A month ago, I was surprised to learn that Dr. Rashid Buttar had passed away, having seen chatter about it on social media that was ultimately confirmed by Sayer Ji on Twitter:

As many of you might remember, Sayer Ji has been featured on this blog before. He was husband to Dr. Kelly Brogan, the anti-psychiatry, antivax physician and germ theory denier who rose to greater prominence after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, to the point where she was named one of the Disinformation Dozen. The two of them ultimately divorced, but both continued down their previous paths of spreading misinformation. In any event, I must admit to my shock over seeing that Sayer Ji announce the death of fellow “Disinformation Dozen” member Dr. Rashid Buttar.

As you will see (and can probably glean just from the Tweet and the linked video), Dr. Buttar’s story is a bit more complicated than the portrayal of a perfectly healthy fifty-something year old man having “died suddenly.”” Truth be told, I had had no idea that Dr. Buttar had been sick, and, as always, empathize with his family and friends, regardless of what he had done during his life. Also, I hadn’t realized that he was actually younger than I am, and it always bothers me to see people my age or younger die prematurely. As you will see, the story is about what antivaxxers claimed about Dr. Buttar’s health history after he had died compared to what his health history, as discoverable on social media and prior publications, actually was. Of course, it’s no shock that antivaxxers struggled mightily to blame his death on COVID-19 vaccination, even though they admitted that, as an antivaxxer, Dr. Buttar had never been vaccinated.

Any time one of their own dies suddenly or suffers a nonlethal health problem that they normally attribute to vaccines, antivaxxers have a problem: How do they explain it in the context of their conspiracy theory and misinformation about vaccines? Do they take a tragic event like the death of one of their unvaccinated antivax friends as potential disconfirming evidence, as a reason to question their narrative? I think you know the answer to that question. They find ways to double down, no matter how much they have to contort reality to do it.

So let’s compare the antivax narrative surrounding what happened to Dr. Buttar to what most likely happened. This discussion has been helped immensely by my discovery, thanks to Dr. Stephen Barrett, of an account found in an online book by “investigative medical journalist and esteemed health influencer Jonathan Otto entitled POISONED: A Deep Dive into the Mass Bioweapon & Envenomation Agenda, which promises, among other things, to tell you “the uncensored story of the late Dr. Rashid Buttar tragic story.””

Who was Dr. Rashid Buttar?

Before I get into the story of Dr. Buttar’s death, let me briefly recount the story of his life, specifically his longstanding role as one of the influential practitioners of “integrative medicine” quackery in the US. To be honest, I hadn’t paid much attention to Dr. Buttar in a while. The last time I mentioned him was last fall, when he was featured in a post about the ongoing assault by antivaxxers and promoters of unproven (and disproven) attacks on science-based medical regulation as an example of how promoters of quackery had been chipping away at science-based regulation of medical practice. Way back in 2007, Dr. Rashid Buttar made the news for calling the North Carolina Medical Board a “rabid dog” when it tried to discipline him for “unprofessional conduct” related to his cancer and antivaccine autism quackery. Let me just go back and quote what Dr. Buttar said in 2007, quoted by The Charlotte Observer and other newspapers:

Here was the sort of quackery that Dr. Buttar practiced up until his demise last month:

But Buttar believes most patients with cancer also have high levels of heavy metals, such as mercury, and other toxins, such as pesticides, because of environmental exposure. “Chelation works for the right things,” he said. “It’s not a panacea. But it works phenomenally well for chronic disease.” Buttar’s practice also has two hyperbaric oxygen chambers — and more on the way. The treatment, which floods the body with oxygen, is commonly used to accelerate wound healing. But Buttar uses it to fight cancer because, he says, cancer cells can’t thrive in an oxygen-rich environment. He acknowledges most of his treatments have not been proven by standard means, such as controlled clinical trials. But he said they have been effective in his practice over 10 years.

The story noted that Dr. Buttar’s therapy for cancer patients ranged from $40,000-60,000 for two months, and, of course, he didn’t take insurance. (Like Sayer Ji and his ex-wife, Buttar, too, was also one of the “Disinformation Dozen“.) As I noted at the time, unfortunately, Dr. Buttar’s practice and his war against the North Carolina Medical Board (which he basically won). Basically, he got a slap on the wrist, being temporarily restricted from treating cancer patients and children. The medical board did not do what was really warranted, strip him of his medical license, or, as I described what I thought that he deserved at the time in 2008, ‘having his medical license stripped from him, cut up in front of his face, and then the fragments ritually burned.” I stand by those words 15 years later.

