Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico suffered a stroke and was hospitalized last week, his office revealed Tuesday in an announcement that sent shock waves through the 50-50 Senate.
The 49-year-old Democrat checked himself into a hospital in Santa Fe on Thursday after he began to experience dizziness and fatigue, according to his chief of staff, who said Lujan is expected to make a full recovery
His chief of staff, Carlos Sanchez, said the senator was then transferred to a hospital in Albuquerque for further evaluation.
‘Senator Luján was found to have suffered a stroke in the cerebellum, affecting his balance,’ the statement released Tuesday said. ‘As part of his treatment plan, he subsequently underwent decompressive surgery to ease swelling.’
Luján is still in the hospital and expected to make a full recovery, his office said.
Immediately the speculation began that Lujan’s stroke was vaccine-related, and people began posting this picture of him:
However, from what I was able to gather, that picture is from December 19, 2020. I don’t know if it matters that it was more than a year ago, but I was under the impression that vaccine injuries show up fairly early. I could be wrong, though.
And I have no idea when/if he received a booster shot.
Still, though, a stroke at age 49 is pretty unusual. It’s not unheard of, but it’s abnormal.
According to the CDC, as of 2009, 34% of stroke victims were under the age of 65. I don’t know why the CDC doesn’t have more up to date data on this.
I also know that stroke prevalence is increasing in younger people. This 2005 study found that, for people in the Cincinnati metro area, the median age of stroke victims dropped from 71 in 1994 to 69 by 2005.
The most recent data I could find was from 2018, but it came from the UK, so it may not be representative of America. It found the following:
The figures show that 38% of people suffering strokes are middle aged (40-69) – up from 33% a decade ago. The average age for a woman suffering a stroke has dropped from 75 to 73 and for men it has dropped from 71 to 68.
In 2016, 57,000 people suffered a first time stroke in England, and around 30,000 died from the condition, making it the third most common cause of premature death.
So stroke prevalence is increasing in younger people.
It’s not unheard of for a 49 year old to suffer a stroke, and from the picture it doesn’t look like Lujan is in particularly great shape, although by no means is he in terrible shape or anything like that.
Still, though, the vaccines have been linked to strokes as side effects. There aren’t many instances reported, but strokes have been noted as a potential side effect of the vaccines.
Another study argues that it’s possible to suffer a stroke after getting the Covid-19 vaccine, but strokes are a much more common side effect of Covid-19 itself, with apparently 1.4% of Covid-19 infections carrying stroke as a side effect.
If this were truly the case, then that is deeply concerning. It would mean that Covid-19 has caused at least 760,000 strokes in the US alone and at least 3.8 million worldwide based on the official figures.
Since we know that the real number of Covid-19 infections is anywhere between 6-24x higher than official figures, this would mean millions upon millions of Covid-induced strokes worldwide.
To my knowledge, I have not heard of any sort of massive increase in strokes. I could’ve missed it, but as far as I know I’ve not heard anyone discuss this.
And this idea that you have a much greater chance of suffering a stroke after a Covid-19 infection than you do after getting a vaccine shot–this is always brought up in favor of vaccinations.
But the problem with this should be fairly obvious: the vaccines don’t prevent you from getting Covid-19. So people who are vaccinated incur the risk of suffering a stroke as a vaccine side effect, but also the risk of having a stroke as a Covid-19 side effect.
It’s not an either-or situation: it’s not as if getting the vaccine shot lowers your risk of suffering a stroke as a side effect of Covid-19 because it prevents you from getting Covid-19. It doesn’t prevent you from getting Covid-19.
You can get Covid-19 after you’ve been vaccinated. So as far as I can tell, vaccinated people are at higher risk of stroke simply because of the base risk of stroke after Covid, as well as the risk of stroke as a vaccine side effect.
A person who is unvaccinated could suffer a stroke as a Covid-19 side effect. But a person who is vaccinated could suffer a stroke as either a Covid-19 side effect or a vaccine side effect.