Nearly 300 doctors have issued a letter to podcast hosting platform Spotify to censor Rogan from spreading "misinformation."
"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine. He has discouraged vaccination in young people and children, incorrectly claimed that mRNA vaccines are “gene therapy,” promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 (contrary to FDA warnings), and spread a number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. In episode #1757, Rogan hosted Dr. Robert Malone, who was suspended from Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19. Dr. Malone used the JRE platform to further promote numerous baseless claims, including several falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and an unfounded theory that societal leaders have “hypnotized” the public. Many of these statements have already been discredited. Notably, Dr. Malone is one of two recent JRE guests who has compared pandemic policies to the Holocaust. These actions are not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous," the letter begins.
"The average age of JRE listeners is 24 years old and according to data from Washington State, unvaccinated 12-34 year olds are 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than those who are fully vaccinated. Dr. Malone’s interview has reached many tens of millions of listeners vulnerable to predatory medical misinformation. Mass-misinformation events of this scale have extraordinarily dangerous ramifications. As scientists, we face backlash and resistance as the public grows to distrust our research and expertise."
"As educators and science communicators, we are tasked with repairing the public’s damaged understanding of science and medicine. As physicians, we bear the arduous weight of a pandemic that has stretched our medical systems to their limits and only stands to be exacerbated by the anti-vaccination sentiment woven into this and other episodes of Rogan’s podcast."
"We, the undersigned doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators thus call on Spotify to immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform."
Two doctors were consulted in an interview with Rolling Stone.
"Considering their role in society is disseminating content," said Jessica Malaty Rivera, "there is a responsibility in a global public health emergency to not exacerbate the problem. We have an infodemic going on that is prolonging the pandemic and it is causing people to make bad choices and actually die. These are preventable illnesses that folks like Joe Rogan and Dr. Robert Malone are directly responsible for."
Another, Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, called Rogan "a menace to public health."
"Having things like this on the Joe Rogan podcast gives a platform to these people and makes it a false balance. This is what really bothers me," Wallace said. "These are fringe ideas not backed in science, and having it on a huge platform makes it seem there are two sides to this issue. And there are really not. The overwhelming evidence is the vaccine works, and it is safe."