Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, spoke out Wednesday to personally correct podcast host Joe Rogan’s anti-vaccine statements, which he called “incorrect.”
“You’re talking about yourself in a vacuum,” Fauci told “Today” journalist Savannah Guthrie during an appearance on the NBC News program to discuss the American response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
He went on, “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 because it is likely that you — even if you have no symptoms — that you may inadvertently and innocently then infect someone else who might infect someone who really could have a problem with a severe outcome.”
Rogan recently came under fire for saying on the Friday episode of his Spotify podcast, “If you’re like 21 years old and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go, ‘No.’ Are you healthy? 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.”
Rogan was dragged Tuesday for that approach, which, as Fauci pointed out, is individualistic and fails to take into account the possibility of asymptomatic or otherwise healthy people passing the virus onto others who are more susceptible.
Spotify, which hosts Rogan’s show, did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Rogan went on to explain that his children had COVID-19 and “it was nothing.” His guest, comedian Dave Smith, agreed, adding, “I’m not injecting my daughter with something to f–ing virtue signal. Like, I’m not doing that. If there’s something that she’s of no risk, statistically has no risk from, I’m sorry. I’m not taking any experiment on her.”
Smith was referring to the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved any COVID-19 vaccines for use in people under 16 years old. Pfizer is approved for people over the age of 16, and Moderna is available for anyone over 18. Clinical trials of the vaccine on infants and younger children began last month, and scientists have called the effort to approve more child vaccinations “a crucial step toward controlling the pandemic.”
“If you want to only worry about yourself and not society, then that’s O.K.,” quipped Fauci. “But if you’e saying to yourself, ‘Even if I get infected, I could do damage to somebody else, even if I have no symptoms at all,’ that’s the reason why you’ve got to be careful and get vaccinated.”
Asked by Guthrie if he believes young, healthy people should get vaccinated, Fauci responded, “Absolutely.”
Watch below, via NBC News.