Podcast host Joe Rogan ripped the idea of so-called vaccine passports on Friday, saying implementing such a system would bring the U.S. “one step closer” to a dictatorship.
During an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” Rogan suggested that people who applaud vaccine passports don’t understand “the history of every single country that’s ever existed other than the United States,” adding the U.S. was the first “experiment in self-government that actually worked.”
“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 continued.
"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. 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 gonna happen if they close borders," he said.
Rogan’s comments come as a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country fueled largely by the delta variant has spurred debate over making vaccines mandatory.
The Biden administration is requiring vaccination or regular testing for federal workers, while California and New York City have done the same for state and city employees.
New York City also unveiled the “Key to NYC Pass” program on Tuesday, requiring proof of vaccination for people wanting to participate in indoor activities such as dining indoors, working out at gyms and attending theater performances. The program is set to begin Aug. 16.
Rogan said the problem with applauding vaccine passports is that it gives politicians power that they will not give up.
"As soon as you give politicians power, any kind of power that didn’t exist previously, historically, they don’t relinquish that power. They find new ways to do it," he said.