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The focus of Oliver’s latest extended explainer, fittingly, was the impact of vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. As Oliver detailed at the top of the episode, the surging numbers recently seen in India show just how dire the situation remains, even with the continued vaccine rollout here in the States.
“We in the U.S. are incredibly fortunate,” he said. “We currently have access to a lot of vaccines and more than half of U.S. adults have now gotten at least one dose, which is great. The bad news is some vaccination locations have already gone from having not enough supply to not enough demand.”
Indeed, daily vaccination rates have dropped in several regions, despite the vaccine’s ability to save not just your life but the lives of those around you. With herd immunity looking less and less probable any time soon, the importance of encouraging vaccination grows by the day.
“And if you’re thinking, I’m not sure I need it, Joe Rogan says I’m probably fine,” Oliver said around three minutes into the video above, referencing the Spotify podcast star’s recently criticized comments on younger people getting vaccines. “Look, it is true you might not get seriously sick from COVID or indeed sick at all. But you could still inadvertently pass it to someone who could then die and before you say, ‘well, vulnerable people should just get vaccinated then,’ the vaccines are only 95 percent effective.”
As Oliver further explained, the more the virus circulates, the likelier it is that we’ll see mutations with the potential to evade the vaccine, thus putting us all back in the same position we were in earlier into the pandemic.
About six minutes in, Oliver briefly addressed “this fucking guy” Tucker Carlson, i.e. “one of the most prominent super-spreaders.” The “scrunch-faced fear baboon” wasn’t the only one to receive direct mentions in Oliver’s latest, with Alex Jones—who recently circulated false claims of brain plaque in connection with coronavirus vaccines—and Rogan also receiving special attention.
“Stop listening to what Joe Rogan tells you,” Oliver said around 18 minutes in. “He’s a fucking moron. And those are his words, not mine.”
Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci—President Biden’s chief medical advisor—publicly addressed Rogan’s comments.
Speaking with Savannah Guthrie on Today, Fauci said Rogan’s suggestion that young and healthy people could skip out on the vaccine was “incorrect” and should not be heeded.
“Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you are 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.
Rogan, meanwhile, later issued a statement attempting to clarify his comments. But the damage, presumably, was done.
Hopefully, you and your loved ones have already started your journey toward being fully vaccinated. If not, now’s the time.
Pair Oliver’s latest with some recent vaccine-supporting comments from none other than Bill Nye, who took to MSNBC on Monday to encourage everyone to get their dose: