For most of us, COVID is much less of a topic of conversation today than it was three years ago. And that’s a good thing. But it’s important to remember the virus still exists and Aaron Rodgers continues to serve as that reminder.
Rodgers joins The Pat McAfee Show on ESPN every Tuesday to talk mostly about football, but somehow, he regularly manages to redirect the conversation to COVID. Admittedly, I’ve grown to forget about the severity of COVID as we move further away from the spring of 2020, so a weekly reminder from Rodgers about the virus’s lingering existence can be somewhat welcome.
Clearly, that’s not Rodgers’ intention every time he trolls someone for getting their booster or mocks science. But while most of us have relearned how to have conversations that don’t center around the pandemic, Rodgers is seemingly the last person who still circles everything back to COVID, vaccines (which he’s been bashing for years, including in a 2021 appearance with McAfee after it came out he wasn’t vaccinated), and Dr. Anthony Fauci. And he did it again Tuesday afternoon.
During his Tuesday appearance on ESPN, the conversation centered around Rodgers’ Achilles rehab, prompting McAfee to note the quarterback seems to be defying science by ditching the crutches so quickly.
“If science is Dr. Fauci, you’re damn right I’m defying science.”
Aaron Rodgers with another swipe at Dr. Anthony Fauci on The Pat McAfee Show pic.twitter.com/ul0FRubZus
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 17, 2023
“Like we learned,” Rodgers responded with a smirk. “If science is Dr. Fauci, you’re damn right I’m defying science.”
Fauci, of course, retired last December after more than a half-century working in public service and more than three decades as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. At no point in his 50-year career did Fauci repair an Achilles tendon.
Yet it was the second time in as many weeks that Rodgers sought to take a swipe at Fauci as he works to return from what was more than likely a season-ending Achilles injury. Last week, after Rodgers mocked Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce for his partnership with Pfizer, the sidelined quarterback threw out a COVID vaccine debate proposal. Rodgers and noted anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. vs Kelce and Dr. Fauci.
Despite ESPN’s Adam Schefter outlandishly calling that “The potential next great American debate,” it’s a debate that no one would watch. Because although Rodgers remains enthralled by COVID and Dr. Fauci, the vast majority of us have moved on.