Joe Rogan is losing relevance since leaving YouTube, but he has 100 million reasons to not care.
Joe Rogan draws big audiences for Spotify. But the hugely popular podcaster’s habit of making controversial remarks and courting right-wing figures and ideologies keeps generating a backlash — both inside and outside of the audio giant.
The latest vexation: In the April 23 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which is available exclusively on Spotify, Rogan encouraged healthy young people to not get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“If you’re, like, 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I’ll go no,” he said in a conversation with comedian Dave Smith.
Rogan commented that he believes vaccines are safe and that people at risk should be vaccinated, noting that both his parents have received COVID-19 shots. But, Rogan continued, “If you’re a healthy person, and you’re exercising all the time, and you’re young, and you’re eating well, like, I don’t think you need to worry about this.” At another point, Rogan said, “We’re talking about something that is not statistically dangerous for children. But yet people still want you to get your child vaccinated, which is crazy to me.”
Rogan’s comments — coming as the pandemic still isn’t anywhere near being contained — were widely criticized as irresponsible and dangerous, including by watchdog group Media Matters. The organization noted that young people and children can and do, in fact, contract COVID-19 and that the disease can be deadly. While the FDA has not yet approved any coronavirus vaccine for children under 16, Pfizer’s vaccine has been approved for those 16 and older and Moderna’s has been approved for those who are 18 and older.
As of April 27, 29.1% of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated and 42.7% of Americans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the CDC.
“Rogan has frequently used his podcast to spread conspiracy theories, espouse dangerous COVID-19 misinformation, and attack trans people,” Media Matters said.