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RFK Jr’s rumored VP pick Aaron Rodgers suggests AIDS was created to enrich pharmaceutical companies

Jan 7, 2024; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) walks off of the field before a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Rodgers Photo: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports via IMAGN

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his rumored potential vice presidential candidate, New York Jets football quarterback Aaron Rodgers, are infamous for casting doubt upon COVID-19 vaccines. But recently unearthed footage suggests that Kennedy blames plastic pollution for turning people gay, and Rodgers thinks that AIDS was “created” by corrupt pharmaceutical companies.

In a recent interview with Surfer, a website for surfing enthusiasts, Kennedy discussed the environmental problem of plastic pollution in the ocean. He also mentioned microplastics, small plastic fragments ingested by fish and humans.

“They’re not only carcinogenic, but they’re very potent endocrine disruptors. They disrupt fertility. They disrupt sexual behavior, sexual development, sexual identity,” Kennedy said. While studies have shown that chemicals in plastic can affect a person’s sexual hormones, there’s no proof that the chemicals can affect a person’s sexual identity. Rather, psychologists and animal behaviorists consider sexual identity to be determined by a combination of genetic, social, and other factors.

Kennedy’s view isn’t altogether surprising. In 2023, he said that the existence of frogs that can change their gender prove chemicals in the water are turning kids trans. He didn’t mention any specific scientific studies that back up his claim.

“I think a lot of the problems we see in kids, and particularly boys, it’s probably underappreciated how much of that is coming from chemical exposures, including a lot of sexual dysphoria that we’re seeing,” Kennedy told transphobic Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson. “They’re swimming through a soup of toxic chemicals today. And many of those are endocrine disruptors.”

“There’s atrazine throughout our water supply,” Kennedy continued. “If you, in a lab, put atrazine in a tank full of frogs, it will chemically castrate and forcibly feminize every frog in there. And 10 percent of the frogs, the male frogs, will turn into fully viable females able to produce viable eggs. If it’s doing that to frogs, there’s a lot of other evidence that it’s doing it to human beings as well.”

His claims reminded many social media commenters of a similar claim made by infamous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of InfoWars. Jones has said that the government puts chemicals in the water to turn Americans more feminine. He has made this claim repeatedly and cites the made-up “fact” that most frogs in the U.S. are gay now as “proof.”

In a recently unearthed interview, Rodgers compared the COVID-19 pandemic to the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s and ’90s. He implied that both were “created” to financially benefit “corrupt” pharmaceutical companies. The video was originally recorded sometime between March 2020 and December 2020, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The gameplay was made in the ’80s: create a pandemic with a virus that’s going wild,” Rodgers said. “[Infectious diseases government official Dr. Anthony] Fauci was given over $350 million to research this, to come up with drugs, new or repurposed, to handle the AIDS pandemic — and all they came up with was AZT.” AZT was the first antiretroviral medication used to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. Its long-term, high-dose side effects could negatively impact the blood, heart, and muscle tissue.

“That was the game plan back then: create an environment where only one thing works. Back then, AZT. Now, remdesivir, until we get a vaccine — which, by the way, Anthony Fauci had a stake in the Moderna vaccine, and we know Pfizer is one of the most criminally corrupt organizations ever,” Rodgers claimed.

There is no evidence that Fauci is personally financially invested in a coronavirus vaccine, according to an April 2020 fact-check by The Austin-American Statesman.

As proof of Pfizer’s corruption, Rodgers mentioned a $2.3 billion settlement that the pharmaceutical company reached with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2009 for allegedly promoting several medications’ “off-label” uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company has also recently been accused of corrupt foreign practices in other countries.

Rodgers’ insinuation that the AIDS pandemic was deliberately created by drug companies is a longtime conspiracy theory. The theory — which also posits that AIDS was part of a conspiracy to decrease the populations of Blacks, Hispanics, and homosexuals — persisted throughout the AIDS pandemic and continues to spread in online and offline forums.

During his aforementioned 2020 interview, Rodgers admitted, “I know, I’m not an epidemiologist, I’m not a doctor, I’m not an immunologist, whatever the f**k — I can read though, right? And I can learn and look things up just like any normal person. You know, I can do my own research, which is so vilified — you know, even question authority.”

His refrain of doing his own “research” is often repeated by conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccination advocates to suggest that their own opinions and online media consumption are equal to doctors’ years-long academic training and clinical research.

Rodgers has shared similar views on the podcast of transphobic COVID-19 vaccine doubter Joe Rogan. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rodgers misled the public and media by saying he was “immunized” against COVID-19. A subsequent investigation by the National Football League (NFL) found no evidence to suggest that he had been vaccinated, as required by NFL policy. The NFL fined Rodgers $14,650, and he later tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2021.

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