Hundreds of health experts accuse the service’s top podcaster of spreading “baseless conspiracy theories” about Covid-19
A group of 270 health and science professionals have signed an open letter to the audio streaming service Spotify, demanding a stricter policy on misinformation to combat podcaster Joe Rogan’s alleged Covid “conspiracy theories.”
The letter focuses on the alleged dangers the comedian’s highly influential podcast, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’, presents to listeners when he and his various guests discuss topics such as the coronavirus.
“The average age of listeners is 24 years old and, according to data from Washington State, unvaccinated 12- to 34-year-olds are 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid than those who are fully vaccinated,” it states.
It goes on to lambast Rogan for promoting alternatives to Covid vaccines, such as ivermectin, and hosting guests like Dr. Robert Malone, a vaccine critic suspended from Twitter after being accused of spreading misinformation. Clips of Rogan’s interview with Malone were criticized by the medical fraternity following their interview.
Hosting guests such as Malone is “medically and culturally dangerous,” the letter declares, warning Spotify that Rogan’s podcast presents a “sociological issue of devastating proportions.”
Epidemiologist Katrine Wallace, of the University of Illinois Chicago, who was among the letter’s signatories, deemed Rogan a “menace to public health.” She accused his podcast of making it “seem there are two sides to the issue and there are really not. The overwhelming evidence is the vaccine works and it is safe.”
Rogan has not said he is anti-vaccine, but has earned plenty of pushback for inviting on to his show a number of Covid vaccine critics, criticizing pandemic-era restrictions, and questioning the US government’s mass vaccination strategy, even for those at low risk of contracting Covid. Rogan himself was diagnosed with coronavirus last year and ignited criticism after openly battling the virus with a “kitchen sink” of medications, including ivermectin.
The podcaster and Ultimate Fighting Championship commentator speaks to a range of guests on topics ranging from physical fitness to comedy to conspiracy theories, and has remained Spotify’s most popular podcaster since joining the platform last year.