Hospital ends relationship with Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins over vaccine stance

ByDave Alsup and Theresa Waldrop, CNN, CNNWire
Saturday, August 7, 2021
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on COVID vaccines
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on COVID vaccines

HOLLAND, Mich. -- Holland Hospital in western Michigan said it is ending its relationship with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins over his stance on COVID-19 vaccines.

The hospital announced the cancellation of its agreement with Cousins after he refused to say at a news conference whether he is vaccinated, calling it a "very private health decision."

"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 hospital said in a statement. "For this reason, Holland Hospital will discontinue using Kirk Cousins as our spokesperson for now."

Cousins spoke to the media after being placed on the team's COVID-19 protocols when he was named a close contact of a teammate who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week. Cousins said he was "at peace" with his choice.

The seven-day average for new daily COVID-19 infections has surpassed 100,000 in the U.S.

Holland Hospital said it is "proud" of its association with Cousins, but "we must be certain that our communications about COVID vaccination are consistent and unequivocal," the statement said.

Last year, Cousins said he is taking a "survival of the fittest" approach to the pandemic.

"If I get it, I'm going to ride it out," Cousins said. "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."

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