- Joe Rogan said implementing vaccine passports would move the US “one step closer” to dictatorship.
- Rogan criticized the passports, which will be used in New York City, on his podcast on Friday.
- His comments were shared by some right-wing figures, including Donald Trump Jr.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Podcast host Joe Rogan criticized the idea of having vaccine passports, saying the requirement would mean the country is “moving one step closer” to dictatorship.
During an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” on Friday, Rogan told guest Evan Hafer that “the problem with applauding vaccine passports” is that politicians “are not going to give that power up.”
“When you give people freedom, you let people do whatever the f— they want to do, they actually find ways to succeed and grow and thrive,” Rogan said, according to The Hill.
“But as soon as you put the boots to them, as soon as you tell them, ‘You have to do this, or you can’t do that. You have to listen to me,’ now you have a mini dictator. You have one step away from a king. One step closer. You’re moving one step closer to dictatorship. That’s what the f— is happening,” he continued.
“That’s what’s gonna happen with a vaccine passport. That’s what gonna happen if they close borders,” Rogan added.
Read more: Joe Rogan is sparking outrage inside Spotify with his controversial show. But some say he’s making the company so much money it refuses to rein him in.
Rogan’s comments received praise from right-wing figures, including Donald Trump Jr., who reshared a video alongside the comment: “Joe Rogan gets it.”
Rogan, who has a $100 million licensing deal with Spotify, is one of the most powerful and controversial figures in media. His series, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” boasts a reported 11 million listeners per upload, according to the Washington Post.
He has previously aired COVID-19 misinformation and once suggested that young and healthy do not “need” vaccines, the BBC reported.
In April, he clarified he was “not an anti-vax person,” adding, “I believe they’re safe and encourage many people to take them,” according to the BBC.
Rogan’s comments on Friday come as New York City announced it would require proof of vaccination for people wanting to participate in indoor activities like dining in restaurants, working out in gyms, or attending the theater. The Biden administration is also requiring vaccination or regular testing for federal workers.
COVID-19 cases, fueled largely by the Delta variant, are on the rise across the country. The US has recorded more than 35 million coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.