Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended Joe Rogan on his April 27 show after the podcaster and UFC commentator found himself in hot water over comments about the COVID-19 vaccine. Rogan told fellow comedian Dave Smith that he doesn’t think “healthy” young people should get the coronavirus vaccine, but believes those who are higher risk should. Health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, shot back at Rogan, saying he is “incorrect” and that everyone who is eligible for the vaccine should get it.
Rogan said on the April 23 episode of the Spotify-hosted Joe Rogan Experience podcast, “If you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I’ll go no. Are you healthy? Are you a healthy person? Like, look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. … 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.”
Carlson played Rogan’s comments on his show and said after, “Yeah, so if you’re at risk, get the vaccine, protect yourself, be happy, be grateful we have the vaccine. And if you’re not at risk, maybe you don’t. Is that a crazy point? Well, yeah, that’s crazy.”
Rogan also said, “I think you should get vaccinated if you’re vulnerable. I think you should get vaccinated if you feel like. My parents are vaccinated. I’ve encouraged a lot of people to get (vaccinated) and 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.”
Responding to Rogan’s comments on NBC’s Today show on April 28, Fauci said, “Well, that’s incorrect. And the reason why is that you’re talking about yourself in a vacuum then. You’re worried about yourself getting infected and the likelihood that you’re not gonna get any symptoms. But you can get infected and will get infected if you put yourself at risk. And even if you don’t have any symptoms, you’re propagating the outbreak because it is likely that you — even if you have no symptoms — that you may inadvertently and innocently then infect someone else who might infect someone who really could have a problem with a severe outcome.”
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Carlson Said the Media ‘Just Dismisses’ Rogan ‘as a Moron’
Carlson added during his Tucker Carlson Tonight response to the backlash Rogan was facing, “Joe Rogan’s Idiotic Advice: ‘Healthy’ Young People Don’t Need COVID-19 Vaccine,” sneered one headline in The Daily Beast, America’s foremost defender to ruling class absurdities. You’ll notice the website doesn’t explain why exactly Joe Rogan’s advice was idiotic. It just dismisses him as a moron. Don’t listen! He’s crazy! Probably a Nazi. Or, worse, a Trump voter. That’s MSNBC’s concern. ”
Carlson, speaking during the commentary section during opening of his show, added, “So to recap: it’s always challenging when you make things mandatory. Yeah, it’s also sometimes unconstitutional and not science. But whatever here’s where we are right now: if you want to live in this country, you will need a vaccination. If you’re the right skin color, the government will celebrate when you get it. But either way, you must get it. The vaccine works perfectly. Don’t question that.”
Carlson continued, “Once you do get the vaccine, you must continue to live as if you didn’t get the vaccine, for the protection of people who chose not to get the vaccine. And if that bothers you, or you have questions about why we’re doing it this way, then you are a bad person and we must hurt you. Get ready to be unemployed, if not in prison for reckless endangerment, a felony. Hope that settles your concerns about the available science on vaccines. Roll up your sleeve.”
Rogan Has Received Support From Several Other Conservative Pundits & Social Media Personalities but Hasn’t Addressed the Controversy
While Rogan is facing outrage from many on social media and pushback from medical experts, several prominent conservative pundits and social media personalities are joining Carlson in coming to his defense. His defenders include his podcast guest, Dave Smith, a self-described libertarian and Fox News guest. Smith tweeted, “Let’s get real, what Joe Rogan said in that clip was completely reasonable and there’s really no sound scientific argument against it.”
Republican strategist Andrew Surabian tweeted, “Tucker Carlson has the highest rated & most influential show on cable news. Joe Rogan has the biggest & most influential podcast in America. The leftwing corporate media can’t compete with them on the merits, so of course their solution is to silence, de-platform & cancel them.”
Right-wing YouTuber Steven Crowder added on Twitter, “There is nothing inaccurate, out of line or even remotely radical about Joe Rogan’s statements.” Comedian Tim Young tweeted, “Uh oh… Joe Rogan basing vaccine decisions off of actual statistics instead of fear has upset the cultists.” JT Lewis tweeted, “He’s allowed an opinion, no? If you take medical advice from Joe Rogan, that’s on you, not him.”