Truth be told, I’ve been writing about Dr. Buttar intermittently since 2005, when I first discussed his use of chelation therapy to treat autism. As you might recall, chelation therapy uses what are called chelators, chemicals that bind to metals to better solubilize them and (supposedly) be excreted in the urine. As you might recall, one of the mainstays of autism biomed quackery back then was the use of chelation therapy to remove the mercury from the thimerosal preservative that had been in several childhood vaccines until around 2002 and was blamed for causing autism. Like many quack remedies, chelation therapy is an all-purpose treatment, falsely claimed to be useful for treating cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and even cancer. It is also not a benign treatment. Calcium and magnesium are metals that can be chelated too. If their levels drop too low, it can cause cardiac arrhythmias and arrest, and autistic children have died as a result.

What made Dr. Buttar unique back then, so that he stood out from all the other antivax autism biomed quacks, was his “transdermal chelation therapy,” or, as we used to call it, Buttar’s butter. Of course, even if you accept that chelation therapy has any value whatsoever for treating anything other than acute toxicity due to excessive blood levels of certain heavy metals, there was no evidence that Buttar’s butter could even be absorbed through the skin, much less chelate anything. That was probably a good thing because, even if Buttar’s butter was utterly ineffective at treating autism, at least, unlike the case for intravenous chelation therapy, Buttar’s butter couldn’t kill anyone.

Those were seemingly simpler days. Dr. Buttar was definitely a cancer and autism quack, but he was also a significant “pioneer” of what became an all-too-common and distressing tactic among quacks since COVID-19: Attacking state medical boards and any other medical authority trying to rein in quacks and misinformation. His was the template that COVID-19 disinformation spreading doctors followed. Most people combatting disinformation now don’t appreciate just how influential Dr. Buttar was in terms of taking the war straight to state medical boards. The only one who did it more publicly was cancer quack Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, but Dr. Rashid Buttar was the one who actually got North Carolina state law altered to make it more quack-friendly by mobilizing public support to neuter the North Carolina Medical Board and prevent it from disciplining doctors who practice quackery associated with “integrative medicine.” This is what I meant when I said that Dr. Buttar had basically won his battle with the North Carolina State Medical Board. He lost what was in retrospect a relatively minor battle, having been restricted from treating children and cancer patients, but went on to win the war by getting North Carolina law changed.

Those are some of the reasons why he was so widely admired among antivaxxers like Sayer Ji:

It is with sadness, yet great appreciation, that we pay tribute to my friend and colleague Dr. Rashid Buttar, who passed away on May 18th.

Rashid was a fearless and tireless advocate of health freedom and speaking truth to power, and he had an immense impact on helping the world understand the power of their bodies to heal, from literally anything.

We were less than a month awayfrom his 5th Annual Advanced Medicine Conference, which we are now uncertain will proceed.

Naturally, from an antivax perspective and given Dr. Buttar’s stature and relatively young age (57) at the time of his death, he couldn’t possibly have just died of heart disease. He had to have been killed.

“COVID-19 accines killed Dr. Buttar!” (Even though he was never vaccinated against COVID-19)

The conspiracy theories started flying fast and furious as soon as news of Dr. Buttar’s death was confirmed, starting with Sayer Ji himself in his tribute, starting with misrepresenting the Disinformation Dozen list as a “digital hit list”:

Given that Rashid was put on a digital hit list, along side me, cynically named the “disinformation dozen,” we had a special bond and interest in discussing the many ways we could continue to preserve health freedom, free speech, natural medicine, and ultimately bring the world into a healthier, happier, and more beautiful phase of evolution.

I will cherish these conversations, and Rashid’s incredibly sincere spirit, and know that while his life has been cut short, he helped make this world a safer, better place for us all through his good works.

Due to rumors circulating and the many questions I have received as to the cause of his passing, I wish to share the last publicly recorded discussion we had, where Rashid wanted the world to know the details surrounding the sudden decline of his health.

For the record, Rashid reached out to me on Feb. 18th, and explained that only a few weeks before, he was in the ICU for 6 days, with a diagnosis of both stroke and myocarditis, with symptoms and biomarkers consistent with adverse effects from the mRNA jabs (which he did not have). As you will see in the video, he believed that he was experiencing the result of shedding (aka, “self-amplifying” properties) from the transgenic mRNA jabs.

Rashid shares his story starting at the hour marker of an interview I conducted on March 13th with Dr. Joel Bohemier, Rashid, Ty Bollinger (another “hit list” member) and titled The Censorship Industrial Establishment Exposed.

