The world’s largest news broadcaster has posted an erroneous and misleading “fact check” of Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast, a show that has become a lightning rod for media criticism after featuring wide-ranging conversations with people across the political spectrum, including some who hold minority views about COVID-19. A fact-check from the BBC’s “Reality Check team” purports to refute four claims made on “The Joe Rogan Experience” — but Rogan did not make all of the claims examined, and the BBC confirms a statement made by a guest on the show, but persists in calling it “misleading.”
Fact-check 1: Are young people more likely to get myocarditis from the vaccine or COVID-19?
The BBC analyzes the notion that “for young people, the health risks from the vaccine are greater than from Covid” — but Joe Rogan made no such claim. Rogan actually said, “I don’t think it’s true there’s an increased risk of myocarditis from people catching COVID-19 that are young, versus the risk from the vaccine.” (Emphasis added.)
The BBC claims that “research has shown” that myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart “which can lead to shortness of breath, chest pain and in very rare cases to heart failure, is considerably more common after a Covid infection than after vaccination.” But the BBC ignores the fact that Rogan spoke about “young” people, not all members of society as a whole.
The study the BBC cites actually found that people under the age of 40 had a 50% higher chance of developing myocarditis after being fully vaccinated than after contracting COVID-19:
The findings show the risks of myocarditis associated with the two mRNA vaccines to be slightly higher in people aged under 40 and particularly after the second Moderna vaccine. For these people, the study estimated that there were an extra 10 myocarditis events per million people following a positive SARS-CoV-2 test and an extra 15 per million following a second dose of mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine.
Numerous governments — including the U.S., Sweden, Finland, Norway, Demark, and Belgium — have identified myocarditis as a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccination for young males. Yet vaccine companies are testing a vaccine on children as young as six months old.
Fact-check 2: People who are vaccinated after recovering from COVID-19 are at greater risk of developing side effects
The BBC notes, “One of Mr Rogan’s most controversial guests has been the virologist Robert Malone,” adding that Malone appeared on Rogan’s show soon after being banned from Twitter in December.
“Among the misleading claims made in this podcast episode was one suggesting people who are vaccinated after having Covid-19 are at greater risk of adverse side effects,” the BBC fact-check said.
The BBC then verifies the accuracy of that claim. “In one UK study, researchers found that vaccine after effects were more common in those who already had Covid,” the BBC notes, although it says the study “only looked at mild after effects, such as fatigue, chills and headaches.” The BBC offers no additional refutation.
Numerous studies agree with Malone’s reported claim:
- Johns Hopkins University states, “If you had COVID-19 before being vaccinated, the first injection may cause more noticeable side effects than for people who have not had the coronavirus”;
- A British study says that “people who have had a previous COVID-19 infection are almost twice as likely to experience one or more mild whole body (systemic) after effects compared to people who didn’t have COVID-19 (33% vs 19%) from a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine dose”;
- A U.S. study has found, “Vaccine recipients with pre-existing immunity experience systemic side effects with a significantly higher frequency” than those who had not contracted COVID before vaccination; and
- Another study states that the occurrence of certain side effects after vaccination could indicate that the individual had recovered from COVID-19.
The bottom line: In one case, the BBC created a strawman argument; in another, it verified the claim made on Rogan’s podcast.
The BBC’s Reality Check team needs a reality check.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.