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Joe Rogan addresses his controversial anti-vaccine comments


Joe Rogan, Spotify’s top podcast host, responded to the controversy surrounding his remarks that healthy young people should not get the Covid vaccine.

On Thursday’s episode of his podcast, a snippet of which was posted to YouTube, Rogan brought up how the White House, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, addressed and disagreed with his comments.

“I’m not an anti-vaxx person,” Rogan said. “In fact, I said I believe they’re safe and I encourage many people to take them. My parents were vaccinated. I just said I don’t think if you’re a young healthy person you need it.”

“Their argument was you need it for other people,” Rogan continued. “But that’s a different argument. That’s a different conversation.”

CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner had shared that expertise Wednesday on “New Day.”

“The young are the reservoirs of this virus in our community,” Reiner said. “They are really powering the spread so the only way to put this virus down once and for all is to immunize.”

During Thursday’s episode, Rogan said that argument “makes sense.” But he did not walk back his argument, suggesting that “vulnerable” people should be vaccinated to protect themselves against potential carriers of the virus. “But I would say aren’t those people vaccinated, and shouldn’t we vaccinate the vulnerable people?” Rogan said.

Rogan criticized the media’s coverage of his statements, calling it “clickbait” and went on to say he had planned to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but then it was paused. (The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration lifted their recommended pause on that vaccine last week.)

“I’m not a doctor,” Rogan said. “I’m not a respected source of information, even for me.”

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek stood by and promoted Rogan amid the controversy. When Bloomberg reporter Lucas Shaw on Wednesday asked Ek about Rogan’s remarks, Ek declined to address them directly.

“What I will say is we have 8 million creators, and hundreds of millions of pieces of content,” Ek said. “We have a content policy and we do remove pieces that violate it.”

In its first-quarter earnings report released Wednesday, Spotify touted Rogan. The company reported Rogan’s podcast helped Spotify grow its ad-supported business and that the podcast had performed above the company’s expectations for adding new users and engagement.

Spotify did not respond to a request for comment.

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