MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said the team’s talk with infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm about the COVID-19 vaccine was “a great meeting,” though that’s about all he said.
“Informative,” Cousins said. “It was what it was.”
Monday, Dr. Michael Osterholm (Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at University of Minnesota) spoke with the Minnesota #Vikings to discuss COVID-19 vaccines. Today, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins called the meeting "informative." pic.twitter.com/3xG56g7S2d
— Nᴏʀᴍᴀɴ Sᴇᴀᴡʀɪɢʜᴛ III (@SeawrightSays) August 25, 2021
The Vikings brought in Osterholm, a renowned epidemiologist, Monday after multiple reports have emerged that the Vikings are lagging behind other NFL teams in vaccination rate.
Cousins himself has become the poster boy for the team’s vaccine hesitancy. Though he has refused to disclose his vaccination status, saying he chooses “to keep my medical history private,” he was deemed a high-risk close contact when rookie QB Kellen Mond tested positive earlier this month. That designation, per NFL policy, is reserved for unvaccinated players.
When Cousins returned from the reserve/COVID-19 list, he said he was “at peace with where I’m at and I’ll follow the protocols vigilantly.”
In addition to specifically mentioning wearing masks and social distancing, Cousins said he’s “even thought about, should I just set up literally Plexiglas around where I sit?”
Head coach Mike Zimmer has been a strong advocate for the vaccine, at times expressing dismay with his unvaccinated players.
“I care about these players and I care about their families, and so that’s my main reason,” Zimmer said. “If they miss a game because they get COVID, so be it. But I don’t want them to get sick and I don’t want their families to get sick and their kids to get sick or my grandkids to get sick.”