Joe Rogan and Elon Musk gang up on Dr. Peter Hotez wanting him to debate RFK Jr

Popular podcaster Joe Rogan has gained unmatched prominence in the industry. With ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ being one of the most widely listened-to podcasts globally, Spotify is undoubtedly looking to stay in the Joe Rogan business despite the controversy he sometimes causes.

Rogan currently finds himself embroiled in a feud with Peter Hotez.

Hotez is a pediatrician known for his advocacy of vaccines as a means to eradicate diseases. He is also one of the inventors of the low cost patent free vaccine for Covid-19.

In an unexpected turn of events, a peculiar Twitter exchange has taken place, in which Rogan offered Hotez a bounty to debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr also known as RFK Jr.

Dr. Hotez gained recognition for his book, “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad,” published in 2018.

On Saturday, Dr. Hotez shared a Vice article titled “Spotify Has Stopped Even Sort of Trying to Stem Joe Rogan’s Vaccine Misinformation.” The article highlighted a recent three-hour interview between podcast host and comedian Joe Rogan and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The controversial scion of the Kennedy family, known for his anti-vaccine views, has also launched a presidential campaign for 2024.

Accompanying the article, Dr. Hotez expressed his frustration, stating, “from all the online attacks I’m receiving after this absurd podcast, it’s clear many actually believe this nonsense.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has a long history of advocating against vaccines, and his views have gained prominence during the pandemic. As the 69-year-old nephew of President John F. Kennedy and son of Robert F. Kennedy, both tragically assassinated in the 1960s, his controversial beliefs have drawn criticism from public health experts, including members of his own family. Despite this, he announced his presidential candidacy earlier this year.

In response to Dr. Hotez’s tweet, Joe Rogan, who conducted the three-hour interview with Mr. Kennedy, issued a challenge. He offered $100,000 to the charity of Dr. Hotez’s choice if he agreed to debate Mr. Kennedy on his show without any time limits.

Dr. Hotez replied, expressing his willingness to engage in a conversation and stating that he had previously been interviewed by Mr. Rogan. However, Rogan deemed his response a “non-answer” and emphasized the importance of a public debate to address the disagreement.

The exchange took a further twist when Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, and owner of the controversially acquired platform, joined the conversation. Musk tweeted, suggesting that Dr. Hotez may have an aversion to charity. He later added, “He’s afraid of public debate because he knows he’s wrong,” directing the tweet at Rogan regarding Dr. Hotez.

Dr. Hotez responded, expressing his concern and requesting Musk not to escalate the situation. Musk defended his stance on vaccines, highlighting his personal experience with side effects and questioning the excess vaccination against COVID-19. He invited Dr. Hotez to participate in a debate on Rogan’s show and brought up Sweden as an example.

Dr. Hotez wasn’t all alone. Billionaire Mark Cuban used to opportunity to shill his own project and called Rogan ‘self interested’.

Rogan didn’t reply to that and instead RT-ed an essay written in his defense by Patrick Bet-David.

Feeling overwhelmed by the debate, Dr. Hotez admitted the difficulty of responding when multiple individuals unite against him. However, he seized the opportunity to invite Musk to visit the laboratories at Texas Children’s Hospital and gain a deeper understanding of their work.

In a now-deleted tweet, Hotez demanded $50 million from Rogan to support his research on developing patent-free vaccines.

Although Peter Hotez later removed the tweet, Rogan did not miss it. He replied, “By the way, @PeterHotez , I saw this tweet that you deleted.”

It is important to reiterate that Dr. Hotez sought the $50 million donation for his vaccine research. The entire online confrontation commenced when Rogan invited Hotez to appear on his podcast.

On Twitter, Joe Rogan and Peter Hotez had a lengthy back-and-forth. Even Elon Musk and other well-known celebrities got engaged in the discussion because it became so heated. Rogan and Musk are great friends, so Musk supported Rogan and requested Hotez to appear on JRE.

The JRE Podcast has already featured Peter Hotez twice, once in 2019 and once in 2020. But given their history of animosity, it would be unexpected to hear Hotez return to the program anytime soon unless he is scheduled to debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The bounty offered for Hotez to debate RFK Jr grew to $500,000 thanks to donations from other prominent podcasters and entrepreneurs including Patrick Bet-David.