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Rasmussen Survey Finds Nearly Half of Americans Think COVID Vaccines Cause of Unexplained Deaths

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: January 3, 2023
People go shopping on Black Friday in Herald Square on Nov. 26, 2021 in New York City. Streets were filled with shoppers as retailers anticipate a busier holiday season after last year's quieter Black Friday caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

A new survey released by Rasmussen Reports discovered that 48 percent of respondents believe that side effects from the controversial COVID-19 vaccines are responsible for a rash of unexplained deaths.

Published Jan. 2, Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 American adults between Dec. 28 and 30, 2022 in an online and telephone poll, posing the question: “How likely is it that side effects of COVID-19 vaccines have caused a significant number of unexplained deaths?”

48 percent responded they believed it was likely, while 28 percent stated they felt the scenario was “very likely.”


Also, 28 percent of respondents stated they believe that someone they personally know has died of a COVID vaccine complication.

When facing the question: “Which is closer to your belief, that there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, or that people who worry about vaccine safety are spreading conspiracy theories?”

48 percent of respondents said they felt there were legitimate reasons, while 37 percent said they felt the vaccine-concerned were influenced by conspiracy theories and misinformation.

Following the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus from mainland China in early 2020, experimental mRNA vaccines were developed at breakneck speed to combat the pandemic — and touted as universally safe and effective despite having going through minimal testing and clinical trials.

Not entirely a partisan issue

71 percent of the 1,000 survey participants self-reported their vaccination status as having accepted injection.

“Concerns about vaccine safety are much higher among the unvaccinated,” Rasmussen noted.

When factoring for vaccination status, the firm reported that the ratio of unvaccinated respondents who believed COVID vaccines were a cause of unexplained deaths rose to 77 percent.

Among the vaccinated, the same figure fell to 38 percent.

Facing the question of whether respondents felt someone they knew had died from a COVID vaccine side effect, 22 percent of the vaccinated share of survey takers still responded in the affirmative.

When dividing the segment along political party lines, Rasmussen stated, “More Democrats (85%) than Republicans (63%) or those not affiliated with either major party (64%) have been vaccinated against COVID-19.”

“More Republicans (60%) than Democrats (44%) or the unaffiliated (43%) think there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines,” they added.

Rasmussen specifically noted that when it came to suspicions about deaths in their personal sphere from COVID injection side effects, the effects of party division almost entirely vanished.

In fact, Democrats were more likely to believe that the deaths of someone they know may have been caused by side-effects from the vaccine.

“There is less political difference in the number who suspect someone they know might have died from vaccine side effects – 33% of Democrats and 26% of both Republicans and the unaffiliated.”

On the other hand, economic class was found to be a significant factor in one’s attitude on COVID vaccine safety.

Another illustrative data point was a sharp difference in response based on the income of respondents, “Voters with annual incomes below $30,000 are most likely to think there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, while those with incomes above $200,000 are most likely to believe people who worry about vaccine safety are spreading conspiracy theories.”

Inauspicious timing

The poll was issued the same day that 24-year-old Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin suddenly collapsed during a regular season NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals after a seemingly harmless play in the first quarter.

Hamlin required six minutes of CPR to be revived before being rushed to hospital in critical condition, ABC News reported based on a statement by the League.

The NFL suspended the match following the incident.

An update several hours later published on Twitter by website Daily Loud stated that Hamlin’s vitals had returned to normal while the athlete had been intubated and given tranquilizers based on a report from CEO of Jaster Athletes, Jordon Rooney, who stated he is both a personal friend of Hamlin and his marketing representative.

An August of 2022 report by NBC News stated that although the NFL does not have a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, the League often boasted that approximately 95 percent of all players and almost all staff members had nonetheless done their part to accept the injections.

The report also comes on the heels of two ABC News producers, seemingly both healthy and fit, who passed away suddenly during the final weeks of December.

On Dec. 21, the network announced that producer Erica Gonzalez had passed away from undisclosed causes in her sleep.

On Christmas Eve, reports were issued in mainstream media based on a memo from ABC News President Kim Godwin that 37-year-old Dax Tejera, producer for George Stephanopoulos, had died of a sudden heart attack on Dec. 23.

ABC News, which is owned by Disney, would likely have been subject to its parent company’s COVID-19 vaccination policy, regarded as one of the strictest in the entertainment and media industry, which required acceptance of the injections as a condition of continued employment.