Fact Check: 2022 Was NOT The First Time CDC Talked About Blood Clots Ahead Of Super Bowl

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: 2022 Was NOT The First Time CDC Talked About Blood Clots Ahead Of Super Bowl Nothing New

Was 2022 the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention talked about blood clots ahead of the Super Bowl? No, that's not true: The CDC also publicized blood clots in connection with the NFL championship on Twitter before the 2020 game. The agency has regularly posted about the condition on social media for more than a decade.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on February 12, 2022. It opened:

Normalizing •b•l•o•o•d• •c•l•o•t•s• 🙄

Way to go Seedy See (aka •C•D•C•)! 🥴

Haha!!! Wow. 😑

I mean, really...? 🥴

Maybe, if you avoid a certain strongly pushed •j•a•b• you won't have to worry so much about this. & if you get •C•O•\/•I•D• you can take aspirin or NAC.

Have they EVER before put out anything like this for the SuperBowl? The answer would be NO.

& YES, they definitely know.

#theyknow

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on February 15, 2022:

CDC Facebook.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Feb 15 18:28:03 2022 UTC)

The Facebook post accusing the CDC of "Normalizing •b•l•o•o•d• •c•l•o•t•s•" promotes false claims made by COVID skeptics and anti-vaccine activists. The post asks this question about the CDC:

Have they EVER before put out anything like this for the SuperBowl? The answer would be NO.

The answer is yes. The CDC first did it two years ago, linking its campaign about the dangers of blood clots to the hype ahead of Super Bowl LIV. The post appeared on Twitter (archived here) on February 2, 2020, a full month ahead of the initial lockdown for COVID-19:

CDC 2020.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Feb 15 21:42:57 2022 UTC)

The Facebook post appears to blame the need for blood clot warnings on COVID vaccines:

Maybe, if you avoid a certain strongly pushed •j•a•b• you won't have to worry so much about this. & if you get •C•O•\/•I•D• you can take aspirin or NAC.

Neither aspirin nor NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) are recommended treatments for COVID.

While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been linked to blood clots for women 30 to 49 years old, they are extremely rare. The CDC's website says this on its Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination page:

Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after Johnson & Johnson's Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccination is rare. TTS is a rare but serious adverse event that causes blood clots in large blood vessels and low platelets (blood cells that help form clots). As of February 3, 2022, more than 18.2 million doses of the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States. CDC and FDA identified 57 confirmed reports of people who got the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and later developed TTS.

CDC has also identified nine deaths that have been caused by or were directly attributed to TTS following J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination. Women ages 30-49 years, especially, should be aware of the increased risk of this rare adverse event. There are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.

-- To date, three confirmed cases of TTS following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Moderna) have been reported to VAERS after more than 522 million doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered in the United States. Based on available data, there is not an increased risk for TTS after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.

In a Twitter search, Lead Stories found nearly two dozen examples of the CDC warning about the risks associated with blood clots, dating back to September 2011. Only one of them had a connection to a COVID vaccine -- one from April 2021 on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (archived here):

CDC Johnson and Johnson.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Feb 15 22:08:04 2022 UTC)

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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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