Earlier this year, amid backlash on his conversations about COVID and climate change, Joe Rogan insisted he was "not trying to promote misinformation" on his popular Spotify podcast. This week, however, he found himself apologizing for doing just that, after he promoted a fake tweet that brought harassment upon an ICU doctor in Florida. Per the Independent, Rogan got into a lengthy discussion Wednesday on The Joe Rogan Experience over a tweet supposedly made by a Dr. Natalia Solenkova. In that tweet, the doctor allegedly wrote that she would "never regret the vaccine ... even if it turns out I injected actual poison and have only days to live."
The "doctor" goes on to write that she got "vaccinated out of love, while antivaxxers did everything out of hate" and that "if I have to die because of my love for the world, then so be it." Rogan spent 11 minutes talking about the post with guest Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist who's wary of the COVID vaccine, accusing the real Solenkova of "having the most uncharitable view of people who didn't get vaccinated" and calling her sentiments "insane," per Vice, which notes that Solenkova had to make her account private after "facing a deluge of harassment."
Before the day had ended, Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz had posted an alert about the "ridiculous, clearly photoshopped" tweet, noting that right-wingers and even other doctors were attacking Solenkova over it. "Now Dr. Natalia is facing serious career harm because Joe Rogan and so many others on the right fell for this obvious false post," Lorenz wrote.
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It's not clear who informed Rogan that he'd been duped, but by Thursday, he said they were yanking the segment of the show where they'd discussed the tweet. "My sincere apologies to everyone, especially the person who got hoaxed," Rogan wrote. Weinstein also addressed the controversy in his own tweet. Vice notes that "the tweet is still widely circulating on anti-vaccine Twitter." There's been no comment from Solenkova. (More Joe Rogan stories.)