Holland Hospital Cuts Ties With Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will no longer serve as a spokesperson for Holland Hospital.
The Ottawa County healthcare group made the announcement Friday, after Cousins has refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Fox 17 reports.
On Thursday Cousins, a graduate of Holland Christian High School and MSU, came off the Vikings COVID-19 reserve list. He'd been placed on the list and missed four training camp practices after being in close contact with a player who'd tested positive for COVID-19. Cousins was designated a “high-risk close contact", which means he is not vaccinated, ESPN reports.
According to USA Today, Cousins spoke with media on Thursday, saying,
I think the vaccination decision is a very private health matter for me, and I'm gonna keep it as such...I'm going to be vigilant about avoiding a close contact. I've even thought about should I just set up literally plexiglass around where I sit, so that this can never happen again. I've thought about it, because I'm gonna do whatever it takes.
When asked further about his vaccination status, Cousins responded,
I'm at peace with where I'm at, and I'll follow the protocols vigilantly.
Last year, on the "10 Questions With Kyle Brandt podcast", Cousins talked about his stance on the pandemic:
If I get it, I'm going to ride it out. I'm going to let nature do its course. Survival-of-the-fittest kind of approach. And just say, if it knocks me out, it knocks me out. I'm going to be OK. You know, even if I die. If I die, I die. I kind of have peace about that.
Here is the full statement from Holland Hospital on the ending of their sponsorship agreement with Cousins, via Fox 17:
As the trusted health care leader along the lakeshore, we are committed to providing accurate, timely health information and guidance based on guidelines from the CDC and medical experts. 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. 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. The clear recommendation from the CDC and leading medical experts is that the COVID vaccine is safe, effective and the best defense against becoming infected with the virus. Evidence also indicates that vaccinated individuals may be less likely to carry and transmit the virus to others including children, family members and friends. For these reasons, Holland Hospital has and will continue to strongly recommend the COVID vaccine to those who are eligible to receive it.
It is important that Holland Hospital maintain the trusted reputation we have earned for providing consistent, truthful information and evidence-based health care guidance.