Not a respected source of information

Medical advice from random podcasters is not one of our best inventions.

Hugely popular US podcast host Joe Rogan has backpedalled on his comments that young, healthy people could forgo the coronavirus vaccine.

“I’m not an anti-vax person,” Rogan said. “I believe they’re safe and encourage many people to take them.”

But Rogan did not walk back his suggestion that the young and healthy do not “need” vaccines, which drew backlash from White House officials.

Why call it “backlash”? What a stupid word to use. Rogan shouldn’t be making such reckless and destructive “suggestions,” and the government is entitled to say he’s wrong and must be ignored. This isn’t a game.

Asked about Rogan’s comments, top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci repeated guidance from experts that unvaccinated, asymptomatic people can still transmit Covid-19.

“Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you’re propagating the outbreak,” Dr Fauci said.

And the thing about that is, Fauci knows what he’s talking about and Joe Rogan is a comedian.

Rogan made the comments during a 23 April episode of his podcast, which was first reported by Media Matters this week.

In that episode, Rogan told listeners that he would not suggest the vaccine to a healthy 21-year-old. “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.”

Responding to the criticism on his podcast on Thursday, Rogan said the argument that young people need the vaccine “for other people” made sense. “But that’s a different argument,” he added.

And Rogan stressed that he should not be a source of scientific advice. “I’m not a doctor,” he said. “I’m not a respected source of information, even for me.”

Then don’t offer advice, at least not advice that contradicts what the actual scientific advisors are telling us. Just shut up about it.

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