Joe Rogan Apologizes For Telling Young People Not To Get Vaccinated: ‘I’m a F***ing Moron’

Joe Rogan insisted that he's 'not an anti-vax person,' after saying that healthy 21-year-olds don't 'need to worry' about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

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UPDATE (4/29/2021, 7:23 p.m. ET): Joe Rogan wanted people to know that he’s “not an anti-vax person,” despite saying that young healthy people don’t need the COVID-19 vaccine. “I’m not a doctor, I’m a f–k-ing moron. I’m not a respected source of information, even for me…But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying,” Joe said on the April 29 episode of his podcast, two days after facing backlash for his vaccine comments.

“I’m not an anti-vax person. In fact I said, I believe they’re safe and encourage many people to take them,” Joe continued. “My parents got vaccinated. I just said, ‘I don’t think that if you’re a young healthy person, you need it.’ Their argument was, ‘You need it for other people’…but that’s a different argument.”

ORIGINAL: For “the most part,” Joe Rogan thinks it’s “safe to get vaccinated” — but not necessary if you’re a healthy young person. “If you’re like 21 years old and you’re like, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I go, ‘No. Are you healthy? Are you a healthy person?’,” Joe said in a clip from the April 23 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, which began to go viral four days later on Twitter. As expected, people are upset, especially since the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. has surpassed 573,000 as of April 27. Meanwhile, more than three million people have died worldwide after contracting the virus, while “hospitalizations of young adults are up about 40% since early March,” according to NPR.

“Look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself,” Joe continued to say on the controversial podcast episode. He added, “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.”

This led Joe to his next topic: children getting vaccinated, something he was opposed to. “But there’s a lot of jobs that will tell you, you need to have this…people are worried about them doing it for their children,” the media personality said. Joe had strong feelings about kids being vaccinated, since his own children survived COVID-19.

“I can tell you as someone who’s both my children got the virus, it was nothing,” Joe said confidently. “I hate to say that — if someone’s children died from this, I’m very sorry this happened. I’m not in any way diminishing that. But I’m saying the personal experience that my children had with COVID was nothing. One of the kids had a headache, the other one didn’t feel good for a couple of days…it was very mild. It was akin to them getting a cold.”

“We are not talking about even the flu, that we just found out killed 22,000 people last year,” Joe continued. As he wrapped up his argument, the podcast host said, “We’re talking about something that is not statistically dangerous for children, yet people still want your children to get vaccinated, which is crazy to me.”

While Joe’s kids may have had a “mild” experience with COVID-19, “some children can get severely ill from COVID-19” and “might require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe” and “in rare cases, they might die,” according to the CDC. The CDC even reported that “babies under 1 year old might be more likely to have severe illness from COVID-19.” There have been many reports that attested to younger people’s difficult (and sometimes fatal) experiences with COVID-19, especially with the spread of the B.1.1.7. variant of COVID-19.

“(Covid-19) cases and emergency room visits are up. We are seeing these increases in younger adults, most of whom have not yet been vaccinated,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who is the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN for an article published on April 18.

Other medical professionals have echoed these worries. “What we’re seeing in a bunch of places now is sick, young people — hospitalized young people. Whereas earlier on in the pandemic, it was primarily older people,” Jonathan Reiner, who is a CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, also said in the CNN article published in April. Reiner added that “the unvaccinated” are the “the people who are getting infected.”

There are also long-term effects to think of, too: it’s not just a matter of surviving COVID-19. “I cannot tell you how many people I’ve taken care of in the ER who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who are never sick enough to end up in the ER with Covid, but who now have long-lasting respiratory difficulties,” emergency physician Dr. Megan Ranney, who is the director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, also told CNN.

Take for instance Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics star who many Twitter users brought up amid the backlash over Joe’s podcast. At only 23 years old, the basketball star now needs to use an inhaler before games after battling the virus, which he revealed to reporters on April 13, per SB Nation. Other post-COVID problems that have been reported include heart issues, kidney damage, mental health problems, diabetes and more, according to an article on John Hopkins Medicine put together by medical experts and specialists.