Cambridge woman outraged after MPP Randy Hillier falsely claims her sister died due to COVID-19 vaccine
Ammarah Navab is still coming to terms with her sister's sudden death last month.
“She was somebody with a happy heart, somebody who never held grudges,” said Navab
Farisa Navab, 20, died just a week after being diagnosed with Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura back in September. It is a rare blood disorder, where clots form suddenly throughout the body.
It's a condition her family said is believed to be genetic.
Navab said her family was shocked to find out Farisa's name and image were included in social media posts by independet MPP Randy Hillier earlier this week.
The post claimed Farisa's death was due to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine - something the family says is false.
“Nobody reached out to us, nobody even told us the post was made,” said Navab. “A friend of my mom’s had sent it to her and then my mom showed it to me. Her passing has nothing to do with the vaccine ... zero correlation at all.”
The post made similar claims about a number of other people from Ontario.
“When I commented and reposted his post, I also asked him to take it down, he blocked me,” said Navab.
Since the posts went up on Tuesday, the family said they have received hundreds of messages from anti-vaxxers.
The family is choosing not to disclose Farisa's vaccination status for privacy reasons and out of fear of further backlash online.
“I don't want this to be a conversation about the vaccine. It's not about the vaccine ... it's a debate about humanity and about our parliament,” said Navab.
Hillier took to social media yesterday with a statement about the post, calling on provincial and local police to begin a criminal investigation into these deaths.
CTV News reached out to Hillier to request an interview but did not receive a response.
“It is very hard for me to function every day without her,” said Navab. “And then on top of that …it's well now I have to fight these people and be re-traumatized.”
The family has written to the legislature to request that Hillier be reprimanded.
MPPs are expected to adhere to the members' Integrity Act.
A member of the Integrity Commissioner’s Office said they can only investigate whether a breach has occurred if another MPP files a request under the Act.
“It breaks my heart because before she passed away we'd always talk about what do you want to leave behind in the world,” said Navab. “And she always said she wants to leave a positive impact.”