Quack tycoon Joe Mercola’s girlfriend Erin Elizabeth was quick to add to the conspiracy mongering about Dr. Buttar’s death:

This is very consistent with what Erin Elizabeth does. She has long been peddling a conspiracy theory in which “They” (big pharma, of course) are hiring hit men to kill “holistic doctors” like Dr. Buttar for assassination, starting with Jeffrey Bradstreet (who killed himself), continuing to Nicholas Gonzalez (who died of an obvious heart attack), including other physicians who committed suicide, and ultimately totaling over 80 “holistic practitioners” whose deaths she blamed on pharma, whether the deaths were even plausibly suspicious. So of course she thinks that someone killed Dr. Buttar.

So did Dr. Paul Alexander, who wasted no time posting one of his long rambling Substack titles Was Buttar killed? ‘Dr Rashid Buttar died in mysterious circumstances just days after claiming he had been poisoned following a controversial interview with CNN about his Covid pandemic disinformation, in which he asked:

Covid conspiracy doctor claimed he was ‘poisoned after interview’ just days before death; IMO, I don’t put anything past the ‘dark unseen hand’, those behind COVID fraud; where is his autopsy?

Note the element added to the conspiracy theory, that Dr. Buttar had been “poisoned” after a CNN interview and that’s what accounted for his decline in health in 2023. Stew Peters, the most prominent purveyor of the “died suddenly” conspiracy theory claiming that COVID-19 vaccines are causing young healthy people—even elite athletes!—to drop dead suddenly due to blood clots, a message spread with his conspiracyfest of a movie disguised as a documentary, Died Suddenly, was quick out of the gate with his own take on the conspiracy theory that big pharma (or someone) “got” Dr. Buttar to “shut him up,” conspiracies that he promoted in this video three days after the announcement of Dr. Buttar’s death:

Right at the beginning of the video, Peters noted that Buttar was one of the believers in the “snake venom theory,” the “belief that COVID-19 was caused by snake venom rather than the virus” and that COVID-19 vaccines contain snake venom as well. You can almost hear the cognitive dissonance in his voice as he points out that the week before Buttar had “died suddenly,” adding that he knew that Dr. Buttar hadn’t been vaccinated and asking what could explain possibly explain his sudden death. And it is true that Buttar claimed that he had been “poisoned” by “200x what’s in the vaccine.” How this happened, he didn’t say. Peters then went on about the existence of CIA assassination techniques that make deaths look like heart attacks. Next up was an interview with Dr. Tau Braun, a quack whom I had never heard before (and whom I might have to look into more in the future), who repeated the narrative that whatever landed Dr. Buttar in the ICU for six days in January must have been poison and claiming that, when a man says he has been poisoned, he’s probably been poisoned. A South African, he referenced targeted assassinations during apartheid as having “shaped him” so that he believes that Buttar had been killed, whether by the CIA or someone else. He even repeated Sayer Ji’s claim that the Center for Countering Digital Hate, by placing Dr. Buttar on its Disinformation Dozen list, had actually put him on a hit list.

Again, because the false notion that healthy-appearing people (whether they were actually healthy, as Dr. Buttar appeared to be, or not, as Dr. Buttar was) almost never “died suddenly” before COVID-19 vaccines, Braun simply could not accept the possibility that Buttar had died of natural causes. So to Braun, Buttar must have been intentionally poisoned or, alternatively, “shedding” of spike protein (which is the same thing as the snake venom that COVID-19 supposedly is, according to this conspiracy theory) must have been the cause of his illness and demise. I’ve written about antivax resurrection of the old shedding trope to claim that those vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines “shed” spike protein that can make others sick; more specifically, I’ve written about what utter nonsense the idea that the vaccinated “shed” COVID-19 spike protein is from a scientific standpoint. Braun even goes on to say that this toxin, conveniently enough for his narrative, is now “everywhere,” thanks to the vaccine, meaning that you can’t avoid it.

You know what does make a lot of spike protein? COVID-19 infection, that’s what!. It can also cause the body to release more virus (toxin, if you will, just to be sarcastic) that makes others sick. Of course, if this “toxin” is everywhere as Braun claims, then no one can avoid it and everyone needs quackery to “detox” themselves, including—surprise!—EDTA, which is a common chelator used by autism biomed quacks back in the day. At the end of the interview, Peters couldn’t resist interjecting that any doctors still giving COVID-19 shots are actively killing their patients, because of course he couldn’t. When Braun started claiming that the spike protein induces the body to produce “other toxins, and those toxins can leave the body and make other sick,” I almost lost it. Stochastic shedding, I guess.

