Local doctor reacts to Cardinals’ Goldschmidt, Arenado questioning safety of COVID-19 vaccine

St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt watches his two-run home run during the second inning of...
St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt watches his two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Saturday, July 16, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 9:51 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2022 at 3:04 PM CDT
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(KMOV.com) - Local doctors are raising concern as two Cardinals stars raise questions about the coronavirus vaccine.

They worry that doubting proven science could put others at risk. These two players have competed for months without the shot. It seems everyone has an opinion on Paul Goldschmidt’s and Nolan Arenado’s vaccination status keeping them out of a series Toronto. Canada requires all entering the country to be vaccinated.

“Kind of hard to put blame on them, but it’s going to be tough to win ballgames without the two best hitters,” baseball fan Rodney Trotman said.

“I think it’s bullshit,” Cardinals fan Jim Zimmerman said

This week, Paul Goldschmidt talked with The Athletic’s Katie Woo about his decision concerning COVID-19 vaccination.

“I talked to as many doctors and medical professionals as I could to try to gather as much info on what they know, what they don’t know and all of that type of stuff,” Goldschmidt explained. “For me, I just determined that the potential risks of taking the vaccine outweigh the potential benefits.”

When asked for the specific risks, Goldschmidt didn’t provide an answer.

Nolan Arenado speaking with Jeff Jones of MLB.com said that his desire to start a family was part of his decision. Arenado added he doesn’t want to be a spokesperson, he’s just choosing what’s best for him and his family.

“With all due respect, I disagree with that,” Dr. J. William Campbell, Head of Infectious Disease and Prevention at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Dr. Campbell said it’s a challenge when high-profile athletes or other public figures put out a message, questioning the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety.

“We have certainly have had a lot of people die in their 20s 30s and 40s who had no risk factors at all, so why have that, get vaccinated,” Dr. Campbell said.

According to the CDC, 222,950,194 U.S. citizens are fully vaccinated. That’s 67.2% of the nation’s population.

We asked Dr. Campbell if there are potential risks the COVID-19 vaccine poses the public isn’t aware of.

He said he doesn’t know of any.

“Vaccination is like everything else, always something that happens at a very low risk, but the most common thing is to have a sore arm,” Dr. Campbell said.

Both Goldschmidt and Arenado will not be paid for the two games they miss Tuesday and Wednesday night. They will rejoin the team on Friday for the first game of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals.

“You kind of wish they would get vaccinated but it’s their personal decision,” Trotman said.

John Mozeliak, President of Baseball Operations of the St. Louis Cardinals, said the decision to get the vaccine is a player’s personal decision.

In a Zoom conversation with media on Sunday, Mozeliak said he hopes to keep the polarization of the pandemic out of baseball and focus on what’s next for his organization.

News 4 reached out to the team’s doctor for comment about advice given to players about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Brian Bartow with the organization responded by email, “We consider medical records/discussions as personal and private information between individuals and their physicians as it is for all citizens of the United States. We as a team can not disclose that information.  Only the players can consent to do so.”