After facing a backlash that reached all the way to Dr. Anthony Fauci, podcaster Joe Rogan has tried to clarify his recent comments about the Covid-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, he hasn’t cleared up much other than, as he puts it, “I’m not a respected source of information—even for me.”
The controversy began when, on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan said that while he believes the vaccine is safe, he doesn’t think young, healthy people need it. “If you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go, ‘No,’” he said.
That stance sparked plenty of online responses, with critics recommending not listening to Joe Rogan for medical advice. Fauci agreed, diplomatically calling Rogan’s take “incorrect” in conversation with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. Fauci went on to explain that even a young, healthy person can still contract the virus and risk infecting others—simply being healthy doesn’t mean you’re immune. And as we pointed out in February—the last time Rogan was in the news for a misinformed stance on vaccines—even young, healthy people can have serious, long-lasting health consequences from Covid-19.
In the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, the podcaster underscored that he’s not a source of well-considered information. “Let’s be real clear,” he said at one point. “When I say something stupid, I’m not thinking about what I’m saying before I say it. I’m just saying it.”
He went on to say that asking young, healthy people to get vaccinated not for themselves but for those around them is “a different argument”—and one he’d agree with. He shared an anecdote about nearly getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine himself, despite being healthy (Rogan, at 53, is, in his words, “old as fuck”) before its administration was temporarily halted.
In the segment, Rogan doesn’t ever really admit he was wrong, and talks around the main issue: Even outwardly healthy people should be getting vaccinated for their own good and for those around them. And no matter how many times Rogan disavows the influence he has on his millions of listeners, his off-the-cuff comments certainly have an effect. Even if, as he puts it, “Again, I’m not a doctor. I’m a fucking moron.”
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