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Joe Rogan Is Wrong. COVID-19 Vaccines Aren’t Likely to Cause Super Mutants, Researcher Says

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“It’s a bizarre line of logic that some hypothetical possibility down the line would hold back lifesaving medicine now,” the researcher who wrote a paper recently cited by Rogan told Forbes. “There are 600,000 Americans dead so far. The vast majority of those deaths are vaccine-preventable.


Rogan Erroneously Cites Study 

Contrary to what Joe Rogan said on Friday’s episode of his self-titled podcast, COVID-19 vaccinations are not likely to create a super-strain of the virus.

In the episode, which features Free Range American host Evan Hafer, Rogan cited a 2015 paper titled “Imperfect Vaccination Can Enhance the Transmission of Highly Virulent Pathogens.”

Rogan then read a single line from the paper’s abstract, which states, “Vaccines that keep hosts alive but still allow transmission could thus allow very virulent strains to circulate in a population.”

“That situation where the vaccine just kind of protects you from serious damage — protects you from really being badly hospitalized or death — but doesn’t stop you from getting the virus, can possibly lead to more potent viruses,” Rogan concluded.

Scientifically, Rogan’s takeaway has absolutely no basis and only serves to highlight the danger that comes from cherry-picking studies from a field he has no background in or serious understanding of.

In fact, Andrew Read — the lead author of that 2015 paper who is also a biology professor at Pennsylvania State University — has since told Forbes, “We’re talking [about] a very different virus and very different vaccines.”

The studies that Read conducted and later published in 2015 involved Marek’s disease virus, a herpesvirus which affects poultry such as chickens. 

“The details in biology really matter a lot,” Read told Forbes. “The chicken vaccines we worked with… definitely reduced disease, severity and death.”

However, unlike what has proven to be the case with top COVID vaccines, the chicken vaccine “didn’t stop transmission at all.” As Read noted, that’s the key difference between this paper and COVID-19.

“At the moment, the vast majority of the replication is happening in unvaccinated people,” he explained. “You can tell that because the majority of cases in the hospital are unvaccinated individuals.”

“That’s the majority of transmission. Every time a virus replicates, it can mutate. So the evolution is, right now, occurring in the body of people who are not vaccinated. Rogan is completely wrong trying to deduce anything else.”

Rogan Claims Breakthrough Cases Were Unforeseen

The argument that COVID vaccines could lead a super mutant isn’t the only false and potentially dangerous statement Rogan made on his podcast — and that’s still excluding his very extreme prediction regarding vaccine passports.

“This is a fact: just a couple of months ago, the idea of a breakthrough case was unheard of,” Rogan falsely stated. “Nobody heard of anybody catching COVID that had a vaccine, right? That was the whole idea; you get a vaccine, you don’t have to worry about it. But now we know, not only can you get it, but you can spread it.” 

That statement is about as far from fact as it could be. It has been known since day one of COVID vaccine development that some people would still be able to catch and spread the virus. In fact, that aspect was even known prior to COVID with other vaccines because that is how vaccines work. 

No vaccine is 100% effective, but the fact that two of the first COVID vaccines are over 90% effective is astonishing. At the beginning of the pandemic, scientists were simply hoping to be able to create an initial vaccine that was at least 50% effective, meaning that half of vaccinated people would still contract the virus. Even if that had been the case, Rogan’s transmissibility comments would still be inaccurate.

Though Read noted that it is possible a mutant springs up from the vaccinated population, mutants are much more likely to emerge and gain traction through the unvaccinated. In fact, that’s how the delta variant emerged.

“It’s a bizarre line of logic that some hypothetical possibility down the line would hold back lifesaving medicine now,” he told Forbes. “There are 600,000 Americans dead so far. The vast majority of those deaths are vaccine-preventable. There’s not a single scenario that would argue in favor of not using [vaccines] to save the next hundred thousand. Not one scenario.”

Read also explained that the current COVID vaccines aren’t the last we’ll ever see. Second- and third-generation COVID vaccines are currently being developed, in part because COVID will possibly become a seasonal virus much like the flu.

“There’s tons of things we can do in the future,” Read said. “Right now, we need to vaccinate as much as possible.”

See what others are saying: (Forbes) (The Hill) (New York Post)

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Chris Pratt Denies Association With Hillsong Church: “I’ve Never Actually Been”

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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)

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Jodie Sweetin Releases Statement After Getting Pushed By Officers at Pro-Choice Protest: “This Will Not Deter Us”

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“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)

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Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him

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“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. 

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Variety) (The Atlantic)

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