Hometown hospital cuts ties with Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins over vaccine comments – ESPN

EAGAN, Minn. — A day after Kirk Cousins doubled down on his stance regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, a hospital Cousins partners with in his hometown of Holland, Michigan, cut ties with the Minnesota Vikings quarterback.

Cousins, who is unvaccinated, was activated off the Vikings’ COVID-19/reserve list Thursday after missing four practices. The 32-year-old quarterback was deemed a close contact after rookie Kellen Mond tested positive for the virus last Saturday.

Cousins said the size of the Vikings’ quarterback meeting room was the reason he was considered a close contact and noted he had no symptoms and six negative tests since he was last in contact with Mond. The veteran QB said the position group has since moved rooms to a larger space inside TCO Performance Center and that he vows to follow the protocols in order to keep himself from reappearing on the COVID-19/reserve list.

But when asked whether he would get vaccinated, Cousins declared his vaccination decision “a very private health matter for me, and I’m going to keep it as such.”

Holland Hospital issued a statement via local radio station WHTC 1450 AM upon severing ties with Cousins, who had partnered with the hospital’s sports medicine program since 2017.

“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,” the statement read.

“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.”