Mr. Michael Osterholm addressed disinformation with the Vikings, appealed to players’ responsibility to their community

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Getty Images

Dr. Michael Osterholm met with the Vikings on Monday, in a last-ditch effort to persuade anti-vaccine players (led by quarterback Kirk Cousins) to get the shot.

Appearing Wednesday on Morning Joe, Dr. Osterholm summarized his message to the Vikings.

“I really appreciated the opportunity to meet with the team, all the coaches and players,” he said. “I can’t say enough good things about the Vikings’ efforts to get all of their team vaccinated and to promote vaccinations throughout the community.

“What I shared with them was really just addressing this disinformation that’s out there. A rumor that 6,700 people had died from taking the vaccine. Absolutely not true. A rumor that the vaccine makes you sterile. Absolutely not true. And so it’s amazing once a disinformation piece of information becomes talked about, it becomes fact.

“And so what I did was just systematically went through and talked about what are the risks of getting the vaccine . . . what are the risks of not getting the vaccine. And the other thing, I appealed to their team as a team. We have to each take care of each other. Getting vaccinated today is not just about protecting yourself. If you’re an adult, it’s about protecting your kids from getting the virus.

“If you’re a leader on a football team, it’s about the community looking to you. Young men and women in our community saying in fact, ‘If they’re not going to get it, why should I get it? But if they do get it, maybe I should get it.’ And so I think it was really an ideal opportunity to kind of share about vaccine and what it means to the community.”

Dr. Osterholm also said that he has been in medicine for 46 years and that he has had involvement in many controversies. “It wasn’t until COVID that I started routinely receiving death threats. It wasn’t until COVID that the vile kinds of communications, where people assume that I was out to do them in, to march them into some kind of camp.”

He punctuated his thoughts by explaining that everyone will have a COVID-related outcome, at some point. “People just have to understand you can’t run out the game clock here,” Dr. Osterholm said. “And unfortunately that may mean you laying in an intensive care unit, and possibly never coming out the door alive.”

Even as we see more and more evidence of people who resisted the vaccine getting sick and changing their tune dramatically, people continue to refuse to relent, spewing conspiracy theories and other nonsense to justify their position. Then, when one of their arguments becomes gutted (such as “it’s not FDA approved!”), they move the goalposts to something else, implausible as it may be.

We really are living in strange times. Some would say it’s a Civil War fought with far different weapons. However, those who won’t get vaccinated are the ones playing Russian roulette, with their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.

14 responses to “Mr. Michael Osterholm addressed disinformation with the Vikings, appealed to players’ responsibility to their community

  1. Vaccination is one of the five most important discoveries by humanity. Stop arguing against it people.

  2. Dr. Osterholm, please pay a visit to the Bills, and bring Jerry Jones with you to spread the word.

  3. Interesting that the people who don’t want to get vaccinated are the same who want to get back to normal. But the issue here, Vaccination and wearing a mask in public, is what brings the normalcy they long for. You can’t shoot yourself in the foot and then wonder why you came in last in the race.

  4. “It wasn’t until COVID that I started routinely receiving death threats.”


    This dude been doing his job for 46 years…and now a bunch of people that know nothing about his job or have half the understanding of the COVID vaccine that he has, want to threaten his life for trying to inform people and debunk the nonsense and misinformation being spread. Strange times indeed.

  5. I applauded the Vikings for bringing someone to debunk all the romors, hopefully the entire community will listen.

  6. I hope he changed minds. As a MN fan it’s been frustrating that some of the supposed leaders on the team are being so short sighted.

  7. Being an American comes with the expectation your neighbor will stand shoulder to shoulder with you against an in-common foe. Anything less is selfish and unpatriotic.

  8. “Players body.
    Players choice.”

    It’s a highly contagious virus, but thanks for weighing in.

  9. minime says:
    August 25, 2021 at 12:27 pm
    Players body.
    Players choice.

    That’s right. But that doesn’t make them exempt from being treated differently nor does it dismiss the fact they are largely part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  10. Vaccines aren’t new they are the reason we are here. Without vaccines we wouldn’t have been born. Americans are just ignorant as a whole. They think fighting a virus without weapons is bravery!! Haha

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.