Fact Check: NO Evidence Activist Liam Coward Died As Result Of COVID Vaccine

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: NO Evidence Activist Liam Coward Died As Result Of COVID Vaccine Accident

Did activist Liam Coward die as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine? No, there's no evidence that's true: Although the exact cause of Coward's sudden passing is not known, there is nothing to indicate it had anything to do with the vaccine. His partner said that Coward suffered a "tragic accident" on December 30, 2022, and was placed in a medically induced coma. He died the next day.

The claim was implied in a Twitter post (archived here) published January 6, 2023. The post read:

'Freedom Hater' Liam Coward is dead at age 27. He was fully vaccinated and despised everyone that was not.

Gee, wonder what he died from?

#DiedSuddenly #LiamCoward

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Jan 9 17:40:49 2023 UTC)

Coward grew up in St. Marys, Ontario, Canada, and later moved to Niagara, also in Ontario, where he made a name for himself as an activist for the LGBTQ2+ community, according to his obituary. He died just nine days shy of his 29th birthday.

Coward's partner Paul Sheppard, in an Instagram post that is no longer publicly available online but can be read by looking at the page source of this archived version (right-click very quickly and choose "View Page Source"), said that Coward suffered a "tragic accident" on December 30, 2022. He was admitted to the intensive care unit and placed in a medically induced coma. Coward died on December 31, 2022. Sheppard wrote:

Liam left us, surrounded by his partner and members of both our families. We are more than heartbroken but take solace in the overwhelming outpouring of love and support by so many.

Sheppard did not detail the exact cause of Coward's death, but there is nothing to suggest it had anything to do with the COVID vaccine. The tweet did not offer any sourcing to substantiate its claim. Other eulogies about Coward also made no mention of the vaccine.

Pride Niagara, a nonprofit serving LGBTQ individuals and their families, posted about his death on Twitter, describing Coward as "an incredible LGBTQ2+ activist and friend":

St. Catharines NDP Riding Association, a group representing the New Democratic Party in St. Catharines, posted about his death on Facebook. It wrote:

Liam worked tirelessly for the betterment of his community. He could be counted on to help anyone who needed it, to advocate on their behalf, and to forever be ready to share a laugh.
Liam was a bright light in a world that can often be so dark.

Lead Stories reached out to St. Catherines NDP Riding Association and Pride Niagara to ask about Coward's exact cause of death. We will update this story, as appropriate, if we receive a response.

Updates:

  • 2023-01-10T18:23:51Z 2023-01-10T18:23:51Z
    Updates status of Paul Sheppard's Instagram post.

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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.


  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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