Fact Check: Scientists Do NOT Prove 93% Of People Who Died After COVID Vaccination Were Killed By Vaccine

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Scientists Do NOT Prove 93% Of People Who Died After COVID Vaccination Were Killed By Vaccine Not Supported

Did scientists prove that 93% of the people who died after being vaccinated for COVID-19 were killed by the vaccine? No, that's not true: The non-peer-reviewed paper by two scientists, Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi and Dr. Arne Burkhardt, provides no proof for its claims and uses a tiny sample size of just 15 people to draw its conclusions. A professional peer review is the customary process through which the methodology and conclusions in scholarly writings are challenged by professional peers, sometimes causing authors to restate their findings.

The claim appeared in a newsletter (archived here) published by Steve Kirsch to Substack on December 28, 2021, titled "Bhakdi/Burkhardt pathology results show 93% of people who died after being vaccinated were killed by the vaccine." It opens:

The vaccine was implicated in 93% of the deaths in the patients they examined. What's troubling is the coroner didn't implicate the vaccine in any of those deaths.

This is what Steve Kirsch's newsletter looked like on Substack on January 12, 2022:

vax deaths.png

(Source: Substack screenshot taken on Wed Jan 12 17:08:06 2021 UTC)

The Kirsch newsletter highlights a presentation made by Bhakdi and Burkhardt that was live-streamed at the Doctors for COVID Ethics Symposium on December 10, 2021. Their findings also appear in this non-peer-reviewed paper.

The paper calls its evidence that 93% of people who died after being vaccinated were killed by the vaccine "irrefutable." This is how the scientists begin building their case:

The evidence

We herewith present scientific evidence that calls for an immediate stop of the use of gene-based COVID-19 vaccines. We first lay out why the agents cannot protect against viral infection. While no positive effects can be expected, we show that the vaccines can trigger self-destructive processes that lead to debilitating illness and death.

The paper explores the deaths of 15 people, ages 28 to 95, who died anywhere from seven days to six months after receiving their COVID vaccines:


(Source: Doctors for COVID Ethics screenshot taken on Wed Jan 12 18:45:47 2021 UTC)

The scientists do not indicate where they got the information on the 15 individuals highlighted in their study or how they were selected. They do not name the coroner cited in their paper. No sourcing for the information is provided. It's not known if they were from a single country, 15 different ones or something in between.

The paper says a microscopic examination was performed on the organs of the 15 people. And through what they describe as their "autopsy findings," the scientists conclude that 14 of the 15 deaths (93%) were due to the COVID vaccine they received, suggesting the vaccines triggered their bodies to attack themselves. Here's what the paper's conclusion says:


Histopathologic analysis show clear evidence of vaccine-induced autoimmune-like pathology in multiple organs. That myriad adverse events deriving from such auto-attack processes must be expected to very frequently occur in all individuals, particularly following booster injections, is self-evident.

Beyond any doubt, injection of gene-based COVID-19 vaccines places lives under threat of illness and death. We note that both mRNA and vector-based vaccines are represented among these cases, as are all four major manufacturers.

Lead Stories has previously debunked stories that claimed COVID vaccines were causing autoimmune disorders or diseases. Lead Stories has also refuted other claims by both Kirsch and Bhakdi.

Australia's Department of Health says there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines can cause autoimmune diseases.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported no deaths and no autoimmune disease caused by the mRNA vaccines while carrying out what it says is the most intensive vaccine monitoring program in history:

Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), even if it's unclear whether the vaccine was the cause. Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.

More than 469 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through December 20, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 10,483 reports of death (0.0022%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC clinicians review reports of death to VAERS including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records.

A review of reports indicates a causal relationship between Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and TTS. On December 16, 2021, CDC scientists released a comprehensive review of reported U.S. cases through December 2, 2021. Continued monitoring has identified additional deaths for a total of nine deaths causally associated with Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccination. CDC and FDA continue to review reports of death following COVID-19 vaccination and update information as it becomes available.

To compare results, a tiny fraction of a percent of the 208 million fully vaccinated people in the United States (as of January 12, 2022) have deaths that can be directly linked to a COVID vaccine. The paper by Bhakdi and Burkhardt with a sample size of 15 people from somewhere in the world claimed that 93% had been killed by them.

The CDC says it will continue to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines:

Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unusual following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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