In any event, you get the idea. Dr. Buttar had been antivaccine for decades before his death. I’ve been writing about his antivaccine quackery since 2005. So what really happened? I’ll try to integrate what happened from all the sources of which I’m aware.

Dr. Buttar: Ill since at least 2015

I’ll start at the beginning, using Jonathan Otto’s account, specifically the chapter in his e-book about Dr. Buttar’s story. By way of background, I knew this from accounts that I was able to read in the aftermath of Dr. Buttar’s death, before I learned of Otto’s ebook. Going back to the video referenced by Sayer Ji, Buttar noted that he had first felt ill in September 2022 at the Reawaken America tour, where he started feeling short of breath on stage, to the point where he couldn’t “properly give” his presentations and fell back on showing videos. Buttar then relates how he then also developed increasing swelling of his legs that got worse, lasted several days, resolved, and then came back. On Thanksgiving, he couldn’t get his boots on, and between Thanksgiving and January he put on 50 lbs of edema fluid. He said that by the time he was admitted to the hospital he couldn’t lie flat and still breathe and even had to stand up to breathe. These are absolutely classic symptoms of congestive heart failure, so much so that we teach them to first and second year medical students as part of cardiac physiology and pathophysiology.

Dr. Buttar was (ostensibly) a physician. He knew—or should have known—all of this. What was he doing during the months that he was putting on so much water weight and finding it increasingly difficult to breathe without being in an upright position? Why did he not see a doctor, particularly a cardiologist but at least an internist or family practice doc? He mentioned that he had thought about taking a diuretic, but apparently he never did. Did it not occur to him that his symptoms seemed consistent with right-sided heart failure, possibly biventricular failure? In any case, while he was in the ICU the doctors alternated between dosing him with Lasix and Bumex, two powerful diuretics, and got a lot of fluid off of him. He also then related having a mid-thalamic stroke confirmed by MRI that resolved. By the time he was released from the hospital, according to his account he had lost 60 lbs of fluid and then went on to lose nearly 20 lbs more after going home. At just before 1:09, he related having had elevated troponin levels, which he said were consistent with myocarditis and symptoms consistent with pericarditis. Ultimately, after his discharge from the ICU and hospital in January, Buttar blamed his illness on “secondary inoculation” by the COVID-19 vaccine shedding; indeed, he doubled down, claiming that the goal was to get half the population vaccinated, after which shedding would expose the rest of the population to the vaccines’s spike protein “toxin.” He concluded that he thinks “that’s what happened to me.” Because, of course it couldn’t possibly just have been heart disease.

Now add to the account above an early passage from his story in Otto’s ebook:

It was 6 days before I was scheduled to meet with Bryan, and I was getting ready to fly out to Spokane, Washington, for a speaking engagement. Actually, it was a Reawaken America tour. And I remember having a conversation with Clay Clark because the air quality there, normal is between 60 to a 100. As it gets up higher, it’s bad air quality.

A 100 is supposed to be the worst air quality. And the air quality in Spokane was 150. And I was having problems with breathing at that point, and I didn’t know what it was. I’ve got an underlying cardiac disposition, had a rapid CT angiography done back in 2015 that showed I had a 75 and a 95% occlusion, which didn’t make any sense because I’ve had all sorts of preventive treatments.

And the year before, I competed at the world championships in martial arts. So I’m competing at the world level in 2014 and 2015. I can’t walk a quarter of a mile without stopping 5 times because I’m getting short of breath and having chest pain. So I had this predisposition, and I’d been doing things to get that back, and I had. I was starting to sprint again.

Bryan is Bryan Ardis, a retired chiropractor and one of the purveyors of the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 is due to “envenomation,” not the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and that remdesivir is what kills COVID-19 patients, not COVID. Where did he get this idea?


But the linchpin for his whole nonsensical theory is a 2017 episode of a network TV drama called “The Blacklist.”

After laying the groundwork for about half-an-hour, the video shows a clip from an episode of NBC’s “The Blacklist” in which the main character is poisoned with snake venom in a beverage.

“When I saw this, I knew,” Ardis says of watching the show, which originally aired in 2017 — almost three years before the outbreak of COVID-19. It’s now available on Netflix. “I knew I was right, I knew I was supposed to see that, because it was confirmation to me that other people knew this was planned all along, which, we’ve known this was a plan.”

