Podcast king Joe Rogan said on his show last week that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for indoor entertainment put him in an awkward position. He’d already sold 13,000 tickets to his live comedy show at Madison Square Garden but has gone on the record opposing vaccine requirements. “I don’t know what to do. I’m stuck in this situation,” Rogan lamented.
The 54-year-old comedian solved the problem by offering refunds to anyone who doesn’t want to get the vaccine.
“If someone has an ideological or physiological reason for not getting vaccinated, I don’t want to force them to get vaccinated to see a f***ing stupid comedy show,” Rogan said. “And now they say that everybody has to be vaccinated, and I want everybody to know that you can get your money back.”
Rogan has been clear that he is not opposed to coronavirus vaccines, but he has pointed out the inconsistency in the CDC’s messaging and argued that they may not be necessary for the least vulnerable populations.
“I am not an anti-vax person,” Rogan said in April. “In fact, I said I believe they are safe and I encourage many people to take them. I just said if you’re a young, healthy person, you don’t need it. Their argument was you need it for other people. But that’s a different conversation. And yes, that makes sense.”
He went on, “But 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,” Rogen said. “You should — 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.”
The UFC host has been equally upfront that he doesn’t believe the government should have the power to mandate vaccines, saying of those who welcome such mandates:
“They don’t understand history, they don’t understand human beings. They don’t understand human nature. They don’t understand the history of every single country that’s ever existed other than the United States, up until 1776, every f***ing country that has ever existed was run by dictators. All of them.”
This is the first one where you had elected officials. This is the first experiment in self government that actually worked. And it created the greatest superpower the world’s ever known, it created the greatest cultural machine, the greatest machine of art and creativity and innovation, right f***ing here. And how did it do that? It did it through freedom. Because when you give people freedom, you let people do whatever the f*** they want to do, they actually find ways to succeed and grow and thrive.
But as soon as you put the boots to them, as soon as you tell them, you have to do this, or you can’t do that, you have to listen to me. Now you have a mini dictator, you have a one step away from a king, you have a one step closer, you’re moving one step closer to a dictatorship.”