On January 19 it was announced that legendary musician David Crosby had died at the age of 81 after a “long illness.” This came via a statement from Crosby’s wife, Jan Dance, which Charles Trepany and Melissa Ruggieri shared for USA TODAY. Here is a CBS Mornings career retrospective on the man who was a founding member of not only the Byrds but also Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
Dance’s statement didn’t clarify what specifically Crosby’s long illness was, but there has been a spin, spin, spin of claims on social media since the announcement. And a lot of discussion has revolved, surprise surprise, around Covid-19. After all, we are still in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic, which means that the risk of becoming infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is still quite high. At the same time, the amount of misinformation circulating about covid-19 and covid-19 vaccines has skyrocketed eight miles.
So every time you hear about a death these days, don’t start soaking up what you hear on social media like you’re smoking a giant joint. Instead, first consider the sources behind each bit of information, and seek confirmation and verification of what you hear.
One claim that has circulated on social media is that Crosby succumbed to covid-19. Based on what has been shared on social media, this belief appears to have stemmed largely from what Roger Friedman posted on his website. showbiz411.com: “Sources tell me that Crosby died of COVID. Most likely he was vaccinated, but he may have had comorbidities.” showbiz411.com is an entertainment industry news and movie review site that Friedman launched in 2009 after working as a columnist for NY magazine and then reporter of foxnews. In his post, Friedman did not offer any further details about his sources, and there has yet to be any further confirmation of what Friedman had indicated.
Crosby had Covid-19 before, according to a May 15, 2022 article in Variety by Chris Willman. Back then, Willman had quoted Crosby as saying in a journalism class at Golden High School in Golden, Colorado, the following about his experience with Covid-19: “It’s been horrible. COVID is a very strange disease. It makes you feel absolutely horrible. It’s been completely unpleasant… it’s not fun at all. You want to avoid it if possible.” So if covid-19 was indeed the cause of Crosby’s death, another question is whether it was the result of long-term organ damage from his previous bout with infection versus a possible new infection from severe acute respiratory syndrome. coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV -2) more recently. A combination of both is also possible.
Of course, “prolonged illness” should not automatically equate to Covid-19. Other medical conditions have not taken a vacation during the Covid-19 pandemic. Crosby has certainly had its share of other health challenges in recent decades. He had previously battled drug and alcohol addiction and received a liver transplant in 1994 after suffering from a chronic hepatitis C infection. More recently, he had type 2 diabetes and underwent a cardiac catheterization in 2014. Therefore , it is unclear what medical conditions he may have been struggling with recently.
Not surprisingly, when word got out that Crosby might have died from covid-19, some used this as an opportunity to try to criticize covid-19 vaccines. For example, one person claimed, “News reports say that David Crosby, the legendary singer of the Byrds, has died of Covid-19. If so, it is further proof that we have been told many lies about these vaccines, that they do not prevent the transmission of Covid (which even the CDC finally admits)”.
Umm, many scientists have clearly indicated over the last couple of years that the covid-19 vaccines do not offer 100% protection against covid-19. If you google my name and “not a concrete full-body condom,” you’ll see the number of times I’ve repeatedly emphasized this point since Covid-19 vaccines first became available. Again, just because you’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 doesn’t mean you can’t get infected with SARS-CoV-2. In addition, studies have shown that the immune protection conferred by vaccines decreases over time.
Then there have been posts like the following: “Here it is, the media starts blaming COVID-19 for the death of David Crosby. However, he contracted COVID after the vaccine, apparently like everyone else. The vaccine seems to give them COVID.” Yes, submit this under the “blame the vaccine without offering proof” category. Hundreds of thousands of people died from covid-19 even before covid-19 vaccines were available. Vaccines do not contain live virus. So how exactly can they transmit Covid-19 to you?
At this point, it is still too soon to conclude that Crosby died of covid-19. And there really hasn’t been any evidence that covid-19 vaccines have been his downfall. For now, it’s best to stick with things that are safe. Crosby’s music career has left everyone with a legacy of hits from his early Byrds songs like “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” and “Eight Miles High” to his Crosby, Stills and Nash tracks like “Lady Friend” and “Guinnevere” to his solo material like “Laughing” and “Rodriguez for a Night. Crosby was also quite active on Twitter up until January 18, regularly tweeting about a variety of topics ranging from evaluating blunt footage to being outspoken about how more action needs to be taken on climate change. We leave you with one of Crosby’s latest tweets.