“ “I’m not a doctor, I’m a f***-ing moron.” ”
That’s what Joe Rogan said on his massively popular Spotify podcast Thursday, reacting to backlash after comments he made last week that suggested young, healthy people don’t need to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast is heard by tens of millions of listeners — many of them young, healthy people — and health officials had called his comments reckless and missing the crucial point that getting vaccinated helps protect others from getting infected — not just the individual.
In his podcast Thursday, Rogan attempted to clarify his comments, and admitted he’s not qualified to be giving medial advice: “I’m not a respected source of information, even for me … But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”
“I’m not an anti-vax person,” he said. “I said I believe they’re safe and I encourage many people to take them. My parents were vaccinated. I just said that if you’re a young, healthy person that you don’t need it.”
“Their argument was, you need it for other people … But that’s a different argument. That’s a different conversation.”
Many experts would argue that last point.
“You’re talking about yourself in a vacuum,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top pandemic adviser, said during an interview with NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday, addressing Rogan’s comments. “You’re worried about yourself getting infected and the likelihood that you’re not going to get any symptoms.”
However, “even if you don’t have any symptoms, you’re propagating the outbreak because it is likely that you, even if you have no symptoms, that you may inadvertently and innocently then infect someone else who might infect someone who really could have a problem with a severe outcome,” Fauci said.
Spotify, which gave Rogan a more-than-$100 million deal last year, had been pressured to take down the episode, but did not. Spotify previously did remove about 40 episodes of Rogan’s show that included misinformation and conspiracy theories.