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Howard Stern slams Joe Rogan, tells skeptics to get vaccinated or leave the country

A man with voluminous, curly hair in a shiny black suit speaks onstage
Howard Stern, shown in 2018, is OK with a nationwide vaccine mandate but against Joe Rogan’s approach to COVID-19.
(Michael Zorn / Invision / Associated Press)

Howard Stern has had it with COVID-19 vaccine skeptics and all the hate mail in the world isn’t going to change his mind. And he’s ticked at popular podcast host Joe Rogan for supporting what he called anti-vax “nonsense.”

At issue for Stern was Rogan’s use of doctor-prescribed ivermectin — an anti-parasitic drug that in humans is used to treat river blindness and intestinal roundworm but has no proven effectiveness against the coronavirus — as part of his treatment for COVID-19.

Noted germophobe Stern, who said he thinks COVID-19 vaccines should be mandatory nationwide, went off on people who choose to avoid the jab.

“They go to the doctor and they’ll take horse de-wormer from a doctor, like I heard Joe Rogan was saying ...,” Stern said on his Sunday radio show on SiriusXM. “Well, a doctor would also give you a vaccine, so why take horse de-wormer?”

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Joe Rogan once told healthy under-21s they ‘don’t need to worry’ about getting vaccinated. Now he’s fighting COVID-19 with anything he can get.

“We have no time for idiots in this country anymore. We don’t want you,” Stern said. “We want you to all either go to the hospital, stay home, die there with your COVID, don’t take the cure but don’t clog up our hospitals with your COVID when you finally get it.

“Stay home, don’t bother with science, it’s too late. ... We want you to go away,” he continued. “We want you to leave the country. Go somewhere where they have ultimate freedom, wherever that is, some bizarro world where you don’t have to take the vaccine. ... I don’t know when nonsense became such a thing.”

Rogan, who recently contracted COVID-19, said in early September that he and his doctor “immediately threw the kitchen sink at it — all kinds of meds: monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin ... everything. And I also got an NAD drip and a vitamin drip, and I did that three days in a row.”

Joe Rogan has said a lot of things about COVID-19. People listen, journalists write.

By the time he went public with his diagnosis, the podcaster said he was feeling “pretty f— good” and had really had only one bad day.

Rogan said in April that he believed young, healthy people did not need to take the vaccine. But he clarified later that month that he was “not an anti-vax person” and “not a doctor,” but rather, “a f— moron. I’m not a respected source of information, even for me … But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”

“I said I believe [vaccines are] safe, and I encourage many people to take them. My parents were vaccinated. I just said that if you’re a young, healthy person that you don’t need it,” Rogan said.

Stern, meanwhile, said in his most recent episode that he was taken aback by hostile listener reaction to vaccination comments he made last week. Then he slammed the U.S. system of representative democracy, which aims to prevent “the tyranny of the majority” and the erosion of individuals’ rights, so the vaccination comments might not have been the only thing fueling that blowback.

His ‘never exit’ message may be smart politically, but it doesn’t encourage steadfastness or compliance in the fight against the pandemic.

The radio host dubbed the republic approach a “rigged system” that was keeping the country from doing what the majority wants with regard to mandating vaccines and keeping abortion legal.

“All I said was, everyone should get the vaccine,” Stern said. “It should be mandatory. ... All I’m doing is speaking common sense.”

He also decried the “violence” in emails sent to him and his wife, Beth, including those that simply said, “You should f— die.”

Last Tuesday, the New Yorker said he just wanted to get back to normal life.

“I wanna get out of the house already ... and then I got friends who invite us to parties and stuff,” Stern said. “They’re having parties. And I say, how are you guys having parties? How are people going to weddings? Some people are hiding still. I don’t know what’s going on.”

California is set for a full reopening on June 15, but experts say a full recovery is dependent on trust.

Incidentally, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized monoclonal antibody therapy as an emergency treatment for COVID-19 to fight off severe illness. The FDA has not, however, approved the COVID-related use of ivermectin, which some vaccine skeptics swear by despite a lack of scientific evidence to support their claims — not to mention the potential harmful effects of taking the anti-parasitic drug at high doses. The drug is used in dogs and cats to prevent heartworms and in livestock as a general de-wormer and anti-parasitic.

As of Monday, according to Our World in Data, about 62.5% of the U.S. population had received at least one dose of a vaccine — including the one-dose J&J vaccine — and 53.2% of the country was considered fully vaccinated with two doses.

In California, according to the Los Angeles Times vaccine tracker, 66.4% of the population had received at least one dose and 58.1% are fully vaccinated.


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