Wisconsin health care organization cuts ties with Aaron Rodgers after COVID-19 vaccine comments

·3 min read

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is dealing with the fallout after his comments on the COVID-19 vaccines during a Friday appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show." Prevea Health — a Wisconsin-based health care organization — cut ties with Rodgers a day after that interview.

Prevea Health described it as a mutual decision in a statement. The organization did not reference Rodgers' appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show," or any specific comments made by Rodgers in its statement, but did note that it remains "deeply committed" to getting eligible people vaccinated.

Rodgers, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, appeared on McAfee's show Friday to explain why he wasn't vaccinated. Rodgers made the conversation combative immediately, referencing the "woke mob" and "cancel culture" before sharing his thoughts.

Rodgers claimed he was allergic to something in both mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines and said he didn't want to take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after it was pulled from the market due to side effects. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was cleared to return to the market shortly after, though with a warning that it could cause blood clotting.

Instead, Rodgers underwent alternative medical treatments. He didn't go into specific detail regarding those treatments, though did mention taking ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. The FDA has not approved either drug to treat COVID-19. 

Rodgers made additional comments regarding both the vaccine and the NFL's COVID-19 protocols, some of which were disputed by the league

Prevea Health is among the first organization to drop Rodgers following his comments. Rodgers has a number of endorsement deals, the biggest of which includes television and print ads with State Farm.

When asked about State Farm's relationship with Rodgers following his comments during McAfee's show, the company told Yahoo Sports' Nick Bromberg, "It would be inappropriate for us to comment on Aaron’s vaccination status."

Aaron Rodgers cannot start in Week 9 due to being unvaccinated

Under NFL policy, Rodgers is not eligible to return to the Packers for 10 days. Unvaccinated individuals who test positive must miss at least 10 days before they return. If Rodgers was vaccinated, he could return to the team after two negative COVID-19 tests, leaving open the possibility he could play in Week 9.

With Rodgers sidelined, 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love will make his first NFL start against the Kansas City Chiefs. Love is eligible to make the start because he is vaccinated. If Love was unvaccinated, he would have had to quarantine for at least five days after being a close contact to Rodgers. 

As long as Love does not test positive for COVID on Saturday or before the game Sunday, he'll get the start.

Aaron Rodgers with the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers was dropped by a Wisconsin health care organization after his COVID-19 vaccine comments. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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