine in its present form.
The numbers somewhat unsurprisingly reflect political leanings, too. The survey found 64 per cent of people who support the Democrats have already been vaccinated or want to be, compared to 32 per cent of Republican voters.
Australians will begin receiving the vaccine within weeks. The nation's most vulnerable will get the jab first when the rollout begins towards the end of February.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the Pfizer vaccine on January 25.
The organisation is also expected to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Originally published as Wild theory about 'dead' COVID nurse