One of the well-worn conspiracy theories that Ardis relies on here claims that the pandemic was planned in advance by nefarious actors — one of the most viral versions of this theory was presented in a pair of videos from 2020 called “Plandemic,” each of which we’ve written about.

As much as I’ve enjoyed James Spader’s scenery chewing portraying the fictional crime lord turned FBI informer Raymond “Red” Reddington in The Blacklist over the years, the show’s plotlines are often patently ridiculous (albeit in a very entertaining way), and obviously no source for anything resembling reliable medical information. That “Dr.” Ardis would admit that his inspiration for the idea that COVID-19 is “envenomation” tells you all you need to know about him.

Of course, Buttar’s account in Otto’s book sure doesn’t sound like that of a man who was the picture of health before he was exposed to the dreaded spike protein, which is ubiquitous and can’t be avoided thanks to the machinations of the evil big pharma cabal’s efforts to vaccinate the entire population, or who had been “poisoned” after an appearance on CNN several months ago. It sounds like a man in denial, who couldn’t believe that he had gone in a relatively short period of time from competing at a high level in the martial arts to not being able to walk a quarter of a mile without getting short of breath. He had clearly had significant heart disease diagnosed in 2015, four years before the pandemic and at least five years before COVID-19 vaccines! He admitted that he couldn’t walk more than a quarter of a mile without getting short of breath, which is not great. Even worse, though:

And so when this event was coming up, it was no different than the last 6 years. Since 2016, this has been going on. So it’s not like it’s anything new. But I was a little concerned because now the shortness of breath, over that last 6 years even though I had that cardiac history, over the last 4 years, I hadn’t had any shortness of breath or over the last 4 1/2 years, I hadn’t had any shortness of breath. I’d get the chest pain pretty regularly, but I wouldn’t get shortness of breath.

Now I was having shortness of breath. And I was having shortness of breath that was suffocating, where I felt like I was drowning. And it was slowly building up. And then I had this chronic cough. I had a rattling in my chest at nighttime. I felt like I was wheezing, but it wasn’t wheezing.

So anyway, there were all these little symptomologies that were going on. And so, I had my plane booked, and the next day I left to go there. And fortunately the event was outdoors. And fortunately, there was a nice wind blowing, and there was no issues with the quality of air that I felt, but I was short of breath when I was on stage. In fact, I even played more videos because I was a little short of breath.

To any physician, this sure sounds like an exacerbation of chronic heart disease and worsening congestive heart failure. What had Dr. Buttar been doing the last six years before the Reawaken America last September, given that by his own account he had had a critical occlusion of at least one of his coronary arteries, an occlusion that would normally mandate intervention? He’s fairly vague, saying only that he was “not oriented towards a pharmaceutical side.” Of course, CT-angiography is not the gold standard test to quantify the degree of coronary artery occlusion. However, in someone who is symptomatic—chest pain!—with such a test, further investigation would be mandated, and most likely cardiologists would recommend an angioplasty of the occluded vessels with stenting at minimum, a coronary artery bypass operation if too many vessels have a high degree of occlusion to stent. Again, Dr. Buttar was trained as a physician and was an ER doc for several years. He must have known this.

I facepalmed even more as I read how Dr. Buttar, experiencing not just chest pain but intermittent “suffocating” shortness of breath that made him feel as though he were “drowning,” dithered about whether to see a doctor and made plans to meet up with Ardis during the rest of his tour. Then, on the day he was going to see Ardis one afternoon when they were in the same city, this happened:

Well, I’ll tell you, when I walked out to the car to meet him, it was difficult for me to walk. And I felt like, to show you how serious it was for me, I felt like if I went to Bryan, I would be doing him a disservice because I was going to die in his house. And why would I do that, because then how is he going to be able to explain that? It would be a disservice for me to go there.

But I also knew if I went to a hospital, again, I was an ER doc for 7 years. I’m ACLS, ATTLS, Advanced Trauma Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, instructor certified. I teach doctors what to do and those things. And I knew that, if I go there, they’re not going to know what to do because I didn’t know what was going on. But I literally had a dilemma that made me stand outside the car trying to decide, do I go to the ER or do I go to Bryan?

It was like 2, 3 minutes, I just stood there. And I even remember thinking it was warm. There was a breeze blowing. I was right underneath a tree. The car’s parked. And it was a beautiful setting. And I just even thought maybe I should just go sit in the park because I really thought I was going to go. I had talked with my kids, I talked with Dr. Ashton, but never said anything to them. None of them knew. I made a call to an attorney to make sure that I had some semblance of a will, but I really felt that I was sliding. I could feel the life ebbing out of me. And I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand why.

