Cowboys’ Dak Prescott sparks Twitter jokes by replying ‘That’s HIPAA’ to vaccine question

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Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott sidestepped a question Friday about whether he has received a COVID-19 vaccine. The response opened him up to funny comments on Twitter.

Prescott told reporters it wasn’t “exactly important” whether he was. Then he said, “I think that’s HIPAA.”

Asked if he is vaccinated, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: “I don’t necessarily think that’s exactly important. I think that’s HIPAA.” pic.twitter.com/EKYI1t4A5S

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) July 23, 2021

HIPAA is short for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal statute. Within the act are protections for patients against health care providers disclosing personal information without their knowledge or consent. From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website:

What Information Is Protected 

Information your doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in your medical record
Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment with nurses and others
Information about you in your health insurer’s computer system
Billing information about you at your clinic
Most other health information about you held by those who must follow these laws

Prescott invoking HIPAA to evade a yes-or-no question about the vaccine is far from a correct application. 

MORE: New rules have big implications for teams with lowest, highest vaccination rates

His answer sure couldn’t protect him from the Twitter jokes that followed:

My wife just asked me if I played well on the golf course today. Told her that question violates my HIPAA rights.

— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) July 24, 2021

For the last time: asking me to select all the squares with traffic lights in them is a HIPAA violation

— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) July 23, 2021

just adding a dash of HIPAA to the convo like parsley on an IG chef’s plate https://t.co/vPypd0NHeM

— Desus Nice (@desusnice) July 23, 2021

It’s a HIPAA violation to ask me how much hot tub water I’ve accidentally drank

— Julius Caesar (@Jiddy7) July 24, 2021

Asking me if Pepsi is ok is a HIPAA violation

— Laura Gorsky (@lauragorsky) July 24, 2021

There were serious tweets, too, as people took the non-answer to mean that Prescott is unvaccinated. There was also support for Prescott declining to disclose personal information.

Vaccines are a hot-button topic in the NFL on the eve of training camps starting. The league told teams Thursday that if a game is postponed because a team has a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players and cannot be rescheduled, then the team with the outbreak will lose the game by forfeit and that players on both teams will not be paid for the game.

Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins then said on social media that he didn’t want the vaccine, before saying he had “about 9 more years in me,” in a reference to his football career.

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