- Joe Rogan is facing backlash after saying he tested negative for coronavirus twice in one week adding, “I’m just going to test myself every three or four days.”
- He also said he has a doctor testing all his podcast guests before their episodes.
- Critics were frustrated by his access to the $299 tests, meanwhile, others noted that they are actually non-FDA approved antibody tests that show whether someone has been previously infected.
- Even so, those tests have faced mixed reactions, with some warning of inaccuracies and others touting them as essential tools for understanding immunity and plans to reopen the economy.
Rogan Talks About Testing
Comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan is facing heavy criticism from people who are frustrated by his ability to obtain multiple coronavirus tests when people all over the country who need them are struggling to get access. However, his fans noted that he is actually using non-FDA approved antibody tests.
During last Wednesday’s episode of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan spoke to comedian Chris D’Elia. At the top of the episode, Rogan revealed that D’Elia had just tested negative for COVID-19.
“That’s right. I got the test. You know why I got the test? Because of Joe Rogan,” D’Elia said before referencing a doctor that Rogan had come to the studio to administer the test.
Shortly after, Rogan explained that he had actually been tested twice in one week.
“I’ve been tested twice already. I got tested yesterday, and I got tested two days before that,” Rogan said. “I’m just going to test myself every three or four days, fuck it.”
Rogan then added that he is having all of his podcast guests tested before their interviews. “So I’m testing everybody. So the way we’re doing this here is when people come in to do the podcast, test them first, keep the fuck away from them, and then give them a hug,” he said before laughing.
Rogan’s Access Sparks Frustration
The following day, D’Elia talked about being tested before Rogan’s show in an interview with BUILD. The comedian told interviewer Ricky Camillieri, “I went to do Joe Rogan’s podcast yesterday and I said to him– I texted him– I was like, ‘Are you still doing this? Should we do this?’”
Rogan allegedly responded with, “Yeah I have a doctor here. He’s going to test you first.”
D’Elia then added, “So I was like okay and I got tested, and I was negative, but I was like, ‘What if I was positive? You’d just be like okay? Got to go home?’”
But after telling that story, the interviewer’s first response to D’Elia was “How is Joe Rogan’s podcast getting tests?”
“Well because Joe is paying for it, that’s why,” D’Elia said. “Joe is basically Bruce Wayne, that’s why,” he joked.
Camillieri was clearly shocked by the news, saying, “Unreal. I don’t want to let my blood pressure go off the charts while I’m doing an interview with you, but that is wild to me.”
“I mean, there’s plenty of tests, there’s plenty of doctors– there’s plenty of tests out there…I just think that it’s tough for the actual public to get it, which sucks,” D’Elia responded.
D’Elia wasn’t the only celebrity guest that Rogan tested. Comedian Bryan Callen also shared a video online of his negative results before appearing on an episode.
Rogan also wrote that he and comedian Donnell Rawlings were “rona free!” in a social media post promoting their episode together.
So after more people watched all of these clips and got wind of what Rogan was doing, many took to social media to express their frustrations.
Tests Not FDA Approved
Others pushed back against criticisms, noting that the Rogan is using non-FDA approved tests, not test kits most commonly used in hospitals across the nation to detect active infections.
The doctor administering the tests, Dr. Abe Malkin, is part of Concierge MD LA, which touts itself as “a premium provider of high-end, on-demand, and personalized medical care in Los Angeles.”
On its website, Concierge says it offers “in-home coronavirus testing” for $299. Its two options are swab tests and antibody tests.
VICE interviewed Dr. Malkin who said MD LA began offering nasal swab testing several weeks ago, which was especially difficult given the widespread shortages of personal protective equipment and swabs.
Now, Malkin said he is mostly administering an antibody test, which is not approved by the FDA and is used to show whether you have ever been infected with COVID-19.
“There’s about 70 companies producing antibody tests, and only one of them is FDA approved, that’s Cellex. I don’t know how the hell they got that contract that they got FDA approval, but it’s impossible to get those tests,” Dr. Malkin told VICE.
“I give everyone a disclaimer, it’s not FDA approved, you can’t use this for diagnosis, it’s more for peace of mind, for epidemiologic data. But if they need a definitive diagnosis, they have to get a nasal swab,” he added.
“I’ve tested about 300 [people] in the last week, about 5% of asymptomatic people turn up positive on antibody testing, and about 10 to 20% of symptomatic people have showed up positive on antibody testing. And everyone that was a known positive, has shown up positive on antibody testing,” Dr. Malkin said, noting this is in line with statistics he’s seen elsewhere.
