Joe Rogan has found himself at the center of a debate over the COVID-19 vaccines, despite never presenting himself as anti-vaccine. His great sin was daring to get treated for the virus after contracting it earlier this year. The fact that Rogan’s doctor included ivermectin in the medicinal regime sent heads exploding, as he was accused of taking “horse dewormer” amid other unfair, out-of-context claims.
Today, though, Rogan got a bit of redemption by running circles around CNN’s chief COVID hysteric, Sanjay Gupta. You may recall Gupta as the same guy who touted Chris Cuomo’s COVID X-ray, only to be embarrassingly fact-checked by actual radiologists.
During the long-form discussion with Rogan, there were several key moments that showed just how out of his element Gupta was. Here’s one of them.
What Rogan is doing in the above clip is showing the absurdity by which COVID hysterics shift their viewpoints to meet what ultimately boils down to a political narrative. Because he wants to insist the vaccines are highly effective, Gupta presents himself as not worried about a breakthrough infection.
That’s fair enough, but Rogan counters by noting that children are even more statistically protected from COVID than vaccinated adults, yet Gupta presents a far bleaker view of parents who likewise recognize that reality and don’t want to vaccine their children.
For a full two minutes, Rogan presses Gupta to address the disparity in how he treats the two similar situations, and the CNN doctor has no answer. At one point, he quips about getting a booster, again completely missing the point Rogan is making.
At another point during the clip, Gupta is noncommittal in even admitting that children are at a lower risk than vaccinated adults from COVID, again seeming to be fearful of saying anything that could come across as questioning the efficacy of the vaccines. But that’s silly, considering the vaccines can be highly effective at preventing serious illness, while still not being as effective, compared to the nearly non-existent risk in children. That’s not a knock on the vaccines.
This is the kind of obfuscation I’ve addressed in the past, and I believe it actually hurts the case of those who religiously push the vaccines. Just be honest with people, including about things like natural immunity and the risks to children. People are more likely to respect that approach and believe your assertions on other demographics being in more danger, if you just tell them the truth about everything. Instead, we get this weird cultish behavior where any recognition that 1) natural immunity exists or 2) that the vaccines are not absolutely perfect is seen as heresy.
Later, Gupta and Rogan shared a discussion on gain-of-function research that went much smoother, with Gupta actually being upfront about the NIH’s splicing of language and how they try to claim they weren’t funding it. He also shared his skepticism regarding China’s behavior, their destruction of evidence, and the fact that COVID-19 very well could have started in a lab.
All in all, despite the rough moments for Gupta, the discussion was a step in the right direction. These kinds of blunt conversations are far more illuminating and helpful than two-minute yelling sessions on cable news. Gupta actually seems to come out of his narrative shell a bit at times, and that’s something you never see him do on CNN.
Lastly, props to Rogan for continuing to push the envelope. There’s a reason he’s got the top podcast in the world.