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Aaron Rodgers made a litany of controversial claims in his first interview since testing positive for COVID-19, but there was one in particular that the NFL is already trying to refute.
Early in his appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Friday, Rodgers gave his side of the story on the process of appealing the NFL's ruling that he must be treated like an unvaccinated player. The Green Bay Packers quarterback said to have presented over 500 pages of vaccine research from his medical team after the league deemed his homeopathic treatments as inadequate.
Toward the end of multi-week appeal process, Rodgers claimed an NFL doctor said something clearly wrong about vaccines:
"In that process, we had many conversations, I enjoyed the conversation with the league, it was good sharing, but one in particular stood out when I knew I wasn’t going to win this. I had a meeting and one of the main docs said ‘It's impossible for a vaccinated person to get COVID or spread COVID.’ At that point, I knew that I was definitely not going to win the appeal and it was very shortly thereafter that denied. Which we know now that information is totally false."
Obviously, that's not how vaccines work. Vaccines aren't a perfect shield against a disease; they're a treatment that bolsters a body's immune system against that disease. Vaccinated people can indeed contract COVID-19, but their rates of both contracting the virus and becoming seriously ill from the virus are much lower than non-vaccinated people.
If the NFL really employs a doctor that doesn't know how vaccines work, that would be quite concerning. However, the league responded to such a claim just a few hours later, telling Pro Football Talk that no league doctor even communicated with Rodgers, much less told him that vaccinated people can't contract COVID-19.
From the NFL on Aaron Rodgers regarding the claim a doctor said vaccinated can't get/spread COVID: "No doctor from the league or the joint NFL-NFLPA infectious disease consultants communicated with the player. If they had, they certainly would have never said anything like that."
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 5, 2021
Basically, the NFL is saying Rodgers is lying as a way to defend his actions.
Aaron Rodgers defiant over COVID-19 vaccine
The situation around Rodgers has been messy ever since it was revealed that Rodgers had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Packers and the NFL never officially announced Rodgers was unvaccinated, but the act of ruling him out for Sunday's game — vaccinated players need to only be asymptomatic and test negative 24 hours apart while unvaccinated players must miss at least 10 days — was enough to show he was.
Such a revelation was surprising because Rodgers told reporters he was "immunized," but it has since emerged that he underwent "homeopathic" treatment rather than a real vaccine. Not only was Rodgers not properly vaccinated, he had maintained an illusion of being vaccinated by not wearing a mask while meeting with reporters, something unvaccinated players like him aren't allowed to do.
Rodgers explained his actions on "The Pat McAfee Show," but may well have done more harm than good as far as his standing around the league goes. Now, he will watch back-up QB and heir apparent Jordan Love replace him under center on Sunday