Many of Donald Trump’s fiercest supporters are convinced MAGA influencer Rochelle “Silk” Richardson—half of the “Diamond and Silk” duo—attempted to send the former president a secret message during Saturday’s ceremony to celebrate her sister’s life.
And what supposedly was that covert message that Silk floated while speaking at Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway’s funeral? A plea for Trump to stop pushing COVID-19 vaccinations.
In her nearly hour-long speech, Silk shared what occurred during Diamond’s final minutes with around 150 attendees at a theater in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“She said to me, ‘I can’t breathe.’ It was something out of nowhere and no warning,” Silk recalled. “Each breath was less and less and less.”
“What I want to say to everybody is don’t you dare call me a conspiracy theorist. Because I saw it happen. I saw how it happened. I was there when it happened, and it happened suddenly,” the pro-Trump pundit continued while the ex-president was seated on stage.
Silk called for an investigation into “why people are falling dead suddenly,” which appeared to be a nod to the increasingly popular phrase “died suddenly” on the far right that has to do with unsubstantiated medical claims of those that take the COVID vaccine falling dead.
Since Silk’s suggestion that Diamond died due to taking a COVID-19 vaccine, far-right pundits have reignited their war against Trump over his push to produce the shot en masse.
“The message is simple. Nobody needs to overthink this. The injections and the ‘virus’ are weapons of biowarfare, and it’s time to indict, try and fry those responsible for the deployment of these weapons of mass destruction,” MAGA-loving radio host Stew Peters told The Daily Beast.
Notably, such a suggestion would mean Trump is also partially to blame, which wasn’t lost on Peters.
“If Trump’s ego won’t allow him to admit this out loud, he’s equally as complicit as Tony Mengele Fauci,” Peters said.
“Everyone knows Diamond and Silk were some of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters. And everyone knows Trump was pushing this bioweapon on the entire country,” he concluded, insisting Silk’s plea wasn't a “cryptic” or a “secret message.”
Other right-wing pundits jumped to medical conclusions while also taking their digs at the former president.
“Silk reveals Diamond died suddenly from what appears to be a blood clot in her lung,” far-right Pizzagate truther Jack Posobiec said following the memorial. “Silk stood right in front of Trump and told him the vaccine killed Diamond, and there needs to be an investigation into why people are suddenly dropping dead,” he added.
No autopsy was performed on Diamond, and Silk has not clarified if her sister—a staunch anti-vaxxer—ever even took the COVID vaccine. The Associated Press reported Monday evening that Diamond’s death certificate said her cause of death was heart disease stemming from “chronic high blood pressure.”
Still, that hasn’t stopped leading far-right anti-vaccine advocate Christopher Key from claiming that Diamond had “taken the vaccine, and we know [that] for a fact,” suggesting the pro-Trump pundit could’ve died due to myocarditis or a heart attack.
“Trump is an idiot for bringing this bio-weapon to market,” Key told The Daily Beast, “he will have killed a billion people.”
(Roughly two years into the United States’ vaccination program, the COVID-19 vaccination is credited with saving 3 million lives and preventing 18 million hospitalizations. Despite Key’s absurd medical claims, the science has been clear: There is little to no evidence to support the theory that people are dying from taking the vaccine.)
MAGA Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) also responded to Silk’s remarks, calling for an “IMMEDIATE investigation into Covid vaccines and the dramatic increase of people dying suddenly!”
“Diamond or Silk (don’t worry, nobody knows which is which) just died from the vaccine,” far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos wrote on Telegram. “She was murdered by pharmaceutical companies and Donald Trump.”
But that was only the tip of the iceberg, when it came to the outpouring on Telegram, where even more far-fetched theories about Diamond’s death bounced around. (One popular theory centered on an old Diamond and Silk show clip from mid-December, where Diamond said she smelled something that had purportedly been sprayed in the air, leaving her short of breath.)
The first batch of COVID vaccine was developed under the guidance of the Trump administration, and Trump has advocated for people to get vaccinated.
Silk could not be reached by The Daily Beast for comment, while Diamond and Silk’s executive director Tressie Ham also didn’t return a request for comment.
As for Trump, he appears not to be backing down from his administration’s role in developing and distributing COVID-19 vaccinations.
“After China unleashed this deadly virus onto the rest of the world, President Trump and his administration worked tirelessly to secure medical equipment to save the lives of Americans who were infected,” Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told The Daily Beast on Monday. “Operation Warp Speed was a once-in-a-lifetime initiative that gave people the option of utilizing therapeutics if they wished to do so.”
Still, Diamond’s death—and Silk’s later suggestion that her sister died due to the vaccines—has renewed frustration over Trump not backing away and disavowing the vaccines. But just like previous times, Trump isn’t backing down.
Unfortunately for Trump, neither is the anti-vax crowd.
“If Trump doesn’t change his position on the deadly vaccines that have killed thousands of people,” failed far-right Republican Senate candidate Lauren Witzke told The Daily Beast, “he will lose his presidential run in 2024. That’s just a fact.”