No evidence three presidents died because they refused vaccines for their nations
15 July 2021
What was claimed
The presidents of Haiti, Tanzania and Zambia died ‘unexpectedly’, and this is linked to the fact they refused the Covid-19 vaccines for their nations.
The president of Zambia did not refuse the vaccines, and died at age 97 of pneumonia. The president of Tanzania died of a heart condition. The president of Haiti was assassinated, but did not refuse the vaccinations.
A meme shared on Facebook features actor John Krasinski in The Office with a whiteboard with edited text, which says: “3 countries refused the covid vaccine”, followed by: “Now all 3 of their presidents have died unexpectedly”. Beneath the image are the names of the former presidents of Haiti (Jovenel Moïse), Tanzania (John Magufuli) and Zambia (Kenneth Kaunda).
The posts suggest that the death of these three men is linked to a refusal of the Covid-19 vaccines. There is no evidence to support this claim.
Mr Moïse was fatally shot at home on 7 July 2021. Arrests have been made but there are still many unknown details about the assasination. There is no evidence to suggest that there is a link to the lack of progress made regarding Haiti’s vaccine roll out.
Tanzania- John Magufuli
President Magufuli reportedly said that home treatments such as steam inhalation were preferable to “dangerous foreign vaccines”, and in February 2021 the country’s health minister said that Tanzania had no plans to accept Covid-19 vaccines.
Mr Magufuli’s successor, president Samia Suluhu Hassan announced that the president’s death in March 2021 was due to heart disease. There is no evidence to suggest that the death was related to Mr Magufuli’s stance on the Covid-19 vaccines.
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here.
For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false
because there is no evidence of a link, there are other explanations for the deaths, and they did not all refuse the vaccines for their countries.
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