Prevea Health ends partnership with Aaron Rodgers following comments about COVID-19 vaccination
Prevea Health announced Saturday that it would be no longer continue its partnership with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The announcement comes after Rodgers publicly made a series of misleading and false claims about COVID-19 Friday during an appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show." Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and due to his unvaccinated status will not be able to get back on the field for a minimum of 10 days.
According a statement from the company, Rodgers has been a partner of Prevea Health since 2012 and has acted as a spokesperson and supported the organization's initiatives throughout Wisconsin.
"Prevea Health remains deeply committed to protecting its patients, staff, providers and communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes encouraging and helping all eligible populations to become vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent the virus from further significantly impacting lives and livelihoods," the statement said.
In 2019, Rodgers and Prevea signed a four-year extension to their partnership. At the time, Rodgers had recently participated in an advertising campaign called “Senses,” which focused on what healthy looks like, feels like and sounds like, from person to person.
Prevea Health has more than 80 clinic and hospital locations across Wisconsin, and is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System hospitals in the state.
Rodgers is also a spokesman for State Farm Insurance and Bergstrom Automotive. Those companies have not released any information regarding their deals with Rodgers. State Farm commercials featuring Rodgers were still running as of Friday morning, according to Ad Age.
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Among Rodgers' misleading statements were that unvaccinated individuals are not bearing the brunt of the pandemic, that the COVID-19 vaccine may cause fertility issues and that experts "don't know a lot about" the vaccine. Rodgers also said that he has been taking ivermectin, a drug that the Food and Drug Administration says has not been approved for the treatment of COVID-19 or any other viral infection.
Studies have shown that unvaccinated people are dramatically more likely to be hospitalized and die of COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated. In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study that found that unvaccinated people were 4.5 times more likely to get infected, 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die when infected, even with the delta variant. The study took place across 13 states and included data from 600,000 cases since April 2021.
Additionally, COVID-19 vaccine development has been in the works for close to 20 years, tracing back to the emergence of SARS. While COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly, the CDC assures that the vaccine is safe and has been delivered to the public "under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history."
Rodgers has been facing backlash on social media after a video from August circulated showing him claiming to be "immunized" despite never receiving a vaccine. During his Friday appearance on McAfee's show, Rodgers said he is allergic to an ingredient found in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and he chose not to take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of concerns about blood clotting issues.
The J&J vaccine was briefly paused earlier this year after concerns about blood clotting. The CDC reports that after 15.5 million J&J shots have been administered there’s a .00031% chance of getting Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (or blood clots) from a dose.