MIT student athlete “died suddenly this weekend”

From Sanjoy Mahajan:

I've been expecting for a while to hear about the first student that MIT has killed with its jab mandate. Thus, when I read the recent letter copied below from MIT's president, I wondered:

Did Mason Weinstock die because of the jab? If so, did he take the jab because MIT forced him to? Will we ever be allowed to know?

It doesn't sound like a suicide. He was a star athlete and had just arrived at MIT. And it doesn't read like the letters from the president in the two cases (in 2014 and 2021) that I know were suicides.


From: L. Rafael Reif

Subject: Mason Weinstock (2003–2021)

Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2021 14:06:18 +0000

To the members of the MIT community,

With great sadness, I write to let you know that Mason Weinstock, a first-year undergraduate, died suddenly this weekend. He was not on campus at the time. As Mason’s family and friends absorb this extremely painful news, I hope we can offer them the loving support of our community.

Following the rhythms of his father’s military career, Mason spent his early years in Japan, Hawaii and California before his family settled in McLean, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. In high school, he was an outstanding swimmer who excelled at the breaststroke. His family tells us he also had a huge heart. “Coach Mason” spent his summers joyfully teaching little kids to swim, and throughout the pandemic, he took extra time to help his younger brother manage the challenges of attending school remotely. 

When Mason wasn’t in the pool, he loved collecting baseball statistics, playing soccer and passionately following the premier league. Quietly brilliant, curious, analytical and introspective, he was eager to explore mechanical engineering at MIT.

Mason lived in MacGregor. Chancellor Melissa Nobles and Vice Chancellor and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson and their teams are reaching out directly to support anyone on campus who knew him. If you are hurting in any way and could use guidance or a consoling conversation, please know that you are not alone, and you do not have to struggle alone. All of us need help from time to time – and there is no shame in asking.

Our new [] website makes it easy for undergraduates and graduate students to find the right support [].  As always, staff, postdocs andfaculty can seek support through MyLife Services[], and we also offer specialresources to help faculty and staff help their students [].

Coming at the start of a new school year, and after so many months of pandemic uncertainty and separation, this news is unsettling and difficult for us all. Sometimes the greatest comfort we can find is in comforting each other: May we honor Mason’s huge heart by taking special care to check in with and listen to those around us, old friends and new.

With deepest sympathy,

L. Rafael Reif

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