Joe Rogan faces severe backlash after encouraging 21-year-olds to avoid COVID vaccination

Joe Rogan under scrutiny for comments about vaccination. Image via Sportakeeda.
Joe Rogan under scrutiny for comments about vaccination. Image via Sportakeeda.
Rishabh B.

Podcast host Joe Rogan has triggered a fresh controversy after seemingly encouraging young viewers not to get vaccinated against COVID 19. Rogan said,

"People say, do you think it's safe to get vaccinated? I've said, yeah, I think for the most part it's safe to get vaccinated. I do. I do. But if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I'll go no. Are you healthy? Are you a healthy person? 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."

Episode #1639 of the “Joe Rogan Experience” featured standup comedian and podcast host, Dave Smith. The two talked about the global pandemic and how long it will take for things to return to normalcy.

With quite a few countries struggling due to the second “wave” of COVID 19, Rogan claimed that 21-year-olds do not “need to get vaccinated.” His statements have since been met with online furor and have been branded "unscientific."


Joe Rogan faces backlash after encouraging 21-year-olds not to get COVID vaccination

Rogan claimed that young people who are healthy and have a good diet need not be worried about COVID 19. He was especially focused on whether the vaccination is “safe” for people.

Rogan’s comments were misguided as global medical experts try to swiftly make the vaccine accessible to as many people as possible.

COVID-19 has claimed more than three million lives worldwide. While many were older than 50, young people are not absolutely immune. Asymptomatic young individuals can also act as carriers for those vulnerable around them.

Moreover, the second wave of the pandemic has brutally hit several countries where many younger individuals have been affected. Despite running into routine controversy, Rogan has not been reprimanded by Spotify, nor has the episode in question been taken off the air.

Several sources have revealed that Spotify reviewed the podcast but decided not to censor Rogan’s comments. The platform believes he did not come off as “outwardly anti-vaccination.” He did not make a call to action against getting the vaccine.

Rogan clarified his stance by saying that,

"I hate to say that if someone's children died from this. I'm very sorry that that happened. I'm not in any way diminishing that. But I'm saying the personal experience that my children had with Covid was nothing."

He recently claimed that he would not be taking the vaccine.


Spotify’s decision not to censor the podcast comes as a shock to many because the platform has, in the past, taken action against pandemic-related misinformation.

Spotify took down musician Ian Brown’s song called “Little Sea Big Tree” as it spread misinformation about the virus and could be described as “anti-lockdown. Pete Evans’ podcast was also removed from the platform in January for allegedly spreading conspiracy theories related to COVID 19.

Some of Twitter's reactions to Rogan's comments can be seen below:

It seems as if Rogan’s comments have escaped Spotify's scrutiny. But the same cannot be said about Twitter, as seen in the tweets above. While most people criticized Rogan for his comments, many agreed with him.

While it is true that younger individuals are at a lesser risk of contracting the virus and getting extremely sick, it doesn't mean they should abstain from vaccination. Moreover, the virus keeps mutating every season. Just like the flu vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines might be here to stay for the long term.

In simple terms, everyone on the planet must be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. That is the only way out of this crisis.

Edited by Srijan Sen
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