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Aaron Rodgers Lashes Out at ‘woke Mob,’ Defends Unvaccinated Status After Catching COVID-19




GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Packers QB Aaron Rodgers spoke for the first time Friday afternoon since testing positive for COVID-19, claiming that he took alternative treatments for COVID-19 because he was allergic to ingredients in the mRNA vaccines.

Back in late August when Rodgers was asked about his vaccination status, he said: “Yeah, I’ve been immunized.” News of Rodgers testing positive for COVID-19 and being unvaccinated made his word choice controversial, especially since the star quarterback was seen holding mask-free press conferences in club facilities, which is against the rules agreed upon by the NFL and NFL Players Association.

Can you be ‘immunized’ if you’re not vaccinated? Here’s what the CDC and WHO have to say

Rodgers appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” Friday afternoon to explain his vaccination status and what the last few days were like for him after testing positive for COVID-19.

Rodgers started the interview by saying, “I realize I’m in the cross-hairs of the woke mob right now, so before my final nail gets put in my cancel-culture casket, I think I’d like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself right now.”

Rodgers said he did his own research about vaccines in the offseason, and met with individuals in the medical field.

“It was pretty easy in the beginning to eliminate two of them”, Rodgers said of the available vaccines. “I have an allergy to an ingredient that’s in the mRNA vaccines.”

“I’m not an anti-vaxx, flat-earther.. I have an allergy to an ingredient that’s in the mRNA vaccines. I found a long term immunization protocol to protect myself & I’m very proud of the research that went into that” ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021

Rodgers said he was wary of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, mentioning how it was “pulled in mid-April for clotting issues,” referencing how it was temporarily paused after there were rare reports of increased risk for thrombosis in adult women younger than the age of 50. In April, the CDC and FDA resumed recommendation of the vaccine, saying that the benefits outweighed the risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.

Rodgers claims he continued to talk to medical professionals as he looked into other alternatives that could protect him and his teammates from the virus.

“I found that there was an immunization protocol that I could go to, to best protect myself and my teammates, and it was a long term protocol that involved multiple months,” Rodgers explained. “I’m very proud of the research that went into that.”

Rodgers explained that the NFL was “fully aware” of the situation when he returned to the Packers this summer. He then petitioned to the NFL for them to accept his immunization status.

“Everyone in the organization knew i wasn’t vaccinated.. people in the media knew it & they sat on it for months” ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021

When talking about the protocols placed by the league for unvaccinated and vaccinated players, Rodgers said: “In my opinion, they weren’t based on science. They were more based in a shame-based environment to try and get as many guys vaccinated as possible so the league looks better to the rest of the world.”

When the NFL responded to Aaron Rodgers’ petition, they told Rodgers he would be considered an unvaccinated player.

REPORT: Packers bringing back QB Blake Bortles

Rodgers then went onto appeal, which was a multi-week process. He asked for time to gather information, which he said amounted to 500 pages of research. Rodgers also had conversations with the NFL about his appeal that he characterized as “good sharing,” but there was one conversation that stuck out, he said.

“One of the main docs said, ‘It’s impossible for a vaccinated person to get COVID or spread COVID.’ At that point, I knew I was definitely not going to win an appeal. It was very shortly after that denied,” Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Rodgers then questioned the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine because of documented breakthrough cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that such cases are expected because, while the vaccines aren’t 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 cases, they do effectively protect people from serious illness and death.

An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May found that virtually all COVID-19 deaths are now in people who haven’t been vaccinated.

While breakthrough cases may become more common as the percentage of vaccinated people in the country grows, the CDC emphasizes that the risk of infection among unvaccinated people is still much greater.

“Studies so far show that vaccinated people are 8 times less likely to be infected and 25 times less likely to experience hospitalization or death,” according to the CDC website. “Vaccines remain effective in protecting most people from COVID-19 infection and its complications.”

Rodgers then went onto explain the decision of not getting vaccinated.

“That’s what I did. I made the decision that was in my best interest.”

“My desire to immunize myself was what was best for my body & that’s why this is so important to me. I made a decision that was in my best interest for my body.. I’m not telling somebody to get vaccinated or not get vaccinated” ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021

Rodgers also said that being a father figure is important to him.

