Sports

Fact-checking Aaron Rodgers’ bizarre COVID beliefs and ‘woke mob’ claim made on Pat McAfee Show

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Aaron Rodgers has come under fire recently after testing positive for COVID-19 despite previous claims that he was “immunized,” only to find out that did not mean vaccinated. On Friday, he started firing back.

Speaking on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers said that he is “in the crosshairs of the woke mob” and that “before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket,” he wanted to clear up some of the “blatant lies out there.” He said that he did not lie during his Aug. 27 press conference, when he said he was “immunized,” but he said there was a “witch hunt” that was going on to shame people who had not been vaccinated.

Rodgers said that he did not get two of the vaccines because he found he was allergic to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines, and said that when the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was pulled back in mid-April, he decided he would not get that vaccine either.

MORE: Aaron Rodgers’ ‘immunized’ comments bite Packers QB after COVID-19 positive diagnosis

“I’m not some sort of anti-vax flat earther. I’m somebody who’s a critical thinker. I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy. Not to have to acquiecse to some woke culture or some crazed group of individuals,” Rodgers said on the show.

According to a report from NBC News, Dr. Niraj Patel of Atlanta, chair of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, said that “you’re as likely to get struck by lightning as you are to have an allergic reaaction to a Covid vaccine.”

He referenced blood clotting in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine when it was pulled. According to the CDC, the stoppage was a temporary pause and the FDA green-lit the vaccine to be used again. The blood clots were reportedly in adult women younger than 50 years old, and that it occurs only at a rate of about seven per 1 million vaccinated women, and it is even more rare among older women and all men.

In addition to being allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine and his concern over the J&J vaccine, Rodgers said that he would like to become a father, and that to his knowledge, “there have been no long-term studies around sterility or fertility issues around the vaccines.”

Dr. Jennifer Kawwass, a reproductive endocrinologist and associate professor at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, told NBC News that there is no evidence that the vaccine can impact fertility.

“There is evidence to suggest that infection with SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to impact both male fertility, female fertility, and certainly the health of a pregnancy of someone infected,” Kawwass told NBC News.

Rather than getting the vaccine, Rodgers said that he went through his own immunization protocols that he developed with his medical team. He said the immunization had been around for centuries and doctors had been using it for decades and that it was for adults and children who can’t get traditional vaccines. When McAfee asked him to explain what the immunization methods were, Rodgers said that he is going to keep that “between my doctors and myself, but it was a way to stimulate my immune system to create a defense against COVID.”

MORE: What’s next after Rodgers ruled out vs. Chiefs

He said his medical team was comprised of holistic doctors, homeopaths, “Harvard MDs and brilliant people from all over the country.”

He previously said that he consulted with a “now-good friend of mine, Joe Rogan,” a controversial podcast host, and said that he is following the recommendations from Rogan on how to have “the best immunity possible.” He said he is taking monocolonal antibodies, ivermectin, zinc, vitamin C and D, and hydroxychloroquine. 

The FDA has said ivermectin should not be used to prevent or treat COVID-19 in humans or animals, and said it is “only for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.” The FDA also warned against the use of hydroxycholoroquine due to risk of heart rhythm issues.

Now that he has tested positive, Rodgers said that he will build up a natural immunity to it, and that studies have found that “if you’ve gotten COVID and recovered from it, that that’s the best boosted immunity you can have.”

The CDC found in a recent study that having the vaccine is better protection from possible reinfection compared to natural immunity from having previously contracted the virus.

Rodgers said the NFL classified him as an unvaccinated individual despite his immunization efforts, and that he appealed the decision. Rodgers said he brought 500 pages of research to the appeal process arguing why he should not be grouped as unvaccinated.

“I think they thought I was a quack,” Rodgers said.

MORE: Did NFL know unvaccinated Aaron Rodgers was breaking COVID-19 protocols?

Rodgers complained that the policies by the NFL about handling vaccinated vs. unvaccinated players is “shame-based” and has no scientific backing. He said he is required to be tested daily and that he must wear a mask, even when standing up at the podium talking to the press when he is standing further away from masked media members.

Rodgers said that he felt there was no science behind the policy that made him wear a mask in a facility where everyone had either been fully vaccinated or previously tested negative.

“It was my opinion that that wasn’t rooted in science,” Rodgers said. “Every other protocol, I’ve followed to a T.”

McAfee asked Rodgers if he felt an obligation to follow their rules, since he said others would say it is a privilege to get to play in the NFL. Rodgers responded that while he sees both sides of the argument and that the league can put in place its own policies, “I didn’t agree to any of them.”

“I didn’t sign a piece of paper that gave away my rights to live a normal season of life and I felt like I protected myself in a way that not only protected myself and my teammates,” Rodgers said. “I’ve tested over 300 times before finally testing positive. Like I said, it was probably from a vaccinated individual. I don’t think that many of thet policies are rooted in science.”

He compared himself to Martin Luther King Jr., paraphrasing King’s original quote, which was “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsbility to disobey unjust laws.”

“The great MLK said you have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules, and rules that make no sense. In my opinion, it makes no sense to me,” Rodgers said.

Before the season began, the NFL and NFLPA both agreed on the COVID-19 protocols for the regular season.

Rodgers, who once hosted “Jeopardy,” said that there are two questions he has for the “woke mob”: why are people still getting the coronavirus, spreading it and dying from it if they are vaccinated, and if the vaccine is safe, why the manufacturers of the vaccine have “full immunity?”

The CDC reports that the vaccines protect against severe illness, and that breakthrough cases can happen. It says that studies have found unvaccinated people are 6.1 times more likely to be infected and 11.3 times more likely to experience hospitalization or death compared to fully vaccinated individuals.



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