We’re still very much in a crisis. People are still dying in large numbers. And our health system, it’s stressed to the max. — Dr. Kyle Martin, medical director of emergency services at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin
We’re still very much in a crisis. People are still dying in large numbers. And our health system, it’s stressed to the max. — Dr. Kyle Martin, medical director of emergency services at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin
What Aaron Rodgers Should See: Covid Pain in a Wisconsin E.R.
It is perhaps all too easy to bash Aaron Rodgers, the latest star athlete to show he’s suffering from a God complex, hovering above the fray, more than willing to spew medical quackery and virus all over us mere mortals.

Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, is one of the greats when it comes to controlling football games and throwing arcing spirals for highlights-reel touchdowns. But that gridiron genius was undercut when it came out last week that he had not only tested positive for the coronavirus but had also warped the truth about whether he was vaccinated.

“If the vaccine is so great,” Rodgers said in an interview with a radio host who is a friend of his, “how come people are still getting Covid and spreading Covid and unfortunately dying from Covid?”

Apparently, Rodgers missed the memo that while they are not foolproof, the vaccines are close to 90 percent effective and by far the best tools we have to beat back this plague.

Rodgers has been spewing other falsehoods about the virus and its treatments. So maybe he should spend time with Dr. Kyle Martin. He’s the medical director of emergency services at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wis., and he also works at two hospitals in rural parts of the state.

“We’re still very much in a crisis,” Dr. Martin, a self-described N.F.L. superfan, said when we spoke this week. “People are still dying in large numbers. And our health system, it’s stressed to the max.”


Covid-19 burns hot in Wisconsin, where it is now primarily a disease of the unvaccinated, many who clearly take their cues from celebrities like Rodgers.

After a period of decline, case numbers are spiraling up, and with them, visits to emergency rooms and stays in intensive care. If the typical cycle continues, deaths will rise in a state that is currently losing about 19 people per day to the virus.

“Rodgers is an icon here in our state,” Dr. Martin said. To have him questioning the vaccine and sow vaccine doubt “undercuts what we’re trying to do as a health care system. It’s just tragic.”

Dr. Martin suggested that Rodgers join him during an overnight shift at one of the emergency rooms where he works.

What would the quarterback see?

“He would see how Covid is now not just in urban centers — it’s ravaging rural Wisconsin,” the doctor said.

Rodgers would see patients, young and old, gasping for air, wracked with pain that scorches the chest. He would see patients pleading for a first dose of the vaccine, even though at that point it would be too late to help them recover.

He would see patients in cramped emergency wings, traditionally meant for quick triage, sometimes stuck there for 24 hours because there are not enough beds in intensive care units.

He might see death in the E.R. Or, more common, funeral home workers carting coffins out of the I.C.U.


He might get a taste of how the doubters of science-based medicine have poisoned the well. Remember last year, when frontline workers were heroes? These days, according to one Wisconsin health official I spoke with this week, anti-vaxxers have been known to show up in front of hospitals, spewing venom at doctors and nurses heading in to do the work of saving patients.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/12/sports/football/aaron-rodgers-vaccine-covid.html