A recent podcast featuring another discredited source of COVID lies has caused 270 doctors to sign on to a letter calling the "Joe Rogan Experience" 'a menace to public health', and asking Spotify to please adopt some sort of misinformation policy.
The Malone segment is far from the first time Rogan has been accused of platforming misinformation on his podcast. In an April 23, 2021 episode, for instance, Rogan actively discouraged young people from getting the vaccine, saying in a conversation with comedian Dave Smith, "if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, 'Should I get vaccinated?' I'll go no.'"
Rogan has also promoted taking ivermectin to treat Covid-19 symptoms, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support ivermectin's efficacy as a treatment and that ingesting it can lead to such side effects as dizziness and uncontrolled vomiting. "This doctor was saying ivermectin is 99 percent effective intreating Covid, but you don't hear about it because you can't fund vaccines when it's an effective treatment," he said on the same April episode of his podcast, as Rolling Stone previously reported. "I don't know if this guy is right or wrong. I'm just asking questions." Rogan has also platformed many discredited physicians and academics who have spoken out against the vaccine, such as Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist who inaccurately claimed that COVID-19 vaccines are "experimental" and that the pandemic was "planned."
Katrine Wallace, PhD, an epidemiologist at University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, says that she considers Rogan "a menace to public health" for continuously platforming anti-vaccine ideology to his enormous audience. "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," she tells Rolling Stone. "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."