So Dr. Buttar felt so weak and short of breath that he thought he’d die in Ardis’s house if he went there. In fact, he thought he was dying as he sat in his car, to the point where he made a call to his attorney to make sure his will was in order? I also couldn’t help but marvel at the cognitive dissonance. Buttar was ATLS and ACLS trained, instructor certified even? And he thought that ER docs wouldn’t know what to do with him if he showed up in their facility? Of course they would! From his own story, he almost certainly had severe congestive heart failure. They’d admit him to the ICU for supportive care, begin diuresing him to get the fluid off, evaluate his heart, and recommend further interventions.

He went to see Ardis instead. No, seriously. That’s what he did:

But he has said that to me since. And I’ve thought about those words since. And he said to me that there is no place on this planet that I would rather have you at right now than here in my living room. And he did some energetic testing. I won’t go into the details of all the stuff he did, but he did some energetic testing. And he told me that I had a poison in my heart. And I said, “A poison? You mean like a toxin?” He says, “No. A poison.”

And he told me at that time, he goes, “I don’t know what it is.” That’s what he told me. He goes, “But you’ve got a poison in your heart.” And then he told me, “There’s 4 chambers to the heart.” And so that everybody knows as the 2 atriums that are the receiving areas of the heart that receive the blood. And then the blood goes from those 2 atriums into the 2 ventricles, and the 2 ventricles pump the blood out to the rest of the body. And the 2 chambers that pump the blood out to the body are the ventricles. The ventricles are the right and left ventricle.

Ardis also told him:

And so the 2 atriums, on a scale of 0 to 12, the right atrium was functioning at a 3 on a scale of 0 to 12, with 12 being the best. And the left atrium was at a 4 on a scale of 0 to 12, with 12 being the best. And the ventricles, which are arguably the more important chambers of the heart, because they’re responsible for pumping blood either through the lungs or through the body, were both functioning at a 0 on a scale of 0 to 12, with 12 being the best. I mean, they weren’t functioning.

I was going to give Ardis credit for recognizing that Dr. Buttar was in a bad way until he claimed that his ventricles weren’t functioning at all. There’s a term for when the ventricles don’t function at all: Cardiac arrest. Dr. Buttar would not be conscious, much less talking, if his ventricles were truly “both functioning at a 0 on a scale of 0 to 12, with 12 being the best.” He’d be dead or on the way to being dead within minutes.

Thanks to Otto’s book, I also now know what Dr. Buttar was doing between the time he first noticed his “suffocating” shortness of breath at Reawaken America until he was admitted to the hospital for a six day ICU stay four months later: A whole lot of quackery. As he put on more and more edema fluid due to his congestive heart failure and possibly kidney failure, to the point where his feet “really ballooned, massively ballooned, became volleyball sized.” He even claimed that he couldn’t be having congestive heart failure because the edema was non-pitting. (Pitting edema is edema where, if you push the skin with a finger, will “pit”; i.e., leave an impression that takes a while to fill back in.) And while he’s correct that pitting edema is far more associated with congestive heart failure, in particular right-sided congestive heart failure, and non-pitting edema with other conditions, edema of this magnitude is a real problem. It could be lymphatic. It could be chronic venous insufficiency, which can cause impressive nonpitting edema. It could be myxedema from hypothyroidism.

Instead of going down the differential of pitting vs. nonpitting edema, putting it into context with all his other symptoms of congestive heart failure, and getting real medical care, Dr. Buttar listened to the chiroquack:

But by that time things were already better. So why was I having all this swelling in my feet? But think about it. If the body’s got a poison, if the heart’s trying to get rid of a poison, it’s going to try to pump it the furthest away from the heart that it possibly can, the furthest away from the brain. It’s going to try to shunt it to the furthest extremities it possibly can.

And so it sent it all to the most distal area of the body, which was the feet. And the kidneys couldn’t keep up with it. And because the kidneys, again, kidneys have their own, think of it as sensors or receptors. So if something’s going to come through the kidneys that’s going to damage the kidneys, the kidneys are going to slow down their functioning because they don’t want to get damaged. And they’re trying to handle the toxicity load or the poison load or whatever that’s trying to clear. But it’s also not going to handle more than what the kidneys can handle.

And so it was almost like it was pooling in my feet and in my legs and in my thighs because it was too much for the body to clear at that time. The kidneys couldn’t handle it, so it was clearing it as it could. And what’s interesting is that once it was cleared, I thought everything was fine.