So fans have been saying that the outrage against Rogan is misplaced. Others argued that Rogan doing this allows him to entertain people and keep his podcast running.
He pays his personal doctor at his studio to test people coming in to entertain millions. Are you mad they are being safe with their testing? Or that they are still trying to provide entertainment for people stuck in quarantine?— no one (@iridocyclitis_2) April 19, 2020
Even so, the U.S. has seen some rollouts of these antibody tests which have been lauded as crucial tools to asses the reach of the pandemic and potentially give us information about immunity and reopening the economy.
But guidance so far has been confusing and some have been misusing the tests to diagnose COVID-19. Experts have also warned that tests have mistakenly flagged people as having antibodies when they don’t.
Chris Pratt Denies Association With Hillsong Church: “I’ve Never Actually Been”
The church has been accused of having anti-LGBTQ ties, something Pratt has taken a hit for.
Pratt Addresses Hillsong Controversy
After several years of facing criticism for his alleged ties to the controversial Hillsong Church, actor Chris Pratt said he has “never actually been” to the church and is “not a religious person.”
The Hillsong Church has been condemned for being anti-LGBTQ. The issue received increased attention in 2019 when actor Elliot Page tweeted, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.”
“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides,” he continued.
At the time, Pratt responded to the allegations by saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” and that he believes “everyone is entitled to love who they want.” He doubled down on his denial in a profile published Tuesday in Men’s Health.
“I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong,” he told the outlet. “I don’t know anyone from that church.”
Instead, Pratt said he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively. According to Men’s Health, Zoe Church is not without its issues. The church was founded by a pastor who produced a film that equated “sexual brokeness” to “same-sex attraction.” Other outlets have also described it as a Hillsong affiliate.
Pratt faced his biggest wave of backlash in 2020 when Internet memes declared him the “worst” Chris compared to other actors with the same first name, including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine. A slew of celebrities quickly came to Pratt’s defense, arguing the criticism was unjustifiably mean. Their speedy responses only heightened the online conversation and many of the celebrities who spoke out were eventually mocked for doing so.
Pratt Says He is Not Religious
As for why the Internet has become increasingly anti-Pratt, his alleged association to Hillsong was a major factor. Some also speculated he was a supporter of Donald Trump as he did not join his “Avengers” co-stars for a Joe Biden fundraiser, though Pratt is not usually politically outspoken in either direction.
Pratt believes the backlash against him started when he gave a speech at the MTV Movie Awards in 2018 where he said, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” He understands why those remarks may have rubbed people the wrong way.
“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he told Men’s Health. “Religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time. I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.”
He went on to explain that in his eyes, there is a difference between adhering to certain customs and believing in God versus using God to control and harm people and justify hatred.
“The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride,” he said.
See what others are saying: (Men’s Health) (The AV Club) (People)
Jodie Sweetin Releases Statement After Getting Pushed By Officers at Pro-Choice Protest: “This Will Not Deter Us”
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote on Instagram.
Actress Pushed at Protest
After viral footage showed Jodie Sweetin getting pushed to the ground by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department while attending a pro-choice protest, the “Full House” actress said demonstraters “will continue fighting” for their rights.
Sweetin was attending a protest off the 101 freeway on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Photojournalist Mike Ade, who captured the video, said the actress was “trying to lead a group of peaceful protestors away from the freeway” when officers pushed her. Sweetin was standing on a curb when she was pushed and fell down on the cement road. Ade wrote that she was “fortunately…okay.”
Ade shared a handful of other videos depicting officers using similar tactics on other protesters. As these videos started circulating online, many became outraged by the LAPD’s response to the protests.
Sweetin Addresses Incident
Following the incident, Sweetin released a statement where she said the fight against the court’s decision is not over.
“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court,” Sweetin said. “Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free.”
Sweetin also shared footage of the incident and other clips of officers clashing with protesters on her Instagram story. She cheered protesters in a comment on a video of the push shared by a social justice group called The Progressivists.
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote.
According to a statement obtained by Deadline, the LAPD is looking into the matter.
“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway,” the statement said. “The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.”
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Rolling Stone) (The Hollywood Reporter)
Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.
Theater Named Announced
Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title.
The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.
A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”
Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”
Chappelle Defends Controversial Special
According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students.
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.
Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda.
“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said.
“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special.
According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready.