Dr. Anthony Fauci says Joe Rogan wrong for suggesting young people shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine if they’re healthy

Texas podcast host, comedian says those who are vulnerable, want vaccine should get a shot

Pictured: Joe Rogan (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Pictured: Joe Rogan (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images) (2013 Syfy Media, LLC)

SAN ANTONIO – Podcast host Joe Rogan is taking heat after saying that young people shouldn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine if they’re healthy.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told the “Today” show Wednesday that the comedian’s comments are flat-out “incorrect.”

“That’s incorrect and the reason why is that you’re talking about yourself in a vacuum — you’re worried about yourself getting infected and the likelihood that you’re not going to get any symptoms, but you can get infected and will get infected if you put yourself at risk,” Fauci said in response to the comments made during an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” that aired Friday.

Fauci said people who don’t have COVID-19 symptoms could “inadvertently and innocently” infect someone in a vulnerable population.

“So if you only want to worry about yourself and not society, then that’s OK,” he said, adding that even young and healthy people should get vaccinated.

The comments made by Rogan, who moved his production to Austin last year and has reached the top of Spotify’s podcast chart, reverberated across social media over the weekend.

During the episode with fellow comedian and radio personality Dave Smith, Rogan said people who are in vulnerable populations or want the vaccine should get inoculated.

He believes it is “for the most part” safe, he said, adding that his parents have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“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,” he said.

Spotify CEO founder and CEO Daniel Ek told Bloomberg that he did not have a comment on Rogan’s remarks, but did say the company has a content policy for its 8 million creators and does “remove pieces that violate it.”

In Texas, one in every four adults has been fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 37% of the state’s population has received at least one dose of a vaccine.

State health officials reported 49 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the state’s death toll to 49,973. Nearly 4,200 new cases were reported Tuesday.

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