Miami Instagram Model Blasted for Pushing Anti-Vax Conspiracy Theories

Katya Elise Henry
Katya Elise Henry Screenshot via YouTube
Miami Instagram model and fitness entrepreneur Katya Elise Henry is catching blowback after venting some anti-vax observations on social media. While many people have been excited to do their part to stop the spread of COVID by becoming vaccinated, Henry made it clear to her 8.1 million followers that she is not one of those people.

Last week, the influencer, whose bio tagline on Instagram is "faith over fear," reposted an image to her Instagram Stories that said, "No vaccine for HIV after 40 years of research. No vaccine for the common cold. No vaccine for cancer after 100 years of research. Nothing. A virus mysteriously appears and within a year a vaccine is created and we are all expected to take it. No thanks."

As one might expect, fans of Henry — and of her boyfriend, Miami Heat up-and-comer Tyler Herro — weren't exactly thrilled.  Just a short few months into his career, Herro has become one of Miami's most polarizing sports stars. He's a player whose current off-the-court fame is disproportionate to the level of his on-the-court performances.

This past year, Herro — a 21-year-old, second-year NBA player who averages 15 points per game coming off the bench — has seen his endorsement star skyrocket. He signed a shoe deal with Nike, is the current poster boy for NBA Top Shot, had a Jack Harlow song named after him, launched his HerrO's Fruit Hoops cereal, and has his own burrito bowl at Chipotle. With 2.4 million Instagram followers, he's a brand ambassador extraordinaire all on his own.

Unfortunately for Herro, his brand just collided with Henry's anti-vax comments on social media. He has yet to comment on his girlfriend's posts or, it seems, on the COVID vaccines in general. While everyone has a right to decide what they will or won't put in their own body, spreading misinformation about a life-saving vaccine doesn't cut the rational mustard. Specifically, it's nonsensical to compare the decades-long search for a way to stop cancerous cells from replicating to the development of a vaccine for a flu-like virus.

It's hard to see how this does anyone any good whatsoever. Not Henry. Not Herro. And definitely not anyone who'd take medical advice from someone they follow on Instagram over that of a healthcare professional.
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi