Fact check: Mexican priest fainted on livestream, didn't die from COVID-19 vaccination

·3 min read

The claim: Priest died on livestream after COVID-19 vaccination

A viral video that shows a priest collapsing mid-sermon is being taken by social media users as proof of the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.

"Vaxxed Priest Dies on Livestream," reads the title of a Nov. 24 video posted on Facebook.

In the video the man is seen stopping during his presentation, turning to his side and falling. A woman holds him, and then others in the church rush to help him.

The video accumulated more than 50,000 views within five days. The claim made the rounds on Twitter as well, where it gathered thousands more interactions.

USA TODAY traced the video to a priest named Ángel Cuevas from the Parroquia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Reina de México in Acapulco, Mexico.

Various online comments linked the incident to the COVID-19 vaccines, but several news articles published about the event make no mention of vaccination. In a video posted to the church's Facebook page, where the priest shows gratitude for everyone's prayers, he also doesn't link what happened with a vaccine.

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USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment.

Priest fainted during a sermon

The priest appeared a day after the event in front of the congregation, and he led a service again a few weeks later, according to videos posted on the church's Facebook page. No mention is made of a vaccine connection.

In the Sept. 4 video, Cuevas spoke in Spanish and thanked the archbishop and parishioners for their prayers and concerns regarding "yesterday's incident." He also thanked his doctors, present that day, for their care and mentioned that per their orders he would be taking some time off. Cuevas can be seen delivering a sermon on Sept. 30 in a video recorded live and posted to the church's page.

The priest said the video had gone viral and people from the U.S. had also contacted him to ask how he was doing. He went on to thank God that he was back on his feet and said he would be allowing himself space to take care of himself.

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USA TODAY found the minute-long video has circulated on social media since Sept. 3, the day it happened.

The caption of a YouTube video posted by Quadratin Guerrero, a local Mexican news outlet, details the incident in Spanish and also reports the priest fainted during mass.

No credible sources linked the occurrence with a COVID-19 vaccine.

USA TODAY reached out to the church for comment.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a priest died on a livestream after COVID-19 vaccination. The priest fainted; he didn't die. The priest appeared on Facebook the day after the incident and has celebrated mass again. And there has been no reputable evidence linking the fainting and a vaccine.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Mexican priest fainted, didn't die from COVID-19 vaccine

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