Joe Rogan: Did Biden fake his booster shot?

A Twitter pal reminded me today as this clip circulated that Rogan has also wondered whether the moon landing was faked.

It’s a rare conspiracy theorist who entertains only one conspiracy theory. They tend to dabble. Widely.

This one is minor, though. And on the list of the least responsible things Rogan has said about the vaccines and COVID during the pandemic, it may not even be top 10.

Was that a real dose of vaccine that was injected into Biden’s arm on camera this past Monday? After all, if the set was fake…

…mightn’t the shot have been fake too?

For starters, that set wasn’t built for the vaccine photo op. According to Politifact, it was constructed in the auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for use during Biden’s “virtual summit” on COVID with other world leaders on August 22. I’m guessing the White House chose to do the booster there instead of in the Oval Office simply because the auditorium is bigger. They wanted maximum coverage, especially photo and video, of the president getting his shot and they’d be able to cram more people — with more clear lines of sight — into the auditorium.

But what about the shot? Was that fake? Rogan’s right, after all, that some people experience anaphylactic shock after their injection, which is why the tech asks you to wait 15 minutes after you’ve received your dose. Imagine the president getting his booster and then keeling over two minutes later on live TV. There’d never be a vaccine given in America again.

Consider the odds, though. According to one study, anaphylaxis after receiving an mRNA dose occurs on the order of one in every 90,000 to 400,000 cases, typically among people with a history of allergic reactions. A CDC study published in January found 21 cases of it among 1,893,000 doses administered during a 10-day span last December, or one in 90,000. Would the White House be willing to take a 90,000-to-one chance on Biden’s booster going well knowing that, if that one negative outcome materialized, it would be catastrophic for the national booster campaign?

We can answer that question with a question. What’s more likely, that Biden would experience anaphylactic shock from his dose? Or that if they gave him a placebo the media would find out about it and that would be catastrophic for the national booster campaign? Once the news broke, every vaccine skeptic in America would demand to know why a placebo was necessary if the vaccines are so safe and effective. Does Biden know something we don’t?

A leak to the press that he’d used a placebo would be much, much more likely than an anaphylactic reaction to a real dose, which is why I’m guessing that it was indeed a real dose Biden got. Besides, if you watch the full video of his booster photo op, he’s out of the room within two minutes of the shot being administered. That was probably intentional in order to hedge against the tiny risk of an allergic episode. Biden was presumably told not to linger before the cameras once the shot was in, just in case.

One other point. This is, of course, his third dose of the vaccine. His first two doses as president-elect were also done on camera. If you think he got a placebo on Monday, logically you need to believe that he’s pulled this stunt with a fake shot no less than three times already. After all, watching him pass out from his first or second dose would have been just as frightening for vaccine skeptics and valuable to anti-vaxxers as watching him pass out this week would have. For Rogan to be right this needs to be part of an ongoing conspiracy, not a one-timer.