Did Diamond and Silk Get Vaccinated? Cause of Death Remarks Spark Confusion

Lynette Hardaway, known as the “Diamond” in the pairing of conservative sisters Diamond and Silk, died on January 8.

At a memorial event—held in their home town of Fayetteville, North Carolina on January 17—remarks by the surviving sister, Herneitha Rochelle Richardson, have sparked confusion over the nature of her death, and whether it is being attributed to the COVID-19 vaccines.

The duo were supporters and unofficial campaigners for president Donald Trump, and have appeared on stage at several of his rallies. Through their support, they became political personalities and commentators.

Hardaway’s death was first announced by Trump on his Truth Social platform on January 10. “Really bad news for Republicans and frankly, all Americans,” he wrote. Her death was officially announced by the pair’s Twitter account two days later.

“The World just lost a True Angel and Warrior Patriot for Freedom, Love, and Humanity!” it tweeted.

Claims that Hardaway had been hospitalized in November fueled speculation online that she had died of COVID. Their joint Twitter account asked fans to “pray for Diamond” on November 26, however it has since been attacked claims she died of the virus, calling for retractions.

Richardson’s cause of death has not been released.

Diamonds and Silks
Diamond (L) and Silk (R) attend the Save the Storks 2nd Annual Stork Charity Ball at the Trump International Hotel on January 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. Silk, aka Rochelle Richardson, appeared to suggest her sister’s death may have been due to the COVID vaccine.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Save the Storks

“As soon as Diamond hung up the phone, she said to me: ‘I can’t breathe’,” Richardson said in her address at the celebration of her sister’s life on Tuesday. “It was suddenly, out of nowhere, and [with] no warning. I got her to the kitchen table, opened up the back door, so that she could get some water. And each breath was less, and less, and less.”

She went on to explain that her and her husband performed CPR until emergency medical services arrived, who “did everything they could,” she said. Richardson’s narrative of her sister’s final moments, despite her denials, appears consistent with a death caused by respiratory disease.

The sisters have often used their platform to question the COVID vaccine policy—specifically Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate—as well as the efficacy of the jab. They were also removed from Fox News’ list of contributors for their claims about the vaccine, according to the Associate Press, which prompted them to move to Newsmax, a far-right cable news channel, where they hosted a talk show.

However, to say the sisters were anti-vax may be to paint them with too broad a brushstroke: many of their tweets mentioning vaccines raise questions about mandatory enforcement, alternate treatments, and how lethal the virus is itself, rather than explicitly posing concerns about the vaccines.

On one occasion, they even tacitly endorsed the vaccine.

“If you are afraid of the virus, then stay your ass home,” they said wrote on December 28, 2020. “Don’t deny people the right to work and make a living because you are afraid of a virus with a 99 percent recovery rate, which we now have Therapeutic Medicines and Vaccines available to treat!”

Neither sister appeared to have publicly said whether they were vaccinated or not.

However, the reaction to Richardson’s memorial speech suggests others believe they were, even though she did not mention the vaccine explicitly.

“Don’t you dare call me a conspiracy theorist, because I saw it happen,” Richardson said. “I saw how it happened. I was there when it happened, and it happened suddenly. I want America to wake up and pay attention. Something ain’t right. It’s time to investigate what’s really going on here, and give some answers to why people are falling dead suddenly.”

The phrase ‘died suddenly’ has become part of the anti-vaxxer vernacular, denoting a belief that the vaccine can somehow cause a sudden heart attack, following the release of a November 2022 COVID film of the same name.

Reports that Hardaway had been hospitalized at the end of November would appear to contradict the claim that his death somehow came out of the blue. But her remarks have fueled calls from high-profile anti-vaxxers.

“I demand an IMMEDIATE investigation into Covid vaccines and the dramatic increase of people dying suddenly!” Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was previously banned from Twitter over claims the vaccine had caused “high numbers” of deaths, wrote. “This can no longer be ignored and is NOT political.”

“Courage to speak the truth, but not say the ‘word’ which must not be spoken,” tweeted Steve Kirsch, an American entrepreneur who has claimed that the vaccines “kill twice as many as they save.”

While medical events such as heart attacks have occurred among a small number of people who have been vaccinated against coronavirus, these incidents are believed by medical experts to be far less common than those among patients infected with the virus itself.

Newsweek contacted Richardson for comment.