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Lets’ Play Jeopardy! Clue: “Quarterback who believes in homeopathic immunization”

Answer: who is Aaron Rodgers?

That would be the same Aaron Rodgers, MVP quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, who filled in admirably as guest host on the popular game show that is associated with intelligence. In this case, his choice of being immunized, not with a vaccine, but rather with a homeopathic remedy, does not scream intelligence. Rodgers claims that he is “not an anti-vax flat earther,” he is a “critical thinker.” Really? How much critical thinking did he do before jumping on the homeopathy bandwagon? 

Homeopathy is a 200-year old pseudoscientific practice with the tenet that an infinitely diluted solution of a substance that in a concentrated version causes symptoms in a healthy person will cure those symptoms in a sick person. The dilutions are such that there isn’t a single molecule of the original substance left in the final solution, a drop of which is infused into a sugar pellet to produce the final “remedy.” This is just fanciful thinking. Non-existent molecules cannot produce any effect.  

When Samuel Hahnemann first came up with the idea of homeopathy virtually nothing was known about molecules so he would have had no idea that his infinitely diluted solutions contained nothing. He was seduced by the positive reports he received from his patients which can be ascribed to the placebo effect. Today, homeopaths have to admit that the final solution arrived at by sequential hundred-fold dilutions accompanied by a ritualistic shaking between dilutions contains no “active” agent. As a result, they have shifted to an alternate rationale. The dilution and succession impart a “memory” to the solution! They are silent about how this phantom memory has a curative effect. 

Last August, when Rodgers was asked if he had been vaccinated, he answered with “Yeah, I’ve been immunized.” Only recently, after a positive test for COVID, was he forced to clarify that statement and reveal that his “immunity” came not from a vaccine but from some sort of a homeopathic preparation. What he was actually treated with is not known, but it doesn’t really matter because “nosodes,” the homeopathic version of vaccines, contain nothing and cannot raise antibody levels as Rodgers hoped. Had he carried out just a modicum of rudimentary research coupled with a teensy dose of critical thinking, he would have concluded that the emperor of homeopathy has no clothes. 

Some have suggested that Rodgers’ “critical thinking” went only as far as listening to his actor girlfriend Shailene Woodley whose brain does not seem to be a depository for scientific facts. Miss Woodley asserts that she doesn’t get her medicines from doctors, she makes her own. She also learned about the therapeutic value of eating clay from a taxi driver and about the benefits of sunbathing her private parts from an herbalist. Judging by her apparent reliance on such scientific authorities, one might guess that she is not a great fan of vaccines. 

If Aaron Rodgers’ decision to forego vaccination only affected himself, that would be one thing. But that is not the case here. He is a hero to many fans who look up to him, and his celebrity status, albeit unjustifiably, enlists followers who believe that famous people have some sort of inside knowledge. Mr. Rodgers seems to be in the “I am just asking questions” and “I’ll do my own research” camp. In an interview, he has claimed that “I found a long-term immunization protocol to protect myself and I'm very proud of the research that went into that.” He claims that “his medical team presented the NFL with a “500-page report” on the supposed efficacy of the treatment he received and "they thought I was a quack.” I wonder why. He further tarnished himself by implying that there are infertility issues with the mRNA vaccine. There aren’t. 

Well, Aaron, the questions you ask have been asked, and the research you look for has been carried out. By whom? By scientists with real expertise in immunology, virology, and epidemiology. That includes ivermectin, a drug you appear to be keen on, which has no solid scientific backing. You would not expect someone to be able to walk in from the street and quarterback the Packers the way you can, would you? So why would you think that your opinion about vaccination should carry the same weight as that of experts? 

I’m sure you are not happy about quarantining and missing the next game because of COVID protocol. Why not try to prevent that from happening again by getting vaccinated? That’s the way to score! It may be only a safety and not a touchdown, but at least you will not be jeopardizing yourself or your followers. Unlike the game you hosted, here Double Jeopardy is not a winning choice. 


@JoeSchwarcz

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