White House: ‘Did Joe Rogan become a medical doctor while we weren’t looking?’
White House communications director Kate Bedingfield on Wednesday dissuaded Americans from taking medical advice from Joe Rogan, noting the popular podcast host’s lack of credentials after he suggested that young, healthy people don’t need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“I guess my first question would be, did Joe Rogan become a medical doctor while we weren’t looking? I’m not sure that taking scientific and medical advice from Joe Rogan is perhaps the most productive way for people to get their information,” Bedingfield said on CNN’s “New Day” when asked about Rogan’s recent comments.
Bedingfield acknowledged that Rogan’s remarks could cause listeners to “question” the need to get a vaccine, but she pointed to polls showing that more Americans are willing to get vaccinated.
“I think what we’re seeing, and what we have seen in the data and what we’ve seen as people continue to get vaccinated, is the people who are most influential in encouraging people to get vaccinated are their friends, their neighbors, people who have received the shot themselves who they know and they trust. And so, what we see is the number of people who say that they are willing to get vaccinated is rising. It’s now up to, I believe, 67 percent in a recent public poll,” Bedingfield said.
Surveys have actually shown a higher percentage of Americans are willing to get a coronavirus vaccine. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll in March found that 75 percent U.S. adults said they are willing to get vaccinated or had received at least one dose, an increase from 67 percent in January.
And a Monmouth survey released in April found that 21 percent of Americans said they would not get the vaccine, a decrease from 24 percent in January and March.
Still, the Biden administration is trying to convince as many adults as possible to get vaccinated so that the U.S. can reach herd immunity, which experts estimate will require about 80 percent of the population to receive a vaccine. Currently, the vaccines are not approved for use in children.
Rogan generated backlash after he recently suggested on his Spotify podcast that if a 21-year-old asked him whether they should get vaccinated, he would recommend against it.
“Are you healthy?” Rogan said “Are you a healthy person? Like, look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. 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.”
Anthony Fauci called Rogan’s comments “incorrect” during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” Wednesday morning and urged young people to get vaccinated.
“You’re talking about yourself in a vacuum,” Fauci said when asked to respond to the podcast host’s comments. “You’re worried about yourself getting infected and the likelihood that you’re not going to get any symptoms. But you can get infected, and will get infected, if you put yourself at risk and even if you don’t have any symptoms, you are propagating the outbreak.”
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