Last Friday, baseball legend Hank Aaron died of natural causes at the age of 86. In the wake of his death, however, skeptics on social media began suggesting that Aaron died of complications from the COVID-19 vaccine. In his last tweet, sent January 5th, Aaron encouraged his followers to sign up for the vaccine.
At the time, Aaron told The Associated Press getting vaccinated made him feel “wonderful.”
“I don’t have any qualms about it at all,” he said. “I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this. It’s just a small thing that can help zillions of people in this country.”
Aaron got the vaccine alongside his wife, former civil rights activist Andrew Young and former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan. The event was held in the Morehouse School of Medicine’s brand-new health clinic, to which Aaron and his wife donated millions back in 2016. The school addressed the Tuskegee syphilis study and the “legacy of mistrust” of medical research in the Black community.
“I’ve been taking vaccines now for 88 years and I haven’t been sick,” Young added. “The truth of it is, Black folk have been living by shots, and just because they did something crazy and murderous and evil back in 1931, we’re still thinking about that. We’ve got to get over that.”
Young led missions to eradicate polio in 141 countries during his tenure in Congress. After seeing its effects from Warm Springs, Georgia to Nigeria, he’s no critic of vaccines.
“I’m a product of vaccines. Why would I want to stop now?” Young said.
According to an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey in December, 40% of Black Americans said they would not get the vaccine.
Hank Aaron is survived by his wife Billye Aaron and six children.
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