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Cousins attempts to explain COVID-19 comments, but adds, 'I just don't have a great deal of personal fear surrounding contracting the virus'

Steven Parker
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) does neck stretch the NFL football team’s training camp Monday Aug. 24, 2020, in Eagan, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Kirk Cousins’ comments regarding COVID-19 on a podcast he did in July created enough of a firestorm upon their release Wednesday that the Vikings quarterback had his weekly Zoom press conference pushed up a day. But while Cousins attempted to better articulate what he meant, he also made it clear that “it’s the same heart behind the message.”
Cousins’ initial comments on Spotify’s “10 questions with Kyle Brandt” included saying that if he contracted the coronavirus he would let “nature do its course,” adding, “if I die, I die.” Cousins also made it clear he does not believe wearing a mask works in preventing the spread of the virus. Although Cousins told Brandt he respected the concerns of those who were being cautious, his statements caused a stir considering the number of people who have died from the virus.
“I went on that Kyle Brandt podcast about a month ago, maybe a month-and-a-half ago, in July, and what I was trying to say back then — admittedly, I probably wasn’t as clear as I would have liked to have been — but what I wanted to say then, what I would echo again now, is that while the virus does not give me a great amount of personal fear, there’s still great reason for me to engage in wearing a mask and social distancing and washing my hands as frequently as I can and following protocols that have been set in place,” Cousins on Wednesday afternoon. “Obviously, to be respectful and considerate of other people, which is very important, but then also to be available for all 16 games this fall. Because, as protocal was set up, if a player were to test positive, they would be potentially out of a game or games.”
Cousins said that in making his comments on the podcast he was, “addressing my own personal perspective,” adding, “everybody’s different and what I was trying to say, there are many risk factors and other factors that would affect one’s approach. … Obviously, everybody’s in a different place.”
Cousins’ statement of “if I die, I die,” made headlines, but he said Wednesday that simply meant that no matter what happens to him he has a feeling of peace in his life. “I don’t believe that I control the outcome of my life,” Cousins said. “There’s many things out of my control, but obviously my faith is at the foundation of my life. I trust the Lord to handle things. If something happens, I trust Him to have a plan and a purpose and to use even a pain, a setback and adversity, to use that to help grow me and teach me more about Him.”
The interview with Brandt was done before Cousins reported to training camp at the Vikings’ facility in Eagan so he has learned more about the NFL’s strict protocols since that time. He said that he has been ordering delivery more and spending most of his time either at work or home to try to remain as healthy as possible.
But while Cousins is taking these steps, he admits he isn’t really worried about getting sick.
“Admittedly, I did not use the best wording and I certainly could have articulated it better, but, again, the heart behind it is no different then than it is today,” he said. “It’s the same heart behind the message. … I just don’t have a great deal of personal fear surrounding contracting the virus. Again, that’s unique to my circumstances, unique to my situation. A lot of factors that are unique to me and would be extremely different to any number of other people.”