I noticed this past week that Rogan was mentioning every new podcast about coronavirus tests that his guests are getting. I was surprised it wasn't getting press. Seemed it was the perfect story to go along with the trend of media outlets "exposing" celebs that get tests while the general public struggles to find out if they're infected.
VICE picked up the story on Friday:
In a recent interview with BUILD, comedian Chris D'Elia mentioned that prior to filming a Joe Rogan Experience episode, he was tested for COVID-19. The interviewer, Ricky Camillieri, shocked, asks, "How is Joe Rogan's podcast getting tests?"
D'Elia answers with "because Joe is paying for it. That's why. Joe is basically Bruce Wayne, that's why."
A phenomenal comparison by D'Elia. Rogan is a real-life version of Bruce Wayne. Or the closest thing we are going to get to him.
Tests have been readily available for celebrities and other wealthy people, especially in a state with a backlog of tens of thousands of COVID-19 tests, and in a country with a national shortage. Rogan, like many members of the celebrity class, has been using an on-demand luxury medical service.
Classic passive-aggressive paragraph from VICE. That's how you #journalism in 2020.
Others on Twitter feel the same way as VICE:
These are only a few examples. You can search his name on Twitter and find similar tweets. It's not that big of a story where a "mob" is mad at Rogan.
I understand the frustration. Rogan probably should've kept it quiet, but as usual, he just didn't care to. Plus, the tests he is using are not FDA approved. I'm not 100% sure of this, but I think that means he isn't taking away any tests from sick individuals, because a hospital wouldn't be able to use a non-approved FDA test (I apologize if I'm wrong about this):
"I give everyone a disclaimer, it's not FDA approved, you can't use this for diagnosis, it's more for peace of mind, for epidemiologic data. But if they need a definitive diagnosis, they have to get a nasal swab," Dr. Malkin said.
"I've tested about 300 [people] in the last week, about 5% of asymptomatic people turn up positive on antibody testing, and about 10 to 20% of symptomatic people have showed up positive on antibody testing. And everyone that was a known positive, has shown up positive on antibody testing," Dr. Malkin said, noting this is in line with statistics he's seen elsewhere.
Every test Rogan pays for, including the ones that his guests take. Should he, instead, use that money to provide tests to the public? I'd say no, but I understand if you feel that way.
Personally, I have no issue with this. It's an overall net positive. Millions of people listen to every Rogan podcast. They are long, sometimes over 3 hours, and give people entertainment during this quarantine, which cannot be overstated in its importance. I'd assume the podcast would not happen if he were not allowed to do these tests.
Rogan, also, was one of the first more prominent "celebs" to have an expert on to discuss coronavirus:
This was on March 10th, the same day the NBA stopped their season.
I know, personally, this podcast was the light switch for a lot of people in my age bracket to take this virus seriously. We can debate Rogan all day, but this was 100% an instance of him using his platform for a bipartisan good (I say this because Rogan has on political guests all the time, which frustrates people from both sides of the political aisle).
Overall, Joe Rogan has been an overall positive for the idea of "flattening the curve." Even if he's used 12 non-FDA approved coronavirus tests for his guests.