Aaron Rodgers Slams 'Fake White House' After Biden Jokes About Player's Vaccination Status
00:45 GMT 24.01.2022 (Updated: 04:28 GMT 24.01.2022)
Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers took aim at US President Joe Biden and the latter's assertion that the US is gripped by a "pandemic of the unvaccinated". Rodgers called the Biden administration a "fake White House", and questioned the trustworthiness of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an interview with ESPN.
Aaron Rodgers did not hold back with his criticism of US President Joe Biden and his administration, questioning the latter's pandemic response and taking personal shots at his public speaking abilities.
"When the president of the United States says, 'This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated', it's because him and his constituents, which, I don't know how there are any if you watch any of his attempts at public speaking, but I guess he got 81 million votes", Rodgers told ESPN on Thursday.
"But when you say stuff like that, and then you have the CDC, which, how do you even trust them, but then they come out and talk about 75% of the COVID deaths have at least four comorbidities. And you still have this fake White House set saying that this is the pandemic of the unvaccinated, that's not helping the conversation".
The CDC study
that Rodgers is referring to states: "Among 1,228,664 persons who completed primary vaccination during December 2020–October 2021, a total of 2,246 (18.0 per 10,000 vaccinated persons) developed COVID-19 and 189 (1.5 per 10,000) had a severe outcome, including 36 who died".
The CDC also found that 77.8% of those who died had four or more underlying risk factors. However, the study only measured the health outcomes of vaccinated individuals who contracted COVID, and of that group 36 people died out of a sample of over 1.2 million.
An earlier CDC study found that, between
October and November of 2021, unvaccinated people were 13.9 times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and 53.2 times more likely to die from the disease.
Rodgers, in a long speech, voiced his displeasure with what he believes is censorship by the Biden administration.
"When you censor and make pariahs out of anybody who questions what you believe in or what the mainstream narrative is, that doesn't make any sense", Rodgers stated on ESPN, summing up several minutes of claims.
Rodgers' displeasure with Biden may also be personal. Earlier in the year, a video surfaced of Biden making a tongue-in-cheek reference to Rodgers' refusal to be vaccinated.
While touring Kentucky in the wake of a series of devastating tornadoes, Biden was filmed speaking to a woman wearing a Green Bay Packers hat and sweater, knowing, apparently, that Rodgers is currently the quarterback for the team. After a short conversation, Biden ended the encounter by saying: "Tell that quarterback he's gotta get the vaccine".
Rodgers, ahead of the NFL season, notoriously misled the media over his vaccination status, becoming a target of widespread ridicule and polarising the anti-vax movement. When asked in the pre-season if he was vaccinated, he lied: "Yeah, I've been immunised".
The media did not press Rodgers on what he meant by "immunised", and the sports professional continued to behave as if he was vaccinated. The NFL enacted rules that put restraints on unvaccinated players, requiring them to wear masks when engaging with the media, something Rodgers refused to do.
Rodgers' status as unvaccinated likely would have remained outside of public knowledge if it wasn't for a positive COVID test that forced him to miss a game in the beginning of November, 2021.
Shortly after his positive test, Rodgers, during his weekly appearance on the "Pat McAfee Show", explained that he was, in fact, not vaccinated, and that he had no plans to become vaccinated. He claimed at the time to have an allergy to an ingredient in mRNA vaccines, but did not specify the ingredient. He also said that he wouldn't receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to concerns over blood clots.
With the revelation that Rodgers was not vaccinated, journalists and fans alike were scathing in their criticism. Rodgers, unhappy with his portrayal in the media and with fans as a liar, pushed back.
"I had a plan going in for that question to be asked", Rodgers claimed, adding, "It was a pseudo witch hunt going on -- who was vaccinated, who wasn't vaccinated. I was in a multi-month conversation that turned into an appeal process with the NFL at that time, and my appeal hinged on that exact statement [immunised]. So what I said was, No. 1, factually true. I went through a multi-immunisation process. And at the end of that, I don't know what you would call it, I would call it immunised".
Rodgers did not specify the immunisation process he participated in.
Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers fell to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs on Saturday. Rodgers had been considered to be the MVP favourite after throwing for 37 touchdowns versus only four interceptions. It would have been his fourth MVP award in his career and second consecutive.