Joe Rogan Clarifies His Controversial COVID-19 Vaccine Comments: 'I’m Not an Anti-Vax Person'

The UFC commentator and podcast host received criticism earlier this week after saying he wouldn't advise young, healthy people to get the coronavirus vaccine.

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Joe Rogan found himself in hot water this week after he discouraged young, “healthy” people from getting the coronavirus vaccine. His controversial comments received criticism not only from the general public, but also from Dr. Anthony Fauci—the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease.

Spotify’s Joe Rogan encourages "healthy" young people not to get a coronavirus vaccine. His show is Spotify's most popular podcast.

“If you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I'll go no.”

— Alex Paterson (@AlexPattyy) April 27, 2021

Rogan addressed the backlash on the latest episode of his eponymous podcast, saying he understood the importance of vaccinations while insisting he wasn’t an “anti-vax person.”

“The White House commented on what I said about vaccines. [Fauci] disagreed with me ...” he told comedian Andrew Santino during Thursday’s episode. “There’s some legitimate science behind this … I’m not an anti-vax person. In fact, I said I believe they’re safe and I encourage many people to take them. My parents were vaccinated. I said I don’t think that if you’re a young, healthy person, that you need it.” 

Rogan then acknowledged experts’ criticism, who argued it was important for young people to get the vaccine in order to prevent transmissions to vulnerable populations.

“That makes more sense, but that’s a different argument, that’s a different conversation ...” he said, before explaining that many of his on-air comments aren’t fully thought out. “If someone said, ‘Yeah, young, healthy 21-year-old people who eat well and exercise are not at high risk for coronavirus, but you should think about other people.’ I would say, ‘Well that’s a different argument, and yes, that makes sense.’ But I would say, ‘Are those people vaccinated? And shouldn’t we vaccinate the vulnerable people?’ And then we’d have a different conversation. The problem today is everything is all headlines and highlights and it’s all clickbait, which is fine, that’s the business.”

Rogan went on to say he has “a deep respect for real journalism,” but understood that it’s a business, which is why he was seemingly unsurprised about all the media attention his comments received.

“… There’s a lot of people out there that have to make a fuckin’ living. And what’s the best way to make a living?” he asked. “Well, here’s one way: Take a jackass like me, go over their podcast, go over this three-hour, drunken, ridiculous podcast … A lot of times we’re drinking or we’re high, and I say stupid shit. I get it. And if you mine that, and you make money off of that, more power to you. I don’t care. I’m happy for you. But just don’t lie.”

Rogan then revealed he had plans to get the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine weeks ago, before it was temporarily paused. The 52-year-old didn’t say whether he intends to get the vaccine sometime down the road.

“I’m not a fuckin’ doctor, I’m a fuckin’ moron …” he said. “I’m not a respected source of information, even for me … But I at least try to be honest about what I’m sayin.”

You can hear Rogan’s full explanation up top.

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