CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains appearance on Joe Rogan podcast: 'I needed to go into the lion's den'


CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta sought to explain the reasoning behind his appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” this week, claiming he felt he “needed to go into the lion’s den” to communicate to people about public health.

Gupta faced intense criticism stemming from his appearance on the show, in which he admitted that CNN shouldn’t have referred to Rogan’s use of the drug ivermectin to treat the coronavirus as him using “horse dewormer.”

CNN did not immediately respond when asked if Gupta was forced to justify the appearance in his Wednesday piece following the backlash.

JOE ROGAN FORCES DR. SANJAY GUPTA TO ADMIT CNN SHOULDN’T HAVE CALLED HIS COVID TREATMENT ‘HORSE DEWORMER’

In the piece titled “Why Joe Rogan and I sat down and talked — for more than 3 hours,” Gupta detailed his conversation with Rogan, including his “futile” attempt to convince the popular radio host to take the coronavirus vaccine, and compared it to being in a mixed martial arts (MMA) bout.

“I realized that if I was serious about trying to communicate public health, I needed to go to a less comfortable place. I needed to go into the lion’s den and accept an invitation to sit down with Joe Rogan for more than three hours,” Gupta wrote before admitting that many of his friends advised him not to accept Rogan’s invitation.

“In fact, when I told Joe early in the podcast that I didn’t agree with his apparent views on vaccines against Covid, ivermectin and many things in between, part of me thought the MMA, former Taekwondo champion might hurtle himself across the table and throttle my neck. But, instead he smiled, and off we went,” he added. 

Joe Rogan and Sanjay Gupta

Joe Rogan and Sanjay Gupta
(Getty Images)

Gupta described their conversation as “like being in the octagon” while the two traded jabs over coronavirus antibodies, vaccines and masks. The vast majority of those hospitalized and dying from coronavirus in recent months have been unvaccinated.

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“I guess a small part of me thought I might change Joe Rogan’s mind about vaccines. After this last exchange, I realized it was probably futile,” he said. “His mind was made up, and there would always be plenty of misinformation out there neatly packaged to support his convictions.” 

“Truth is though, I am still glad I did it. My three-hour-long conversation wasn’t just with Rogan. If just a few of his listeners were convinced, it will have been well worth it,” Gupta said.

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Gupta did not mention his interaction with Rogan, in which he admitted CNN shouldn’t have referred to his use of ivermectin as “horse dewormer.”



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