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(The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast)

Devil's advocate and Austin-transplant podcast host Joe Rogan is under fire for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, asserting that vaccinated individuals contributed to the creation of the Delta variant.


On a Friday episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Rogan took an excerpt from a 2015 study out of context, reading "vaccines that keep hosts alive but still allow transmission could thus allow very virulent strains to circulate in a population," with guest Evan Hafer.

The study was not written about the spread of COVID-19 or even human sickness—it was written about vaccinating chickens against Marek's disease. The statement led the author of the paper, Pennsylvania State professor of biology and entomology Andrew Read, to speak out against the take by calling it "completely wrong" in a Sunday interview with Forbes.

"He's taking very careful work about evolutionary scenarios of the future, and from that, erroneously concluding that people should not be vaccinated now," Read told Forbes. "We're talking about a very different virus and very different vaccines. The details in biology really matter a lot."

Rogan reiterated, as he has said in past podcast episodes, that he believes transmission would slow if individuals put in the effort to become "healthier."

Though Rogan asserted that vaccinated individuals increase the chances of new deadly strains, Read said it is actually the opposite—the vaccine slows transmission and the "vast majority" of replication is coming from unvaccinated individuals.

"You can tell that because the majority of cases in the hospital are unvaccinated individuals," Read said. "That is where the evolutionary action is happening at the moment."

That wasn't the only hot COVID-19 take that Rogan brought to the table; the skeptic host said he believes that cities implementing vaccine passports, like New York City, is "moving one step closer" to a dictatorship and only "dumb" people would accept such restrictions.

This is not the first time Rogan has publicly pushed against what health authorities are telling the public—in an April episode, Rogan said he did not believe that people who were young and healthy needed to get a vaccine. He later retracted his statement, saying, "I'm not a doctor, I'm a fucking moron."

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