On the December 31 edition of his Spotify podcast, Joe Rogan invited scientist and COVID-19 misinformer Robert Malone to promote the upcoming Defeat The Mandates D.C. rally, which aims “to end the vaccine mandates” and other public health measures implemented during the pandemic.
Malone has repeatedly spread misinformation and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic, including falsely claiming that “it's the unvaccinated that are at risk from the vaccinated.” Rogan has repeatedly spread lies about the coronavirus and vaccines on his Spotify podcast.
The Defeat The Mandates D.C. rally’s sponsors include Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense and The Unity Project, whose leadership board includes a veritable array of COVID-19 misinformers, including Peter McCullough, Paul Alexander, Tess Lawrie, and Pierre Kory.
Notably, Rogan invited Malone back to promote the anti-vaccine rally after the two had already concluded the podcast episode, with Rogan stating, “So, folks, we actually went outside and talked, and Robert realized that he had forgot to tell everybody about this rally.” Malone then shared details of the rally and stated, “Our objective is to end the vaccine mandates. And also, no vaccine passports. No vaccination for healthy children.”
Interestingly, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) entered the podcast episode’s transcript into the Congressional Record but did not include the final section of the transcript when Rogan and Malone promoted the anti-vaccine rally.
Rogan’s podcast is broadcast exclusively on Spotify and was the most popular podcast on the platform in 2021 and 2020. As The Washington Post has noted, “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, Rogan reaches nearly four times as many people as prime-time cable hosts such as Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.”
Despite Rogan repeatedly espousing misinformation and bigotry to his large audience, Spotify has refused to take any action to quell Rogan’s sexist, racist, and harmful commentary.