Joe Rogan and his guest Lex Fridman talk about why masks are so essential, among other Coronavirus-related topics in his new podcast.
While day time and late night TV talk show hosts figure out how to maintain their production in self-isolation, Joe Rogan has just been doing his usual thing. The lone wolf podcaster is still inviting guests to his podcast man cave, including a few remote conversations. Yesterday's guest, Lex Fridman, continued the conversation surrounding masks that was first started with guest Eric Weinstein, as we've been reporting.
In the episode with Eric Weinstein, the mathematician urged everyone to wear masks, pushing back at the CDC guidelines at the time. The CDC was not advising the general public to wear masks, but since that podcast aired, they've changed their tune.
On the website today, the CDC states "In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission." The "new evidence" they are referring to, as they explain, is the fact that "We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms." We've seen reports about asymptomatic people for weeks now, but the CDC has proved slow to act despite the perhaps-obvious benefit one might assume there is from wearing a mask, thus angering people like Weinstein and Fridman.
On the new episode, Fridman, a research scientist at MIT, begins the podcast wearing his own homemade mask, advocating and explaining just how important masks are to slow the spread of the disease.
"Some questions-- do homemade masks work? They're effective for, to prevent me, if I'm infected asymptomatic, from spreading the infection to you. Your mask protects me, my mask protects you. The idea there is not, I'm not creating a wall from the rest of society." Fridman explains, "There's a bigger picture, I'm not allowing the infection to spread. Masks allow you to reduce the transmission rate from 1 to below 1, so allowing you to reduce the transmission rate while also allowing you to be in public."
He adds later, "Masks are required to slow the spread of the infection. We need to get governors, our politicians to wear them. Trump to wear them."
Rogan responded, "Well, this is the Boris Johnson question, because that guy, not only was he not wearing masks but he was shaking hands. And now he's in intensive care. If he dies, that will be the biggest wake up call for everyone. I hope he doesn't die. God damn, people are so mean over there. I don't know his policies...But some people hate him."
The conversation soon turned to the upcoming UFC fight, with Rogan conceding that he has zero information as to where the fight will be taking place, and whether or not he himself will be going to provide his typical colourful commentary.
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"I'm tryna figure out what I'm doing, if I'm going to it or not. I don't even know if it's in America. I literally don't know, as of right now, I have no information," Rogan told Fridman about the potential UFC on Dana White's recently acquired private island. Fridman gives his approval for the fight to happen, viewing it as a step needed for society to know that things will go back to normal.
However Rogan added, "There's no social distancing in a cage fight. If Tony Ferguson is fighting, there's going to be blood, for sure. Everybody who fights Tony Ferguson looks like they fell off a train."
The conversation soon diverts to the accessibility of testing, and whether or not it would be feasible to test every person involved in the UFC fight.
"I have a feeling if someone tested positive they would remove them from the card," Rogan hypothesizes. "There's a lot of people that are very upset with it. It's very controversial," Rogan adds, concerning the fight. "They don't want anybody to do anything out of the norm of social distancing and quarantining."
You can view the full conversation below, in typical Rogan fashion it spans over three hours.