“To my knowledge, there’s been zero long-term studies around sterility or fertility issues around the vaccines. So that was definitely something that I was worried about,” said Rodgers.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding Rodgers not wearing a mask during his in-person pressers at the podiums with the media. Rodgers went onto explain his thoughts on the NFL rules and protocols for unvaccinated players.

“This vaccine is revolutionary however we don’t know a whole lot about it. For the media taking shots at me you now know my story so quit lying about me.. personal health decisions in my opinion should be private” ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021

“Some of the rules to me are not based in science at all and purely to ought and shame people. Like needing to wear a mask at a podium when every person in the room is vaccinated and wearing a mask. It makes no sense to me. If you got vaccinated to protect yourself from a virus that I don’t have as an unvaccinated individual — then why are you worried about anything that I can give you?” said Rodgers. “I have followed every single protocol to a T. Minus that one that I just mentioned that makes no sense to me.”

NEW: Packers HC Matt LaFleur confident all protocols were followed, Rodgers placed on reserve/COVID-19 list

Rodgers explained his daily routine as an unvaccinated individual, which includes: COVID-19 testing as early as 5:00 a.m. during noon games at home; testing in the morning every day and waiting in the car for 30-40 minutes to receive results; wearing a mask every day in the facility; physically distancing from everybody else; not leaving the hotel during road games; not eating with teammates; working out off to the side in the weight room while wearing a mask; not using the sauna and steam room; and wearing a yellow wrist band at all times to announce that he’s unvaccinated.

“The organization & my teammates knew exactly what my status was.. there was nothing that was hidden. I have followed every single protocol & a lot of the protocols aren’t based on science at all” ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021

Rodgers went on to discuss his problems with COVID-19, and recounted his own personal recollection of the early pandemic, in which he claimed that “the left” didn’t trust vaccines until Biden won the presidency.

“Then what happened? Biden wins and everything flips,” he claimed.

“They sent in a stooge early in training camp to tell us we were 19th in the league in vaccination percentage.. I challenged some of the things he was saying & afterwards I was thanked by a lot of coaches & players” ~@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021

With Aaron Rodgers testing positive for COVID-19, he doesn’t have to test again for the next 90 days.

When Rodgers was wrapping up his 46 minute interview, Rodgers said, “The situation that I’m in should be a conversation, not a controversy.” He added: “If this was the flu, I’d be playing Sunday.”

“The situation that I’m in should be a conversation not a controversy.. if this was the flu I’d be playing on Sunday” ~@AaronRodgers12 #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 5, 2021


Health News

New GR Pharmacy to Serve Spanish-speaking Patients




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — By the end of the year, Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park neighborhood will have a new pharmacy.

Trinity Health Clinica Santa Maria began construction Monday morning on the $1.5 million project. The new pharmacy will include both walk-up and drive-thru services.

Trinity Health Clinica Santa Maria practice leader Kameron Selleck it will offer convenience in a neighborhood that doesn’t have a pharmacy close in proximity, making it challenging for patients to get their prescriptions in a timely manner.

“A lot of our patients do encounter a lot of social barriers in their lives,” Selleck said.

He added that a language barrier can make it difficult patients to get their prescriptions. He said nearly every employee at Clinica Santa Maria is bilingual in Spanish and the plan is for that trend to carry over to new pharmacy and pharmacy tech hires.

“I think this project was announced almost five years ago, so it’s here,” Selleck said. “I just really encourage the community to be as excited as we are.

The pharmacy is at 730 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW (formerly Grandville Avenue) at Martin Luther King Jr. Street (formerly Franklin Street) in Grand Rapids. It will be the seventh Trinity Health pharmacy in the Grand Rapids area, with the other locations being Cathedral Square, the Wege Building at Trinity Heath Saint Mary’s, Hudsonville, Rockford, Byron Center and Southeast Grand Rapids.

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Health News

Tulip Time Crowds Encouraging for Returning Festivals




HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Tulip Time saw big crowds this year as it returned to a more regular schedule.

