Entertainment

Joe Rogan blasts vaccine passports as moving ‘one step closer’ to dictatorship


Joe Rogan blasted so-called ‘vaccine passports’ saying that requiring Americans to show proof of vaccination in order to gain entry into restaurants, airplanes, bars, and sporting events moves the country ‘one step closer’ to dictatorship.

Rogan, whose podcast The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most listened to on the internet, told his listeners on Friday that ‘the problem with applauding vaccine passports’ is that politicians ‘are not going to give that power up.’

His comments, which were broadcast on the Spotify streaming service, were praised by Donald Trump Jr, the former president’s eldest son, who tweeted: ‘Joe Rogan gets it.’

‘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,’ Rogan said.

‘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.

Joe Rogan blasted so-called ‘vaccine passports’ saying that requiring Americans to show proof of vaccination in order to gain entry into restaurants, airplanes, bars, and sporting events moves the country ‘one step closer’ to dictatorship

Dan Lacey, a medic at Memorial Healthcare System, shows his vaccination record card after receiving a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine from Cheryl Birmingham at Memorial Healthcare System, in Miramar, Florida on December 14, 2020

Dan Lacey, a medic at Memorial Healthcare System, shows his vaccination record card after receiving a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine from Cheryl Birmingham at Memorial Healthcare System, in Miramar, Florida on December 14, 2020

A doorman at Oasis checks a customer's vaccination card before allowing him to enter on July 29, 2021 in San Francisco

A doorman at Oasis checks a customer’s vaccination card before allowing him to enter on July 29, 2021 in San Francisco

‘You have one step away from a king. One step closer. You’re moving one step closer to dictatorship.

‘That’s what the f*** is happening.’

He added: ‘That’s what’s gonna happen with a vaccine passport.

‘That’s what’s gonna happen if they close borders.’

President Biden has repeatedly said he has no plans to introduce a federal vaccine passport, although individual states including New York and California have created their own schemes.  

Last month, the Biden administration announced it won’t lift existing travel restrictions ‘at this point,’ citing a troubling spike in cases due to the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19.

The administration’s decision, which comes after a senior level White House meeting late Friday, means the long-running travel restrictions that have barred much of the world’s population from the United States since 2020 will not be lifted in the short term.

The tourism industry criticized the administration’s move and said closed borders have not prevented the Delta variant from getting in before now. 

His comments, which were broadcast on the Spotify streaming service, were praised by Donald Trump Jr, the former president’s eldest son, who tweeted: ‘Joe Rogan gets it.’

His comments, which were broadcast on the Spotify streaming service, were praised by Donald Trump Jr, the former president’s eldest son, who tweeted: ‘Joe Rogan gets it.’

Rogan’s comments ignited a debate on Twitter. Supporters of the vaccine mandate say that a passport would be no different than a driver’s license or a regular passport used for international travel.

But critics of the passport backed Rogan, saying that requiring proof of vaccination was a way for the government to curtail civil liberties.

Rogan has not been shy about wading into the fierce public debate surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine.

In April, the podcaster, who signed a $100million licensing deal with Spotify, caused a stir when he said that there’s no need for fit and healthy people to get vaccinated. 

His comments went against guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that say vaccinations are safe for everyone over 16, and are necessary for the country to reach herd immunity and safely open up.  

Rogan, 53, said he recommended ‘vulnerable’ people get the shot, adding his parents had received their vaccines.

‘People say, Do you think it’s safe to get vaccinated? I’ve said, yeah, I think for the most part it’s safe to get vaccinated. I do. I do.

‘But if you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, Should I get vaccinated? I’ll go no,’ he said.

‘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.’ 

Rogan’s comments ignited a debate on Twitter. Supporters of the vaccine mandate say that a passport would be no different than a driver’s license or a regular passport used for international travel

Rogan’s comments ignited a debate on Twitter. Supporters of the vaccine mandate say that a passport would be no different than a driver’s license or a regular passport used for international travel

His comments drew criticism on social media where people pointed out his lack of medical expertise; still, others said they were glad someone was speaking their mind about the issue. 

Days later, Rogan backtracked in the face of a fierce backlash.

He conceded he is ‘not a respected source of information’ and branded himself a ‘f**king moron’ after backtracking on comments telling young people not to get a COVID vaccine.   

The broadcaster said: ‘I’m not an anti-vaxx person. I said I believe they’re safe and I encourage many people to take them. 

‘My parents were vaccinated. I just said that if you’re a young, healthy person that you don’t need it. Their argument was, you need it for other people … But that’s a different argument. That’s a different conversation.

 ‘I’m not a doctor, I’m a f**king moron, and I’m a cage-fighting commentator who is a dirty stand-up comedian. I’m drunk most of the time, and I do testosterone and I smoke a lot of weed…

‘I’m not a respected source of information, even for me … But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying,’ Rogan added.  

Vaccination requirements is one of the most hotly debated topics around the country, particularly in light of the fact that coronavirus cases are surging due in large part to the highly contagious Indian Delta variant.

But critics of the passport backed Rogan, saying that requiring proof of vaccination was a way for the government to curtail civil liberties

But critics of the passport backed Rogan, saying that requiring proof of vaccination was a way for the government to curtail civil liberties

The seven-day average for new daily COVID-19 infections has surpassed 100,000 in the United States, returning to levels not seen since the winter surge.

Cases and hospitalizations have skyrocketed in the last month, driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

The country was averaging about 11,000 cases a day in late June. Now the number is 107,143.

The virus is spreading quickly through unvaccinated populations, especially in the Deep South.

Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi have had hospitals overrun with patients.

The US first crossed the 100,000-a-day average number in November and peaked at about 250,000 in early January before bottoming out in late June.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that later this month the city will begin requiring anyone dining indoors at a restaurant, working out a gym or grabbing cocktails at a bar to show proof they’ve been inoculated.

Workers at such establishments would also have to prove that they’ve had at least one shot of an approved vaccine.

The move is being closely watched by other cities and towns – perhaps as a model but also as a possible example of governmental overreach.

City officials said details are still being worked out, including enforcement and consequences for businesses that refuse to comply.

Inspections would not begin until at least September 13. When the city health department mandated masks, violations carried fines of up to $1,000.

New York City is not mandating that residents be vaccinated but is pressuring them into doing so by preventing them from partaking in some aspects of public life.

Already, most children are required to show proof of vaccinations against a host of childhood diseases to enroll in public schools.

Denver’s top public safety leader says he is prepared to discipline police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who don’t follow the mandate that all city employees get vaccinated against COVID-19, The Denver Post reported on Saturday.

A public health order issued by the city health department Monday requires all city employees to receive their second vaccine dose by September 15.

It’s unclear how many of the Denver’s police officers or emergency responders have been vaccinated as the city does not keep track.

However, the Denver Police Protective Association conducted its own poll.

About half of the department’s officers responded to the survey, and out of that 57 percent said they were unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, New Mexico’s governor and dozens of other elected officials are urging the state’s business community to require that employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or alternatively undergo regular testing.

The letter sent Friday to employers and business groups said the action is necessary to stop the current increased spread of COVID-19 as infections increase.

Connecticut has become the latest state to mandate that workers in nursing homes be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Governor Ned Lamont on Friday directed an executive order that requires all employees of long-term care facilities to receive at least the first dose of a vaccine by September 7.

In a statement, he said it would ‘absolutely irresponsible’ for staffers not to be vaccinated, given the vulnerability of the people in their care.

According to Lamont’s release, more than half of all nursing homes in Connecticut have a staff vaccination rate lower than 75 percent.

Connecticut joins at least five other states that have issued similar mandates. 



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