Podcaster Joe Rogan, of the Joe Rogan Experience, has come under fire after he discussed the efficacy of vaccine passports on his show, claiming that the requirement means the country is “moving one step closer to dictatorship”.
In an episode uploaded to Spotify on Friday, the comedian – whose series boasts a reported 11 million listeners per upload - told guest Evan Hafer that “the problem with applauding vaccine passports” is that politicians “are not going to give that power up”.
He said: “As soon as you give politicians power – any kind of power that didn’t exist previously – historically, they don’t relinquish that power. They find new reasons to use it.
“’You can’t work anymore unless you do what I say – that’s essentially what a vaccine passport is. You can’t do what you want to do unless you do what I want you to do.’”
“Up until 1776, every f**king country that has ever existed was run by dictators – all of them. This is the first one where you have elected officials.”
Rogan then went on to add that the US is “the first experiment in self-government that actually worked”, which has created “the greatest cultural machine”.
“How did we do that? We did it through freedom, because when you give people freedom, let people do whatever the f**k they want to do, they actually find ways to succeed and grow and thrive, but as soon as you put the boots to them … now you have a mini dictator.
“You have one step away from a king … You’re moving one step closer to dictatorship. That’s what the f**k is happening,” he continued.
Twitter users have since criticised Rogan for his remarks, with some calling for the host to lose his platform on Spotify:
When I remember that 11 million people listen to the Joe Rogan podcast https://t.co/gcMJKEnczr
Rogan has also shared further information about vaccinations on Twitter, where he retweeted an image of an NPR article from February stating that vaccines could “drive the evolution of more Covid-19 mutants”.