The event was cancelled in 2020 and scaled back last year because of the pandemic.

Hot temperatures caused damage to some of Holland’s tulips, Tulip Time organizers say.

The heat caused challenges for the 2022 festival. The Tulip Immersion Garden, a new attraction, had to close early because the hot temperatures caused too much damage to the flowers, Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda said.

“They don’t like 80 degree, 90 degree weather. Tulips prefer it to be about 40 at night, 60 to 70, maybe 80 during the day,” Auwerda said.

Heat closes down Tulip Time Immersion Garden early

The organization is working on final numbers but saw attendance return to pre-pandemic levels.

“I do know that the carnival exceeded 2019 by 25 to 30%, so that was fabulous for them and it was packed everywhere in town,” Auwerda said.

Kevin Knight, the owner of Market Zero, said the festival definitely provided a boost as they worked to keep up with demand. 

“It’s a huge kick off to your summer season,” Knight said. “Our fridges were completely full and got completely empty and completely full and completely empty, so it was about everything we could handle.”

Market Zero in downtown Holland on May 16, 2022. Inside Market Zero in downtown Holland on May 16, 2022.

The return of crowds could be good sign for other events coming back this summer, like the Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids. Mark Azkoul, an organizer for the event that began in 1970, sees the success of Tulip Time as encouraging.

Tulip Time has record-breaking opening weekend

“We’ve been out for two years so this is a big thing for us and for the city to get Festival back up and going,” Azkoul said.

Organizers created the Plein Air event for 2021, which combined outdoor art and music.

The 2022 event runs June 3 through June 5. After taking a break because of the pandemic the festival needs extra help.    

“A lot of people still don’t know yet festival is coming back, so we really want to get the word out. We need more volunteers,” Azkoul said.

People interested in volunteering can sign up on the Festival of the Arts website.


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Health News

Mom Does ‘small Part’ to Help Parents Who Need Formula




HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Though there appears to an end of the baby formula shortage in sight, it’s still causing problems for parents, so a mother in Holland did what she could to help.

Abbott Nutrition has announced its entered into an agreement with the federal Food and Drug Administration to restart its Sturgis plant within two weeks. The closure of that plant has been a huge contributing factor to the shortage. The company expects its products to ship to stores eight weeks after production resumes.

But for now, many parents can’t find the formula they need. The low supply has some stores limiting the number of formulas customers can purchase, adding that they are in “extraordinary high” demand.

The baby formula shelves at a Meijer in Holland.

So Caitlin Dampier, a mother of two whose youngest is a 3-month-old girl, stepped up to help where she could.

“I really wish I could help out more, but this is just my small part,” Dampier said.

She got a box of Enfamil formulas that she’s not using because she’s breastfeeding.

“When you’re pregnant, you get free samples and so I thought I would just offer mine for free for mothers who need them,” Dampier said. “I kept it around in case I wasn’t able to breastfeed.”

5 things to know if you can’t find baby formula

Dampier made a post on Facebook this week directed at parents who can’t find formula. The box she received included three cans of Enfamil formulas and two ready-made formulas.

Two mothers reached out to her, including Kourtney Hann, another Holland resident. She’s one of thousands of mothers across the country who have had to go to great lengths to find food for their baby.

“I have had to go to stores maybe 45 minutes away just to even try to get formula,” she said. “It’s very hard to find them where I’m at right now. I went to Walmart yesterday and all they had was Similac and my daughter has a really bad reaction to Similac.”

Hann was able to connect with Dampier and picked up a can of Enfamil. Dampier left the box on her front porch with the message, “Please take only the formula you chose and tear out some coupons for yourself. My prayers are with you during this difficult time.”

The box of Enfamil products Caitlin Dampier left at her door for mothers to pick up.

Hann said she was down to her last can of baby formula which lasts her about five days. Now that she has received another can from Dampier, she’ll be able to feed her 9-month-old for the next two weeks.

“Being a mom is hard enough as it is. You have so many other struggles and to be afraid to know if you’re going to be able to feed your baby or not is a struggle,” Dampier said. “You want to do everything for your kids so when you’re not able to it’s hard. It’s just the worst feeling in the world.”


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