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Remember when we thought the biggest Aaron Rodgers-related story of the year would be that he wanted to be the full-time host of Jeopardy!

I miss those days. 

The Packers’ quarterback made headlines last week for some truly bananas COVID-19 vaccine-related shenanigans. 

Back in the summer, Rodgers answered an, “are you vaccinated?” question from the media with, “yeah, I’ve been immunized.” Maybe the specific wording should have raised a few eyebrows at the time, but the guy’s hosted Jeopardy!, so I guess he got the benefit of the doubt of not being a total idiot. 

The reason Rodgers first made headlines is because he tested positive for COVID-19 and was unvaccinated. According to Rodgers, his plan had been to say that he’d been “immunized” rather than vaccinated so that he wouldn’t technically be lying. This had been news to most NFL fans, who took his assertion of immunization to mean that he had been vaccinated, and had observed him following the league’s protocols set out for vaccinated players, rather than the stricter protocols that unvaccinated players have to follow. 

He then made even more headlines on Friday when he went on The Pat McAfee Show on YouTube and… certainly said some more words. Some of the highlights included saying that the NFL’s requirement that unvaccinated players wear a mask indoors was based in “shame” and “not based in science”. He also used the phrase “my body my choice,” in reference to his refusal to get the vaccine, and then insinuated that the vaccines aren’t effective by claiming that a vaccinated person gave him the virus. He wrapped it all up by quoting Martin Luther King Jr., saying that he had a moral obligation to disobey a law he feels is unjust. 

That’s not even everything he said. I genuinely had to keep checking if the Aaron Rodgers quotes that were flooding my timeline were actually real, because some of them were that unbelievably bizarre. Rodgers claimed that he chose a homeopathic treatment to boost his immunity to COVID-19 over the approved vaccines because of an allergy to an ingredient in mRNA vaccines. He also refused to consider the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of the (entirely negligible and statistically unlikely) risk of blood clots. 

Most bizarrely, Rodgers told McAfee that while considering his options, it was not doctors or even WebMD that he consulted, but rather, the guy who used to host Fear Factor. That’s right, Aaron Rodgers took medical advice from his “now close friend,” Joe Rogan. Rodgers confirmed that he’s taken ivermectin in an attempt to treat COVID-19, presumably on the advice of Rogan. Ivermectin is a drug generally used to deworm large animals like horses, and though there is a version that can be used to treat various infections in humans, COVID-19 is not one of them. 

Taking medical advice from celebrities has always been dubious at best, but in the age of COVID-19, it can be downright dangerous. The misinformed medical information that Rogan has been spreading and Rodgers is now spreading alongside him is not only harmful to themselves, but is a genuine public safety risk. 

Rodgers’ comments on The Pat McAfee Show demonstrate a complete and total misunderstanding of how the vaccine works. He wondered out loud why he, an unvaccinated person, needs to wear a mask if everyone around him is vaccinated. The point of him wearing a face mask is not, in fact, to protect himself from the virus that his vaccinated teammates are less likely to spread, but to protect them from the virus that he’s more likely to have as an unvaccinated person. 

By not being vaccinated and misdirecting people about his vaccination status, Rodgers put his teammates, members of the media, opponents and anyone who was inside of the Green Bay Packers’ facilities, at risk. 

Rodgers is far from the only person to take Joe Rogan’s terrible and dangerous advice, he’s just the most high profile one who’s been dumb enough to open his mouth and tell us about it. 

Medical professionals have been working tirelessly over the last two years to develop treatments and vaccines for a virus that has killed more than five million people worldwide. Emergency rooms have been overrun, hospitals have had to resort to triaging patients, doctors and nurses all over the world have been running themselves ragged to help people. The least that we can do for the healthcare workers who we owe so much to is to get the vaccine and to listen when they tell us not to take unproven medications.