Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is coming under intense fire and being trashed on social media for proclaiming that he will “do whatever it takes” to avoid contracting COVID but he has reportedly not been vaccinated against the virus.
“I think the vaccination decision is a very private health matter for me, and I’m going to keep it as such,” the veteran quarterback declared. “I do believe that as a leader of the team, it’s very important to follow the protocols and avoid the close contact because that is what it’s going to come down to… did you have a close contact?”
“I’m going to be vigilant about avoiding close contact,” Cousins stated on Thursday. “I’ve even thought about, should I just set up, literally, plexiglass around where I sit so that this could never happen again. I’ve thought about it, cause I’m gonna do whatever it takes.”
Cousins made a statement to the media shortly after the Vikings announced that he and quarterback Nate Stanley were back on the active roster following a stint on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list. They were deemed high-risk close contacts with their teammate quarterback Kellen Mond, who tested positive for COVID-19.
(Video Credit: Minnesota Vikings)
The quarterback had to sit out four practices because of the Vikings’ COVID protocols. Since he isn’t vaccinated, if he comes into close contact with a team member who tests positive for the virus, he is required to undergo a five-day quarantine period. Before training camp started, the NFL issued separate rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated players in an effort to pressure them into getting the jab and this was one of them.
Cousins remarked that he’s had six negative tests since his exposure to Mond, and is showing no symptoms of COVID.
“I’ve come to learn since I’ve been at home that the tracers we wear actually showed I was not a ‘close contact’ as I understand being a close contact, which is being within a certain number of feet,” Cousins said. “The challenge was, the meeting room we met in was deemed to be too small for us to have been in a room together — even if we were significantly apart from each other. So we’ve since moved to a different meeting room, and as I understand it, had we met in a larger room, I would not have missed practice.”
“Because I was not a close contact as deemed by actually being in contact. So it was disappointing to miss practice. In my entire college and pro career, I have not missed four practices. So to miss four practices in one week and not have COVID was frustrating, disappointing,” he commented.
Cousins said he has thought about surrounding himself with plexiglass in the QB room. He was asked why he would go to such lengths when a vaccine would be far more effective and efficient. He said the decision is personal and private.
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) August 5, 2021
“We had a tremendous conversation last night, great dialogue,” Cousins stated when asked about his relationship with Head Coach Mike Zimmer. “I’ll leave my discussion with him ‘with him,’ but it was a very positive discussion, came away feeling great.”
Zimmer is frustrated that Cousins and other players have not been vaccinated. “Some of them just won’t do it,” he said earlier this week. “Some of the things they read are out there. It’s their belief, so whatever they’ve heard or read or been told. Maybe they don’t believe what [NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills] told them either.”
The Vikings starter remarked to reporters that he is “at peace with where I’m at,” and said he would continue to follow the team and NFL protocols.
Getting vaccinated is certainly no guarantee that you will not contract COVID or even die from it. As of July 26, the CDC reported that 6,587 patients with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections were hospitalized. It should be noted that of those breakthrough cases that were hospitalized, 1,263 or 19 percent reportedly died.
The CDC reports that 163 million Americans have now been vaccinated.
Cousins was savaged by pro-vaccine advocates on social media:
— Arif Hasan, training camp attender 🏕️ (@ArifHasanNFL) August 5, 2021
I know another less-elaborate fix. https://t.co/jqU7fPlCpf
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) August 5, 2021
“Do whatever it takes” EXCEPT get the vaccine.
Good grief. https://t.co/gFAcjj3Nlt
— Valerie Bertinelli (@Wolfiesmom) August 6, 2021
It’s amazing how this guy’s refusal to get a harmless shot, which endangers the lives of his entire team, coach, family, and anyone he comes in contact with inspires no outrage whatsoever from the right. But @Kaepernick7 kneeling during the anthem had them burning their Nike’s. https://t.co/pNkQQdrjhg
— Andrew Wortman 🏳️🌈 (@AmoneyResists) August 6, 2021
Kirk has always played as though he was encased in glass, so this is on brand. https://t.co/d9gNp5BbUz
— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) August 6, 2021
To be fair, the vaccination requires a good arm to put it in. https://t.co/rNCb78jPV9
— Phil (@CelticWombat) August 6, 2021
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