A virologist contesting a debate with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. by podcaster Joe Rogan said he was locked out of his home after a right-wing commentator posted a video confronting him.
Dr. Peter Hotez, a pediatrician and dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine, tweeted his concerns about Rogan’s interview with Democratic presidential candidate Kennedy on Saturday.
Hotez expressed concern about comments made by Kennedy and Rogan about the dangers of vaccines. This sparked backlash from both sides, with some pushing Hotez into the controversy and others blasting Rogan.
On Sunday Hotez was confronted by Alex Rosen, a self-proclaimed ‘independent journalist’ who works for a site called ‘Predator Poachers’.
Rosen, after exchanging pleasantries, asked Hotez why he wouldn’t debate Kennedy.
‘Oh come on, it’s harassment,’ replied Hotez.
Dr. Peter Hotez, a virologist challenged by podcaster Joe Rogan to debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., said he was locked out of his home after a right-wing commentator posted a video confronting him.
‘I’m just curious, nothing hostile, just curious,’ replied Rosen.
Hotez says he hasn’t made a decision, Rogan says ‘just invited me, so we’ll see. We will think about it.’
After repeatedly saying he thinks Hotez should be debating, Rosen asked: ‘What do you say to people who think they’ve been injured by vaccines?’
Hotez, clearly upset, starts to close his gate and walk away from Rosen.
The virologist tweeted Sunday that he felt stalked, possibly in reference to Rosen. She also had fun with her casual attire.
‘Oh, a couple of anti-vaxxers in front of my house are taunting me for debating RFKJr. Of course I was looking at my Sunday best in our brutal heat wave. What is it human?’
Kennedy repeated his debunked claim in an interview on Rogan’s podcast last week that common childhood vaccines cause autism, which Hotez called ‘just terrifying’ as he lamented ‘it’s clear that a lot of people actually believe this bullshit.’
Rogan fired back with a challenge: ‘Peter, if you claim that what RFK Jr. is saying is “misinformation” I’m offering you $100,000.00 to the charity of your choice if you’re willing to debate him on my show without a deadline. ‘
Twitter owner Elon Musk quickly jumped on the drama, tweeting that Hotz ‘just hates charity’ and said the scientist ‘is afraid of public debate because he knows he’s wrong.’
Hotez responded to Rogan’s interview with Kennedy last week, who dismissed vaccine concerns as ‘just horrible’ as he lamented ‘it’s clear that a lot of people believe this bullshit.’
RFK Jr. appeared on Rogan’s podcast, repeating his debunked claim that common childhood vaccines cause autism.
The virologist tweeted Sunday that he felt stalked, possibly in reference to Rosen
Earlier on Sunday, Hotez received the endorsement of billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
‘There is not much to say about pharma. But to ignore the same industry that saved who knows how many lives bulls and you know,’ he tweeted.
‘It’s also disrespectful to all the doctors, researchers and medical professionals who dedicate their lives to saving lives, like Dr Hotez and the more than 800,000 doctors across the country who believe vaccines save lives.’
Later in his rant, Cuban criticized Rogan and Musk.
‘Joe, you and Elon Musk’s Twitter are the mainstream online media and your platforms are supposedly wrong with the MSM. You are driven by self-interest. Just as the MSM has always accused.’
‘Shark Tank’ star and NBA owner Mark Cuban has joined Rogan’s challenge
Hotez, a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, tweeted his concerns about the Kennedy interview on Saturday.
However, in a series of tweets, Hotez hinted at his willingness to appear on Rogan’s podcast, which reaches millions of viewers on Spotify.
‘I am happy to be here to have a meaningful discussion. I respect you and your grief and I don’t want an adversarial relationship. I think we can make some progress,’ Hotez tweeted.
‘And I’m open to different options, but being pressured to give you an answer on Twitter, right now, with demands like “take it or leave it” is not how I operate. Frankly, I don’t think it would be in your best interest,’ he wrote.
Kennedy also signaled his desire to join, tweeting: ‘Peter. Let’s finally have the respectful, natural, informed debate the American people deserve.’
During his appearance on Rogan’s podcast Thursday, Kennedy repeated his longstanding and fragmented claims that common childhood vaccines cause autism.
‘Everyone will say, “There’s no research that shows autism and vaccines are linked.” That’s just crazy. It’s people who don’t look at science. It is part of religion.’
The Democrat has made a name for himself as a prominent anti-vaxxer, but his involvement in the anti-vaccine movement has intensified following the Covid-19 pandemic and the development of a vaccine.
His anti-vaccine charity, Children’s Health Defense, prospered during that time, doubling its income to $6.8 million in 2020, according to filings with charity regulators.
Rogan challenged Hotez to debate RFK Jr.’s $100,000 donation to the charity, while Elon Musk quickly stepped up to the drama on Twitter, which he owns.
Rogan’s challenge sparked a frenzy of back-and-forth on Twitter, but Hotez indicated in a series of tweets that he would be willing to appear on the podcast.
Kennedy Jr. published a book in 2021, The Real Anthony Fauci, in which he accused the US’s top infectious disease doctor of aiding ‘a historic coup against Western democracy’ and using unproven COVID-19 treatments such as ivermectin, which is anti-parasite and anti-malarial. For the treatment of the drug hydroxychloroquine.
His push against the COVID-19 vaccine has at times linked him with anti-democratic figures and groups.
Kennedy Jr. appeared to push false claims that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen and to cheer or downplay the US Capitol riots.
Kennedy Jr. has occasionally invoked his family’s legacy in his anti-vaccine work, sometimes including using images of President Kennedy.
Her sister Kerry Kennedy, who married Robert F. Kennedy ran Human Rights, the international rights group founded by their mother, Ethel, her brother occasionally removed some content at her request.
He told The Associated Press in a 2021 interview that his brother was ‘totally wrong about this and very dangerous.’
After Kennedy announced his presidential bid as the Democratic nominee in April, he was polling about 15 percent of likely primary voters, compared to 62 percent for President Joe Biden.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (left) waves to the crowd at his 2024 campaign kick-off with his wife, actress Cheryl Hines (right), of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame.
Since Kennedy announced his presidential bid as the Democratic nominee in April, he has been polling about 15 percent of likely primary voters.
Kennedy Jr. declined to speculate publicly on Biden’s mental fitness for office, but told Fox News he jumped into the race because he was unhappy with what Biden was doing “to this country.”
He pointed specifically to the president’s handling of the ongoing war in Ukraine, which he said should have been resolved long ago.
The amount of American dollars sent to Ukraine since the conflict began last year is currently over $130 billion, a figure Kennedy noted is far greater than the combined budgets of many US agencies.
The candidate suggested spending some of that money on the state, as 57 percent of Americans couldn’t afford a sudden $1,000 hardship expense.
Kennedy has attracted a particular following among conservatives for his vocal skepticism about COVID-19 vaccinations as well as his support for keeping biological men out of women’s sports.
Read Full News Here