Podcaster Joe Rogan criticized a COVID-19 vaccine advocate who accused him of spreading health misinformation and called him a “neofascist.” Rogan challenged the vaccine “expert” to debate Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for $100,000.
Peter Hotez is a self-described “internationally recognized scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development.” Hotez gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic by making many appearances on cable news, advocating for everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Hotez recently shared an article on Twitter from Vice titled, “Spotify Has Stopped Even Sort of Trying to Stem Joe Rogan’s Vaccine Misinformation.”
Hotez wrote, “And from all the online attacks I’m receiving after this absurd podcast, it’s clear many actually believe this nonsense.”
The Vice article criticized Rogan’s recent podcast on Spotify with Kennedy, a skeptic of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Vice writer claimed that the podcast was “an orgy of unchecked vaccine misinformation, some conspiracy-mongering about 5G technology and WI-FI, and, of course, Rogan once again praising ivermectin, an ineffective faux COVID treatment.”
The writer stated that “The Joe Rogan Experience” episode promoted “Kennedy’s most dangerous list to outline in full, incorrect views, a far too extensive list to outline in full, all of which Rogan accepted uncritically, his mouth quite often literally agape in awe.”
Rogan recently addressed Hotez with a challenge. “Peter, if you claim what RFJ Jr. is saying is ‘misinformation’ I am offering you $100,000.00 to the charity of your choice if you’re willing to debate him on my show with no time limit.”
Hotez replied to Rogan but then quickly deleted the tweet. “Be serious Joe, that’s what you throw out for your hunting buddies on a weekend. $50 million endowment (which You/Spotify/RFK Jr. can easily afford), not for me but so we can continue making low-cost patent-free vaccines for the world’s poor. Preceded by Jr.’s public apology,” Hotez said.
“Joe, you have my cell, my email, I’m always willing to speak with you,” Hotez added.
Rogan blasted Hotez, “This is a non-answer. I challenged you publicly because you publicly quote tweeted and agreed with that d— Vice article. If you’re really serious about what you stand for, you now have a massive opportunity for a debate that will reach the largest audience a discussion.”
Rogan said Hotez’s comments meant that the COVID-19 vaccine advocate would not debate Kennedy. He would rather sit alone for a discussion.
Kennedy accepted Rogan’s challenge, saying, “Peter. Let’s finally have the respectful, congenial, informative debate that the American people deserve.”
Peter. Let’s finally have the respectful,congenial,informative debate that the American people deserve.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) June 17, 2023
Former Twitter CEO Elon Musk jumped into the fray, saying, “Maybe @PeterHotez just hates charity.”
Musk asked Hotez if he “endorses” Vice and shared a 2007 Vice article documenting Colombian women who have intimate “relationships” with donkeys.
So you’re saying you endorse Vice?https://t.co/bX3ZY5fgRh
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2023
Musk told Rogan on Twitter, “He’s afraid of a public debate, because he knows he’s wrong.”
He’s afraid of a public debate, because he knows he’s wrong
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 17, 2023
Hotez responded to Musk, writing, “Seriously Elon? This is monstrous. 200,000 Americans needlessly perished (including 40,000 Texans, our neighbors) because they were victims of antivaccine disinformation during our awful Covid delta/BA.1 waves in 2021-22. Please don’t do this.”
Rogan has had Hotez as a guest on “The Joe Rogan Experience” in 2019 and 2020.