The podcaster added, "I'm not a doctor, I'm a f---ing moron."

By Jolie Lash
April 29, 2021 at 08:22 PM EDT
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Podcaster and UFC host Joe Rogan has attempted to clarify recent comments he made suggesting that young people shouldn't get COVID-19 vaccinations — remarks that ignited a firestorm of criticism and drew a refutation from White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.

On Thursday's episode of his popular show The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan insisted that he isn't against vaccines. "This whole thing, this people being upset at me, I'm not an anti-vax person," he said. "In fact, I said I believe they're safe and I encouraged many people to take them. My parents were vaccinated. I just said, 'I don't think if you're a young healthy person that you need it.'"

In an episode last week, Rogan said he supported vulnerable people getting vaccinated but added, "if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, 'Should I get vaccinated?' I'll go no." His comments were widely criticized, and Fauci, the leading expert on infectious disease in the U.S., called out Rogan's thinking as "incorrect" on the Today show. Fauci added that it's important for everyone who can get vaccinated to do so to halt the spread of the virus.

Comedian Andrew Santino, who joined Rogan on Thursday's episode, noted that the Fauci argument was "so you don't transmit the virus" to others. "That makes more sense," Rogan replied, "but that's a different argument. That's a different conversation."

Rogan went on to suggest that various comments he makes on his show come from him speaking off the cuff. He even said he regularly disagrees with things he says.

"These are not like, planned statements. Let's be real clear. When I say something stupid, I'm not thinking about what I'm gonna say before I say it. I'm just saying it," Rogan said. "I don't have an off-air and on-air voice. I have me. This is it… If you say you disagree with me, I probably say I disagree with me too. I disagree with me all the time. If someone said, 'Yeah, young, healthy 21-year-old people who eat well and exercise are not high risk for coronavirus, but you should think about other people,' I would say, 'That's a different argument,' and, 'Yes, that makes sense.'"

Rogan did not acknowledge his wide reach or influence — his show is currently the No. 1 podcast on Spotify in the U.S. — during the clarification segment posted on YouTube. He did, however, reveal that he had planned to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through his UFC gig but didn't due to timing issues, followed by the FDA and CDC's recent pause of that particular vaccine. (The pause has since been lifted.)

Rogan also issued a caveat of sorts: "I'm not a doctor, I'm a f---ing moron."

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