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Comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan has hit the headlines in recent days after he was accused by singer Neil Young of ‘spreading Covid misinformation’ via his Spotify-hosted podcast The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE).
Much of the controversy was sparked by two recent episodes of the podcast in which Rogan spoke with an acclaimed cardiologist and expert virologist, both of whom were critical of the way in which the pandemic has been handled in the US.
But Rogan, 54, has criticized the American government and the CDC‘s approach to the pandemic since late 2020, speaking out against vaccine mandates and vaccine passes, and cautioned healthy young people about the possible side effects of the vaccine.
He has also vocal about the government’s reluctance to discuss any other potential treatments of Covid-19 besides the vaccine and has questioned why public health organizations have been so quick to encourage vaccine uptake without extolling the benefits of improving one’s baseline health.
The JRE is Spotify’s highest-rated show, with each episode bringing over 10 million listeners, and the streaming service cut a deal believed to be worth over $100 million in late 2020 for the exclusive rights to host his podcast.
But the company’s market value dropped more than $2 billion in the days following Young’s announcement last week, with shares tumbling by around 12 per cent.
Rogan, 54, has criticized the American government and the CDC’s approach to the pandemic since late 2020, speaking out against vaccine mandates and vaccine passes, and cautioned healthy young people about the possible side effects of the vaccine
Spotify’s market value dropped by around $2bn after singer Neil Young removed his music from the platform in protest against its decision to host the Joe Rogan Experience
Rogan has accused the government of deliberately holding back or discouraging the use of alternative treatments for Covid, such as monoclonal antibodies, and selectively preventing some people from accessing the treatments (pictured: a vial of the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, March 2021)
The podcaster’s detractors have long decried what they perceive to be an ‘anti-vaccine’ stance, accusing the podcaster of discouraging people from following government guidelines around Covid.
Others meanwhile have pointed out that Rogan’s words are often taken out of context and that he is simply giving people access to views and opinions – often expressed by experts – that question the official narrative of the US government. Many have also argued that the media’s attempts to discredit Rogan are tantamount to censorship.
These are some of the key sentiments Rogan has expressed on the pandemic amid what has become a long-running debate over the comedian and his wildly successful show.
Rogan says big tech is censoring alternative views on vaccines and the pandemic – December 31, 2021: JRE #1757 with Dr Robert Malone
Rogan has hit out at big tech for its de-platforming of reputable individuals who presented viewpoints alternative to the official narrative, pointing to Malone’s Twitter ban as an example.
‘They removed [Malone] for not going along with whatever the tech narrative is because tech clearly has a censorship agenda when it comes to Covid in terms of treatment, in terms of whether or not you are promoting what they would call ‘vaccine hesitancy’ – they can ban you for that’ Rogan said.
Malone, whose Twitter account with over 500,000 followers was suspended one day before the podcast’s release, is the owner of several patents related to mRNA vaccine technology and has been involved in the development of vaccines and repurposing of drugs for several viruses.
The podcast quickly went viral as the doctor, whose career has been inextricably linked to the creation and promotion of vaccines, ripped into the way in which they have been rolled out in the US.
‘I’m personally offended by watching my discipline get destroyed for no good reason at all except, apparently, financial incentives, and – I don’t know – political a**-covering.
‘Our government is out of control. They completely disregard bioethics. They completely disregard the federal common rule.’
YouTube has removed Joe Rogan’s (left) interview with the scientist who helped invent mRNA vaccines Dr Robert Malone (right) and who claimed that the US is now like Nazi Germany with society ‘hypnotized’ to believe in vaccines and extreme pandemic measures
The 61-year-old doctor’s account was suspended a day before the release of the podcast, with Twitter citing a violation of the platform’s rules. Clips from the podcast were also subsequently pulled off of YouTube
Rogan questions the refusal to promote alternative treatments – December 15, 2021: JRE #1747 with Dr. Peter A. McCullough
Rogan accused the government of deliberately holding back or discouraging the use of alternative treatments for Covid, such as monoclonal antibodies, and selectively preventing some people from accessing the treatments.
‘There’s an unlimited supply or a very large supply, more than adequate for the entire population, of monoclonal antibodies. So what is stopping the distribution of them? Because not only have they made it difficult to get in Texas, they actually put these parameters on who gets it and who doesn’t.’
Dr. Peter McCullough – an acclaimed cardiologist and highly published medical scientist – appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience shortly before Malone.
He shared Malone’s view that the US government’s handling of the pandemic has been abysmal, but also accused the government of actively suppressing early treatment of the virus.
‘Multi-drug therapy, as an outpatient, works substantially, and we’ve had a giant loss of life – a giant number – millions and millions of unnecessary hospitalizations,’ said McCullough.
‘It seemed to me early on that there was an intentional, very comprehensive suppression of early treatment in order to promote fear, suffering, isolation, hospitalization, and death.’
Dr. Peter McCullough (L) confers with Sen. Ron Johnson (R) during a panel discussion on January 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The panel featured scientists and doctors who have been criticized for expressing skepticism about COVID-19 vaccines and for promoting the use of unproven medications for treatment of the disease
Rogan says vaccine mandates are anti-American in Instagram clip showing images of the Holocaust – September 27, 2021
At the end of September, Rogan posted a video to his 13 million Instagram followers in which images and videos of the Holocaust were played over clips from his podcast criticizing the US’ handling of the pandemic.
‘As soon as you give politicians power, any kind of power that didn’t exist previously, if they can figure out a way to force you into carrying something that lets you enter businesses or lets you do this or lets businesses open, historically, they are not gonna give that power up,’ Rogan warns.