In the meantime, he was doing “energetic healing,” medication, various woo prescribed to him by Ardis. He also underwent some sort of electrodermal testing that led him to be told:

And then I had another friend of mine, Dr. Group, had a test done for me and finds that I have a snake venom. I have a 2nd snake venom, I have a 3rd snake venom, I have an ant venom, and I have a spider venom. So it’s the polypus. I think that’s how you pronounce it. Spider, a wood ant venom, and then I had cobra venom, sorry, no, I had a rattlesnake venom and copperhead venom. And then later we found that I had cobra venom, too. But that’s what the test found. And I’m like, “What the hell? How did I get this stuff?”

He also noted how his symptoms were waxing and waning and that he was also taking a diuretic. He seems to have taken a diuretic for a while, until his symptoms got better, at which point he stopped it. Then—surprise! surprise!—eventually his symptoms would return.

I will say at this point that this interview recorded in Otto’s book must have occurred before mid-January, which is when Dr. Buttar wound up in the ICU, because no mention is made of that. He did, however, give a lengthy account of how he had come to conclude that, despite his never having been vaccinated against COVID-19, it must still have been the vaccines. First, he relates how he learned of 113 people who were having the same symptoms as he was (“shortness of breath, feeling of drowning, swelling in the legs, a dry, hacky cough”) but had not been vaccinated, which, among other things, convinced him that it must have been the shedding of spike protein from the vaccinated that had made him ill. (Never mind that he had had at the time a six or seven year history of diagnosed coronary artery disease.) As a result, Dr. Buttar concluded:

But it’s there, and it’s been orchestrated to be disseminated in a manner that is everywhere. There’s going to be no place that’s safe, unless you’re in a bunker underground 300 feet with an independent filtered water source and an independent filtered air source. It could be also be just through contact, and that’s been also postulated. Just things that we’re touching.


People that have gotten exposed to shedding, which means that you don’t get the vaccine itself, but you’re in close proximity to other people that have gotten the so-called vaccine, the messenger RNA modified genetic experimentation that is introducing this spike protein into you. So people that have been close proximity with other people are experiencing symptomology that’s similar. And that’s because they’ve gotten what they call the shedding. The shedding is exposure of that spike protein that they have been exposed to. That’s exactly what happened to me because I haven’t had the jab, and I’d refused to take the jab, but I have had 2 specific exposures.

Which led Dr. Buttar to conclude:

And the 2nd time was when I gave a CNN interview, and they’d given me some water to drink. And I remember as I’m guzzling down the water, I’m thinking to myself, was that lid already open? I remember thinking I’m paranoid. And I got sick right after that; within half an hour I started getting sick.

So those are the 2 times that I could have been targeted or poisoned, if you will. Or it could have been just because I was sitting in a plane in close proximity to other people that had the vaccine or in some other type of public space. So I don’t know how I’d gotten it, but many people have experienced this viral shedding. And we call it viral shedding because nobody knew, really, what it was, but it’s actually shedding off this spike protein following the normal phenomena of viral shedding. But this is actually the spike protein that’s shedding, not a virus that’s shedding. And that spike protein is, again, that synthetic analog of these various types of poisons. Once they get into your system, then they are designed by design to elicit a response in the system. It’s targeting the heart cells, it’s targeting the cells of the reproductive system. So testicles in males and the ovaries in females, they have found an increased preponderance of the spike protein accumulating in those areas.

Sadly, a far more likely explanation for Dr. Buttar’s illness is that he had developed congestive heart failure, most likely from chronic ischemia due to cardiovascular disease, and that’s what caused him to develop the edema and difficulty breathing. He might also have had some venous insufficiency or other reason for his edema to be nonpitting. Who knows? Alternatively, maybe he had a silent myocardial infarction (or one with only mild symptoms that he ignored) and developed progressive heart failure afteward. He might even have had COVID-19, which caused a case of myocarditis. Again, who knows? The story as related by him and his followers lacks sufficient detail to allow for more than educated speculation about what happened to him. Basically, being in the ICU with congestive heart failure, for whatever reason, tells me that (1) you are not healthy, regardless of how healthy you think you are, and (2) you are at high risk of sudden cardiac death, which is very likely what happened to Dr. Buttar. Again, we can’t know for sure. Even adding the account in Otto’s book to the videos that I’ve examined, there is insufficient detail in all these accounts, even taken together, to make a more definitive assessment.

