Joe Rogan’s recent comments concerning COVID-19 vaccinations have put him the sights of TV host John Oliver.
This isn’t the first time that Oliver has been critical of a major MMA personality over their behavior during the pandemic, as he also questioned the wisdom of UFC President Dana White embarking on a trip to Fight Island to host events in Abu Dhabi last year. In regards to Rogan, Oliver is even more incensed at the popular Spotify podcast host’s decision to offer unqualified medical advice.
Last week, Rogan suggested on his show that “if you’re like, 21 years old,” you might not need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. A clip of Rogan’s comments quickly went viral, resulting in criticism from media and fans that prompted Rogan to later clarify his comments. He stated that he is “not an anti-vaxx person” and that what he says on his show isn’t always meant to be taken seriously.
“I’m not a doctor, I’m a f*cking moron and I’m a cagefighting commentator who’s a dirty standup comedian who just told you I’m drunk most of the time and I do testosterone and I smoke a lot of weed,” Rogan said. “But I’m not a respected source of information, even for me.
“If I say things, I’m always going ‘check on that [producer] Jamie [Vernon], I don’t know if that’s true,’” Rogan added. “But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”
This week, Oliver addressed Rogan’s comments during a segment on Last Week Tonight.
“If you’re thinking, ‘Yeah, I’m not sure I’ll need it. Joe Rogan says I’m probably fine,’ it is true, you might not get seriously sick from COVID, or indeed sick at all, but you could still inadvertently pass it to someone who could then die,” Oliver said (transcription via The Daily Beast). “Stop listening to what Joe Rogan tells you, he’s a ‘f*cking moron’ — and those are his words, not mine.”
Oliver also took aim at FOX News host Tucker Carlson during the segment, accusing Carlson of asking questions about the vaccine without providing any of his own research.
Though Rogan has walked back his comments somewhat, he remains one of the most popular podcasters in the world and a potential influence on his listeners. While the longtime UFC commentator has been praised for his in-depth interviews with fighters and for the breadth of topics and personalities featured on his show, he has also been criticized on multiple occasions for spreading disinformation and providing a hub for far-right figures and conspiracy theorists.