During episode No. 1,639 of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast featuring fellow comedian and Legion of Skanks co-host Dave Smith, Rogan contradicted the general consensus of the medical community regarding COVID vaccinations.
"People say, 'Do you think it's safe to get vaccinated?' I've said, yeah, I think for the most part it's safe to get vaccinated. I do. I do," Rogan said.
"But if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, Should I get vaccinated? I'll go no,' he clarified.
As Fox News notes, Rogan apparently opposes the latest CDC guidance, which encourages all those over the age of 16 and up to get vaccinated with the goal of achieving herd immunity.
"Look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself," Rogan continued. "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."
Many responded to the media personality's viewpoint. Chiefly, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci called Rogan's comments "incorrect" in an interview with NBC's Today.
"You're talking about yourself in a vacuum," the country's leading infectious disease expert said of the podcast host. "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 added that even asymptomatic people can "inadvertently and innocently" can spread the virus, according to The Hill.
"So if you want to only worry about yourself and not society, then that's OK," Fauci added. "But if you're saying to yourself, even if I get infected, I could do damage to somebody else even if I have no symptoms at all, and that's the reason why you've got to be careful and get vaccinated."
Others responded to Rogan's statement on Twitter.
"if you’re 21 years old and you say to Joe Rogan, should I get a vaccine? I’ll go, wtf are you doing asking Joe Rogan?," New York Times opinion columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote.
Another user added, "My feeling is that, no matter what your age, you should not take medical advice from Joe Rogan."
But after his comments went viral, Rogan backpedaled on his claim that healthy young Americans don’t need to get vaccinated against COVID-19 — insisting he’s “not an anti-vaxx person.”
On The Joe Rogan Experience, the 53-year-old comedian poked fun at his own credibility after his comments sparked outrage on social media and a response from Fauci.
“I’m not a doctor, I’m a fucking moron,” Rogan said. “I’m not a respected source of information, even for me … But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”
He clarified that the comments made on his podcast last week — that young, healthy people don’t “need to worry about ” getting the shots — didn’t stem from a belief that vaccines are dangerous.
“I’m not an anti-vaxx person,” he said. “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.”
Rogan added that he was scheduled to get a Johnson & Johnson one-shot before it was put on pause by the feds earlier this month.
Rogan also addressed claims by Fauci and the White House that his comments were incorrect — but stopped short of admitting he was wrong.
“There’s some legitimate science behind this…Their argument was, you need it for other people,” he said. “But that’s a different argument. That’s a different conversation.”