You may have seen that Joe Rogan clip the other day where, as part of a broader diatribe against the authoritarianism of vaccine mandates, he argued that vaccines cause the coronavirus to form more dangerous variants (and that scientists are afraid they'll get canceled if they say so). Buried in this rant was an apparent confirmation of a Comedy Store outbreak a few weeks ago. Here's what he said:
This is one of the things we’re finding out about what they’re calling breakthrough cases. So, people who are vaccinated can still get Covid and they can still transmit Covid. This recently happened at the Comedy Store. A vaccinated comedian gave Covid to like 12 different fuckin’ people at the Comedy Store. Some of them vaccinated, some of them not. That kind of situation, where the vaccine kind of protects you from very serious damage—it 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.
Obviously we should take this with a grain of salt. I don't trust Joe Rogan to know where exactly the outbreak originated. I do trust him to know the broad strokes of what's going on at the club he used to call home, where many of his friends still perform, and whose longtime booker now works for him. Given everything else we know, I think it's now fair to say the Comedy Store's adoption of vaccine and mask mandates was a reaction to this outbreak. (Note to comedy clubs: it's unwise to keep quiet about these things in an industry of people who can't keep their mouths shut.) This information should compel every other comedy venue to adopt the same measures as soon as possible.
Meanwhile in New York City, here's something The Stand tweeted two nights ago, referring to the impending vaccine and mask mandates in New York City:
"The 'Key to The City' doesn't start till the 16th. A message to the un vaxxed get your laughs in now! Come see our 10pm and 11pm shows. Use code KEY for a discount on tickets."
Longtime readers will recall that the Stand is co-owned by a man who in a previous career wrote and published anti-vaccine misinformation (and who appears to be behind a virulently racist account on a white supremacist web forum). The club regularly hosts an unvaccinated, anti-vaccine comedian in the form of Dave Smith. This past fall, it flagrantly violated New York City's indoor entertainment ban to host Smith's podcast. Now it's offering unvaccinated people—who currently comprise the majority of Covid hospitalizations and deaths—discounted tickets to its shows.
Please be very careful out there.
Header image via YouTube.
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