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Joe Rogan slams COVID vaccine advocate who called him a 'neofascist,' challenges him to big money debate with RFK Jr., then Elon Musk jumps into the fray
The Joe Rogan Experience Video Screenshot

Joe Rogan slams COVID vaccine advocate who called him a 'neofascist,' challenges him to big money debate with RFK Jr., then Elon Musk jumps into the fray

Joe Rogan blasted a COVID vaccine advocate over accusing him of spreading health misinformation and calling him a "neofascist." Rogan challenged the vaccine researcher to debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and backed it up with a huge payday for charity.

Peter Hotez is a self-described "internationally-recognized physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development." Hotez expanded his public profile during the COVID-19 pandemic by making countless appearances on cable news, where he rigorously advocated the COVID vaccine for all ages.

On Saturday morning, Hotez 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 attacked Rogan's recent interview on Spotify with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – a skeptic of the mRNA vaccines and Democratic presidential candidate challenging Joe Biden.

The Vice writer claimed that the interview 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 asserted that "The Joe Rogan Experience" episode promoted "Kennedy’s most dangerously 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 fired back at Hotez on Saturday night with a challenge, "Peter, if you claim what RFK 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 responded 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 RFK Jr.'s public apology."

Hotez replied to Rogan, "Joe, you have my cell, my email, I'm always willing to speak with you."

Rogan slammed Hotez, "This is a non-answer. I challenged you publicly because you publicly quote tweeted and agreed with that dogs**t 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."

The prolific podcaster added, "To those misunderstanding what he’s saying, he’s NOT agreeing to debate @RobertKennedyJr. He’s just offering to come on my show by himself."

Rogan shared a reported screenshot of a May 2023 tweet from Hotez claiming that he was "concerned" about a "pretty formidable coalition with neofascist leanings" that included Rogan, RFK Jr., Elon Musk, and Tucker Carlson.

Hotez later deleted the tweet because he said, "I decided to take down my tweet on the Tucker-Elon alliance. Some very smart people I respect thought my concerns were premature or shouldn’t be labeled at this point. Another, too over-the-top. I agreed, guess we’ll see what unfolds."

Rogan asked Hotez, "Are you sure I’m not a part of a coalition with neofascist leanings? Seems like that’s what you really think, or what you’re projecting to the masses."

RFK Jr. accepted the challenge, "Peter. Let’s finally have the respectful, congenial, informative debate that the American people deserve."

Elon Musk jumped into the fray by replying, "Maybe @PeterHotez just hates charity."

Musk asked Hotez if he "endorses" Vice, then shared a 2007 Vice article documenting Columbian women who have sex with donkeys.

Musk told Rogan on Twitter, "He’s afraid of a public debate, because he knows he’s wrong."

Hotez lashed out at Musk, "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."

Musk retorted:

"First of all, I am generally pro vaccine. I have been vaccinated against pretty much everything, as have my kids. Second, I think there is tremendous promise in synthetic mRNA. It is like medicine going from analog to digital. That said, the world obviously went crazy with excess vaccination against 'Covid-19.' I have that in quotes, because the RNA sequences changed so much that I called it the virus of Theseus. So many people I know had serious side effects from the vaccines, including myself. Failure to acknowledge that is a lie. As for the deaths you claim are due to COVID-19, why is the nation of Sweden still alive!? Just go on Rogan and do the debate."

Hotez then wrote on Twitter, "Let’s remember what this is about, not a small number of Americans lost their lives from antivaccine disinformation during the pandemic. 200,000 Americans perished, 40,000 from my State of Texas I have nothing personal vs Joe, Elon, RFK Jr. Just hoping to halt more destruction."

Hotez added, "Not easy to respond when those 3 gang up and tag team. Wish I could be more eloquent and clever when the moment demands, but there you are."

Hotez later retweeted the Twitter account for the "Sorry Not Sorry" podcast by liberal activist Alyssa Milano, which read: "For the record, @PeterHotez has been on our podcast multiple times. He doesn’t need to debate a science-denier on the podcast of someone who has given platforms to science deniers. He’s already won the debate with the truth."

Rogan has had Hotez as a guest on "The Joe Rogan Experience" in 2019 and 2020.

Rogan previously invited Hotez to debate RFK Jr., but deflected by comparing him to a "Holocaust denier."

During a previous interview, Rogan challenged Hotez about how he enhances his immunity without vaccines. Hotez admitted that he is a "junk foodaholic," which Rogan pointed out that there is a "large body of data that connects poor diet to a host of diseases."

Rogan questioned why Hotez doesn't regularly take vitamins, and the scientist said he "didn't think they're needed."

Hotez quickly changed the subject, "But you still need your vaccines."

Rogan rebutted, "But vaccines aren't going to prevent cancer."

Earlier this week, independent journalist Matt Taibbi questioned the consistency of COVID vaccine messaging from Hotez during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can watch the entire Joe Rogan interview with RFK below.

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