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There is no evidence to suggest that Julie Powell died after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Eric Powell, her husband, has said publicly she died of cardiac arrest.
Days after the death of food writer Julie Powell, social media posts are suggesting the 49 year old perished from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Powell, a bestselling author and blogger whose writing provided the basis for the 2009 movie "Julie & Julia," died Oct. 26 in her upstate New York home, according to her obituary in The New York Times.
A Nov. 2 Instagram post showed out-of-context screenshots from Powell’s Twitter account in which she talked about receiving a COVID-19 booster shot as well as being diagnosed with a common and harmless medical condition called "black hairy tongue."
"Damn," read the caption on the Instagram post, "Are they starting to drop like flies or is that just me? #homepage #clotshot #juliepowell #blacktongue #vaccinated #nuremberg2"
The post was flagged as part of Instagram’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Powell’s husband, Eric, told the Times his wife died of cardiac arrest. He did not mention the COVID-19 vaccine. Eric Powell could not immediately be reached by PolitiFact.
The post highlighted several tweets Julie Powell shared in 2021 about COVID-19 vaccines, and an Oct. 25 tweet, her last, in which she described waking up with what doctors said was a harmless tongue condition.
In the Feb. 26, 2021, tweet, highlighted by the post Powell referenced some optimism at the idea of vaccines becoming more widely available.
On May 8, 2021, she tweeted that she was feeling "a little noshy" after getting a vaccine.
On Dec. 18, 2021, she responded to a post about a booster shot by saying that she would be getting hers on Christmas Eve.
PolitiFact was unable to independently verify which vaccine Powell received or whether she was inoculated with one of the updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters, which were made available in September.
The Instagram post appears to be nodding at a rare heart-related side effect linked to COVID-19 vaccines, myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.
Health officials say contracting COVID-19 poses a much greater heart risk than receiving COVID-19 vaccines. The National Institutes of Health said the benefits of getting vaccinated "markedly outweigh the very small risk of vaccine-related myocarditis." The NIH also said the risk of myocarditis linked with COVID-19 illness is several times greater than the risk from vaccination, and is often more serious.
An Instagram post drew on Powell’s old tweets about getting vaccinated to suggest that the vaccines caused Powell's death.
Powell’s husband told The New York Times that his wife died of cardiac arrest. We find no evidence to suggest the vaccine was to blame.
We rate this False.
The New York Times, "Julie Powell, Food Writer Known for ‘Julie & Julia,’ Dies at 49," Nov. 1, 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines Including Boosters," accessed Nov. 2, 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Cardiac Complications After SARS-CoV-2 Infection and mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination," accessed Nov. 2, 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination," accessed Nov. 2, 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination," accessed Nov. 2, 2022
PolitiFact, "No evidence of COVID-19 vaccines causing deaths," Sept. 20, 2021
MayoClinic, "Black hairy tongue - Symptoms and causes," accessed Nov. 2, 2022
Tweet, Feb. 26, 2021
Tweet, May 8, 2021
Tweet, Dec. 18, 2021
Tweet, Oct. 25, 2022
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