Grieving father blamed anti-vax propaganda videos on YouTube for the death of his pregnant daughter from Covid.
David Exley said more was urgently needed to tackle dangerous misinformation after his daughter Sadie, 24, refused the jab after being wrongly told it would “kill” her unborn child.
Mr Exley, an electrician from West Yorkshire, told the Mail on Sunday: ‘I have a firm belief that people should do what they believe in whether it is to get vaccinated or not.
âBut people have to make this choice based on the facts. They should listen to the experts, not base their decisions on Facebook posts or YouTube videos. ‘
The 57-year-old claimed that the father of Sadie’s unborn son had watched anti-vax videos on YouTube and told him that “if she was vaccinated she would kill her baby”.
“Funny and affectionate”: Sadie Exley with her daughter Harper
âSadie had wanted the vaccine, we had discussed it. We were very, very close and open with each other, âhe said. âShe said as soon as she was eligible she would have the jab. But she got pregnant and continued to grow back.
âSome people she knew didn’t believe in the vaccine, which is their right, but they shouldn’t have forced their beliefs on someone else. They told Sadie that if she was vaccinated she would kill the baby. It was only for this reason that she did not understand.
Ms Exley, who was also the mother of two-year-old Harper, started suffering from migraines and chest pain in October.
Pictured: A photo from an anti-vax YouTube video which Ms Exley’s father says is the reason she did not get the vaccine
She was diagnosed with a blood clot in her lungs before she caught Covid in late November. Her condition deteriorated, and on December 2, she was rushed to hospital after being paralyzed on one side.
“When Sadie left in the ambulance, I heard her tell the paramedic that she wanted the vaccine,” Mr. Exley said.
She was transferred to intensive care at Leeds General Infirmary, where she sent a last poignant text to her father which read: “I’ll see you later my love.”
The “funny and loving” mother died on December 3 of a brain hemorrhage caused by blood clots from the virus.
Miraculously, doctors were able to save her son, who was delivered by Caesarean section at 29 weeks and weighed just 2 pounds 1 ounce. Mr Exley said the boy – named Elliot – was staying in the neonatal unit at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, but was steadily gaining weight.
Ms Exley’s funeral will take place on Friday and a fundraiser has been organized to help the family, who have so far raised more than Â£ 3,500.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) released a report last year showing that 12 anti-vaccine âinfluencersâ were responsible for almost two-thirds of dangerous social media content. people available for free on YouTube.
In September, YouTube announced that it would remove any content that spreads misinformation about approved vaccines, expanding the previous ban on false claims about Covid jabs, but the scores are still available, including some posted before announcing repression.
Miraculously, doctors were able to save her son, who was delivered by Caesarean section at 29 weeks and weighed just 2 pounds 1 ounce. Mr Exley said the boy – named Elliot – was staying in the neonatal unit at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, but was steadily gaining weight. Pictured: Mrs Exley
A clip from the prolific anti-vaccine Robert Kennedy Junior was released in November with a number of dangerous claims, including that the vaccines are toxic.
The environmentalist lawyer and nephew of former US President John F. Kennedy has been banned from Instagram “for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines”, but the clip is still on YouTube where he has been viewed over 30,000 times.
Another video, posted six weeks after YouTube engagement, featured former doctor and conspiracy theorist Christiane Northrup. In it, she falsely claimed that the vaccines contain dangerous chemicals used by the government as part of a psychological experiment.
The video ran for almost two months, but was deleted after the Department of Health contacted YouTube.
Ms Exley’s funeral will take place on Friday and a fundraiser has been organized to help the family, who have so far raised more than Â£ 3,500. Pictured: Two-year-old Ms Exley
Imran Ahmed, Director General of CCDH, said: âTech giants like YouTube have consistently failed to respond to dangerous disinformation about Covid and vaccines.
“Promises to do better will ring hollow until they act on the key super-diffusers in the lucrative anti-vaxx industry and the dangerous misinformation they produce.” The public cost of Big Tech’s failure is paid for in lives.
YouTube last night said it has deleted over a million videos since February 2020. A spokesperson added: “We are saddened to learn of Sadie’s story and our hearts go out to her friends and family.
âThe safety of our users is our top priority and we are removing content that violates our Covid disinformation guidelines as quickly as possible. We have removed a number of videos flagged for violating our rules and the review is still ongoing. ‘