It's been a big weekend for Aaron Rodgers, but not in the way he might like.
In addition to the Green Bay Packers losing Saturday's divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers (13-10), the quarterback continues to be a polarizing figure due to his views on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rodgers took shots at Joe Biden's administration while discussing the government's handling of vaccines in an interview with ESPN published Friday. The jab comes one month after President Biden referenced about the 38-year-old athlete's vaccination status while touring tornado damage in Kentucky.
During a Thursday phone call with the outlet, the Packers star lashed out about President Biden's use of the phrase "pandemic of the unvaccinated."
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"When the president of the United States says, 'This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,' it's because him and his constituents, which, I don't know how there are any if you watch any of his attempts at public speaking, but I guess he got 81 million votes," Rodgers told ESPN.
Patrick McDermott/Getty; Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty
"But when you say stuff like that, and then you have the CDC, which — how do you even trust them? — but then they come out and talk about 75% of the COVID deaths have at least four comorbidities. And you still have this fake White House set saying that this is the pandemic of the unvaccinated, that's not helping the conversation," he added.
The statistic Rodgers referenced in fact comes from a CDC study of 1.2 million fully vaccinated individuals conducted between December 2020 and October 2021. During the study, just 36 people suffered COVID-19-related deaths, 28 of which (or about 78%) had at least four comorbidities.
Biden originally brought up Rodgers on Dec. 15 while touring tornado damage in Kentucky shortly after devastating storms ripped through several Midwest states.
In a clip from CBS News, the Commander-in-Chief turns to a tornado survivor wearing Green Bay Packers gear and says, "Tell that quarterback he's got to get his vaccine."
VIDEO: @POTUS wraps up a conversation with two women, pats the woman wearing @packers gear on the back and says, “Tell that quarterback he’s got to get his vaccine.”
The two women laugh. pic.twitter.com/J7aC8HFyLH
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) December 15, 2021
The comment came one month after Rodgers confirmed on The Pat McAfee Show that he was not vaccinated against COVID-19 shortly after contracting the virus — despite telling reporters in August that he had been "immunized" against the virus.
Additionally, ESPN reported Rodgers said his phrasing was not deceptive, but rather deliberate.
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Harry How/Getty Aaron Rodgers
Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy engaged in a back-and-forth about the term "pandemic of the unvaccinated" as some triple-vaccinated individuals, such as himself and Psaki, contracted COVID-19.
"I understand the science says that vaccines prevent death. But I'm triple-vaxxed, still got COVID. You're triple-vaxxed, still got COVID," Doocy said before asking, "why is the president still referring to this as a pandemic of the unvaccinated?"
In her reply, Psaki noted that vaccines don't always prevent infection, but can be efficient in staving off serious illness. "I had minor symptoms," she noted. "There's a huge difference between that and being unvaccinated. You are 17 times more likely to go to the hospital if you're not vaccinated, 20 times more likely to die."
Rodgers is next expected to play in the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas on Feb. 6.
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