Peter Hotez, a self-proclaimed 'vaccine scientist' and professor of pediatrics who was recently called out by the namesake of the Joe Rogan Experience to debate Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the topic of vaccines, has claimed that since the episode, he has been "stalked" by anti-vaccine activists.
"I was just stalked in front of my home by a couple of antivaxers taunting me to debate RFKJr," Hotez wrote on Sunday afternoon, posting a photo of himself smiling.
Hotez told the Washington Post that two people "accosted me" when he and his wife were returning to their house with a cake for Father’s Day.
"He shoved a cellphone camera in my face and asked if I would debate RFK on Rogan. They were clearly lying in wait," Hotez said. "It's very sad. All we were trying to do is get a cake for Father's Day."
"The anti-vaccine attacks usually come in waves of aggression, and this one is about as bad as it's been in the last 20 years."
On Saturday, Rogan tweeted, "Peter, if you claim what RFKjr is saying is 'misinformation' I am offering you $100,000.00 to the charity of your choice if you’re willing to debate him on my show with no time limit."
The tweet came in response to Hotez blasting a recent episode on Twitter that featured Kennedy, sharing a critical article on the podcast while remarking it is "just awful." He then claimed, "from all the online attacks I’m receiving after this absurd podcast, it’s clear many actually believe this nonsense."
Since then, major Twitter influencers have pledged additional funds to see such a debate, reaching over $1.5 million.
After the Sunday incident, Hotez tweeted a Los Angeles Times column, which said that Kennedy "received a tongue bath on Spotify from that outstanding ignoramus Joe Rogan, who allowed him to spout his anti-science spiel for three hours with virtually no pushback."
"The dangers from Kennedy’s campaign should be clear. One is that a Kennedy candidacy that gains any real traction alone will increase the political credibility of anti-vax claptrap, which already has more than enough," the column states.
Social media users have noted that Hotez, who the Washington Post describes as being "part of a Nobel Prize-nominated team of scientists who created an affordable, easy-to-make coronavirus vaccine," previously argued that the Black Lives Matter protests which erupted in 2020 would not contribute to an increase of the spread of Covid-19, but then laid blame into so-called anti-vaccination protests the following year when cases were spiking again.
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