Influential podcaster Joe Rogan is apologizing for his role in elevating a fake tweet about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Mr. Rogan discussed the tweet, attributed to a real doctor in Florida, for about 11 minutes on his widely circulated program. The tweet included a number of bizarre claims.
“I will never regret the vaccine. Even if it turns out I injected actual poison and have only days to live. My heart and is was [sic] in the right place. I got vaccinated out of love, while anti-vaxxers did everything out of hate. If I have to die because of my love for the world, then so be it. But I will never regret or apologize for it,” the tweet said.
Fact-checkers noted problems with the tweet’s format and found it was falsely generated under the doctor’s name, though the damage was done because it was widely circulated.
The episode underscored the mess that social media can generate and put a spotlight on Mr. Rogan, who has courted debate by going against mainstream thought around COVID-19 — including the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment.
Mr. Rogan apologized in a tweet early Thursday.
“I was informed last night that this tweet is fake. The show was already out, so we initially decided to post a notice saying we got tricked, then later thought it best to just delete it from the episode,” Mr. Rogan wrote. “My sincere apologies to everyone, especially the person who got hoaxed.”
Vice News reports the person caught in the crosswinds — Dr. Natalia Solenkova, an intensive care doctor based in Florida — has faced a deluge of harassment over the falsely generated tweet and made her account private.