GREEN BAY — In his first public appearance since news exploded that Aaron Rodgers is not vaccinated against COVID-19, the Packers quarterback said on the Pat McAfee Show that he took Ivermectin based on podcast host Joe Rogan's recommendation.
Rodgers said after he thoroughly researched the vaccine options that alternative treatments would be better for his health. He said he is allergic to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and that the clotting story with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine made that vaccine not an option.
Rodgers will miss Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Because he is unvaccinated, he is ineligible to return to team activities until Nov. 13, meaning his status for his team's game against the Seattle Seahawks is also in doubt.
"First of all I didn't lie in the initial press conference. During that time it was a very - [a] witch hunt was going on across the league where everyone in the media so was concerned about who was vaccinated and who wasn't," Rodgers said on the show.
"At the time my plan was to say 'I've been immunized.' It wasn't some sort of ruse or lie, it was the truth," Rodgers said.
"I'm not an anti-vaxx, flat-earther.. I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long term immunization protocol to protect myself & I'm very proud of the research that went into that" ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/FDMmI5rZmO— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021
Here's a summary of what he said on the show:
- Rodgers said it was very hard on 'my body my choice' but said he has allergies to what is in Pfizer and Moderna, so those were not options for him. J&J was left, but then the clotting story/shutdown came out and he said that was not an option either. He also has concerns of sterility, says having kids is very important to him in the future.
- He said the NFL and Packers have known his status. There was a petition to the NFL, ultimately appealed and was denied to him.
- He says NFL rules are not based on science. He's tested every day as an unvaccinated player, and says vaccinated teammates are not tested as frequently
- He says he wears a mask when he works out and works out to the side, and has followed every protocol except being unmasked during news conferences. He says he did not follow that rule because everyone else in the room is required to be vaccinated and tested.
- He said he had symptoms Tuesday, but feels good today.
- Ivermectin and other treatments were recommended to him by Joe Rogan. He thanked Rogan for using his voice.
- He said he's the second unvaccinated player to test positive on the team. He said many others who are vaccinated have tested positive in the facility, perhaps referring to team staff.
- Rodgers said he has taken Ivermectin since testing positive
"Big thanks to everybody who reached out to me, checked on me the last couple of days. Felt really good. Heard from some of the teammates, former teammates, coaches, organizations, friends," Rodgers said.
"I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now. So before the final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket I'd like to set the record straight on some of the blatant lies that have been out there about myself," he said.
Rodgers bashed members of the media who claimed he lied about his vaccination status back in late against when he responded to the question by saying he was immunized.
“At the time, my plan was to say that I’ve been immunized,” Rodgers said. “It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie. It was the truth.”
It’s important to note that during his appearance, he wasn’t pressed about whether he deceived or misled the public with his response.
“Some of the rules to me are not based in science at all, they’re based purely in trying to out and shame people like needing to wear masks at a podium when every person in the room is vaccinated and wearing a mask,” Rodgers said. “It makes no sense to me.”
Wisconsin Poison Center reports it has received 17 calls regarding Ivermectin so far in 2021. The FDA has approved Ivermectin to treat worms and other parasites in cows, horses and dogs. For humans Ivermectin is approved "at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms." Wisconsin Poison Center says U.S. poison control centers saw a five-fold increase in emergency calls related to Ivermectin. The CDC has also stated that there is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men. In addition, the CDC says blood clots, Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS), is a rare adverse event. CDC data shows it occurs at a rate of about seven per one million vaccinated women between 18 and 49, and is even more rare for women 50-years-old and older and men of all ages.
On Wednesday news broke that Rodgers had tested positive for COVID-19 and is out of Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Head Coach Matt LaFleur said Wednesday that Rodgers is on protocol but would not comment on Rodgers' vaccination status.
The Packers said in a statement that Rodgers and Isaac Yiadom are on the COVID-19/reserve list, but did not mention vaccine status per NFL-NFLPA policy. The team also signed DL Auzoyah Alufohai and RB Ryquell Armstead to the practice squad.
The NFL says they are now launching an investigation into the Green Bay Packers. The league says they are aware of the current situation and will be reviewing it with the team.
QB Jordan Love will start against the Chiefs.
Rodgers said he was "immunized" during a Aug. 26, 2021 media briefing.
"Yeah, I’ve been immunized," Rodgers said. "You know, there’s a lot of conversation about it around the league and a lot of guys who have made statements and not made statements. Owners who have made statements. You know, there’s guys on the team that haven’t been vaccinated. I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not going to judge those guys. There’s guys that have been vaccinated that have contracted COVID, so it’s an interesting issue that I think we’re going to see played out the entire season. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with the testing schedule I know talking to JC (Tretter) they had talked testing every single day for everybody. The league obviously shot that down, I don’t know if that was financially incentivized or whatnot but it’ll be interesting to see what happens. If the protocols change at some point. It’s obviously something that’s moving, the protocols and guidelines are changing day to day I think it seems."
During a press briefing last Wednesday, Packers Coach Matt LaFleur refused to get into vaccination status or anything relating to it. "We're going to rally around Jordan Love," he said.
"Everybody has to make their own personal decision. That's just what it is," LaFleur said.
NFL.com earlier reported Rodgers received homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor in order to raise his antibody levels. Rodgers asked the NFL to review his status but the league declined to make an exception for Rodgers per their COVID-19 protocol.
According to the NFL's COVID-19 policy, all players and staff who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must wear masks at all times when inside a club's facility. Unvaccinated Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 people including players are prohibited from gathering in groups of more than three outside of the club facility's or when traveling. Only fully vaccinated members of Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff members may travel with the team.
Rodgers has been seen at several press conferences without a mask. Rules also say he shouldn’t be traveling with the team, yet the Packers tweeted out photos of him traveling with the team to Arizona last week. Rodgers was also seen in photos and videos at a Halloween party with other players last weekend, which is also prohibited.
The NFL says each team is individually responsible for its club. In a statement today they said: “The primary responsibility for enforcement of the Covid Protocols within Club facilities rests with each Club. Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual Clubs in the past. The league is aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will be reviewing with the Packers.”
Rodgers will be out at least 10 days. There is a chance he could be cleared next Saturday in time for the Sunday game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Rodgers is not the first to be placed on the reserve COVID-19 list, but his reported absence may be the most felt. Davante Adams and Allen Lazard were both placed on the list and missed a game. So was defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who attended meetings virtually during his absence.