Michigan hospital cuts ties with Vikings Kirk Cousins over vaccine stance
A Michigan hospital has cut ties with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins after he doubled down on his stance of not getting vaccinated this week.
Holland Hospital issued a statement to WHTC radio on Friday confirming that it has ended its relationship with Cousins after he told reporters a day earlier that he was "at peace" with his decision to go unvaccinated this season.
"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 statement read.
"For this reason, Holland Hospital will discontinue using Kirk Cousins as our spokesperson for now. We are proud of our association with Kirk. He embodies many values we respect and share as part of our work culture. However, we must be certain that our communications about COVID vaccination are consistent and unequivocal."
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"It is important that Holland Hospital maintain the trusted reputation we have earned for providing consistent, truthful information and evidence-based health care guidance."
Cousins returned to practice on Thursday after having to enter COVID safety protocols after being deemed a close contact to a positive case.
"I’m at peace with where I’m at, and I’ll follow the protocols vigilantly," he said. "I do believe that as a leader of the team it’s very important to follow the protocols to avoid this close contact, because that is what it’s going to come down to,"
Cousins said that the size of the quarterback room would allow him to still follow the NFL’s safety protocols and still go unvaccinated, suggesting surrounding himself in plexiglass or even "meeting outside under a goal post in January."
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"I worked on my own, did all the virtual meetings, was able to do the best I could with the situation we had. I do believe the protocols work, and that’s why I believe I didn’t have COVID after being in a meeting room like that, because the mask and the social distancing works."
The Vikings, as of Tuesday, had the lowest percentage (70) of vaccinated players in the NFL.
"I’m done talking about vaccinations. I’m out of that business," coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.