Controversial comedian Joe Rogan, who has not disclosed his vaccination status, will be able to take advantage of an NYC vaccine mandate loophole that gives out-of-town entertainers and athletes a free pass.
Rogan, who has peddled anti-vax rhetoric on his wildly popular podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’, is set to bring his ‘Scared Clown Tour’ to New York’s Madison Square Garden Saturday. But because he is traveling from out-of-town, Rogan has not been forced to say whether he is vaccinated against COVID-19, despite the city’s tough vaccine mandate for indoor venues.
In August, Mayor Bill de Blasio enacted a vaccination proof mandate dubbed ‘Key to NYC’ that requires people 12 and older to show proof they’ve received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to get into restaurants or bars, gyms and indoor entertainment, such as movies and theaters.
Joe Rogan is set to bring his ‘Scared Clown Tour’ to New York’s Madison Square Garden on Saturday without disclosing his vaccination status
According to MSG’s website, all guests 12 years and older are required to show proof of partial or full vaccination and fully vaccinated attendees are not required to wear masks
The mandate also applies to the world-famous Madison Square Garden, which seats up to 20,000 people. According to MSG’s website, all guests 12 years and older are required to show proof of partial or full vaccination, and fully vaccinated attendees are not required to wear masks.
But ‘Key to NYC’ guidelines only require performers who are city residents to provide proof of vaccination, leaving the door open for out-of-towners to perform in front of thousands without the shot.
The local mandate also applies to local athletes like Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving who is believed to be unvaccinated and will be forced to sit out home games without the shot.
Irving has refused to discuss his vaccination status, but Fox Sports has reported that he has not received the injection. He spoke to reporters remotely and was not physically present at this week’s media day in Brooklyn.
Despite those indications, Irving told reporters he’s looking forward to playing in front of Nets fans this season.
Rogan has used his popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience to spread mixed-messages about COVID over the last year
‘Obviously, I’m not able to be present there today, but that doesn’t mean I’m putting any limits on the future of me being able to join the team,’ Irving told reporters during a video press conference.
In response, de Blasio pleaded with Irving to get vaccinated during a CNN appearance Wednesday.
‘I’m a fan of Kyrie,’ he told CNN. ‘I would just appeal to him – get vaccinated. Your fans want to see you. We all want you back. Your teammates want you back. Look, there are teams now that are 100 percent vaccinated. That’s a great example to everybody else.’
When asked why Rogan can perform but Irving cannot play, despite neither disclosing his vaccination status, De Blasio insisted the performer vaccine exemption is not a loophole, The City reported.
‘There is a recognition that if someone comes through briefly, it’s a different reality than someone who works regularly in a location,’ de Blasio told The City. ‘Vaccine only, that’s the most important issue in terms of all the people coming (as guests). And I think it can be kept safe for that reason.’
Rogan has used his popular podcast to spread mixed-messages about COVID over the last year.
Last month he revealed he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and told his followers that he was able to recover within three days thanks to several treatments, including the much-talked about anti-parasite drug ivermectin, which is used to treat infections in horses and cows.
Rogan has not characterized himself as being against vaccines, saying in April: ‘I’m not an anti-vax person. I believe they’re safe and encourage many people to take them.’
But he has told his audience that taking the anti-parasite medicine Ivermectin helped in his recovery from the coronavirus, despite the CDC saying that it is unsafe if used improperly, and that there is no evidence it can treat Covid-19.
He has also suggested that teenagers do not need to get vaccinated, despite advisories from top disease experts that younger people can at least continue the spread of the virus.