‘It is the literal structure that allows this country to be so f***ing amazing. Anything that comes along that can inhibit your freedom is, by definition, anti-American.’
Rogan does not mention the Holocaust or Nazis directly in the clip, but the images are overlaid with a clear warning for people to protect their freedoms.
In the video created by Samuel Rivera Films, Rogan rails against vaccine mandates while shots of Jewish ghettos in 1940s Europe, marching Nazis, Hilter, SS guards and footage of concentration camps including Majdanek in occupied Poland, where at least 78,000 people including 60,000 Jews were killed.
Samuel Rivera Films is not affiliated with Rogan, but the comedian shared Rivera’s clip on social media in an apparent sign of his approval for his work.
Part of the video included a map of Nazi Germany and images of Adolf Hitler giving rousing speeches
Rogan does not mention the Holocaust or Nazis directly in the clip, but the images are overlaid with a clear warning from Rogan for people to protect their ‘freedoms’
Rogan declares alternative treatments to the vaccine, including Ivermectin, are effective in Instagram video and calls out CNN for false reporting – September 2021
Rogan took to Instagram on September 1 to inform his followers that he had contracted Covid, but had beaten the virus quickly.
The unvaccinated Rogan said he had taken a multitude of treatments, including anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies (antibodies created in a lab to fight a specific infection) and NAD drips (a type of intravenous treatment that can stimulate cell regeneration in your body).
But news broadcaster CNN reported that Rogan had taken ‘horse dewormer’ as a treatment for Covid instead of getting vaccinated.
He claims the medical cocktail helped him recover and joked that he might ‘sue CNN’ for slamming his use and promotion of Ivermectin.
‘They’re making s*** up. They keep saying I’m taking horse dewormer. I literally got it from a doctor. It’s an American company. They must know that’s a lie.’
‘It’s a lie on a news network… and it’s a lie that they’re conscious of. It’s not a mistake. They’re unfavorably framing it as veterinary medicine.’
‘Why would you say that when you’re talking about a drug that’s been given out to billions and billions of people?’
Ivermectin is one of the world’s most widely administered anti-parasitic drugs. It was first discovered in 1975 and was used to treat animals, but gained human-use approval in 1987 and has since been administered billions of times.
Shortly after, Joe Rogan hosted CNN medical consultant Dr Sanjay Gupta on the podcast, and the two shared a long conversation during which they disagreed on several issues relating to the pandemic.
But Gupta admitted his colleagues at CNN should not have said Rogan took horse dewormer after being grilled about the broadcaster’s coverage of the anti-parasite drug.
Rogan’s key complaint against CNN is that they did not explain that there were two types of Ivermectin: one that’s meant for people that Rogan took, left, and one for livestock
Rogan (L) slammed the network for ‘lying’ by saying he took ‘horse de-wormer,’ despite the fact that his Ivermectin pills, which are used widely around the world, were prescribed by a doctor
Rogan holds Biden administration’s chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci to account over mixed messaging on Covid measures – August 17, 2021: JRE #1696 with Lex Fridman
In an August podcast with MIT research scientist and artificial intelligence researcher Lex Fridman, Rogan ripped into Fauci for a lack of transparency and mixed messaging over Covid measures.
‘There’s a problem with people like [Fauci] where they make these statements that you’re led to believe they have an understanding of the situation… But then it turns out they’re 100 percent wrong.
‘But then they come up with a new statement and you’re supposed to believe that.’
‘When they don’t know, they never say ”We don’t know,” Rogan added. ‘They don’t say ”this is very confusing and we’re trying to figure it out as we go along.”‘
Fauci initially told Americans not to worry about wearing face masks early in the pandemic, before later becoming a huge supporter of public masking and blaming his previous advice on a need to conserve then-tight PPE supplies for medical staff.
Fauci has also faced criticism for initially steering conversation away from claims that Coid may have leaked from the Wuhan virus lab, despite a considerable amount of evidence in support of the theory.
Rogan says that introducing vaccine passports is moving one step closer to dictatorship and blasts lockdowns – August 6, 2021: JRE #1693 with Evin Hafer
Rogan blasted vaccine passports in an August episode of his podcast with Black Rifle Coffee CEO and former green beret Evin Hafer.
‘When you give people freedom, you let people do whatever the f*** they want to do, they actually find ways to succeed and grow and thrive,’ Rogan said.
‘But as soon as you put the boots to them, as soon as you tell them, ”You have to do this, or you can’t do that. You have to listen to me,” now you have a mini dictator.
‘You have one step away from a king. One step closer. You’re moving one step closer to dictatorship.
‘That’s what the f*** is happening.’
Rogan days earlier blasted enforced lockdowns and criticized Australia in particular for its heavy handed approach.
‘They have full on government lockdowns, where the government is flying helicopters over streets saying, ”Go back indoors, you’re not allowed to be outside”, which is crazy.
‘This disease doesn’t even transmit well outside. It doesn’t make any sense. Being outside and getting vitamin D from the sun is probably one of the best things you can do.
Rogan says he is not an anti-vaxxer but discourages young, healthy people from getting the vaccine – April 2021
In podcast #1642 with comedian Andrew Santino, Rogan said: ‘I’m not an anti-vaxx person. I said I believe they’re safe and I encourage many people to take them.
‘My parents were vaccinated. I just said that if you’re a young, healthy person that you don’t need it.’
His comments came days after a podcast with comedian Dave Smith in which Rogan said he would not advise healthy people aged 21 to get the vaccine.
‘If you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I’ll go no.
‘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.’