David Zalubowski/Associated Press
The Denver Nuggets have reached out to rookie forward Michael Porter Jr. after Porter referenced conspiracy theories regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Porter said during a Snapchat Q&A on Tuesday that the coronavirus is “being used for population control in just terms of being able to control the masses of people.”
“Because of the virus, the whole world is being controlled,” he said, per the Denver Post‘s Mike Singer. “I mean, you’re required to wear masks, and who knows what will happen when this vaccine comes out? You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel.”
Nuggets had coach Michael Malone told reporters Wednesday that president of basketball operations Tim Connelly addressed the comments with Porter
“I know that Tim Connelly, our front office, has talked to Michael about his comments long before I realized what was said,” Malone said, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “So it has been [discussed with] him, he understands the situation. Once again, we as an organization, I’m not going to put a muzzle on anybody.”
Porter’s comments come as Johns Hopkins University has confirmed almost 4.4 million cases of COVID-19 and 149,961 deaths from the disease in the United States alone.
Porter also claimed he had never been vaccinated, per CNN’s Wayne Sterling and Ben Morse: “I’ve never been vaccinated in my life. I’ve never had any shots or anything like that. So it could get crazy. But it’s definitely behind everything that’s going on right now and all you could do is sit back and watch what’s going on.”
Sterling and Morse noted that that contradicts a school-wide policy at the University of Missouri, where Porter attended college for a year, mandating students born after 1956 to have received the MMR vaccine.
Among many claims made by those in the anti-vaccine movement is that the vaccines put children at an increase risk of suffering from autism, an assertion that has been debunked by medical professionals.
The conspiracy theories have extended to a hypothetical vaccine for COVID-19 as well.
Yahoo News’ Andrew Romano reported in May that 44 percent of Republican respondents in a Yahoo News/YouGov poll said they “believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements.”
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