MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on Wednesday is clarifying statements he previously made about his personal lack of concern over contracting COVID-19.
This comes after Cousins was featured on the Spotify podcast 10 Questions saying, “even if I die, I die.” “I have peace about that.”
When asked by host Kyle Brandt where he falls on a 10-point scale of COVID-19 concern — from 1 being “masks are stupid” to 10 being indefinite quarantine — Cousins got down to the decimals.
“I’m not going to call anyone stupid for the trouble it could get me in, but I’m about a .000001,” he said on the episode, which was released Wednesday.
Cousins elaborated: “I want to respect what other people’s concerns are, but for me personally — if you’re just talking ‘no one else can get the virus, what is your concern if you get it’ — I would say that I’m going to go about my daily life 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 an approach and just say, if it knocks me out, it knocks me out.”
As for wearing masks, he says he does so just to be respectful to other people, adding that it has nothing to do with his personal thoughts on the virus or whether they’re effective. He said whatever adjustments need to be made to have a season he’s willing to back.
“We’ve just got to factor in our audience and the situation, but they’re talking about wearing face shields. I don’t know how we’re going to breathe at practice if we’re doing that, but at the same time, if that’s the protocol and we have to abide by that to have a season, we’ve got to find a way to make it work,” he said.
In a live Twitter broadcast Wednesday, Cousins addressed the media after drawing criticism over his statements.
“Admittedly I wasn’t probably as clear as I would have liked to have been back then,” said Cousins on Wednesday afternoon.
The quarterback told reporters that while the virus doesn’t give him personal fear, he’ll play ball with CDC guidelines.
“There are plenty of reasons to wear a mask, social distance, and be very vigilant to help stop the spread of the virus,” said Cousins.
When asked more about his personal perspective about the virus and where that stems from Cousins discussed his faith.
“I have peace and I don’t believe that I control the outcome of my life,” Cousins explained. “There’s many things out of my control but obviously my faith is at the foundation of my life and I trust the Lord to handle things.”
His response came while the Department of Health was holding their daily COVID update.
“All these models show a very wide range of potential outcomes,” said Jan Malcolm, commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health.
One of the models the Department of Health and the White House follow comes from the “Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.” It shows Minnesota could see more than 80 COVID-related deaths by mid-November before numbers go down. But that same model says universal mask-wearing could cut those numbers in half.
“Masks by themselves are not a panacea. It’s masks, while paying attention to avoiding large crowd gatherings and close contact,” said Malcolm.
The Vikings’ regular season is slated to start on Sept. 13 with a home game against the Green Bay Packers. There will be no fans in the indoor Minneapolis stadium, per COVID-19 concerns.
Earlier this year, Cousins said that playing games without fans would be a “breath of fresh air,” not too dissimilar to practice.
In March, Cousins signed a two-year contract extension with the Vikings worth $66 million.