Hit podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan bragged this week about his ability to get tested for coronavirus multiple times — which of course made a whole swath of people really upset.
Not only is the podcaster getting tested, he's having all of his guests tested, too — and on his dime.
He's doing what?
On the April 15 episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience," Rogan started his program declaring, "Chris D'Elia's negative. Yay!"
Rogan was referring to his guest, actor and comedian Chris D'Elia, who had just tested negative for coronavirus.
D'Elia replied, "That's right, I got the test. You know why I got the test? Because I know Joe Rogan. Because I came here, and he had a doctor."
Turns out Rogan has made coronavirus testing a policy for his show: He gets tested regularly, and his guests are all tested before they can come in studio.
"I've been tested twice already," Rogan told D'Elia. "I got tested yesterday, and I got tested two days before that. I'm just going to test myself every three or four days — f*** it."
Then he explained the show policy to his listeners: "So, I'm testing everybody. So, the way we're doing this here is when people come in to do the podcast, test them first, keep the f*** away from then, and then give them a hug."
D'Elia responded, "You're the first person I've hugged in a month. ... It felt good, honestly."
(Content warning: Lots of language):
Joe Rogan Experience #1458 - Chris D'Elia youtu.be
How's he doing it?
Though coronavirus tests have become hard to come by in much of the nation, Rogan seems to have easy access to as many test as he wants. But it's not the official nasal-swab tests that the FDA has approved and that the CDC recommends.
Instead, Rogan has an on-demand doctor, Dr. Abe Malkin, Vice news revealed. The doctor is part of Concierge MD LA, "a premium provider of high-end, on-demand, and personalized medical care in Los Angeles," Vice said.
Malkin told Vice that he is administering an antibody test that has not been approved by the FDA.
"There's about 70 companies producing antibody tests, and only one of them is FDA approved, that's Cellex. I don't know how the hell they got that contract that they got FDA approval, but it's impossible to get those tests," Malkin explained to Vice. "I give everyone a disclaimer, it's not FDA approved, you can't use this for diagnosis, it's more for peace of mind, for epidemiologic data. But if they need a definitive diagnosis, they have to get a nasal swab."
But just because they're not FDA approved doesn't mean they're not effective. Malkin told Vice: "I've tested about 300 [people] in the last week, about 5% of asymptomatic people turn up positive on antibody testing, and about 10 to 20% of symptomatic people have showed up positive on antibody testing. And everyone that was a known positive, has shown up positive on antibody testing."
Recent Rogan guest Bryan Callen shared a video of the results of his test at the Rogan studios with Dr. Malkin. The test reportedly takes only a few minutes.
@bryancallen & @joerogan getting tested for Covid-19 using the Rapid Test by $AYTU Joe can you please give us a RTâ�¦ https://t.co/oalxV65zsi— Ryan Swaggart (@Ryan Swaggart)1586926536.0
The tests cost $299 each, Yahoo reported, and Rogan appears more than happy to pay for it.
D'Elia told the back story of the testing on the "BUILD Series" podcast Thursday.
"I realized I haven't touched anybody except for my family, that I live with, and that's it," D'Elia said, according to Yahoo. "I went to do Joe Rogan's podcast [Wednesday] and said to him, I texted him, 'Are we still doing this? Should we do this?' And he's like, 'Ya, I have a doctor here he's going to test you first.'"
When interviewer Ricky Camilleri asked how Rogan was getting the tests, D'Elia answered, "Because Joe's paying for them, that's why," adding, "Joe is basically Bruce Wayne," Yahoo reported.
Camilleri replied, "Unreal. I don't want to let my blood pressure go off the chart while I'm doing an interview with you, but that's wild to me."
D'Elia responded, lamenting the cost of the tests, "I mean, there's plenty of tests. There's plenty of doctors, there's plenty of tests out there. I just think that it's tough for the actual public to get, it sucks. It sucks."
Naturally, people were upset
The New York Post noted that a lot of people — including several of Rogan's fans — were upset about the podcaster's many tests and shared a few of their responses to his recent revelation:
- “If you can't get a #coronavirus test it's cause Joe Rogan hoarding all them bitches. Good lord."
- “A close friend, a doctor, presumably had coronavirus but couldn't get tested in NYC. Cool that Joe Rogan is able to test his pals like it's nothing."
- “I don't need to talk to joe rogan I just want a corona virus test."
- “People like Joe Rogan bragging everyday how him and his friends are being tested daily is just ridiculous. Joe Rogan has had multiple coronavirus test with negative results. What the hell man?"