Vikings Quarterback Loses Hospital Contract Over Vaccine Comment

Kirk Cousins wouldn't say whether he's been vaccinated
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2021 3:46 AM CDT
Vikings Quarterback Loses Hospital Contract Over Vaccine Comment
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws during the NFL football team's training camp, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Eagan, Minn.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins recently spent some time on the NFL's COVID-19 list after being listed as a close contact of a team member who tested positive last week, and his comments after the fact ended up losing him a side gig in his hometown. Cousins, asked at a news conference after he was reinstated to the roster whether he'd been vaccinated for the coronavirus, wouldn't disclose his vaccine status because, he said, it's a "very private health decision." Shortly after that, Holland Hospital in western Michigan announced it would no longer use Cousins as a spokesperson, CNN reports. Cousins had gone on to tell the media he was considering surrounding himself with plexiglass so this wouldn't happen again, the Holland Sentinel reports.

"While we acknowledge that each person is entitled to their own viewpoints, those who speak on our behalf must support messages that align with the hospital's position on matters of vital importance to individual and community health," the hospital says in a statement reaffirming its recommendation that all who are eligible be vaccinated against COVID. "For this reason, Holland Hospital will discontinue using Kirk Cousins as our spokesperson for now." Cousins had spoken about COVID last year, saying he planned to take a "survival-of-the-fittest kind of approach" if he contracted the virus: "If I get it, I'm going to ride it out. I'm going to let nature do its course." He went on to predict he'd survive if he did get it, but said he was at peace with the possibility that it could kill him. Sites including Deadspin report that Cousins is not vaccinated. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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