Quacks can be victims of their own quackery

The “died suddenly” conspiracy theory demands that healthy people cannot just “die suddenly” and that only the COVID-19 vaccine is causing people to “die suddenly” (even though there has been, for example, a small but consistent incidence of sudden arrhythmic deaths for a very long time, a phenomenon first described in the 1970s). When someone who is unvaccinated—particularly as famous an antivaxxer as Dr. Buttar—dies suddenly, antivaxxers cannot accept that it might have just been due to natural causes. It had to be due to something else, in this case COVID-19 vaccines. Of course, this presents a problem in the case of someone like Dr. Buttar, who because of his antivaccine views had never been vaccinated against COVID-19. Yet he died of what looks for all the world like heart disease. After all, a man who had been competed in martial arts and apparently been in robust health until 2014-2015, all while living the optimal healthy lifestyle and consuming the optimal healthy diet as an “integrative” and “natural” health practitioner, couldn’t possibly just develop heart disease in his early 50s, could he? No! That never happens, at least not according to the alternative medicine narrative. Unfortunately it can and, all too often, does happen. Diet and exercise decrease, but far from eliminate, one’s risk of developing heart disease.

Indeed, Dr. Buttar himself couldn’t accept that maybe he had just gotten sick, most likely as a result of genetics and/or bad luck. (Obviously, to him it couldn’t possibly have been due to lifestyle or diet, because as an “integrative medicine” physician he must have been living the ultimate healthy lifestyle.) Instead, he had to find a way to blame vaccine “shedding” for his illness. After all, he was unvaccinated and couldn’t possibly have had congestive heart failure and a small stroke without COVID-19 vaccines somehow having been responsible. In fairness, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, before his death Dr. Buttar seemed not to believe that he had been “targeted” for assassination, but rather that he had been exposed to “shed” spike protein during the CNN interview or on an airplane. The even more outlandish conspiracy theories about a “hit” appear to have arisen more after his death. Because the antivaccine movement is at its heart a conspiracy theory like all science denial, people like Stew Peters and Erin Johnson were quick to spin conspiracy theories about the CIA and/or big pharma hit squads having “poisoned” him with the “toxin” from the vaccine. Of course, I have to ask here: If everyone who’s been vaccinated sheds spike protein, why would they ever have had to bother? No one ever said that conspiracy theories had to be consistent.

To conspiracy theorists like the late Dr. Buttar, the COVID-19 vaccine is the source of all evil, the weapon by which “They” are poisoning everyone for nefarious purposes of “control,” “depopulation,” or whatever combination of evil ends that the cranks dream up. Because he had kept himself “pure” by not getting the vaccine, Dr. Buttar simply could not accept getting seriously ill with heart disease for the same reasons that we are all prone to becoming seriously ill with heart disease. Consistent with the antivaccine movement, indeed the entire alternative medicine movement, being a cult of purity, he had to blame it on “contamination” or “poisoning” from an external source and toxin, the toxin being, of course, the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, a conspiracy theory that he used before his sudden death to explain why he had been suffering chest pain and shortness of breath since 2016, the latter of which worsened in September 2022 to become “suffocating” shortness of breath. Then, during all that time, but particularly since September 2022, instead of seeking out science-based medicine to treat what was clearly worsening heart disease and bouts of congestive heart failure, Dr. Buttar relied on quacks like him (plus a little diuretic every now and then) to treat himself, even though just from what we know from his videos and Otto’s book about his longstanding heart disease and bouts of congestive heart failure, physicians can say that Dr. Buttar was at a high risk for sudden cardiac death, most likely due to a myocardial infarction.

Then, of course, after his death, Dr. Buttar’s fans had to find a way to turn his having “died suddenly” into not just an incidental exposure to “shed” spike protein but to a targeted assassination. Again, this is not unexpected. He also treated a life-threatening illness with a whole lot of the same quackery to which he had in practice subjected his patients over the last couple of decades. While it is true that he accepted science-based medicine (albeit, from his descriptions, with a number of caveats) in the ICU for six days in January, he appears not to have followed through afterward with a needed outpatient course of care to control his disease. If he had, he might well still be alive today. Antivax is, at its heart, a conspiracy theory, and grief will bring out its more paranoid elements. Unfortunately for him and his family, it turns out that Dr. Buttar was just as much a victim of his own quackery as his patients have been over the last quarter century.


Posted by David Gorski

Dr. Gorski's full information can be found here, along with information for patients. David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS is a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute specializing in breast cancer surgery, where he also serves as the American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer Liaison Physician as well as an Associate Professor of Surgery and member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology at Wayne State University. If you are a potential patient and found this page through a Google search, please check out Dr. Gorski's biographical information, disclaimers regarding his writings, and notice to patients here.