Joe Rogan, the host of one of podcasting’s biggest shows, has tested positive for COVID-19. The host – who created a stir earlier this year for dismissing the need for young people to get vaccines – disclosed in an Instagram video on Wednesday that he began feeling sick last Saturday night after returning home to Texas from a three-city swing through Florida for his stand-up comedy show. Both states have among the highest infection rates in the country.
“Throughout the night I got fevers, sweats, and I knew what was going on,” Rogan said. But in the post he said he “only really had one bad day” and he was now feeling “pretty f-ing good.” He credited the quick recovery to taking several medicines including ivermectin, a drug use by veterinarians to deworm animals. “We immediately threw the kitchen sink at it,” he said, saying he also received a monoclonal antibody treatment, Prednisone, a vitamin drip and Zithromax.
Despite its popularity among some online, the Food and Drug Administration has discouraged people from using ivermectin to treat COVID. The FDA says it has been ineffective in helping humans in clinical trials. “A wonderful heartfelt thank you to modern medicine for pulling me out of this so quickly and easily,” he said.
Rogan set off a firestorm in April when during a segment on his podcast, he made comments perceived as encouraging young people not to get a coronavirus vaccine. He later backpedaled. “I’m not an anti-vax person,” said Rogan a week later on his show. "In fact, I said I believe they are safe, and I encourage many people to take them. I just said if you're a young healthy person, you don't need it.”
Rogan more recently expressed dismay at a requirement that anyone attending his New York City show would need to be vaccinated to enter the venue. “If someone has an ideological or physiological reason for not getting vaccinated, I don’t want to force them to get vaccinated to see a f-ing stupid comedy show,” he said on his podcast. Rogan offered to give refunds to those who were not vaccinated. “I want everybody to know that you can get your money back,” he offered during the episode.
It is not clear whether Rogan himself has been vaccinated. He made no mention of his status in the Instagram video.
Rogan, 54, is now following quarantine lockdown protocols. The last episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast was released by Spotify on Aug. 26. Rogan’s planned live show this weekend in Nashville has been rescheduled for October.
Spotify has made Rogan podcasting’s top-paid talent with a reported $100 million distribution deal that gave the streamer exclusive rights to his show. But a recent analysis suggested that Rogan has lost some of his reach and influence by inking an exclusive deal.