GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers confirmed he is unvaccinated against COVID-19 and is disappointed with the treatment he's been receiving in the media while appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday.
"I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now," Rodgers said. "So, before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I think I would like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself."
Rodgers said the media was on a "witch hunt" to find out which players were vaccinated and blamed reporters for him saying he was "immunized" back in August.
The quarterback will not play in the Packers game against the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend due to COVID-19 protocols, the team's head coach Matt LaFleur announced Wednesday.
The 37-year-old Rodgers said if any reporter would have asked a follow-up question, he would have explained he's "not an anti-vax flat earther," but that he's a "critical thinker."
Rogers added he has been following the strict NFL protocols for unvaccinated players to a "T." Rodgers described the daily testing he is subjected to every day, even on off days, and believes the rules are in place to shame unvaccinated people. Rodgers says he has been tested over 300 times before testing positive this week.
Rodgers said he experienced some mild symptoms for roughly 48 hours but currently "feels really good" He wasn't certain when he would return to the field or what protocols were in place for him now that he tested positive for COVID-19.
Quarterback took advice from Joe Rogan
Rodgers said he consulted with podcast host Joe Rogan and took his advice on how he treated his own COVID-19 infection.
"I consulted with a now good friend of mine Joe Rogan, after he got COVID, and I've a lot of the stuff he recommended in his podcast and on the phone to me," Rodgers said.
"I'm going to have the best immunity possible now based on the 2.5-million-person study from Israel that the people that get COVID and recover, have the most robust immunity. I'm thankful for people like Joe stepping up and using his voice. I'm thankful for my medical squad and I'm thankful for all the love and support I've gotten but I've been taking monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, zinc, vitamin C and DHCQ and I feel pretty incredible."
The CDC noted the Israeli study looked at people who had been vaccinated six months before or longer. "Understanding infection-induced and vaccine-induced immunity over time is important, particularly for future studies to consider," they wrote.
"In this study, the benefit of vaccination compared with infection without vaccination appeared to be higher for recipients of Moderna than Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is consistent with a recent study that found higher vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalizations for Moderna vaccine recipients than for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients," they added.
Rodgers said he did not get vaccinated because he has an allergy to an ingredient in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and was scared about the possible side effects from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. He said the decision to seek alternative treatments was "what was best for my body."
Rodgers said the NFL knew he was unvaccinated, and he had multiple conversations with NFL doctors including one where a doctor told him, "it is impossible for vaccinated person to get COVID or spread COVID."
Rodgers said he had previously tried to "petition" the league that his homeopathic treatment of increasing his antibodies should be considered as an alternative to getting fully vaccinated via Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Rodgers continued, "at that point I knew I was definitely not going to win the appeal."
CNN has asked the NFL about this claim and whether the league has a comment.
Vaccines better than previous infections, CDC says
Rodgers said, "The vaccines do offer some protection for sure but there is a lot we don't know about them. ... There is a lot to natural immunity. ... If you have gotten COVID and recovered from it, that's the best boost to immunity you can have."
Rodgers is not incorrect in thinking people who have recovered from COVID-19 have some immunity -- but it's not nearly as much immunity as vaccinated people have. A team of researchers led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in October that vaccination protects people against coronavirus infection much better than previous infection does.
Their study found people who had not been vaccinated and who ended up in the hospital were five times more likely to have COVID-19 than people who had been vaccinated within the past three to six months.
"All eligible persons should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, including unvaccinated persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2," the researchers wrote in the CDC's weekly report, the MMWR.
In August, Rodgers was asked whether he had received the COVID-19 vaccine. Rodgers said he had been "immunized."
"There's a lot of conversation around it, around the league, and a lot of guys who have made statements and not made statements," Rodgers said. "Owners have made statements. There's guys on the team that haven't been vaccinated. I think it's personal decision. I'm not going to judge those guys. There's guys that have been vaccinated and contracted COVID. So it's an interesting issue."
The NFL said it is reviewing the situation. A league spokesperson told CNN in a statement, "The primary responsibility for enforcement of the COVID Protocols within Club facilities rests with each Club.
"Failure to properly enforce the protocols has resulted in discipline being assessed against individual Clubs in the past. The league is aware of the current situation in Green Bay and will be reviewing with the Packers."
Vaccinated players who test positive and remain asymptomatic are eligible to return after testing negative twice in a 24-hour span. Unvaccinated players are required to quarantine for 10 days and then test negative to return.
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