UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, recognized as the world’s most successful podcaster, is back in the hot seat this week after suggesting that young, healthy people should resist getting the COVID-19 vaccine, despite new data that contradicts that directive.
Not that you should be going to a comedian for medical advice in the first place.
“I think for the most part it’s safe to get vaccinated,” Rogan said on the latest episode of his Spotify podcast (transcribed by Media Matters). “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? Like, look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. You should — 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.”
COVID-19 shut down most of the world in early 2020, forcing many territories to implement public safeguards like mandatory face masks and social distancing. Earlier this year, vaccines became available to the public, though a recent health advisory from the CDC had some critics crying foul.
“People are worried about them doing it for their children,” Rogan continued. “And we talked about this earlier, that you might have to have your children vaccinated. And, you know, I can tell you as someone who has — both my children got the virus. It was nothing. I mean, 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. One of the kids had a headache. The other one didn’t feel good for a couple of days. And I mean not feel good, like, no big deal. No coughing, no achey, no like in agony. There was none of that. It was very mild. It was akin to them getting a cold.”
Rogan was one of many UFC contractors affected by the global pandemic, as the promotion was forced to rethink its business operations under the new public health guidelines. What followed were closed-door events in both Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, but it looks as though some locales are reopening to full capacity in response to widespread vaccinations.
“It’s amazing that it’s controversial,” Rogan said. “That even saying that, I’m not going to inject my child with the vaccine, is controversial. It’s crazy. Because again, we are not talking about even the flu that we just found out killed 22,000 people last year. We’re not talking about that. 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. Like you should be vaccinated if you are vulnerable. You should.”
This isn’t the first time Rogan found himself under fire for controversial opinions. In fact, the former Fear Factor host was lambasted by his fellow Spotify employees for criticism of the transgender community. No apology was issued in that instance, though Rogan is not above saying sorry when the situation calls for it.
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