Aaron Rodgers on vaccine: ‘If science can’t be questioned, it’s propaganda’

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Aaron Rodgers took plenty of heat from the media last month when confusion arose over his vaccination status after claiming to be “immunized” during training camp. Rodgers was ultimately fined $14,500 for violating the league’s COVID protocol for attending a Halloween party in spite of being unvaccinated. The Packers veteran has had plenty of opportunities to walk back his earlier remarks about COVID, including Tuesday during his appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. Instead, Rodgers double-downed on his vaccine skepticism, raising eyebrows by dismissing vax mandates as “propaganda.”

“I’ve been accused of spreading misinformation about the treatment plan that I used to get better,” Rodgers told McAfee. “I do know behind the scenes—this is 100-percent true—there are many teams who are using or recommending a lot of the same treatments that I got for their players.”

Rodgers insists he doesn’t have a “problem” with people who are vaccinated (including McAfee), but feels it should be each individual’s choice what they put in their body. “If science can’t be questioned, it’s not science anymore. It’s propaganda,” said Rodgers, a 10-time Pro Bowler and the current frontrunner for MVP. “When did science become this blind agreement and not having any debate over what can actually heal people and work for people?”

The 38-year-old said he also doesn’t understand why the unvaccinated population is taking so much blame for the recent COVID spike, with most new cases attributed to the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant. “What I don’t understand is vaccinated people blaming unvaccinated people because the vaccine that they took to avoid getting the virus didn’t stop them from getting the virus,” expressed Rodgers. “I made a decision that was in the best interest of my body, and that’s what it should be.”

Rodgers, who bolstered his MVP candidacy by slinging three touchdowns in a Christmas Day win over Cleveland, thinks too much of the COVID narrative is centered on quarantining and social distancing when more should be done about actually treating the virus. “I’m not a doctor, I get it. That’s what people hammer me most about,” said Rodgers, acknowledging the criticism he’s received for his outspoken views on COVID. “I’m not some uneducated person who’s [just] throwing stuff out. You want to rip on me for taking horse de-wormer and whatever else you want to talk about, that’s fine. But I also got better in 48 hours. And I had symptoms.”

McAfee, who has generally been supportive of Rodgers, appeared dumbfounded by the quarterback’s defiance while warning him to expect backlash on social media. “You probably are going to get a lot of mentions about how much [people] hate what you feel, but I feel like you’ve been very consistent.”

Unvaccinated Vikings star Dalvin Cook sat out Week 16 due to a positive test while Colts quarterback Carson Wentz now finds himself in the same position, forced to miss Sunday’s game against Las Vegas after being placed in the league’s COVID protocol. By choosing himself over the fans and teammates who depend on him, Cook may very well have cost his team a playoff berth. The Colts will probably make the playoffs regardless, but not being in uniform for an important late-season game is still a strike against Wentz as both a leader and a teammate.

Similarly, Rodgers’ absence against Kansas City in a game the Packers lost earlier this year could affect whether Green Bay receives a first-round bye. Rodgers spoke at length about doing what’s in his “best interest,” but what about his teammates and Green Bay's army of loyal Cheeseheads who brave subfreezing temperatures to watch him play at Lambeau each week?

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