Fact Check: Schwarzenegger had pacemaker surgery due to genetic heart condition, not vaccine

Arnold Schwarzenegger said he had a pacemaker fitted due to a genetic heart condition he has had since birth, but online posts have baselessly suggested his condition is a result of COVID-19 vaccines.

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Posts on X, opens new tab and Facebook, opens new tab linked the actor and former bodybuilder’s condition to the shots.

One Facebook account shared, opens new tab a screenshot of a news article about surgery and wrote: “Screeewww your freedoms … Take the f**king vaccines !”

The post references a 2021 interview, opens new tab in which Schwarzenegger criticised opponents of mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In a March 25 episode of his Arnold’s Pump Club podcast, opens new tab, which prompted news stories, opens new tab about the surgery, Schwarzenegger said: “Last Monday I had surgery for a pacemaker and became a little bit more of a machine …

“I have gotten so many messages and emails from people born with a bicuspid aortic valve like me, telling me that talking about my valve replacement surgeries has given them courage and hope to deal with their own …
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“That’s life with a genetic heart issue. But you won’t hear me complaining. My mother and her mother’s bicuspid valves killed them. And I’m still here because of medical innovation and being very diligent…”
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Biquipedia, a enciclopedia libre

Schwarzenegger also said that he had his heart valves replaced for the first time in 1997, as well as other heart surgeries in 2018 and 2020.

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