A White House communications chief and Dr Anthony Fauci, Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, have dismissed claims by Joe Rogan that healthy young people do not need a vaccine – amid angry calls for the UFC pundit to be canceled.
Spotify superstar Rogan reiterated his views that young people can protect themselves against Covid-19 by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet, adding that his own children had experienced “nothing” after contracting the virus that has swept the US to devastating effect.
Known to UFC fans for his hyperbolic commentary and sycophantic post-fight interviews, Rogan used his chart-topping show to put himself at loggerheads with health supremo Fauci and the new Biden administration, advising youngsters not to take the jabs that are being heavily promoted across the world.
“If you’re 21 years old and you say to me, ‘should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go, ‘No,’” Rogan said on his podcast, whipping up a storm on news networks and social media.
“If you’re a healthy person and you’re exercising all the time and you’re young and you’re eating well, I don’t think you need to worry about this. But there are a lot of jobs that will tell you that you need to do this.
“Even saying ‘I’m not going to inject my child’ is controversial. It’s crazy. We’re not even talking about the flu.”
He added of the potential threat to children: “I can tell you… both my children got the virus. It was nothing. One of the kids had a headache, the other didn’t feel good for a couple of days.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just updated its guidelines to relax measures for people who have been vaccinated, and White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said the former MMA fighter was insufficiently informed to comment on the pandemic.
“I guess my first question would be, ‘did Joe Rogan become a medical doctor while we weren’t looking?’” she told CNN. “I’m not sure that taking scientific and medical advice from Joe Rogan is perhaps the most productive way for people to get their information.”
Rogan has consistently said that general good health should be promoted as much as masks and vaccines. “That’s incorrect,” Fauci told Today, when asked whether young people did not need to be vaccinated.
Addressing people who share Rogan’s viewpoint, he warned: “You’re talking about yourself in a vacuum. If you want to only worry about yourself, and not society, then that’s OK.”
Rogan’s comments drew fury towards the host and the UFC on Twitter, including calls for him to be sanctioned.
“‘Don’t do anything stupid’, says the guy who was just at a full-capacity UFC event,” seethed one, while another nameched the UFC president by saying: “It seems he’s ‘roided his brain into 90 percent muscle living in Dana White’s world.
“Most of the UFC is right-wing whack. They’re susceptible to alternative facts where people who actually study subjects know less than morons.”
Among his many backers, a Rogan fan said: “I’m with dude. I’m not injecting something experimental into my children’s veins, and it is amazing that people are pretending to be mad at that fact.”
A fellow follower claimed: “They’ve tried at least 15 times to cancel Rogan. It ain’t happening. His audience is anti-woke and we’re not going anywhere.”
Fox host Tucker Carlsen supports Rogan. “If you’ve got the vaccine, why is other peoples’ refusal to get the vaccine a problem for you?” he asked in response, questioning the government’s drive to vaccinate every citizen.
“Do people who’ve slimmed down from gastric bypass yell at fat people on the street? You wouldn’t think so. It’s not really their business.”
That only seemed to incite more rage. “If you wanted to know about UFC fighting or white supremacist replacement theory, then I would say that Joe Rogan and Tucker Carlson have you totally covered,” retorted one critic. “Vaccination, protecting from viral spread and herd immunity, not so much.”
The underlying suspicion of MMA was exemplified by one viewer. “Joe Rogan has always been a piece of sh*t,” they thundered.
“Always remember: if a person is connected to MMA, UFC, etc then there’s a 95 per cent chance that they’re either racist, bigoted, anti-science or sexist. They can be more than one because they can chew gum and drag their knuckles at the same time.”
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