Fake CNN Report On Obese COVID-19 Patient Dying Goes Viral

The report on obese woman dying of COVID-19 and blaming unvaccinated people is fake.

Social media posts shared thousands of times purport to show a news report about an obese woman who "blamed the unvaccinated" for her becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. However, the report is likely intended as a joke and uses a photo of a woman who starred in a US reality TV show.

"Healthy 40-year Old COVID Victim's Last Words: 'I blame the unvaccinated for this'," reads an article shared on Instagram on August 27.

Also Read: Joe Rogan Misinterprets Study To Claim Vaccinated People Create Variants

The article, which features the logo of US broadcaster CNN, reports that a vaccinated woman named Sheila Johnson died from COVID-19 after she was infected by a neighbour who refused to take the shot.


A screenshot of the misleading post as of August 30, 2021

The article was also shared on Twitter here and here, where it has been retweeted almost 5,000 times and gained tens of thousands of interactions.

Comments on the posts suggest some social media users believed the article was a genuine news report.

"It's a wonder she didn't add President Trump to the blame game list," one Instagram user wrote.

"How can any self-respecting journalist write that headline over that picture," another commented.

However, the article is fake.

A Google search of the headline on the CNN website did not show any related results.

In addition, the text of the article suggests it was intended as a joke.

"Sheila Johnson lived the way any healthy American would, waking up at 6am to eat a dozen eggs, 36 pancakes, 40 sausages and washing it down with a gallon of maple syrup. That was until she caught COVID from her unvaccinated neighbour, 58 year old triathlete Richard Sorenson who had COVID but wasn't aware of it," it reads.

"Sheila was vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine months before and was constantly encouraging Richard to get the vaccine, but he refused stating "I'm 6 feet tall, 190 pounds and run the mile in 6 minutes and 20 seconds, why do I need a vaccine I'm perfectly healthy! The day Sheila passed away Richard won his 10th triathlon."

Also Read: Tennessee Has Not Allowed Forced Relocation To COVID-19 Interment Camps

Reality TV show star

A Google reverse image search of the photo of the woman led to an article on entertainment site Looper headlined "What Happened To Cindy Vela From My 600-Lb Life?"

According to the article, the woman in the photo is not 'Sheila Johnson', but a woman named Cindy Vela, who starred in reality TV show My 600-Lb Life.

"After years and years of binge eating, Cindy reached 500 pounds by the time she was 30 and nearly 615 pounds when she turned 45," it reads.

A clip from the episode featuring Vela which aired on US broadcaster TLC on January 21 2021 can be viewed here on YouTube.

Below is a comparison of the fake CNN article (left) and a screenshot from the episode on TLC's website (right).

Comparison of the fake CNN article (left) and a screenshot from the episode on TLC's website (right)

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by BOOM staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Updated On: 2021-09-07T17:30:54+05:30
Claim Review :   An obese woman who died of COVID-19 blamed unvaccinated people.
Claimed By :  Posts on Twitter and Instagram
Fact Check :  False
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